Winters are here…kids are looking forward to their winter vacations. Cold waves, warm bedding – who wants to go out? How about some lovely pooch movies to keep boredom at bay? What’s more? Let your tailwagger curl up by your side, while you both enjoy these beautiful movies.
Movies are a fun way to treat and train animals. Some movies are with a message that spread awareness about adopting dogs. Here are some of the must-see movies the every dog lover must see:
Beethoven: This film is one comedy drama that you can watch with your kids! Directed by Brian Levant in 1992, Beethoven depicts the story of a St Bernard who comes into the lives of Newton family and fills a void that always existed in their family. The dog becomes the center of attraction and attention for the family and is endowed with much love and care. But the dog’s vet, Doctor Varnick, has some other plans for Beethoven. Dr Varnick has a secret, a dark horrible side to him that requires a lot of dogs to carry out experiments. He eyes the poor slobbering Beethoven for the same. How Beethoven is saved from the cruel vet is something to watch out for! A St Bernard by the name of Chris portrayed the role of the dog and you just can’t avoid falling in love with him.
Marley & Me: This movie became a superhit in 2008. Directed by David Frankel, this movie is based on an autobiographical book by journalist John Grogan. The story revolves around John’s life and experiences with one mischievous Labrador Retriever. This one is a truly family entertainer. It will make the elders, teenagers and even kids laugh. The unforgettable chaos that the dog gets the family into is real fun, but in the end the dog teaches the family what is really important in one’s life. The character of Marley is played by 18 different Labrador Retrievers. Also look out for the sequel, though the first part is much better. The book is also worth a read for book lovers. The language is simple and it also has photographs of the real Marley.
Hachi – A Dog’s Tale: An all time favourite movie among all dog lovers, this movie was made in 2009. It became an instant hit with all dog lovers across the globe. Hachi is a true story of an Akita breed dog. If the word Loyal has a synonym, then it is ‘Hachiko’. The story shows a rare and invincible bond between a dog and a human. College professor Parker Wilson finds a young pup abandoned at a train station. He instantly takes a liking for the dog and names him Hachiko-Hachi (which is a Japanese symbol for good luck that’s hanging from the pup’s collar). Hachi is a dog who doesn’t like to play fetch games, or do any tricks or get trained as other dogs do. That’s why Parker’s family has inhibitions towards Hachi. But he is extremely faithful to Parker and is friendly to him. He walks with him everyday to the train station in the morning and then again comes back to greet him every evening when his master returns. This is a routine Hachi follows even after the untimely demise of Parker. Hachi brings tears to the viewer’s eyes in the climax of the movie.
Air Bud (Series): Air Bud, as the name says, is about a buddy who jumps up in the air. No, he is not a superman but just a cute bundle of fur. A sports playing Golden Retriever named Buddy is the central character of the film. All the series are a great watch. A Golden Retriever by the actual name of Buddy played the central character. Buddy has also acted as Comet in the TV series Full House. Josh, a young kid becomes friends with a stray Golden Retriever who has some amazing ability to play basketball. Josh makes a school team of basketball players and Buddy becomes their Team Mascot. Josh and Buddy emerge as the stars of halftime in the game. Buddy gets all the attention from the media in halftime which is seen by his former mean pet parent, Norm Snively. He sees it as an opportunity and makes a wicked scheme to cash in Buddy’s popularity. Watch this movie to find out if Josh and Buddy get separated by Norm’s wicked plan or they remain buds forever?
Homeward Bound – The Incredible Journey: Here the three animals – Shadow, the Golden Retriever (intelligent and calmest of all- a true leader), Chance the Bulldog (a talkative fun mischievous adopted dog) and Sassy the cat (as our kitties always are) are given human voices. They belong to one family but each has their own space and own favourite kid-parents. When the family has to go on a vacation, they leave them with a pet sitter. The trio run away and set on an adventurous journey to reach back home. The film shows a series of events wherein each completes their own journey too of throwing away inhibitions, getting to know the outside world and becoming brave and courageous. It’s a perfect entertainer for small kids. The movie shows an abundance of wildlife and beautiful location sceneries.
Eight Below: This movie was also released by the name Antarctica in the US. Inspired by a Japanese movie, this is based on a true story of a Japanese expedition carried out in 1958. The human cast has done a great job, but the eight Siberian Huskies steal the show. Heart warming, this one is sure going to keep you on toes throughout their expedition. The story revolves around a dog-sled guide working at an Antarctic research station and his live action-adventures. A severe storm forces him to abandon his eight beloved sled dogs in harsh Antarctic winter. Left to fend for themselves, the rugged and resourceful dogs face several dangerous situations at every turn. They survive for nearly six months and finally meet Walter, who along with his colleagues, join hands to carry out a daring rescue mission to save the dogs. The Huskies look so huggable in the movie that you can’t help falling in love with each one of them.
101 Dalmatians: Dalmatians are a breed of dogs found first in Croatia. They were mainly used as carriage dogs in early days. But here in this movie Cruella DeVil, as her name is cruel and devil-like, kidnaps puppies and kills them for fur. The movie takes a turn when various animals join hands against her and take their revenge. The beautiful spotted Dalmatians in the movie make the viewers’ heart skip a beat. In the sequel 102 Dalmatians, Cruella manages to get out of prison and once again goes after the darned puppies. But the Dalmatians prove smarter. A full fledged entertainer for the whole family, 101 and 102 Dalmatians are not to miss out for the drama and picturisation.
