We all enjoy watching a good movie, and there’s nothing better for a dog lover than to curl up with a bag of popcorn with your dog by your side and view a film featuring an enigmatic canine. In this, our special feature we take a look at 15 of the best loved dog films to have graced the silver screen.
1. Best In Show
This hilarious movie explores the crazy world of dog shows. The story features owners and handler of five dogs who all set off for the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show.
There is Harlan Pepper, a fly-fishing shop owner and his Bloodhound, Hubert; yuppie lawyers Meg and Hamilton Swan and their somewhat neurotic Weimeraner, Beatrice; mild-mannered menswear salesman Gerry Fleck and his vivacious wife, Cookie, and their Norwich Terrier, Winky; professional handler Scott Donlan and his long time partner, hair salon owner Stefan Vanderhoof, with their Shih Tzu, Miss Agnes; and the fabulously wealthy and elderly Leslie Ward Cabot and his voluptuous young wife, Sherri Ann Cabot, with their two-time champion Standard Poodle, Rhapsody In White.
Finally, the hundreds of contestants come together under one giant roof, the audience throngs the massive arena and the competition begins in earnest as television cameras bring the wonderful world of dogs to millions. A must watch for all dog show enthusiasts.
2. Love Leads The Way
When an insurance salesman is blinded in a boxing accident, his world is turned upside down as he has trouble functioning in his sightless world. All seem hopeless until he learns of an innovative European project that trains dogs as guides for the blind. He explores the idea and decides to train for a dog. He eventually gets a guide dog, but soon learns that he is barred from taking his needed companion into transit vehicles and public buildings and businesses. With a newfound friend, he must fight to make the country recognize that those rules are unfair to him and his guide.
3. Must Love Dogs
Thirty-something preschool teacher Sarah Nolan has been divorced for eight months, which is much too long for her family to bear. With the best of intentions and only her happiness in mind, her enthusiastic sisters and widowed father stage an intervention in an all-out effort to get her out of pyjamas and back into the dating scene, one way or another. Eager to launch their sister’s own cyber-dating debut, her sisters pretend to be Sarah and post her profile on perfectmatch.com, with the enticing message, “Voluptuous, sensuous, alluring and fun. DWF seeks special man to share starlit nights. Must love dogs.” And wait for the responses to pour in.
Sarah soon endures a series of hilariously disastrous mismatches and first dates as the website offers up a stream of eager wannabes and one possible maybe – awkward but intriguing boat builder Jake Anderson, an idealist who measures romance by a Dr. Zhivago standard. Meanwhile, at work, there’s a new distraction – Bob Connor, the newly separated dad of one of her young students. Charming and relaxed, Bob seems made to order, the perfect guy… but is he just too good to be true?
4. Heck’S Way Home
Home is where your dog is. Heck is no ordinary dog. When he gets lost the day his family travels 2,000 miles in preparation for a move to Australia, 12-year-old Luke is convinced he’ll never see his best friend again. With only three days to find his young master before a ship takes them away forever, Heck is caught by the dogcatcher and escapes to experience the greatest adventure of his life. Leaping aboard the moving van at the last possible second, Heck hitches a ride to the train station, where he hops on a freight car with a friendly hobo. When they miss the train at a rest stop, the unlikely pair begins travelling on foot through the bitter cold and dense forest. But when Heck falls 100 feet into churning rapids, he’s on his own. Hungry and with his love for Luke leading him on, Heck battles rattlesnakes, faces rainstorms, and climbs the snow-covered Rockies on his way home. Filled with action-packed excitement, Heck’s Way Home is a reminder of what we can do for the ones we love.
5. The Ugly Dachshund
Fran Garrison’s all in a tizzy because her prize Dachshund, Danke, is having pups, and she has hopes of one of the pups becoming a champion. But at the vet’s, her husband Jim is talked into letting Danke nurse a Great Dane pup that’s been abandoned by his mother. And Jim wants to keep the Great Dane. But Brutus has this problem: he thinks he’s a dachshund and he’s too big to be a lapdog. But when Fran ridicules Brutus one too many times, Jim’s got a plan to prove to everyone (and Fran) that a Great Dane can be far more than just an ugly dachshund.
