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Best dog movies of all time ranked by popularity

Best dog movies of all time ranked by popularity
1/Twentieth Century Fox

Best dog movies of all time ranked by popularity

If there’s one animal nearest and dearest to the collective heart of mankind, it’s the canine, which has been a staple in cinema for more than a century. In fact, the trend dates all the way back to 1905, when a male Collie named Blair starred in the British short film, “Rescued by Rover.” True to its name, the film follows Rover as he helps in the recovery of a kidnapped baby. Good boy, Rover!

On the heels of Blair came a female Collie named Jean, widely considered to be the first true canine movie star. A number of famous dogs would emerge in Jean’s wake, including Rin Tin Tin, who was popular enough to have a book written about him decades after he passed away. Of course, it’s the films and franchises themselves that truly endure and continue to enrapture new generations. After all, a movie like “Old Yeller” might seem dated in terms of style, but emotionally speaking, it’s as poignant now as ever.

All this talk of dogs in film might lead one to wonder: what are the most popular dog movies of all time? Like a well-trained canine, Stacker is here to heed the call. Using voter data from IMDb, Stacker has ranked the top 50 dog movies of all time. Some of the films are exclusively about dogs, while others feature a dog (or dogs) in a prominent role. Only English-language movies released in the USA were considered. Each movie needed at least 5000 votes to make the list, with six exceptions: “Shiloh,” “The Incredible Journey,”“The Call of Wild,” “The Shaggy Dog (1959),” “Benji (1974),” and “Lassie Come Home.” We included these exceptions because of their age, which reduces the number of IMDb votes, and their cultural impact. If two movies had the same rating, then the number of votes was used to break the tie. Without further ado, here are the most popular dog movies of all time.

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#55. See Spot Run
2/Warner Bros.

#55. See Spot Run

IMDb rating: 5.4

IMDb votes: 8,043

Release year: 2001

Director: John Whitesell

Can old dogs really learn new tricks? After Agent 11, a crime-fighting bullmastiff who works for the FBI gets on the wrong side of a crime boss, he’s relocated to Alaska, where he meets a mailman and his family, who takes him in and renames him “Spot." The duality of man’s best friend is explored in this 2001 production starring David Arquette and Michael Clarke Duncan.

#54. Hotel for Dogs
3/Paramount Pictures

#54. Hotel for Dogs

IMDb rating: 5.4

IMDb votes: 18,772

Release year: 2009

Director: Thor Freudenthal

Two orphans, played by Jake T. Austin and Emma Roberts when they were 15 and 18 respectively, attempt to hide their dog Friday in an abandoned hotel to keep him safe from their foster parents. However, as more and more dogs take refuge in the hotel, the orphans find that they bit off far more than they can chew.

#53. Firehouse Dog
4/Doghouse Productions

#53. Firehouse Dog

IMDb rating: 5.5

IMDb votes: 5,144

Release year: 2007

Director: Todd Holland

At the heart of this 2007 film is a talented dog named Rexxx, who’s living the good life as a Hollywood movie star until he gets lost during a skydiving stunt. While searching for his owner, Rexxx is taken in by the crew at a rundown firehouse. After coming to terms with his new digs, Rexxx teams up with a local boy to help get the firehouse back into shape.

#52. Beethoven
5/Universal Pictures

#52. Beethoven

IMDb rating: 5.6

IMDb votes: 56,953

Release year: 1992

Director: Brian Levant

Like Dennis the Menace in canine form, Beethoven is a mischievous St. Bernard in this wildly popular 1992 film. As the slobber flies, Beethoven drives a man (Charles Grodin) crazy, earns the affection of a family and is targeted by a sadistic dognapper. Hollywood legend John Hughes co-wrote the screenplay under a pseudonym. The film would ultimately spawn numerous sequels, a cartoon series and even a video game.

#51. 101 Dalmatians (live action, 1996)
6/Walt Disney Pictures

#51. 101 Dalmatians (live action, 1996)

IMDb rating: 5.7

IMDb votes: 86,792

Release year: 1996

Director: Stephen Herek

An animated classic gets a live-action upgrade in this 1996 film, which features a demented fashion designer named Cruella De Vil (Glenn Close), who tries to steal a litter of Dalmatian puppies to make into a lavish fur coat. While the movie received somewhat tepid reviews, it was a veritable box office success, earning more than $320 million worldwide. A sequel followed in 2000.  