Old Yeller: This movie is an old time classic. Set amidst the landscape of 1860 Texas, the movie revolves around a young boy named Travis and the bond he shares with a lop-eared stray. Directed by Robert Stevenson in 1957, the movie is based on an award winning book ‘Old Yeller’ by Fred Gipson. Travis doesn’t take an instant liking to Old Yeller until he saves the family from attack of a bear. Showing his true protective skills, Old Yeller gains affection of the family and becomes a loyal buddy of Travis. Soon they become inseparable, sharing joyous experiences and learning valuable lessons about growing up. The movie teaches kids about love and death, family bonds and life’s teachings. It might also teach kids about dealing with loss of a life (dogs). The movie also has a sequel Savage Sam which is again based on another book of Fred Gipson.
Hotel for Dogs: Andi and her little brother Bruce stay in a foster home where animals are not allowed. The kids love animals and an adorable dog whom they name Friday is their buddy. They secretly care for him and are ready to risk everything for him. They soon find a shelter for him in a huge abandoned hotel. Bruce puts his engineering skills to use and transform the abandoned hotel into an ideal place for dogs to live. Friday soon shares his home with all kinds of furry buddies and the place soon becomes a paradise to live in. The neighbours are led into a mystery when they discover sudden disappearance of all stray dogs around. Andi and Bruce strive to keep the hotel’s secret from being discovered. Will they manage to do so? The adventure is also beautifully penned down in Lois Duncan’s book by the same name on which the movie is based.
A Dog of Flanders: The movie is based on a novel written by English author Marie Louise in 1972. The movie is about a Flemish boy named Nello and his dog Patrasche (a Bouvier, a large sturdy dog native to Flanders). There is even a statue of the boy and his dog in Antwerp which is a tourist attraction. Young orphaned boy Nello lives with his grandfather in a small village in Antwerp and sell milk as they are very poor. They find a bruised dog and adopt him, naming him after Nello’s mother Mary. Patrasche helps Nello pull milk into town every morning. Though the book’s ending and film’s climax are totally different, both show a great human-dog bond.
Turner & Hooch: This film is surely going to bring smiles and laughter all around. It’s an average cop and dog movie. It’s a sweet love story of fights and bonding between Turner
(played by Tom Hanks, a cop) and Hooch
(a large and slobbery French Mastiff or Bordeaux Mastiff as they are called) who come together to find the murderer of Hooch’s pet parent. Turner hates Hooch but has to keep him at his home till the case gets solved and in the process takes a liking for him. In the end, Hooch dies solving the case and saving life of Turner. Turner, who was a control freak, becomes soft, considerate and animal loving by the end of the case. It’s his own emotional journey too. Watch out for the hilarious moments at Turner’s home when Hooch enters in initial days.
A Dog Year: This one is about a great bonding between Jon Katz, a writer by profession and his bonding with a Border Collie, a dog whom he receives from a kennel. The dog is undisciplined because of abuse and he gets Jon into a series of mishaps, but Jon doesn’t quit on the dog and wants to keep trying. Jon hires a farmhouse to give the dog enough room to run around thinking that will drive out his energy and calm him down. But, during the course, he realises that it’s his own problems that is driving him crazy and not the dog. A great emotional journey about a dog helping a human discover oneself. The Border Collie is one guy to watch out for….furry and huggable.
The Adventures of Milo & Otis: An adventurous film that will be enjoyed by both young and old. A kid’s favourite, this film revolves around the adventurous journey of Otis, a Pug-nosed puppy, when he takes off with an aim to rescue his friend Milo, the always curious kitten, when she is swept down a river during one of her roaming hangouts. It’s a Japanese action adventure film made in 1986 and the film was reworked for its release in English in 1989.
The Shaggy Dog: The adventure starts when a workaholic human (the dad, played by Tim Allens) is transformed into a lovable dog. Made in 2006, this movie is about a typical home where the wife and kids complain to their father about not giving them enough time. When he turns into a dog, he sets on a mission to uncover the mystery of how it all happened. His struggle to discover the mystery makes him understand his family better as a dog. He understands the meaning of fatherhood and wants to turn back as human and give all the love and time to his family that he has missed out on. A wonderful film to watch and learn!
Snow Dogs: Made in 2002, the movie stars Cuba Gooding Jr and is a live action comedy film. Directed by Brian Levant, the movie is based on the book Winter Dance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen. Cuba Gooding Jr is shown as a dentist from Miami who inherits a team of champion sled dogs. During the film he discovers that he was adopted and hence manages to find his true place in life. They participate in the Arctic Challenge Sled Dog Race to win it in the end. The race is to watch for and the occasional winking of the Siberian Huskies is to die for! The power of love between family, friends and dogs is what one can expect in this family film.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab the DVD and bask in the love and bind of
these lovely beings!
Dogs who play central characters become a celebrity and when a movie becomes a hit, we suddenly see the demand for that particular breed in market! One such celebrity was Rin Tin Tin. He was the Biggest Canine Superstar Hollywood ever had. ‘Rinty’, as he was called, was a German Shepherd and he starred in more than 27 Hollywood films during an era when silent films were being made! Rinty was so popular that he was even nominated as ‘Best Actor’ and secured most votes in 1929 Academy Awards. Sadly, the Jury ruled him out or else, he would have been the first dog to have ever won an Oscar!! Rinty’s popularity made the breed German Shepherd a popular household pet. He died at the age of 14 in 1932.The dog was so popular that for the next two decades, directors hired German Shepherd dogs and named them Rin Tin Tin II, Rin Tin Tin III and so on. Interestingly, most of them were Rinty’s own sons.