There’s a lot of pet-centric media out there, but some stories rise above the rest—regardless of production or release date. Whether you’re looking for name inspiration or an encouraging tale of an animal friendship—between humans or other animals—the five following movies are sure to provide what you want.
Marley and Me
This tear-jerker was first a book, but it launched into the international spotlight when the film released in 2008. Starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston as Marley’s parents, the story traces the life of a rambunctious dog.
Strangely, the full title of this film is, “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.” And an incredibly journey it is. The motley crew of two dogs, a Golden Retriever and a Boxer mix, and a cat encounter a slew of animals on their journey home—think bears, mountain lions, and a porcupine. If you name your pet Chance, Shadow, or Sassy, be prepared to talk about this universally loved film.
This five-film series is truly a cornerstone of American pet cinema. Additional spin-offs were produced, too, but the best film is the first. If you choose the name Beethoven for anything other than a Saint Bernard, get ready for some strange stares at the dog park.
This film includes both a touching human-animal relationship and a history lesson. It takes place in the post-Civil war era. The coming-of-age story of a boy and his dog is both heartwarming and heartbreaking—you’ll have to see it to know why.
Sure, you might be hard-pressed to find a person to remember any name of the 101 dalmatian puppies featured in this movie. However, both the cartoon and the live-action films are both charming and heartening. We’re partial to the live-action—Glenn Close’s Cruella de Vil is excellent.