#50. Wiener-Dog
7/Annapurna Pictures

#50. Wiener-Dog

IMDb rating: 5.9

IMDb votes: 7,772

Release year: 2016

Director: Todd Solondz

Few (if any) contemporary directors are more subversive than Todd Solondz, which makes 2016’s “Wiener-Dog” an acquired taste, to put it mildly. The film centers on the adventures of its title character, an unassuming daschund who gets passed around from owner to owner. Needless to say, this one is not for the faint of heart, or even the average dog lover.

#49. Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco
8/Walt Disney Pictures

#49. Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco

IMDb rating: 5.9

IMDb votes: 12,006

Release year: 1996

Director: David R. Ellis

On the heels of 1993’s “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” came this 1996 sequel, in which two dogs and a cat get stranded at the San Francisco airport, and subsequently make their way home through the city. Not only is the adventure chronicled from the animals’ perspectives, but like the original, their thoughts and intentions are brought to life by way of human dialogue. Providing the voices are a range of notable talents, including Michael J. Fox and Sally Field.  

#48. Must Love Dogs
9/Warner Bros.

#48. Must Love Dogs

IMDb rating: 5.9

IMDb votes: 28,370

Release year: 2005

Director: Gary David Goldberg

In this 2005 comedy, a divorced preschool teacher (Diane Lane) embarks on a series of romantic misadventures after signing up for a dating site. One prerequisite she insists upon: the man must love dogs—hence the title. Eventually, she finds love, but not through the dating site. In fact, it’s at the dog park where she meets the man of her dreams (John Cusack).

#47. K-9
10/Gordon Company

#47. K-9

IMDb rating: 6.0

IMDb votes: 28,214

Release year: 1989

Director: Rod Daniel

More than just man’s (and woman’s) best friend, dogs occasionally make for supremely effective police partners. So goes this 1989 film, which stars Jim Belushi as a sarcastic cop who teams up with a highly intelligent—and highly intrusive—drug-sniffing dog to take down a kingpin. True to the buddy cop paradigm, the unlikely pair doesn’t see eye-to-eye at first, but eventually forms a substantial bond. Some direct-to-video sequels followed.  

#46. Absolutely Anything
11/Bill and Ben Productions

#46. Absolutely Anything

IMDb rating: 6.0

IMDb votes: 31,453

Release year: 2015

Director: Terry Jones

“Monty Python” alumnus Terry Jones wrote and directed this poorly received 2015 comedy, in which a man named Neil (Simon Pegg) is given the power to do anything he wants by a group of aliens. Though Neil isn’t aware that he’s being tested, Earth will be spared from annihilation if he uses his power for good. In the meantime, he increases his own muscle mass, modifies the behavior of others and gives his dog, Dennis, the power to speak. Providing the voice for Dennis the Dog is actor Robin Williams in his final role.

#45. Cujo
12/Sunn Classic Pictures

#45. Cujo

IMDb rating: 6.0

IMDb votes: 32,100

Release year: 1983

Director: Lewis Teague

Based on a horror novel by Stephen King, this 1983 film centers on a dog named Cujo, who turns deadly after contracting rabies. Playing the title role were at least five separate canines, while a mechanical dog was employed for certain scenes. Despite the film crew’s precautions, one of the dogs accidentally bit a stunt-woman during filming.

#44. Year of the Dog
13/Black & White Productions

#44. Year of the Dog

IMDb rating: 6.1

IMDb votes: 5,720

Release year: 2007

Director: Mike White

From writer/director Mike White came this 2007 film, in which a woman (Molly Shannon) finds her life spiraling out of control when her dog dies. In her struggle to put the pieces back together, the woman begins to take her love of dogs to extremes, and risks alienating herself from others in the process. Can she regain normality without compromising her love of canines? Watch to find out.

#43. Turner & Hooch
14/Touchstone Pictures

#43. Turner & Hooch

IMDb rating: 6.1

IMDb votes: 55,097

Release year: 1989

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Released the same year as “K-9,” this similar film stars Tom Hanks as small-town detective Scott Turner, tasked with investigating a local homicide. The only witness to the crime was the owner’s dog, a Dogue de Bordeaux named Hooch. Soon enough, Turner has adopted Hooch, and the dog proceeds to turn the detective’s life completely upside-down. Four dogs played Hooch in the film, and Hanks spent time getting to know each one before shooting began.

