Everyone loves a good boi. Whether you’re a lover of animated films or classic rescue movies, there are great puppers in hundreds of movies in the last hundred years. While your own dog is certainly #1 in your heart, who is your favorite onscreen pup? Walk through this list of our favorite film canines and see if you agree–or if we’re missing some of your treasured dogs.
Milo From The Adventures of Milo and Otis
One of the most exciting animal team-up movies of the 1980s, The Adventures of Milo and Otis follows an adorable kitten, Milo, and Otis, the pug. When Milo drifts down a river, Otis goes on a rescue mission. The unlikely pair becomes best friends and finds their way home. If you love friendship and cute animals, this is a fantastic film. They encounter other animals, like Bear, Raven, Fox, Owl, Deer, and Pig. In the end, they both find true love and persevere despite all the challenges they face.
Otis is an adorable dog and is well-remembered 30 years after the film originally appeared, both in Japan and the United States.
Who can forget this animated Disney classic from their childhood? Released in 1961, this movie features the dalmation couple of Pongo and Perdita. Their puppies are sought after by the evil Cruella De Vil, which their owners, Roger and Anita deny her, as they value the dogs much more than money. When Cruella steals the pups, it’s a madcap adventure to rescue them, which ends in adopting more puppies and creating a large family–of 101.
It’s almost impossible to think of movie dogs without mentioning iconic collie, Lassie. She became the hit dog of the century when the film Lassie Come Home was released in 1943, based on a short story. Gorgeous and loyal Lassie went on to the save the day many more times in nine more movies and a TV show. As an American icon, she was featured in toys, comic books, and merchandise for many years after her original debut. Lassie was a doggie film inspiration, who influenced dog heroes to this day.
As accident-prone as he is, Beethoven is a good boy. This hilarious St. Bernard brings a lot of fun–and messes to the Newtons’ lives in his first of five movies. While the workaholic dad George, originally doesn’t want the responsibility of the dog, his family does, and they eventually all fall in love with him. There’s a villainous subplot involving animal experimentation, but the perp get arrested in the end. Everyone has a happy ending, at least for this movie.
The 185-pound dog who played Beethoven, Kris, was so great at his job, that he played the titular character in all the films.
Toto From The Wizard of Oz
Can you think of a more iconic movie dog than Toto? Dorothy’s forever-companion Toto was always by her side, and her willingness to do anything for him was one of the reasons she got to Oz in the first place. Whether in his picnic basket or in Judy Garland’s arms, this brindle Cairn terrier is adorable and a great guard dog, even scaring the Cowardly Lion. Toto’s always there to steal the scene, looking cute and snarling at anyone who dares threaten Dorothy. Likewise, Dorothy protects Toto, even when Mrs. Gulch is after him, threatening to take him away. They’re a fantastic pair, and Toto will always be a famous movie dog.
Shadow From Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
If you grew up in the 1990s or later, you likely have great movies of watching Homeward Bound with your friends, maybe at sleepovers in your basement or cuddled up in your living room. The 1993 movie follows three pets who think they’ve been abandoned by their owners. While Chance, voiced by Michael J. Fox is hilarious, Shadow is the true leader, helping his friends stay on the path and leading them back to their humans, where they belong. Even though they hit quite a few roadblocks, this golden retriever remains a good boy through and through.
Lady And The Tramp
Who can say which dog is the best in Lady and The Tramp? Besides Lady and Tramp themselves, there are many memorable dogs, like Jock and Trusty, Peg and Bull. Everyone remembers the classic spaghetti scene, where Lady and Tramp share a delicious Italian meal. It’s a classic tale of forbidden love between a pure-bred cocker spaniel and her street dog mutt boyfriend. When Lady runs away, Tramp rescues her from nefarious sources and helps her get home to her loving family–and they fall in love in the process. With its classic romantic theme, it’s a great date night movie or children’s film.
Over half a century old, Old Yeller was released in 1957 and has remained a classic ever since. The film tells the story of how a family falls in love with their pets, how we come to care about them and take responsibility for them, and how losing them affects us greatly. Get ready for some tears if you’ve never seen this film because “Old Yeller” is the best boy–a fantastic dog companion and protagonist Travis’ best friend. When a rabies outbreak occurs, their true friendship leads to a tragic end. Don’t forget your tissues when watching this movie.
Marley And Me
If you’re a pet owner and you didn’t bawl like a baby at Marly and Me, we can’t be friends. This movie crushed me personally and probably everyone else who watched it. While it starts off with watching Marley’s hilarious troublemaking and not following her owner’s rules, you see how much a dog can really bring a family together. You’ll probably appreciate your dog more than ever after watching this movie or cry over a lost pet. While Marley definitely tests the couple, but in the end, they end up loving her more than they could have ever imagined.
In a small town in Texas, there’s a mutt named Benji, a stray dog. Although he has no official home, everyone loves Benji, especially the Chapmans. Everything seems to be going great for Benji until Paul and Cindy, the Chapman children, are kidnapped. Even though Benji doesn’t live with the family, he feels responsible and goes to rescue the kids and finds his own family along the way. This movie is about the kindness of strangers and seeing the world through a dog’s eyes. After this movie, four more Benji films were made, with another new one in 2018 on the streaming platform Netflix.