For Groundhog Day -- The Five Best Movie Rodents

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February 2 marks that special days in Western civilization, in which we commemorate the mystical powers of a being emerging from a hole in the ground. No, I'm not talking about Easter, but rather Groundhog Day. And what better way to mark the annual resurrection of Punxsutawney Phil then listing some famous movie rodents?

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) A hundred computer generated squirrels pawing at a pre-adolescent girl before throwing her into a large pit ranks somewhere between multiple Deep Roys and Johnny Depp's haircut on the creepy scale in Tim Burton's version of the Roald Dahl classic.

4. The Naked Gun (1988)

Double entendres using the word "beaver," like kicks to the groin and big-budget remakes starring Steve Martin, never go out of comedy style.

3. Groundhog Day (1993)

Well, duh. Granted, Punxsutawney Phil only makes a few brief appearances (including a memorable car chase) but leaving this film out of an entry focusing on the eponymous holiday would doubtless elicit more garment rending than if someone talked shit about The English Patient .

2. Ben (1972)

Film scholars have spent recent years debating whether the inclusion of a Michael Jackson song should elevate this movie's rating to an "R." Or at least a "PG-13."

1. Caddyshack (1980)

More important than this movie's relevance to the theme at hand is its lingering status as one of the only things in the pop culture firmament -- outside of Tiger Woods and John Daly -- to make the "sport" of golf remotely interesting.

-- Pete Vonder Haar

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