Picture this: it's a rainy, cold night and you're huddled up on the couch with your furry best friend. What should you watch on the box? You have to pick something that both of you will like, but there's a fair few movies out there featuring people-and-pooch co-stars (or dogs with HUMAN sidekicks). Luckily, you remember the Dog Blog you read while you were shopping for your favourite Pinstapal, and they gave you a list of their top 11 picks for fluff-featured films. Pawesome.
We're counting backwards through our favourites to our number one, starting with:
11. Beethoven (1992)
Beethoven was originally a one-off story about a wife and her children who decide to adopt a st. bernard puppy, to the dismay of the husband, George. Although Beethoven has many compassionate qualities that aid the rest of the family in their various problems, all George can see is Beethoven growing to a disruptive size and causing all sorts of household mishaps. The film was such a commercial success that it sparked a further nine sequels, so take your pick.
10. Cats & Dogs (2001)
“Are you a cat or a dog person?” is a common question, and this rivalry between the two species sparked the plot for the American-Australian film Cats & Dogs. A high-tech, secret war is raging between the great armies of felines and canines (and you can guess who the good guys are). Humans have developed a vaccine to totally eradicate dog allergies, and the cats are out to make sure it’s destroyed. If you’re in the mood for mild humour, Tobey Maguire’s voice (Lou the Beagle) and some early ‘00s cringe lines, we recommend this one.
9. Air Bud (1997)
Struggling to deal with his father’s death, high school student Josh signs up to be a part of his school’s basketball team – and quickly finds out that his pet golden retriever Bud, adopted as a stray, is adept at the sport. Ridiculous as it may seem, Bud also joins the team and together they become star players.
8. Bolt (2009)
A super sweet story from Walt Disney Animations, this film is voiced by John Travolta, who speaks on behalf of a white german shepherd adopted by seven-year old Penny (Miley Cyrus). Together, the pair star in a hit adventure TV show where Bolt’s character has various superpowers – to the point where Bolt truly believes he has these powers.
7. Turner & Hooch (1989)
A tale (or should we say ‘tail’?) about an up-tight police officer, Turner (Tom Hanks), and his deceased friend’s canine companion Hooch (Beasley the Dog). Together they attempt to solve the mystery of his friend’s murder. Chaos and household destruction ensue as a consequence of adopting Hooch, but they quickly become a dynamic duo teaming up to do detective work that would make Inspector Rex proud.
6. Balto (1995)
The main character isn’t 100 per cent dog, but rather a wolf-husky hybrid. Even so, this film is still one of the most heart-warming stories of all time, particularly because it’s based on real events. In 1925, the small town of Nome and its surrounding communities were plagued by an epidemic of deadly diphtheria that was poised to wipe out all their children. Balto was the lead of a team of huskies with their mushers sent to retrieve the diphtheria antitoxin from the nearest train station by dog sled – over 1000km away. There is a statue of Balto in Central Park, New York, featured at the beginning of the film.
5. Lassie (1994)
This film is the reason you always yell “Lassie!” when you see a fluffy, long-haired collie. The 90s classic features an impossibly-clean, stray dog who helps a big city family adjust to their countryside move – until their jealous neighbour plots his revenge.
4. Marley & Me (2009)
If you’re not a dog person, this is the film that makes you a dog person. Following the lives of newlyweds John and Jenny Grogan (Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston), this story depicts a couple going through life and all its changes – with a dog by their side. Initially purchased by John as a puppy to stall Jenny’s haste into parenthood, Marley grows into a mischievous mutt that destroys furniture and fails obedience school. But what makes this film such a delight is the audience coming to the realisation – through stinging, tear-filled eyes – that Marley was a part of the family before it had even begun.
3. 101 Dalmatians
So there’s 101 Dalmatians (1996), and One Hundred & One Dalmatians (1961). It’s hard to beat the original with its elegant animations and speaking dogs; but there’s also something wonderful about real-life dalmatian puppies flooding out of a barn.
2. Lady & the Tramp (1955)
It recently turned 60-years old, but this beautiful animated classic is still adored by millions. Holding a solid 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is most famous for its spaghetti scene and the sneaky singing Siamese cat twins. The story follows a pampered cocker spaniel (Lady) whose life is turned upside down after her owners welcome a new baby into the family. After some hiccups, she finds herself on the streets, where she is found and protected by a stray mutt (Tramp). A romance blossoms between the unlikely pair – it’s by far a better love story than Twilight. FACT: during production, the Disney offices were filled with dozens of dogs of all shapes & sizes to inspire the animators to create the multitudes of dog characters in the film.
1. Best In Show (2000)
Our Pinstapals top pick! Be prepared to laugh at crazy dog owners, some of which will probably remind you of yourself. The American mockumentary follows the lives of five dogs and their owners as they prepare for the prestigious Mayflower Dog Show. The diverse ranges of canines are all gunning for the top prize – Best in Show – and the humans will do anything to win. It's cringe but it's amazing.