Top Five… Dogs

Never work with children or animals – the mantra of every film director. For all kids and most animals this rings true, but when it comes to dogs, some performances have been so monumental the canines could have told the directors to woof off if they so wished.

5. Shadow – Homeword Bound: The Incredible Journey

Three great animal performances here, and not many crappy humans to distract. Sally Field’s pampered Sassy and Michael J Fox’s perfectly enthusiastic Chance are contenders, but it is Don Ameche’s old Golden Retriever who really stands out. Instead of worrying about who will feed them when their owners disappear, the threesome actually set out on the road because they think the family may be in trouble (*sniffle*). And then poor old Shadow gets stuck in that hole and can’t climb out (*sob*). Of course, the real reason he makes the top five is my late dog was also called Shadow… (okay, now I’ve a lump in my throat.)

4. Lassie

How could we not include the matriarch of all cinematical canines? I say matriarch, even though the collie was nearly always played by a male dog because their coats are nicer. According to Wikipedia, Lassie has featured in 11 films,  11 TV series, 2 radio series and 59 books – not bad. Little known fact: Lassie also donned dolphin and kangaroo costumes for several Flipper and Skippy films, respectively.

3. Hooch – Turner and Hooch

Easily the cutest dog on the list. The French mastiff is a big, slobbery mess and the most adorable thing since Dumbo. This slot was closely contended by Jerry Lee from K-9, which is the same film except with an Alsatian. However, Hooch laid down his life in the line of duty, while Jerry Lee got to swan off into the sunset with his poodle bitch.

2. Sam – I Am Legend

Can animals get oscars? That was a question many people were asking when this post-apocalyptic, scary-during-the-day-scenes, crap-during-the-night-scenes thriller hit cinemas. I believe there was even an internet petition to start a new Oscar category for animals after Will Smith was out-acted by the Alsatian. And that scene when Smith realises she has been bitten… (aw man, that lump in my throat is back.)

1. Babe

While this list is made up of some pretty great dogs, none of them realise how lucky they are having the natural awesomeness of being a dog thrust naturally upon them. Everyone laughed at this pig when he said he wanted to be a sheepdog, but who’s laughing now? Yes, we are still, because it’s a very funny film. Anything that can impress James Cromwell deserves to be number one on any list.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE DOGS? (and before you start, rumour has it an Animated Dogs list may be en route…)


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6 Responses to “Top Five… Dogs”

  1. This list is missing one thing… Wookies. Where the heck is Chewbacca, fellas? Talk about man’s best friend. I might’ve even settled for Barf from Spaceballs. 🙂

  2. I’m a horrible person because I laughed uncontrollably when Hooch died. Not sure why but it just struck me as hilarious.

    And Shadow is quite the dog. I used to watch that film all the time as a kid. And the sequel.

  3. Anyone ever see that clip of Conan O’Brien where Tom Hanks was on as the guest for the Christmas episode and Conan gave him a huge box that contained Hooch’s skeleton, then dumped an epic amount of fake snow on him for good measure? Good stuff. Hooch gets my vote.

  4. good list Ross McD, although i would have found room for Barney from Gremlins. not only is he cute, he helps take down nasty green creatures.
    Aiden R… you may stop commenting on this site or any other – youre never going to write a comment as funny as that one again…

  5. mcarteratthemovies Says:

    You dudes have stolen my heart again. “Homeward Bound” is a childhood favorite that I simply cannot outgrow, and Shadow’s journey home still makes me bawl like a baby. Michael J. Fox is pretty funny as Chance, too.

  6. That’ll do Pig.

    This whole list is great.

    I looooooooved Homeward Bound, and I confess to only watching Turner and Hooch once because the ending broke my heart so desperately.

    I’m happy you also included Sam from I Am Legend. She was the biggest co-star right next to Will Smith, and that scene at the end just tore me to pieces. I’m far more sentimental for animals over people anyday.

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