It doesn’t matter who you are or what your other interests in film may be, everyone loves a good dog movie. Even for those who prefer cats, there’s something about a classic film that shows the relationship between a boy and his dog or an animated movie full of canine pals or even a film about majestic and mysterious wolves that somehow always manages to draw us in.


A Dog’s Purpose

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This is a dog film both sad and happy, but enjoyable to anyone who wants to watch it. The film follows a feral puppy named Toby who is euthanized afterward. What follows after that is the dog being reincarnated as a Retriever and then adopted by a boy named Ethan. The boy renames “Toby” as “Bailey.” Bailey bonds with Ethan and shares ups and downs of the boy’s life. Eventually, Bailey dies and is reincarnated three times (with his past lives memories) into a different canine breed.

It is happy and sad to see the dog live out its lives making a difference and bonding with its owner. On a happier note (and ending), Bailey (in his final re-incarnation) manages to reunite with his first owner Ethan and brings joy back to him. In his journey, Bailey learns of his real purpose: to bring happiness to his owner. This film is a good dog movie for family and dog lovers to watch.


Iron Will

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There are lots of adventure-packed family dog movies to watch, but Iron Will is highly recommended. The story is about a young man who enters a dog-sled race to get money for college and save his family’s farm. With his dog team led by the Siberian Husky Gus, Will braves the cold, freezing weather, his fellow unscrupulous racers and physical hardship to win the race.


The Adventures of Milo and Otis

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If you want a dog film where the dog is friends with other animals, then you will certainly love watching The Adventures of Milo and Otis. This movie is Japanese in origin, and its alternative title is Koneko Monogatari or A Kitten’s Story. The story focuses on Milo, a kitten who is friends with Otis a Pug. One day Milo accidentally drifts downstream in a river while trapped in a box. Otis goes after his friend to rescue him. Milo has many adventures and meets other animals, while Otis tries to catch up to him. In the end, the two best friends find their way home…with their mates and kids in tow.

Friendship is the theme of this movie as well growing up. It is a testament to the friendship of the two animals that one of them decides to follow the other to the end. At the same time, the two manages to return home wiser and with a family of their own.


 All Dogs go to Heaven

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Some of the best dog movies are full-length animated films and Don Bluth’s All Dogs Go to Heaven is one example. Charlie B Barkin a German Shepherd along with his friend Itchy escapes from a dog pound to reclaim the former’s casino business. Charlie’s rival who refuses to share the profits plans to murder Charlie and succeed. Charlie ends up in heaven but decides to return to Earth for revenge.


Homeward Bound : The Incredible Journey

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Dog movies with themes of friendship and perseverance in the face of trouble are the ideal viewing for families and kids. In Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, three pets (two dogs and a cat) mistakenly believe that their owners abandoned them and they set out to find them. The three go on journey meeting new people and triumphing over obstacles until they are reunited with their family.


Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

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A kid named Ronnie tells a story about Hachiko, a dog that belonged to his grandfather Professor Park Wilson. The professor finds a lost Akita puppy from Japan whom he and his Japanese colleague give the name “Hachiko.” The teacher and pup form a close bond with each other. Hachi accompanies Parker to the train station and waits for him until he gets home. This routine continues even when the professor dies. Until to the end, Hachiko never leaves the train station, still waiting for the professor to come home.

This dog film has plenty of drama and sad ending, but one can glean the lesson of friendship and dedication even unto the end. It is a powerful experience even for the boy Ronnie and for anyone who watches this film. It is one of the sad dog movies, but an emotion-moving and an excellent film to watch.


101 Dalmatians

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Disney’s animated films are some of the best and their doggie movie 101 Dalmatians is one of the best as well as one of the best dog movies. Pongo and Perdita are Dalmatians belonging to the married couple, Roger, and Anita. Perdita gives birth to puppies whom Anita’s friend Cruella De Vil wants to buy. Roger refuses Cruella’s offer, and she resorts to stealing the pups. It’s up to Pongo and Perdita to rescue while making new friends along the way.



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The plots of many family dog movies involve a dog whom a family adopts and grow to love their newest family. What is interesting about this film is that the human, not the dog that gets a character development. George Newton is a workaholic father reluctant to adopt a Saint Bernard (who escaped from thieves), but his family eventually convinces him to accept the dog whom they name Beethoven. Beethoven proves himself to a loyal and lovable pet, which unfortunately causes George to be jealous of him. George gets rid of Beethoven, but he eventually realizes that for better or worse, the dog is part of his family.


Marley and Me

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This movie is based on New York Times columnist John Grogan’s memoirs, and it is one the sad dog movies in cinema. John and his wife Jenny adopt Marley, a puppy as a practice for rearing children. Marley’s unruly behavior sorely tests the couple’s patience. But in the end, Marley is a loyal and affectionate dog as he shares the couples as well as their kids’ ups and downs of life.


Eight Below


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Family dog movies usually have their protagonist and narrative centering solely on the dog. The movie Eight Below focuses half on canine characters and half on the human characters while uniting the overall narrative. Jerry Shepard is a guide at a research base in Antarctica who is pressed by a scientist to take the latter via dog sled to Mount Melbourne. Due to weather conditions, Jerry and the other humans evacuate leaving the dog team behind. Jerry thinks that he will come back for the dogs in few days. Unfortunately, it took much longer.