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12 Must-Watch Movies for Dog Lovers

June 19 is officially National Pets in Film Day! Perhaps you can make this day even special by watching a movie that features your favourite dog character?

Here are some of our all times favourites! This list is obviously subjective and we could have added a few more... Did your personal favourite make our list?

1. Marley & Me (2008)

After their wedding, newspaper writer John Grogan and his wife Jennifer move to Florida. In an attempt to stall Jennifer's "biological clock", John gives her a Labrador puppy. 

Whilst Marley quickly grows into a 100-pound dog, he loses none of his puppy energy or rambunctiousness and he certainly gains no self-discipline. Marley's antics give John rich material for his newspaper column. As the Grogans have children of their own, Marley continues to test everyone's patience by acting like the world's most impulsive dog. It does not matter how many times you watch this movie, it will remind you of your dog's antics and you will cry...

2. Red Dog (2011)

This is the story of a legendary lovable red dog who roamed Western Australia's Pilbara region looking for his original master "Have you seen John?", finding his way into the hearts of everyone he met, bringing people and communities together. 
The real red dog was a Kelpie / Cattle Dog cross who died on November 21st, 1979. His statue remains on the road to Dampier. This movie is another tear jerker and is so quintessentially Australian!

3. Eight Below (2006)

After an expedition in the Antarctic, sled dog trainer Jerry Shepherd has to evacuate the polar base with his colleagues due to the proximity of a heavy snow storm. He ties his dogs to be rescued shortly after, but the mission is called-off and the dogs are left alone to fend for themselves during winter. For six months, Jerry tries to find a sponsor for a rescue mission while his dogs fight for survival. We love our arctic breeds and this story had us cheering for the dogs all the way through! This incredible movie is based on a Japanese Antarctic expedition in 1958.

4. Up (2009)
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with 500 balloons, inadvertently taking a young Boy Scout stowaway with him. On their journey they discover many new friends including a talking dog.
The dogs definitely steal the show in this Pixar animation film and it made us wish our dogs could talk too! 

The Fox and the Hound (1981)

When an adopted fox and a to-be hunting hound become inseparable friends as pups, their friendship grows stronger every day in their "childhood." But as they grow older, they grow farther and farther apart, to the day when the two old comrades bond is put the ultimate test.
Definitely an all-time favourite growing up...

6. Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)

In Bedridge, Professor Parker Wilson finds an abandoned dog at the train station and takes it home with the intention of returning the animal to its owner. He finds that the dog is an Akita and names him HachikĊ. However, nobody claims the dog so his family decides to keep Hachi. Best on a true heartbreaking story...

7. A Dog's Life (1918)

This is an American short silent film written, produced and directed by Charlie Chaplin. Poor Charlie lives in a vacant lot. He tries to get a job but when he gets to the head of the employment line the jobs are gone. Back "home" he rescues Scraps, a bitch being attacked by other strays. Together they manage to steal some sausages from a lunch wagon. 

They meet dance hall singer Edna who is an unwilling companion to the clientele. After a few twists and turns, Charlie, Edna and Scraps end up living happily ever after.

8. The Lady and The Tramp (1955)

Lady, a golden Cocker Spaniel, meets up with a mongrel dog who calls himself the Tramp. He is obviously from the wrong side of town, but happenings at Lady's home make her decide to travel with him for a while. This turns out to be a bad move, as no dog is above the law. 
Ah, that spaghetti scene....No first date could ever live up to it!

9. 101 Dalmatians

Pongo and Perdita have a litter of 15 puppies. Cruella De Vil takes a fancy to the pups, and wants to get hold of them, as well as more pups, to make herself a lovely Dalmatian skin coat... Cruella hires some thugs to kidnap the pups and hold them at her mansion. Will Pongo and Perdita find them in time? We much prefer the original animated version to the later remakes... 

10. Best in Show (2000)

This is a hilarious mockumentary on dog shows. Best in Show features a documentary crew covering various competitors and their dogs before, during and after their performance in the 125th annual Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. This dog show brings out the essence of these colourful dog owners and handlers. Who will be the best in show?

11. Turner and Hooch (1989)

Scott Turner has 3 days left in the local police department before he moves to a bigger city to get some "real" cases. Then Amos Reed is murdered and the closest thing to a witness in this case is Amos Reed's dog, Hooch (a Dogue de Bordeaux or French Mastiff) and Scott Turner has to take care of him to avoid him being "put to sleep".Tom Hanks’ character learns what every dog lover already knows: no matter how much furniture they chew or how much they drool, there is nothing a dog can do to make you fall out of love with them!

Be ready for the new family comedy Show Dogs - a thematic crossbreeding of Turner & Hooch and Best in Show - set to hit Australian screens on July 5, 2018.

Show Dogs stars a charming and lovable cast of talking canine characters, including hero Max (voiced by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), a rugged lone wolf Rottweiler NYPD police dog. Max and his human FBI partner (Will Arnett) are investigating the kidnapping of a baby panda by an underground network of illegal animal traders when they get a tip that the crime ring is planning to sell the panda at the prestigious Canini Invitational Dog Show

Macho Max must undergo a makeover with the help of a seasoned trainer (Natasha Lyonne) – mud baths, ballet lessons, a Brazilian waxing – to go undercover and thwart the plot. In the hands of his new human handler Frank, Max gets in touch with his inner show dog, and learns that trusting the help of others can sometimes be more rewarding than working alone. 

12. Frankenweenie (2012)

We have to disclose that we are huge fans of Tim Burton's fantastic imaginary worlds so this choice may not appeal to everyone... 

When young Victor's pet dog Sparky (who stars in Victor's home-made monster movies) is hit by a car, Victor decides to bring him back to life the only way he knows how. But when the bolt-necked "monster" wreaks havoc and terror in the hearts of Victor's neighbours, he has to convince them (and his parents) that despite his appearance, Sparky's still the good loyal friend he's always been.

So on this cold wintry night, grab that popcorn bowl, hug your dog and happy watching!

Last updated 19th June 2018

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