#42. Benji
15/Mulberry Square Productions

#42. Benji

IMDb rating: 6.2

IMDb votes: 3,852

Release year: 1974

Director: Joe Camp

Not to be confused with the 2018 remake, 1974’s “Benji” introduced audiences to a heroic dog who helps save two kidnapped children. To say the movie was popular would be an understatement, as it not only launched a number of film sequels and TV specials, but a short-lived TV series and video game as well. Benji was also the subject of two separate documentaries.

#41. Shiloh
16/Good Dog Productions LLC

#41. Shiloh

IMDb rating: 6.4

IMDb votes: 2,468

Release year: 1996

Director: Dale Rosenbloom

This 1996 family drama might not have all the required votes on IMDb, but it did spawn two sequels, so it makes the list. The film takes place in the American south, and centers on a young boy who must save a beagle named Shiloh from an abusive owner. Both the movie and the book were reportedly inspired by true events.

#40. An Extremely Goofy Movie
17/Disneytoon Studios

#40. An Extremely Goofy Movie

IMDb rating: 6.4

IMDb votes: 7,493

Release year: 2000

Douglas McCarthy

In this 2000 movie, Goofy, the world’s most popular animated dog, enrolls in the same college as his son, Max. As one might expect, the cherished Disney character proceeds to wreak unwitting havoc in a variety of locales and situations. Consequently, the loyal bond between father and son is put to the test.

#39. Because of Winn-Dixie
18/Twentieth Century Fox

#39. Because of Winn-Dixie

IMDb rating: 6.4

IMDb votes: 9,332

Release year: 2005

Director: Wayne Wang

Based on a popular novel, this 2005 film chronicles the friendship between a rambunctious dog and a lonely young girl. As the girl struggles to adapt to her new town, she ends up meeting all sorts of lovely people, and even forming a stronger bond with her own father. Why does she do all this, one might ask? Because of Winn-Dixie, of course.  

#38. The Shaggy Dog
19/Walt Disney Productions

#38. The Shaggy Dog

IMDb rating: 6.5

IMDb votes: 3,604

Release year: 1959

Director: Charles Barton

In this black-and-white Disney film, a teenage boy has a strange problem on his hands: he occasionally turns into a sheepdog. It’s the result of a powerful curse, which can only be broken by a feat of bravery. In the meantime, the transformations seem to occur at the most inopportune of moments.

#37. The Secret Life of Pets
20/Universal Pictures

#37. The Secret Life of Pets

IMDb rating: 6.5

IMDb votes: 147,511

Release year: 2016

Directors: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney

In the spirit of movies like “Toy Story,” this 2016 animated comedy shows audiences what pets are up to when the owners aren’t paying attention. At the heart of the film is a terrier named Max (voiced by Louis C.K.), who takes an immediate disliking to the slobbery stray dog his owner brings home. Max must put his domestic problems on hold, however, when he discovers that an evil bunny has assembled a vengeful army of lost pets.

#36. A Boy and His Dog
21/LQ/JAF

#36. A Boy and His Dog

IMDb rating: 6.6

IMDb votes: 14,515

Release year: 1975

Director: L.Q. Jones

Despite the rather mundane title, 1975’s “A Boy and His Dog” is an edgy sci-fi film that takes place in an apocalyptic wasteland, and depicts the adventures of a young man (Don Johnson) and his telepathic canine. Together, the two friends scavenge for food and wander into an underground society, where carnal desire and deadly deception await.

#35. Fluke
22/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#35. Fluke

IMDb rating: 6.7

IMDb votes: 5,805

Release year: 1995

Director: Carlo Carlei

Based on a novel by James Herbert, this 1995 box office bomb tells the story of Thomas P. Johnson (Matthew Modine), who dies in a car accident and is reincarnated as a dog named Fluke. Eager to be with loved ones, Fluke returns home to reconnect with his wife and son. It all might sound like a silly comedy in the making, but the film goes heavy on melodrama instead.

#34. White Fang
23/Walt Disney Pictures

#34. White Fang

IMDb rating: 6.7

IMDb votes: 17,400

Release year: 1991

Director: Randal Kleiser

One among many big-screen adaptations of Jack London’s famous novel, this 1991 version stars Ethan Hawke as a Yukon gold hunter named Jack. While squaring off against a sea of troubles, Jack forges an unbreakable bond with a wolf-dog named White Fang. By learning to tame White Fang, Jack vicariously learns to conquer his fears.

