Best Movie Dogs
If you grew up in the 90’s, you’ll remember all of these dogs. If not, you’re probably aware of most of them. There may be a couple of pooches you wish I had included, but this list is really quite thorough and has all of the most important and famous canines from my own childhood movies about dogs
Here they come, in no particular order. We’ll start with:
1.) Buddy the Golden Retriever
From: The Air Bud movies
Simply put, Buddy is a multi-sport phenomenon. After demonstrating his considerable shooting prowess while leading the Fernfield Timberwolves basketball team to the championship, Buddy went on to lift the T-wolves to championships in football, soccer, baseball, and beach volleyball.
Also worth mentioning are two late great actors Buddy was privileged to share the screen with: Michael Jeter and Patrick Cranshaw.
Here’s a video of Buddy doing what he does
best most recently: stuffing the shit outta some punk on the sand. I’ve thoughtfully queued the video to the good stuff.
2.) Quark the Border Terrier
From: Honey I Shrunk The Kids, and sequels
In case you don’t remember the movie: Quark saves the fucking day. After Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) accidentally shrinks the kids, and they survive their odyssey across the yard, they hitch a ride on Quark back into the house. Then, in one of the most perfect scenes in the history of cinema, the shrunken Nick ends up in his dad’s bowl of Cheerios, and is nearly devoured.
It’s fun to imagine Wayne picking the mangled, miniature body of his oldest son from between his incisors; Quark had this exact thought, but decided he had to stop it. The normally docile Quark springs to action, biting Wayne, who in his surprise does not eat Nick, and then sees him. And then they get shot back up to regular size, and everything’s cool.
You can almost hear the Disney brainstorming session that began once the movie broke even: Wait a second, the shrink-ray is also a enlarge-ray, right…?
• Quark may have also saved YOUR life, if you ever enjoyed the 4D thrills of Honey I Shrunk The Audience. Nick’s pet snake Gigabyte is about to eat the entire audience, but Quark comes and scares him away. Spoiler alert.
• If you know what a quark actually is, good for you.
3.) Beethoven the St. Bernard
From: the Beethoven movies. I think I saw the second one once (there are six).
Beethoven is a big dog. Considering he is the title character, he has little impact on the plot of the movie. It’s basically just about an evil guy who wants to use Beethoven for some fucked-up animal testing, but the family stops them. Really just kind of a cheap movie that was horrifying as a kid.
4.) Otis the Pug Puppy
From: The Adventures of Milo and Otis. You need to see this movie
God damn, this has got to be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. It is all live-action and narrated by the delightful Dudley Moore who also does the characters’ voices. It took four years to film, and although I have never seen the Japanese original, it is supposedly darker than this dark-for-a-kids-movie version. Milo and Otis is like the most wonderful storybook, read by a kindly Englishman, and he is showing only you the illustrations the entire time.
I will not do this movie the injustice of spoilers, but it is an exciting adventure, with real edge-of-your-seat danger. I’m not being sarcastic, this movie is pretty intense. It was a staple of my childhood movie time, but I had not seen it in years until recently. The potential is there for very deep interpretation about life, love, friendship and what-not. Also, it’s simply beautiful to watch.
5.) Chance the American Bulldog and Shadow the Golden Retriever
From: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (a remake, and originally a novel)
First of all, great voice work in this movie. Michael J. Fox was the perfect wise-cracking Chance, the late Don Ameche (in one of his last roles) made a wonderful old and wise Shadow, and the sassy Sally Field voiced the sassy Sassy.
I remember Chance getting fuckin’ got by a porcupine. Ouch!
6.) Charlie B. Barkin the German Shephard/Mix, Itchy Itchiford the Dachshund, and Carface Carruthers the Pit Bull
From: All Dogs Go to Heaven
- All dogs go to heaven, even if they have done no good deeds in their life (like Charlie). Note: Carface murders Charlie and is generally just a dick, but he gets into heaven too.
- Every dog’s lifespan is predetermined by a golden pocket watch, henceforth referred to as a “life-watch.” Upon arriving in heaven, it is possible to manually wind the life-watch, enabling an extra life, so long as the watch continues to tick. After that…
- …That particular dog does not go to heaven. Said dog has chosen an extra life, and she/he is damned for eternity upon re-expiration of the life-watch.