6. Dr. Dolittle 2
This time Eddie Murphy takes centre stage as Dr. John Dolittle. His charge is to save the forest and the endangered Pacific Western Bear. But the species has no chance of surviving if the bear doesn’t have a mate. Dolittle searches and finds Archie loveable bear with a fondness for fast food. Dolittle’s challenge – to reintegrate Archie into the wild, help him make a love connection and save the forest. The trick – he has only three weeks to do it. If you enjoyed Dr. Dolittle, you’ll love the sequel.
7. Homeward bound- the incredible journey
Chance, a playful, sometimes troublesome American bulldog, has recently been adopted by a happy family where he makes friends with the family’s chummy pets. Together, Sassy the Himalayan cat, Shadow a wise old Golden Retriever and Chance live contentedly. The adventure begins when the loving owners of these irresistible pets are forced to leave them in the temporary care of a friend who lives hundreds of miles away. But after several days, the worried animals begin to think their family must be in trouble, so they decide to head for home. On their incredible journey across the ruggedly beautiful Sierras, they encounter unexpected surprises from man, beast, and nature alike. It’s an unforgettable story of love, courage, and devotion that will delight and inspire generations to come!
8. My Dog Skip
A funny, heartfelt coming-of-age story, “My Dog Skip” is based on award-winning author WILLIE MORRIS’ best-selling memoir of his boyhood. The year is 1942. Willie Morris is a shy and gawky eight-year-old whose childhood is even more quiet and isolated than his hometown of Yazoo, Mississippi. An only child, ignored at school and uncomfortable with girls, Willie looks up to and confides in next-door neighbour Dink Jenkins, the town’s star athlete, who’s preparing to ship out in the service of Uncle Sam.
Willie’s father, Jack Morris, a stern man, is chiefly responsible for Willie’s overprotective upbringing. Pushing in the other direction is his mother, Ellen Morris, a capable woman who knows that what Willie needs most is some freedom-and a friend. Willie’s ninth birthday gives her an opportunity to offer him both, in the form of a Jack Russell terrier puppy that the delighted Willie names Skip.
Skip’s outgoing personality helps Willie to build a friendship with Rivers Applewhite, the prettiest girl in school.
On the day of Willie’s first baseball game, Dink fails to show up and a disappointed Willie takes it out on Skip, who runs away. The dog’s disappearance and subsequent recovery teach Willie the strength of forgiveness. Ultimately, it is a dog’s love that teaches Willie Morris lifelong lessons of the human spirit.
9. Garfield the movie
Fat cat Garfield (hilariously voiced by Bill Murray) spends his time snoozing, eating lasagne, watching TV and making wisecracks – until his owner Jon falls in love with beautiful veterinarian Liz. She convinces Jon to adopt the adorably dumb puppy Odie, who promptly turns Garfield’s easy existence upside down. But when an evil dog trainer abducts Odie, it’s up to Garfield to get off the couch and lead a heroic rescue mission. Even though the movie is about a cat, dog lovers are sure to enjoy it. Odie is absolutely adorable in this movie.
10. 102 Dalmatians
Get ready for outrageous fun in Disney’s 102 DALMATIANS. It’s a brand-new hilarious adventure, starring the audacious Oddball, the spotless Dalmatian puppy on a search for her rightful spots, and Waddlesworth, the wisecracking, delusional macaw who thinks he’s a Rottweiler. Barking mad, this unlikely duo leads a posse of puppies on a mission to outfox the wildly wicked, ever-scheming Cruella De Vil. Filled with chases, close calls, hilarious antics, and thrilling escapes all the way from London through the streets of Paris – and a Parisian bakery -this adventure-packed tale is wacky good fun your entire family will want to howl over again and again.
