There's nothing we love more than a good dog flick! Luckily, there's a new canine-centric movie — "The Art of Racing in the Rain" — hitting theaters on Aug. 9, 2019. Milo Ventimiglia stars as Denny Swift, a race car driver who has three loves of his life: his wife, his daughter and his best friend/dog, Enzo, who wants to be reincarnated as a human. To celebrate the movie's release, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at our favorite dog films. Keep reading to see our top picks…
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"A Dog's Journey," the sequel to the beloved "A Dog's Purpose," might have been the sweetest movie we saw in 2019. This time around, Bailey dies and is reincarnated into a beagle named Molly, a mastiff named Big Dog and a Yorkshire terrier named Max. Through all his adventures, one thing remains: his love for Ethan and his family! Aww…
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Before there was "A Dog's Journey," there was "A Dog's Purpose." The 2017 flick based on a book followed the life of Toby as he's reincarnated and eventually finds his way to a loving family that names him Bailey. Like its sequel, the film follows his reincarnation as he becomes other dogs and learns what life is all about. Dennis Quaid and KJ Apa star as the older and younger versions of Bailey's owner, Ethan, while Josh Gad voices the pup throughout all of his lives.
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"Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" has it all: funny dialogue, a thrilling adventure story and sentimental moments that will tug at your heartstrings. The 1993 movie tells the story of American bulldog Chance, golden retriever Shadow and Himalayan cat Sassy, who must find their home after being accidentally left behind. The lovable adventure-comedy film, which is based on the book of the same name, was an instant hit among audiences. "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" grossed over $41 million and is still considered a classic dog film today.
We love "Best in Show" because the film is a hilarious, laugh-out-loud-funny mockumentary that pokes fun at the world of prestigious dog shows. The 2000 comedy follows five participants in a dog show and focuses on the slightly surreal interactions between the owners, handlers and pets as they travel to the show and compete. "Best in Show" is even more impressive once you know that the all-star cast improvised much of the dialogue in the flick.
When the darling animated flick "The Secret Life of Pets" hit theaters in 2016, it gave both kids and adults alike a peek at what their beloved animals get up to when their humans leave for the day. Plenty of celebrities lent their voices to the pets in this flick including Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart and Jenny Slate. Fans of the fun film are due for a treat in June 2019 when the sequel, "The Secret Life of Pets 2," hits theaters.
We're sure nostalgia is hitting you with this pick. "All Dogs Go to Heaven" is the classic 1989 animated film that audiences adored. The musical-comedy follows Charlie B. Barkin, a German shepherd who's murdered by his former friend. Charlie choses to leave heaven to return to Earth and partner up with his best friend, Itchy Itchiford, and a young orphan girl, Anne-Marie, who teaches them about kindness, friendship and love. "All Dogs Go to Heaven" was so successful that it became one of the highest selling VHS (remember those?) releases of all time and spawned a theatrical sequel, a television series and a direct-to-video holiday film.
Another throwback movie that we continue to love to this day is "Beethoven," which makes our list thanks to its strong performances, amazing soundtrack and its lovable lead character, a gorgeous St. Bernard dog. The comedic film centers on the antics of Beethoven (who's named after composer Ludwig van Beethoven) and his owners, the Newton family. The 1992 movie was a surprisingly huge moneymaker, grossing $147.2 million on an $18 million budget.
"Benji" was one of Hollywood's first dog movies, but it continues to delight audiences today. The 1974 flick, which was written, produced and directed by Joe Camp, tells the story of Benji, a stray mixed-breed dog who beats bad guys and gets the lady in the end (a Maltese named Tiffany). The fun adventure film was a critical and commercial success that received rave reviews from critics and grossed over $45 million on a $500K budget!
Next up on our list is the 1995 animated film "Balto" — another cartoon classic that will leave you in your feelings. "Balto," which is loosely based on a real-life story, centers on the titular sled dog who was part of the 1925 serum run to Nome, Alaska, that helped save children from the diphtheria epidemic. The movie was a hit upon its release and spawned two direct-to-video sequels: "Balto II: Wolf Quest" and "Balto III: Wings of Change."
As far as we're concerned, Tom Hanks can literally do no wrong and that was never more obvious than in the 1989 film "Turner & Hooch." The film puts a special spin on the buddy-cop trope by pairing Detective Scott Turner (played by Tom) with a French Mastiff dog, Hooch, instead of a human partner. Scott learns to love Hooch as they solve a murder case together. "Turner & Hooch" was beloved by audiences, leading to a $71 million box-office haul.