- It is in fact possible for a dog to regain heaven access through an act of self-sacrifice.
That was a nice list. But clearly, it’s much easier for dogs to get into heaven than say, cats, who must die nine times before they even get a chance at it, and even then there’s no guarantee. Dogs can fuck up their whole life, and then die and go to heaven. Then, forsaking heaven forever, a zombie dog can fuck up another entire life, and through a single act get it all back. Bring this up to your theology professor. Shield your eyes, and wait approximately three seconds. Collect mind fragments from around the room.
Oh yeah, and Charlie is voiced by Burt fucking Reynolds (and then Charlie Sheen in ADGtH2)!
(mouseover to see Zombie Jay Leno)
Zombie Burt Reynolds
(mouseover to see the headshot)
Note: Zombie Jay Leno has nothing to do with this list. Thanks to IGN for these screens from Dawn of the Dead.
7.) Rimshot the Jack Russel Terrier
From: the Ernest movies
In the most famous Ernest movie, Ernest: Scared Stupid, Rimshot gets turned into a wooden figurine by Trantor the troll. Then Ernest just fucking snaps. The folks at saturday morning central did this cool write-up about Scared Stupid (with animated .gifs).
8.) Milo the Jack Russel Terrier
From: The Mask movie(s) (based on a comics series, didja know that?)
Another Jack Russel! They’re pretty cool little dogs; normally I compare small dogs to rats.
Milo wears the mask for a a little while and saves the day. Also he helps Stanley (Jim Carrey) bust out of jail.
Anyway, sorry for the delay. Here’s pictures of a 22-year-old Cameron Diaz who was absolutely sssssssmokin’ in this, her first acting role.
9.) Old Yeller
From: Old Yeller (actually a novel first. Maybe the ultimate case of “why read the book?”)
You know the story. Old Yeller saves
Timmy Travis from a rabid wolf, but gets rabies himself and Timmy Travis has to shoot him. Then he gets a new dog— one of Old Yeller’s puppies. Sad but, Old Yeller was getting old anyway and the new puppy is so much cuter!
Like racism, rabies was eliminated in the early 1990’s.
10.) Dollar the Dollarmation
From: Ritchie Ritch (Comics and TV Show first, but the live-action movie is how I know him)
11.) Goofy Goof (and Max, PJ, Pete, Bobby, etc)
From: A Goofy Movie, Goof Troop (TV show), and on and on
No discussion of the the Goof family can proceed without acknowledging a striking peculiarity. That peculiarity is number 11 on my list.
12.) Pluto Goof
From: I don’t really know. Lots of Disney crap.
Pluto is a silly, though very loving and protective dog. It never made sense to me that Goofy (a dog) can talk and laugh and fall in love— yet he has a pet dog, Pluto, whose typical day includes slobbering, and maybe sitting or rolling over on command.
The nearest human equivalent is slavery. Perhaps with an education Pluto could learn to speak and express himself, and even hold down a job. But then who would fetch Goofy’s morning paper? You see where I’m going with this. The writing is on the wall.
13.) White Fang the Wolfdog
From: White Fang (a novel, of course, but I didn’t know that as a kid)
Trivia time: White Fang is three-quarters wolf (mother is half dog, father is full wolf).
A great adventure story on a whole ‘nother level from Milo and Otis. As you might expect, the Disnefied movie isn’t nearly as serious and dark as the book, although it has moments of real danger. Hard to make jokes about White Fang, who was sold into dogfighting for a bottle of whiskey and won every fight. What a beautiful animal:
14.) Hercules the English Mastiff (aka The Beast)
From: The Sandlot
If you don’t know who The Beast is, then what the fuck? Scotty Smalls brought out a baseball, signed by Babe Ruth, and actually played with it (and actually played with it)!
The gang should have just asked Mr. Mertle and he would have gotten the ball, but legend said that Mr. Mertle was the meanest old man who ever lived. No one’s ever gotten the best of ol’ Hercules. They said that Babe Ruth was less than a god, but more than a man, like Hercules or something. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Hercules lived to be 199 years old— uh, in doggy years.