What are the best cat and dog movies?

What are the best cat and dog movies?

There’s no denying that some of the most iconic film characters to ever hit our screens have fur and four legs. From anthropomorphic animal cartoons to real-life moggies and doggies, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. These animal films are sure to make you laugh, cry, bark and roll over!

It’s no surprise that many films on this list are Disney movies; whether a timeless classic or a one of the latest computer animations.

Ever since Pluto the Dog became Mickey Mouse’s devoted canine companion, some of our favourite animal personalities have been brought to life by Walt Disney and his talented team of artists and animators.

If you’re looking for the perfect flick to sit down and cuddle up to with your favourite furry companion, look no further than one of these big-screen classics. But remember, homework comes before fun.

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Regardless of whether you’re nine or 90, have two legs or four  – you’re sure to love one of the cat and dog movies that we’ve shortlisted here. Which one will you watch tonight?

A line-up of cats and dogs of varying breeds on a white background

What are the best dog movies?

 

  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians  (1961)

A certified canine classic, but we’re not talking about the real-life remake with Glenn Close and her striped black and white mullet!

101 Dalmatians is an enduring classic and is widely considered to be one of Disney’s best-loved animated films. It was produced in 1961 and is based on the novel by Dodie Smith.

This is a glorious puppy-fest of various spotted doggiesif you haven’t seen it already, we highly recommend it.

Set in London, it tells the story of a litter of Dalmatian puppies who are kidnapped by the villainous Cruella De Vil.

All in all, this movie is a collection of near-misses that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Cruella wants to use the pups’ gorgeous polka dot fur to make into coats, and so the parents, Pongo and Perdita, set out to save their litter.

Surely, they can’t have had a litter of over one hundred Dalmatians, we hear you cry.

In fact, during their quest to save their pups, the parents manage to rescue an additional 84 Dalmatians bought in pet shops. The original cruelty-free film, one might argue.

 

  • Marley and Me (2008)

Devoted dog owners will love this all-round family movie. It’s a tasteful balance of comedy and emotion, with hilarious scenes of Marley’s naughty puppy antics and a fair share of tear-jerking moments.

The film stars Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and a gorgeous yellow Labrador Retriever puppy – and is a testament to the fact that puppy love can be the best medicine when times get tough.

 

  • Old Yeller (1957)

This 1957 Disney classic stars a golden Labrador Retriever that initially causes bother on a Texas ranch in the wild, wild west.

He later becomes a much-loved member of the family after he saves his human friend’s little brother.

Based on the eponymous children’s novel by Fred Gipson, rumour has it that it’s inspired by a true story told by Gipson’s grandfather about a poor family in the 1860s who adopt an ugly ‘yeller’ dog.

This film is probably most famous for its not-so-happy ending.

The heart-wrenching depiction of this poochs fate causes much controversy to this day - mention the words ‘Old Yeller’ to anybody over the age of 40 and they’re bound to tear up. We won’t spoil it for you.

 

  • Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Should the award for film’s most adorable canine couple go to Lady, a female American Cocker Spaniel, and a stray mutt named Tramp? We think so!

These star-crossed doggy lovers are from two different worlds; Lady lives with an upper-middle-class family, and Tramp roams the streets, stealing scraps from the local Italian restaurant.

They meet, embark on an adventure and fall in sweet, doggy love. We adore the endearing spaghetti kiss scene that has melted our hearts for decades.

There’s a wide array of dog breeds in this classic animation, including Lady’s friends Jock, a Scottish terrier, a bloodhound named Trusty, and Tramp’s street pals, Peg, a Pekingese, and Bull the bulldog.

There’s also a pair of troublesome Siamese cats, Si and Am, who do their best to get Lady into bother at any cost.

 

  • Lassie Come Home (1943)

Lassie has got to be one of the most famous dogs in the history of cinema, and she certainly popularised the beautiful Collie breed with her long, luscious coat.

Beautifully depicting the love between a young person and their doggy companion, it’s certainly one that tugs on the heartstrings and is considered to be a cinematic MGM classic.

The film is set in wartime Yorkshire, and with money being scarce, the parents of a young Joe Carraclough are forced to give away their beloved Lassie dog.

The film follows Lassie as she does whatever it takes to return to her one true owner.

 

  • Best in Show (2000) 

This hilarious improv comedy gives an insight into the cutthroat atmosphere of dog shows.

Following the lives of various highly competitive dog owners, viewers will laugh out loud from start to finish.

Characters include a pair of perfectly pampered Shih Tzus called Tyrone and Miss Agnes, a champion poodle called Rhapsody White, a bloodhound called Hubert who belongs to a fly fishing shop owner, and a Weimaraner called Beatrice.

 

  • Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

A touching doggy film with an intensely emotional storyline, it’s based on the true story of a Japanese college professor who takes in an abandoned hound – Hachiko, the Japanese Akita.

Dog owners will be able to relate all too well, as the professor and Hachi form an incredible bond, and when tragedy occurs, Hachi demonstrates immeasurable loyalty for his human companion.

 

  • Bolt (2008)

This highly entertaining Disney film has an all-star voiceover cast, including John Travolta and Miley Cyrus.