#33. All Dogs Go to Heaven
24/Goldcrest Films International

#33. All Dogs Go to Heaven

IMDb rating: 6.7

IMDb votes: 30,732

Release year: 1989

Directors: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, Dan Kuenster

Featuring voice work from Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise (among others), this 1989 animated film follows a German Shepherd named Charlie B. Barkin, as he escapes from the dog pound and is killed by an old acquaintance. Finding himself at the pearly gates, Charlie escapes once again—this time from heaven. Now back on earth, he embarks on a quest for revenge, getting help from a little girl who can speak to animals.

#32. Oliver & Company
25/Walt Disney Feature Animation

#32. Oliver & Company

IMDb rating: 6.7

IMDb votes: 37,264

Release year: 1988

Director: George Scribner

Made just before Disney launched a major comeback, 1988’s “Oliver & Company” offers a clever take on Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.” In the movie, an orphaned kitten named Oliver (voiced by Joey Lawrence) falls in with a gang of ruthless dogs and learns to survive on the streets through organized crime. Everything changes for Oliver when he’s adopted by a wealthy little girl.

#31. Max
26/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#31. Max

IMDb rating: 6.8

IMDb votes: 23,165

Release year: 2015

Director: Boaz Yakin

This harrowing 2015 drama sheds a light on dogs who serve in the military during wartime, and often suffer PTSD as a result. The film sees a dog named Max returning home after serving in Afghanistan, overcoming war-related trauma with the help of a new handler. Tackling the title role was a Belgian Malinois named Carlos, who was named after a Vietnam War sniper. To prepare, Carlos spent three months in training, becoming very disciplined.

#30. A Goofy Movie
27/Walt Disney Pictures

#30. A Goofy Movie

IMDb rating: 6.8

IMDb votes: 38,841

Release year: 1995

Kevin Lima

In this 1995 Disney film, Goofy’s son Max has a high school crush on a girl named Roxanne. Before Max can ask her on a date, Goofy decides to drag his son on a fishing trip. Disaster ensues, naturally.

#29. Mr. Peabody & Sherman
28/Bullwinkle Studios

#29. Mr. Peabody & Sherman

IMDb rating: 6.8

IMDb votes: 54,805

Release year: 2014

Director: Rob Minkoff

Based on two characters from the classic cartoon “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” chronicles the time-traveling adventures of a hyper-intelligent canine and his adopted son. After young Sherman breaks the rules of time travel, the two must work together to repair the damage. On the heels of the film came an updated TV series, “The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show,” which debuted on Netflix in 2015 and ran for four seasons.  

#28. Babe
29/Universal Pictures

#28. Babe

IMDb rating: 6.8

IMDb votes: 104,418

Release year: 1995

Director: Chris Noonan

“That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.” The movie, of course, is 1995’s “Babe,” the story of a lovable pig raised by sheepdogs (hence the film’s inclusion on this list). Due to his unique upbringing, Babe fancies himself a sheepherder, and works to prove that he has what it takes. When preparing for the film, co-writer and producer George Miller (of “Mad Max” fame) struggled to find the right technology to make a pig talk on screen. Seeking guidance, Miller consulted with filmmaker Stanley Kubrick for hours at a time over the phone. Suffice it to say, the extra effort paid off and the movie was a huge hit, even winning an Academy Award.

#27. Call of the Wild
30/20th Century Pictures

#27. Call of the Wild

IMDb rating: 6.9

IMDb votes: 1,498

Release year: 1935

Director: William Wellman

Bringing another Jack London story to vivid life, “Call of the Wild” takes place during the Klondike gold rush, and stars Clark Gable as gambling man Jack Thornton. Thornton has big plans for his future and hopes his new wolf-dog, Buck, will help him strike it rich. On the path to his destiny, Thornton encounters a woman in distress (Loretta Young), and two strike up a romance while bonding over Buck.

#26. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
31/Touchwood Pacific Partners 1

#26. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

IMDb rating: 6.9

IMDb votes: 37,514

Release year: 1993

Director: Duwayne Dunham

When remaking 1963’s “The Incredible Journey,” Disney decided to give the animals their own voices. Furthermore, “Homeward Bound” takes place in California, whereas the original film took place in Canada. Nevertheless, the initial premise remains intact: a trio of pets travel across hostile lands to reconnect with their owners, overcoming all odds.  

