We at Lunacy love trees — so this Arbor Day we’re counting down our favorite talking trees in cinema history!
HANGING TREE (The Nightmare Before Christmas) Type: Monster Strongest Asset: Singing Voice Biggest Weakness: Needlepoint, probably Quote: “Everybody scream!”
Long before the Hunger Games song, there was The Nightmare Before Christmas, which featuring an assortment of every scary creature imaginable. Hanging Tree, who has skeletons instead of leaves, isn’t much of a major character, but he does get the excellent line “Everybody scream! Everybody scream!” in the opening number This is Halloween, to which his hanging skeletons surprisingly respond “…in our town of Halloween.”
THE MONSTER (A Monster Calls) Type: Yew Strongest Asset: Wisdom Biggest Weakness: Subtlety Quote: “In the end, Conor, it is not important what you think. It is only important what you do.”
Born out of the old yew tree in the backyard, The Monster arrives to help out 12-year-old Conor, who’s having a rough go of it. Surprisingly, Conor isn’t scared of The Monster when he first appears – he just seems relatively annoyed. He has some valuable lessons for Conor and helps him to deal with the death of a loved one. A twist at the end shows that perhaps Conor is not the only human that he’s helped…
AGENT 13 (Get Smart) Type: Human Strongest Asset: Spy Skills Biggest Weakness: Stuck in a Tree Quote: “I get it...I get it...No one wants to talk to a guy in a tree, I get it.”
In the original series, Agent 13 was known for his unique hiding places – a fire hydrant, a mailbox or inside a Rembrandt painting. Portrayed by Bill Murray, he cameos in the 2008 adaptation, urging Steve Carrell’s Maxwell Smart to stay and hang out with him.
Apple Trees (The Wizard of Oz) Type: Apple Strongest Asset: Reflexes Biggest Weakness: Hates Sharing Quote: “Well, how would you like to have someone come along and pick something off of you?”
The Wicked Witch has no doubt terrified millions of children who watched the Wizard of Oz over the years, but perhaps even scarier are the trees that come to life when you pick their apples. Poor Dorothy never saw it coming. The Apple Trees are extremely moody and impolite to our heroes and, despite wishing to prevent Dorothy from eating their apples, the Trees foolishly decide that to get rid of the travellers, they will pelt them with apples. But the thickheaded plants clearly didn’t think this through, as Dorothy and co. end up getting exactly what they wanted. In the book, they meet a more gruesome fate via the Tin Man and his axe.
GROOT (Guardians of the Galaxy) Type: Flora colossus from Planet X Strongest Asset: Vine powers Biggest Weakness: Communication Quote: “I am Groot.”
The scene-stealer from Guardians of the Galaxy only speaks three words, but is just as important a team member as the others. Along with fellow bounty hunter Rocket Raccoon, he gets tied up with the likes of Star Lord, Gamora and Drax in prison, and following an escape, the five become reluctant teammates. Groot is key in helping the Guardians defeat Ronan the Accuser and secure one of the important Infinity Stones.
TREEBEARD (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) Type: Ent Strongest Asset: Strength Biggest Weakness: Laziness Quote: “We have come to believe........................that you are not Orcs.”
Harumph! Treebeard only enters the epic tale in the second film, but is key in bringing down Saruman the White, right-hand man of Sauron. The hobbits Merry and Pippin find Treebeard in the woods, who promptly tries to kill them, thinking them orcs. But our heroes not only convince him otherwise, but help recruit Treebeard and his cohort of “ents” to awaken from their slumber and fight against Saruman.
GRANDMOTHER WILLOW (Pocahontas) Type: Willow Strongest Asset: Good Advice Biggest Weakness: Dancing, most likely Quote: “My bark is worse than my bite.”
A reason is never given for Grandmother Willow’s existence and Pocahontas never seems to question why her advisor is a sentient tree. John Smith is a little more skeptical, but soon decides to overlook the oddity after receiving some lovely compliments from GW. Full of wisdom, metaphors and medicinal bark that can be used as a pain-killer (!), Grandmother Willow is by far the most helpful character in the film. She also has some excellent one-liners.
BABY GROOT (Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2) Type: Flora colossus from Planet X Strongest Asset: Cuteness Biggest Weakness: Common sense Quote: “I am Groot.”
Baby Groot is not a different version of Groot but his son, at least according to director James Gunn. But regardless of his origins, he continues to steal scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. He will appear as an older, teenage Groot in “Avengers: Infinity War” this weekend. While no longer the most powerful Avenger, he is certainly the most adorable.