• Humans take a backseat in this week’s festival of free films on Hulu, all of which feature some of the furrier stars in the Criterion Collection. In Chester Erskine’s adaptation of the comic George Bernard Shaw play Androcles and the Lion, a Christian slave is spared from death in the Colosseum after he pulls a thorn from a lion’s paw. In Robert Bresson’s overwhelming Au hasard Balthazar, the sinful world is seen through the eyes of a long-suffering donkey. Louis Malle sends a young woman to a world of talking animals and sexual perversity in the bizarre Black Moon. Sabu rides a pachyderm with aplomb in the film that made him a star, Elephant Boy, and then interacts with tigers, snakes, and wolves in Jungle Book. Two ghostly women exhibit feline tendencies in Kaneto Shindo’s horror fable Kuroneko. In the gorgeously shot White Mane, by Albert Lamorisse (The Red Balloon), a boy helps a wild horse escape its captors. And in the thirty-minute short A Dog’s Life, Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp has a partner to poke around with, the adorable mongrel Scraps. Watch this terrific comedy team work their interspecies magic below or at Hulu. And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for Hulu Plus. You’ll be able to see the hundreds of other streaming Criterion films for $7.99 a month.

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