Some of the most well-known films have featured dogs (Lassie, anyone?). Not to downplay a celebrity’s talent for acting, but some dogs who hit the big screen simply steal the spotlight whether they’re the main character or an extra. From the classics to the contemporary, dogs have been used in movies to portray anything from a loyal companion to a hero. Here’s a list of the top 10 movies featuring man’s best friend.
1. Beethoven (1992)
Beethoven (the infamous St. Bernard, not the musical composer) is a classic film of a dog who is brought into a family but later faces the wrath of an unethical veterinarian who attempts to use him for a deadly animal experiment.
2. Lassie (1994)
After being featured in a 1950s TV series, Lassie, the heroic collie, hit the big screen. Lassie is a sentimental movie of the emotional connection between dog and boy. Throughout the movie, Lassie seeks to introduce Matt, his 13-year-old resentful companion, to a happier life.
3. 101 Dalmations (1996)
The classic Walt Disney film 101 Dalmatians is loved by more than just children. After getting married and introducing their Dalmatians, Perdita and Pongo, to each other, a couple faces Cruella De Vil, the wife’s boss whose name accurately suggests she is a cruel devil. After attempting to kidnap Perdita and Pongo’s puppies to make a fur coat, the parents of the puppies set out to rescue their children.
4. Marley & Me (2008)
The story of Marley & Me is one that depicts a couple’s life with a yellow Labrador Retriever over a span of 13 years. Despite Marley being a destructive dog who is enthusiastically active, he brings out the best in the family, giving them love, loyalty, and trust.
5. The Artist (2011)
The Jack Russel Terrier and co-star of The Artist and Water for Elephants is no stranger to the big screen. Famed for starring as Jack in The Artist, the pooch performed enough stunts and tricks in the film to gain him mass attention from the media, including the Palm Dog Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and a seat at the Oscars.
6. Legally Blonde (2001)
When blonde-haired sorority gal Elle Woods is dumped by her boyfriend, she packs her bags (and dog, Bruiser) and heads to Harvard Law School in an attempt to prove to her ex-boyfriend (and herself) that she is not just a “dumb blonde.” The movie features lots of pink, designer clothing, and, of course, the totally adorable Chihuahua.
7. Annie (1982)
Though she often refers to her best friend as a “Dumb Dog,” the red-headed orphan who starred in Annie shares an emotional bond with her pooch, Sandy. Throughout the movie, Sandy accompanies the fierce Annie even as she is put in danger by money-hungry impersonators.
8. Shiloh (1996)
Shiloh is a beagle who comes across a young boy while running away from his abusive owner. After being told by his father that he can’t keep Shiloh, the persistent boy goes against his father’s instructions and builds a secret shed for the pooch. But when Shiloh is attacked by a stray, the boy is faced with the dilemma of reaching out to his father for help.
9. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Wizard of Oz is a classic film is of Dorothy, a young orphan girl being raised by her aunt and uncle, and her encounters with characters including an evil witch, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, and Tin Man. All the while, Toto, Dorothy’s pup, is her main source of happiness in the midst of all of the film’s events.
10. Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)
After being lost in Mexico, Chloe, a spoiled Chihuahua from the heart of Beverly Hills, must rely on strangers to find her way back home. The movie depicts Chloe having close encounters with a German shepherd, an iguana, and a rat.
Clearly, furry four-legged friends have the potential to become famous, no matter their role. Did we miss your favorite four-legged star? Leave them in the comments!