All Women's Talk

9 Movies Where the Dog is the Star ...

By Neecey

Dog movies can reduce you to tears or have you laughing until your sides split. They can be stories of loyalty or tales of man’s cruelty to the animal kingdom. They portray dogs as heroes and villains, as comedic and companionable, loyal, loving and mischievous. However you like your dog movies, here’s some for you to consider.

1 101 Dalmatians
This is one of those dog movies where you are overwhelmed by cuteness. Whether it’s the original Disney animation or the later live action feature (and the follow up), the delicious villainess of Dodie Smith’s canine masterpiece, Cruella de Vil, is easily one of the best female baddies ever. The jury is out on whether cartoon or real life spotty dogs are best but revel in the dastardly plot as evil Cruella kidnaps the puppies in the name of fashion.

2 Turner and Hooch
There’s nothing new about the cop and best buddy concept, but when that best buddy is a giant slobbering hound it takes on a new meaning. Instead of worrying about his partner eating too many donuts or rowing with his missus, this dog leaves trails of drool, eats cars and generally leaves a destructive wake. But, of course, this is a feel-good story as many dog movies are. Dog helps cop meet girl, they fall in love. Dog helps cop solve murder. Case closed.

3 Greyfriars Bobby
If you like your movies about dogs served up with a touch of reality, you’ll love this offering from Disney. Tugging at every heart string, the movie is the true story of Bobby the Terrier and his enduring friendship and loyalty to owner, Old Jock, the shepherd. Enjoy the heart wrenching scenes set in Victorian Edinburgh and the stunning Scottish countryside. If you’re ever in Edinburgh, you can visit the statue of Bobby.

4 Marley and Me
It’s hard to push your nose in to get top billing alongside Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, but arguably this is one of the movies where the dog is the star and humans are kicked into touch. The charming antics of naughty puppy Marley are what carry this film based on the real life memoirs of John Grogan.

5 Lassie Come Home
If this film (another of Disney’s dog movies) doesn’t have you sobbing, you have no heart! ^_^ Setting the standard for all dog movies to follow, join Lassie on an incredible and oft-treacherous journey as she (even though the dog in the film is male and called Pal) crosses the country, meeting every adversity head-on, to make her way back to the family who had to sell her because they couldn’t afford her.

6 Scooby-Doo
It took until 2002 for those meddling kids and the goofy Great Dane to make it from the TV to the silver screen. Villains everywhere started quaking in their boots as the Mystery Machine was gunned back into life to solve the ghostly goings-on at Spooky Island. With a big supply of Scooby snacks and a whole load of bungling, the pesky kids manage to save the day and solve the crime (even if the audience knew who it was 5 minutes into the story!).

7 Old Yeller
One of the first movies about dogs (made in 1953), Old Yeller is a portrayal of how a canine companion can have a profound effect on his owner’s life. We’re talking floppy eared yellow Labrador ranch adventures with raccoons, life-saving and a gripping conclusion. And, if you don’t know the ending (as long as you haven’t seen the Friends episode where Phoebe finds out what truly happened), have a box of hankies ready.

8 The Hound of the Baskervilles
It was quite surprising that among all the dog movies, there are very few in the horror genre. There’s Cujo – the family pet tainted by rabies – and then there’s Max in a Man’s Best Friend: a bull mastiff made manic by genetic modification in a science lab. But really, the pick of the bunch is one of the classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries – the Hound of the Baskervilles that stalks the moors tearing various family members limb from limb. But what’s sharpest? The fiendish hound’s teeth or the conniving mind of the great detective?

9 Beethoven
OK, back to the cutesy now. What is it about big, lolloping dogs that make them such great vehicles for movie animal capers? There’s Digby, Shaggy Dog, K9 and the aforementioned Hooch, but the daddy of all havoc wreaking dog movies must be Beethoven. Eluding dognappers thanks to the Newton family, along with reluctant adoptee dad, George, the story is a morality tale of animal experimentation (the message is there somewhere). Although, one outing was enough for Beethoven the St. Bernard: the follow ups were truly unnecessary.

What are your favorite dog movies?

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