10 Best Dog Movies Every Dog Lover Must Watch
Dogs have been depicted in art for as long as we humans have been making it. They have inspired cave drawings and paintings, songs and poetry (spoken word poetry, too, yes), TV shows and movies—testaments to the enduring love between humans and human’s best friend. Hundreds of dog movies have been made and, while all of them are cute, some are considered, well, best in show. Here are some of the best dog movies to watch with your four-legged fur buddies. (No spoilers, don’t worry!)
The Disney generation grew up watching this movie and its spin-offs, so who knew it was already 55 years old? 101 Dalmatians was released in 1961 but was so well-loved it was reissued to theaters four more times, in 1969, 1979, 1985, and 1991. The animated film is about a handful of dogs and 101 puppies, and probably requires no further explanation.
2Lassie Come Home
Lassie has become so iconic that many people still don’t know the actual dog breed. (Lassie is a rough collie, by the way.) Lassie Come Home was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography. It was described in its 1943 review in The New York Times as a “story of a boy and a dog, [and] tells it with such poignancy and simple beauty that only the hardest heart can fail to be moved.” And did we mention that Lassie has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
3Lady and the Tramp
Lady and the Tramp gave us one of the most iconic romantic scenes in movie history and, yes, we are still talking about dogs. This story about a cocker spaniel and a mutt, which channels the familiar rich girl falls in love with poor boy plot, was included in the 100 Greatest Love Stories of All Time by the American Film Institute.
Imagine if Tim Burton made a dog movie. Oh, wait, he did! Frankenweenie is about a young boy who brings his dead dog back to life. The neighborhood kids try the same experiment but unleash monster animals in the process.
5Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
A golden retriever, American bulldog, and Himalayan cat are separated from their owners and have lots of adventures as they make their way home. Famed movie critic Roger Ebert describes it as a movie designed for kids but with an undeniable craftsmanship and charm.
Old Yeller, considered one of the best boy-and-his-dog movies, currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is said to feature one of the most tearful scenes in movie history. We will pass the tissues and say no more.
7Best in Show
Best in Show is frequently mentioned in reviews as quite possibly the funniest dog movie out there. The comedy is a mock documentary that follows five dogs and their humans during and after entering a prestigious dog show. The film has been included in many funniest movies lists and has won a handful of comedy awards.
8My Dog Tulip
My Dog Tulip is, as The New York Times puts it, “an animated dog movie like no other” and depicts a dog’s “constant, single-hearted, incorruptible, uncritical devotion, which it is in the nature of dogs to offer.” The movie was created over two and a half years and with about 60,000 drawings.
While not primarily about dogs, the movies below earn spots on the list not only for being well-reviewed but also for having the Filipino touch.
Critically acclaimed and multi-awarded Up stole our hearts with Karl and Ellie’s love story. But it made us feel extra gigil with Dug’s silly puppy dog eyes and charming candidness. Ronnie del Carmen, Up’s story supervisor, was one of the many Filipinos who worked on the movie. He then made his directorial debut with Up’s accompanying short film, Dug’s Special Mission.
Bwakaw debuted in the 2012 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, where it won three major awards. The film is about Rene, a gay man in his 60s, who was convinced he was going to die alone. He has prepared his will, distributed his possessions, and resigned himself to living in solitude with his dog, Bwakaw. However, Bwakaw suddenly falls ill, pushing Rene to learn to seek comfort in others and, eventually, to find joy in the simple things.
No matter the genre or year released, all these best dog movies teach us many things about kindness, loyalty, love, and humanity through the eyes of our furry friends. Now, go give your dog a loving hug!