#25. Bolt
32/Walt Disney Animation Studios

#25. Bolt

IMDb rating: 6.9

IMDb votes: 165,489

Release year: 2008

Directors: Byron Howard, Chris Williams

In this animated film from Disney, a canine TV star named Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) thinks that the storylines from his show are real, and that he possesses the same superpowers as his fictional counterpart. In the wake of a cliffhanger episode, Bolt escapes from the studio and wanders off to save his co-star, Penny, from a threat that doesn’t actually exist. Along the way, he makes some friends and soon discovers that he does not in fact have any superpowers.  

#24. My Dog Skip
33/YouTube

#24. My Dog Skip

IMDb rating: 7.0

IMDb votes: 17,878

Release year: 2000

Director: Jay Russell

Adapted from the best-selling memoir by Willie Morris, this film takes place in 1940s Mississippi, and stars Frankie Muniz as young Willie Morris. In the film, Willie suffers from extreme shyness and struggles to connect with others. That all changes when he’s given a puppy named Skip, whose outgoing personality proves to be contagious.  

#23. A Dog's Purpose
34/Amblin Entertainment

#23. A Dog's Purpose

IMDb rating: 7.0

IMDb votes: 45,839

Release year: 2017

Director: Lasse Hallström

Featuring an unconventional premise, this 2017 movie follows a dog as he searches for purpose over the course of not just one lifetime, but several lifetimes. Before landing in theaters, the film’s momentum was briefly waysided by controversy, when leaked behind-the-scenes footage showed what appeared to be animal abuse. The movie’s producer and stars have since cleared up some misconceptions about the leaked video, but the incident nevertheless left a lasting impact on viewers.

#22. Frankenweenie
35/Walt Disney Pictures

#22. Frankenweenie

IMDb rating: 7.0

IMDb votes: 84,845

Release year: 2012

Director: Tim Burton

Filmmaker Tim Burton remakes one of his own short films with 2012’s “Frankenweenie,” this time using stop-motion animation. The movie also pays tribute to the story of “Frankenstein,” substituting a dog for the monster. Fun fact: this was the first stop-motion animated feature to be converted to 3-D.

#21. The Incredible Journey
36/Walt Disney Productions

#21. The Incredible Journey

IMDb rating: 7.1

IMDb votes: 3,278

Release year: 1963

Director: Fletcher Markle

Before the remake and its sequel, there was this original 1963 classic. It tells the story of two dogs and a cat who lose their owners while on vacation, then make the arduous journey home. While the animals’ respective thoughts aren’t vocalized in this version, actor Rex Allen did provide voice-over narration.

#20. White Dog
37/Paramount Pictures

#20. White Dog

IMDb rating: 7.1

IMDb votes: 7,425

Release year: 1982

Director: Samuel Fuller

Exploring racial themes by way of a relatively sordid premise, 1982’s “White Dog” centers on a vicious German Shepherd that’s been trained by racists to attack black people. It’s ultimately up to a black dog trainer named Keys (Paul Winfield) to deprogram the murderous canine. The film is based on a fictionalized memoir of the same name.

#19. Red
38/Billy Goat Pictures

#19. Red

IMDb rating: 7.1

IMDb votes: 9,454

Release year: 2008

Directors: Trygve Allister Diesen, Lucky McKee

One might hear about a man seeking vengeance after his dog is killed and think of 2014’s “John Wick,” but years before that came this low-budget thriller. It stars Brian Cox as a reclusive elderly man who seeks justice after three teenagers kill his beloved dog, Red. The movie slipped under the radar when it came out in 2008, and performed poorly at the box office. Nevertheless, it does enjoy a respectable score on Rotten Tomatoes along with an above-average IMDb rating. As to why this one is on the list when “John Wick” isn’t? Because it’s actually named for the dog.

#18. Megan Leavey
39/LD Entertainment

#18. Megan Leavey

IMDb rating: 7.1

IMDb votes: 16,085

Release year: 2017

Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Based on a true story, this 2017 film centers on a marine named Megan Leavey and her dog, Rex, who forge an unforgettable bond during the Iraq War. Megan and Rex’s partnership is threatened when a deadly explosion tears them apart. After receiving a Purple Heart and being honorably discharged, Megan goes to great lengths to reunite with her dog.