Travolta is the voice of the protagonist, a bold little White Shepherd called Bolt, who believes he is a superhero until he is thrust into the “real world” after spending his whole life on a television set. His beloved owner is an eight-year-old girl named Penny, who he believes has been kidnapped – so of course, he sets out to rescue her.

It’s a heartwarmingly funny tale, with cats, dogs and hamsters galore.

The standard of computer animation also shows how far Disney has come in bringing their animal characters to life.

 

What are the best films with cats in?

A line-up of cats of varying colour and breed against a white background

There’s no doubt that dog films far outnumber feline ones. Whether it’s something to do with being able to better train dogs for performance purposes, we’re not so sure.

Regardless, some of the best pet movies of all time are based on the allure of the feline.

 

  • The Aristocats  (1970)

It would be impossible to make a list of pet movies without including this fun-loving musical number.

Yet another Disney classic, it’s a captivating tale of Parisian cats of all shapes, sizes and musical abilities. There’s even a feline that plays the double bass!

Enjoy plenty of singing, dancing, paw tapping, and some of the best character names in the history of animal cinema: there’s Duchess, Berlioz, Toulouse, Thomas O’Malley, Roquefort, Peppo, Lafayette and Scat Cat among others.

 

  • A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

A feelgood movie with a modern sensibility, this is the true story of a stray cat who turns up in the life of a young homeless busker and former heroin addict, James Bowen.

Their friendship is a touching depiction of life on the streets in the big city, and Bob the ginger moggy becomes James’ most treasured companion.

This film won Best British Film at the UK National Film Awards following its release, so we recommend that you give it a watch.

 

  • Kedi (2016)

A stunning tribute to the indescribable love that a pet can give, this documentary film follows the lives of individual stray cats around the Turkish capital of Istanbul.

Viewers get to know the personality of each kitty character, as the film zooms in on their daily lives on the streets.

In the magical setting of an ancient city, the documentary focuses on how cats and their human neighbours live alongside one another. Oh, and Kedi means ‘feline’ in Turkish.

It’s only one hour and 20 minutes long, but it’s a visual display of pure feline bliss.

 

  • The Lion King (1994)

Alright, we might have bent the rules slightly with this one. While it’s technically a big cat movie, this has got to be one of the most memorable animal movies ever.

Fun fact: It was the first of Disney’s animated features to have an original story, rather than based on an existing book or production.

The Lion King is a dramatic tale of a young lion named Simba, as he prepares to succeed his father, Mufasa, as King of the Pride Lands.

He is thwarted by his evil uncle Scar, who murders Mufasa and manipulates Simba into thinking he is responsible for his father’s death. It’s technically a cat’s tale, just set in the stunning African savannah.

The film has a whole host of singalong classics such as Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight and Hakuna Matata and contains some of Hollywood’s best-loved animal characters such as Simba, Rafiki, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa.

Praised for comprising ‘the whole package’ of music, story and animation, it’s the highest-grossing traditionally animated film of all time and with good reason.

 

  • That Darn Cat!  (1965)

This 1965 thriller comedy is about a wily Siamese pussycat known as ‘DC’, short for ‘Darn Cat’. DC struts about town, acting as a daring informant and helping her owners crack down on crime by causing cat-like mischief.

It’s got a delightful soundtrack, with the theme song sung by 1960s heartthrob, Bobby Darin.

A wonderful tale of suspense with plenty of comedic moments, it’s based on a more serious suspense novel called Undercover Cat by The Gordons.

A little known fact is that it’s also a Disney movie.

 

  • Puss in Boots (2011)

Is there anything greater than a sassy, streetwise moggy voiced by Antonio Banderas? We think not.

The character development of Puss in Boots in Shrek comes into its own in this delightful prequel.

A notorious outlaw and street fighter, Puss in Boots vows to save his town alongside his sidekicks, Kitty Softpaws and Humpty Dumpty, and we grow to love him even more.

Animated by Dreamworks, you’ll be laughing just as much as you did with Shrek.

 

Some of the best animal movies of all time

Various cats and dogs of different breeds arraigned in a square on a white background

For those who don’t want to pick sides, there are some wonderful productions that have their fair share of both cats and dogs.

 

  • The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Tearjerker alert, but a Disney family classic nonetheless. The unlikely love between a fox cub and a bloodhound puppy makes for touching film viewing.

Despite living in a society which deems their friendship impossible, Tod and Copper are a heartwarming duo.

 

  • Oliver and Company (1988)

Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, but set in modern-day New York instead of Victorian London, this animated Walt Disney film is a sure favourite among animal lovers everywhere.

Oliver is a homeless kitten, and to survive in the streets, he joins a tough gang of dogs who are based on Fagin’s gang of beggars in the Dickens novel.

Children will appreciate this much-loved animation.

 

What is the best pet film?

 

  • The Secret Life of Pets

    (2016)

This recent animation film contains a whole mix of breeds and species in one.

This includes a Jack Russell Terrier, a Tabby cat, a white rabbit, a Pug, a Daschund, a budgerigar, a Newfoundland, Sphynx cat, Basset Hound, Pomeranian… the list goes on.

It became the sixth highest-grossing film of 2016 and features voiceovers from a whole range of famous actors and comedians such as Kevin Hart and Steve Coogan.

For shameless animal mischief, this is a must-see.

 

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From watching these films, it’s easy to believe that all cats have nine lives, and all dogs will return home.

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