"Marley & Me" is guaranteed to leave you in tears by the end, but don't let that deter you from seeing the heartwarming film. The 2008 movie tells the story of journalist Johnny Grogan (played by Owen Wilson) and the 13 years he and his family spent with their mischievous yellow Labrador retriever, Marley. The comedy-drama film, which is based on the memoir of the same name and co-starred Jennifer Aniston, scored big at the box office, setting a record for the largest Christmas Day box-office haul ever (at the time) with $14.75 million in ticket sales. "Marley & Me" went on to rake in $247 million during its run.
"White Fang" is a riveting adventure film starring a 21-year-old Ethan Hawke and a super-adorable yet protective wolfdog. The 1991 movie tells the story of Jack Conroy, a young man trying to fulfill his father's dying wish to find gold in the treacherous Yukon Valley, and White Fang, a wolfdog who starts his life in the wild before being adopted by a Native American chief and, later, by Jack. The two form a close bond and set off on a thrilling adventure together.
Who doesn't love this classic Disney film? "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" makes our list thanks to it's riveting plot, colorful animation and amazing soundtrack, which includes the perfect villain anthem, "Cruella De Vil." The entertaining 1964 film tells the story of a litter of Dalmatian puppies who are kidnapped by the villainous Cruella, who wants to turn their pelts into coats. Their parents, Pongo and Perdita, set out to save their children from Cruella and end up rescuing 84 additional puppies that were bought in pet shops, bringing the total of Dalmatians to 101. Like many Disney films before and after it, "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" was a big moneymaker, raking in $215.8 million at the box office.
A cute dog and Richard Gere? What more could you ask for! "Hachiko: A Dog's Tale" qualifies as one of the best dog movies because of its beautiful true story. The 2009 flick centers on Hachikō, a real-life Akita Inu dog that became famous for his faithfulness and loyalty to owner Hidesaburō Ueno — whom he waited for for more than nine years following Hidesaburō's death. "Hachiko: A Dog's Tale," which is a British-American remake of a Japanese film, was a critical and commercial success that grossed over $46 million.
2006's "Eight Below" saw the late Paul Walker playing a scientist on an Antarctic expedition. Part of his exploration requires the use of sled dogs, and he and his colleagues quickly bond with these amazingly loyal creatures. Though we have to add a fair warning to this one: It's a drama and you might need a box of tissues while watching!
"Bolt" is one of Disney's most entertaining animated films. The critically acclaimed 2008 flick tells the story of Bolt, a white dog who thinks he has superpowers after spending his entire life on the set of a TV series. When he believes that his human, Penny, has been kidnapped, he sets out on a cross-country journey to "rescue" her. "Bolt" performed modestly at the box office for a Disney film (only grossing $310 million) but continues to be held in high regard by critics and fans (including us). The movie was nominated for a series of awards including a best animated feature Oscar and Golden Globe and a best original song Globe.
The dog movie that started them all! We would be remiss not to mention Lassie on this list! The 1943 movie "Lassie Come Home" centers on the profound bond between a young boy, Joe Carraclough, and his rough collie, Lassie. The MGM film was the first of many movies and TV shows focused on lovable Lassie. The canine character appeared in seven more sequels, the most recent being 2005's "Lassie."
"Dog Days" certainly had a star-studded cast. Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Finn Wolfhard and Eva Longoria are just some of the celebs that popped up in this romantic comedy that follows the lives of dogs (and their owners!) in Los Angeles. Though it wasn't a box-office smash, the sweet and simple flick did feature a gaggle of adorable doggies whose antics we loved to watch.
"The Fox and the Hound" has all the elements of an amazing animated movie: a thoughtful and thrilling story, fleshed-out characters and vivid animation. The 1981 Disney film tells the story of a red fox named Tod and a hound dog named Copper who struggle to preserve their friendship despite their emerging instincts and social pressure to become enemies.
Much like the beloved classic "Lassie Come Home," "Old Yeller" is an older dog movie that helped put the genre on the map. The drama, released in 1957, follows a boy, Travis, and his stray golden retriever, Old Yeller, in post-Civil War Texas. The heartwarming movie, which will probably make you shed a few tears, has left a long-lasting legacy in film. "Old Yeller" became an important cultural film for baby boomers thanks to its heartbreaking final scene (don't worry, we won't give it away!).