11. The Hachiko Story
A movie based on the true story of Chu-ken Hachiko (the faithful dog Hachiko) was born in Akita in 1923 and was first brought to Tokyo in 1924. He and his owner, Mr. Eisaburo Uyeno, were inseparable friends right from the start. Each day “Hachi” would accompany Eisaburo, a professor at the Imperial University, to the train station when he left for work. Upon returning, the professor would find the dog patiently waiting for him. This happy routine continued until one fateful day in 1925, when the professor was taken ill on the job and unfortunately died before he could return home. Despite the fact that Hachiko was less than two years old at the time, the bond between dog and owner was strong. Hachiko continued to wait each day at Shibuya station through rain and wind for a friend who was never coming back. The Akita became a familiar sight to commuters as he kept his vigil for over ten years. On March 8, 1935, Hachiko finally went to meet his master. He died on the very same spot he last saw his friend alive. The Japanese erected a statue in the devoted dog’s honour.
12. Eight Below
On an American scientific base in Antarctica, survival guide Jerry Shepard is told to take a geologist named Davis, up to an out of the way mountain to look for a meteorite that may be from the planet Mercury. Jerry protests that the weather is treacherous, but he is ordered to go anyway. Because the ice is thin, he cannot take snow cats or snowmobiles, but must rely on his beloved dog team. A terrible accident and bad weather force Jerry to evacuate.
The plane takes off with the humans, leaving the dogs behind, much to Jerry’s chagrin. The dogs have been chained to a very tight tether. Jerry was told in the delirium of his frostbite that the female pilot Katie would go back for the dogs the next day, but the weather keeps anyone from going back.
Back in the states, Jerry almost runs out of options trying to get someone interested in rescuing the dogs. Meanwhile, the dogs break free and perform some incredible feats to survive. They take care of their wounded, they trick the predatory leopard seal, they sacrifice themselves for the other dogs, and they exhibit more virtues than many of the human beings of Hollywood movies.
The movie is inspired by a true story of doggie survival in Antarctica in the 1950’s. Japanese filmmakers first adapted the story in 1980 for a film called Nankoyoku Monogatari.
13. Lady And The Tramp
Embark on a thrilling adventure song-filled adventure about Lady, a lovingly pampered cocker spaniel, and Tramp, a roguish mutt from across the tracks. As the movie starts, everything is fine and dandy with Lady. She’s got a great home with great owners, Jim Dear and Darling. But things soon take a turn for the worse when Jim Dear and Darling go on vacation and leave Lady with Aunt Sarah, who just happens to be a cat-lover. When Aunt Sarah’s Siamese cats begin to cause trouble around the house, Lady gets blamed and Aunt Sarah brings her to the pet store to get fitted for a muzzle. In her bid for freedom, she meets and is charmed by Tramp, dog-about-town. Together with friends Jock, Trusty and Peg, they share thrilling adventures on a lovely bella notte as Lady learns what it means to be footloose and leash-free.
14. The Fox And The Hound
This highly acclaimed classic blends vibrant animation and breathtaking action to tell the story of two best friends who didn’t know they were supposed to be enemies. The fun and adventure begin when a lonely widow adopts an orphaned fox cub named Tod. The mischievous fox soon meets up with Copper, an adorable hound puppy. As the innocent pair grow up together in the forest, they become inseparable friends. But the day soon arrives when their friendship is put to the ultimate test! One of Disney’s most beloved and endearing animated classics.
15. As Good As It Gets
Melvin Udall is the most dysfunctional of men, an acid-tongued romance novelist who suffers from an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Simon, a struggling artist and neighbor to the famous but antagonistic writer, is hospitalised after his home is burglarised and he is assaulted. Simon’s friend Frank, having nobody else to turn to, ends up demanding that Melvin take care of Simon’s dog, Verdell – a Brussels Griffon, while he is in the hospital.
This serves as a severe strain on Melvin who on a normal day is able to cope only by leading a life of strict regularity. As part of Melvin’s unwavering daily schedule, he consumes breakfast at a local cafe. The only waitress willing to stand up to his sarcastic tirades is Carol Connelly, a single mother struggling to raise her chronically asthmatic son.
These three New Yorkers discover their fates intertwined because of the dog. The movie netted two Academy awards for its brilliant performances – Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Leading Role.