#17. Balto
40/Amblimation

#17. Balto

IMDb rating: 7.1

IMDb votes: 34,714

Release year: 1995

Director: Simon Wells

Featuring the voices of Kevin Bacon and Bridget Fonda, this animated film takes place in 1925 in Nome, Alaska. When an outbreak of diphtheria threatens to wipe out the town’s children, a dog named Balto must lead a team on a 600-mile journey through the wilderness to fetch medical supplies. As miraculous as the story sounds, it actually happened in real life.

#16. Marley & Me
41/Fox 2000 Pictures

#16. Marley & Me

IMDb rating: 7.1

IMDb votes: 130,853

Release year: 2008

Director: David Frankel

A rambunctious dog named Marley stays young at heart—even as he grows old—in this wildly successful 2008 film, which stars Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. Even as Marley causes his family all sorts of distress, he nevertheless enriches their lives to profound effect. It’s all based on an autobiographical book by John Grogan.

#15. Lassie Come Home
42/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#15. Lassie Come Home

IMDb rating: 7.2

IMDb votes: 4,355

Release year: 1943

Director: Fred M. Wilcox

Hollywood’s most celebrated dog-based franchise kicked off in 1943 with “Lassie Come Home,” in which the beloved Collie travels great distances to reunite with her family. Even though Lassie was supposed to be female, she was played by a male stunt dog named Pal. Needless to say, the film spawned an enduring array of sequels, radio specials and TV movies.

#14. 101 Dalmatians (animated, 1961)
43/Walt Disney Pictures

#14. 101 Dalmatians (animated, 1961)

IMDb rating: 7.2

IMDb votes: 129,752

Release year: 1961

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman

The 17th animated film from Walt Disney Studios is all about Dalmatians...101 of them to be exact. That’s how many puppies Cruella De Vil needs to make her new fur coat. Getting in Cruella’s way are a Dalmatian couple and their human owners. Making a few cameos are characters from another dog-centric Disney film, “Lady and the Tramp.”

#13. Seven Psychopaths
44/CBS Films

#13. Seven Psychopaths

IMDb rating: 7.2

IMDb votes: 213,377

Release year: 2012

Director: Martin McDonagh

In this dark, violent comedy, a screenwriter named Marty (Colin Farrell) is embroiled in a bizarre misadventure after his friend dog-naps a gangster’s precious Shih Tzu. Suddenly, Marty finds himself being pursued by a group of idiosyncratic psychopaths. On the bright side, the experience helps cure Marty’s writer’s block.

#12. Old Yeller
45/Walt Disney Studios

#12. Old Yeller

IMDb rating: 7.3

IMDb votes: 9,988

Release year: 1957

Director: Robert Stevenson

One of the most iconic dog movies of all time, “Old Yeller” follows a young boy as he begrudgingly adopts a stray mutt that wanders onto the family property. Together, the two undergo a series of adventures, and soon enough, they’ve developed a profound connection. It all culminates with an ending that’s as impactful now as it was more than six decades ago.

#11. Eight Below
46/Walt Disney Pictures

#11. Eight Below

IMDb rating: 7.3

IMDb votes: 54,284

Release year: 2006

Director: Frank Marshall

In this gripping tale of survival, two Antarctic explorers are forced to leave their sled dogs behind after a brutal snowstorm. As the dogs search for scraps in the wilderness, their trainer (Paul Walker) goes to extremes in order to rescue them. The movie is based on a previous Japanese film, which was based on a true story.  

#10. The Fox and the Hound
47/Walt Disney Productions

#10. The Fox and the Hound

IMDb rating: 7.3

IMDb votes: 72,658

Release year: 1981

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens

Representing the first Disney movie to feature animation from artists Tim Burton and Brad Bird, “The Fox and the Hound” starts out innocently enough, but grows into something far more dramatic. The film opens by depicting the carefree childhood friendship between its two main characters. However, as the characters grow older, they grow further apart, and eventually find out that they’re supposed to be enemies.

#9. Lady and the Tramp
48/Walt Disney Productions

#9. Lady and the Tramp

IMDb rating: 7.3

IMDb votes: 101,348

Release year: 1955

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske

Brimming with iconic scenes involving Siamese cats and spaghetti kisses, Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp” centers on the budding romance between a spoiled Cocker Spaniel and a streetwise mutt. The story spent years in development before finally arriving on the big screen, getting saved from the chopping block at one point by Walt Disney’s own brother, Roy. Nowadays, the movie endures as a true animated classic.

#8. Best in Show
49/Castle Rock Entertainment

#8. Best in Show

IMDb rating: 7.5

IMDb votes: 49,862

Release year: 2000

Director: Christopher Guest

Mockumentary legend Christopher Guest turns his satirical eye toward dog shows in this 2000 comedy. Arguably true to life, the film follows a number of quirky dog owners as they prepare for a national competition, and maintain borderline unhealthy relationships with their respective pets. To prepare for the film, Guest and producer Karen Murphy visited the Westminster Dog Show, and even sent the principal cast members to a dog handler for training.

#7. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
50/Aardman Animations

#7. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

IMDb rating: 7.5

IMDb votes: 110,389

Release year: 2005

Directors: Steve Box, Nick Park

On the heels of 2000’s “Chicken Run,” filmmakers Steve Box and Nick Park released this stop-motion animation feature. Expanding upon a popular comedy series, the movie finds Wallace and his dog, Gromit, prepping for an annual vegetable contest. Their progress hits a snag when a giant rabbit begins terrorizing the town’s gardens at night.

#6. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
51/Hanna-Barbera Productions

#6. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

IMDb rating: 7.8

IMDb votes: 8,241

Release year: 1998

Director: Hiroshi Aoyama, Kazumi Fukushima, Jim Stenstrum

The Mystery Gang has parted ways since the days of their popular TV series. This sets the stage for a reunion on Moonscar Island, which is rumored to be haunted by a pirate ghost. As the gang investigates, they start to wonder if maybe this time the supernatural threat is real.

#5. The Sandlot
52/Twentieth Century Fox

#5. The Sandlot

IMDb rating: 7.8

IMDb votes: 67,369

Release year: 1993

Director: David Mickey Evans

Awash with memorable characters and dialogue, this iconic film takes place in 1962, and follows a young baseball prodigy named Scotty Smalls as he joins a team of hilarious misfits. The boys play in a sandlot, where beyond the bordering fence is a vicious baseball-eating English Mastiff known as “The Beast.” After their last ball flies over the fence, it’s up to Smalls to get it back, which means going up against the terrifying dog.

#4. The Plague Dogs
53/Nepenthe Productions

#4. The Plague Dogs

IMDb rating: 7.9

IMDb votes: 5,487

Release year: 1982

Director: Martin Rosen

True to its name, this unusually bleak animated film centers on a pair of talking dogs who escape from a laboratory, where they may have picked up the bubonic plague. In order to survive in the wilderness, the dogs enlist the help of a crafty fox named The Tod. Meanwhile, the military is hot on their trail.

#3. Isle of Dogs
54/American Empirical Pictures

#3. Isle of Dogs

IMDb rating: 8.1

IMDb votes: 55,217

Release year: 2018

Director: Wes Anderson

Legendary auteur Wes Anderson wrote and directed this stop-motion animation film, which takes place during a dog flu outbreak in Japan. In response to the pandemic, all dogs are sent to Trash Island. Consequently, a young boy journeys to the island to reunite with his beloved canine, Spots. Loosely inspired by the works of Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki, the film features voice contributions from Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Bryan Cranston and Edward Norton, among others.  

#2. Hachi: A Dog's Tale
55/Stage 6 Films

#2. Hachi: A Dog's Tale

IMDb rating: 8.1

IMDb votes: 207,164

Release year: 2009

Director: Lasse Hallström

Richard Gere stars alongside a faithful Akita Inu dog in “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” based on the true story of a famously loyal canine. In the film, Gere plays a college professor who takes home an abandoned dog, naming it Hachiko. After failing to find the dog’s original owner, the professor adopts Hachi for good. Before this 2009 version, there was a similar 1987 Japanese movie called “Hachi-ko.”

#1. Up
56/Pixar Animation Studios

#1. Up

IMDb rating: 8.3

IMDb votes: 794,082

Release year: 2009

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

While not necessarily a “dog movie” per se, “Up” does feature an easily distracted Golden Retriever named Dug, who’s able to speak English by way of a translation collar. The dog ultimately plays a vital role toward the end of the film, and draws plenty of laughs along the way. Of course, Dug is just one among a dozen reasons to see this terrific movie, which follows an old man and a young boy as they take to the skies in a house of balloons.  


 

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