16WHITE FANG (1991)
This film, based on Jack London’s novel of the same name, starred a wolfdog named Jed who also appeared in several other movies like John Carpenter’s The Thing. The story revolves around an explorer and gold hunter (Ethan Hawke) who befriends a half-dog, half-wolf which a Native American tribe has dubbed White Fang. The man and dog lose each other several times throughout their lives but always somehow find one another again. White Fang was successful, both financially and critically, and has been in talks for a possible remake.
15MARLEY & ME
This late '00s family film has become a favorite of dog lovers everywhere. Based on the memoir by NY Times columnist John Grogan, Marley & Me tells the story of John (Owen Wilson) and Jenny (Jennifer Aniston), a married couple who adopt a puppy named Marley as practice for children. Marley proves to be a disobedient handful of a dog - but that doesn't stop him from helping John, Jen, and eventually their two sons through the ups and downs of life. Aside from reminding us why a pet dog can truly become the nucleus of a family unit, Marley & Me's heartbreaking ending makes viewers want to grab their pups and hug them tight.
14MY DOG TULIP (2009)
“Unable to love each other, the English turn naturally to dogs.” This sentiment, penned by late writer J.R. Ackerley, is the driving force behind the animated film My Dog Tulip. The film is based on Ackerley’s memoir about the strong bond he had with his dog Queenie (named Tulip in the book and movie). It is geared toward adults with its serious subject matter and cast featuring Christopher Plummer, Isabella Rossellini, and Lynn Redgrave. My Dog Tulip is warm and heartfelt and also explores a side of pet ownership that anyone with a dog will recognize with a laugh and a nod.
Released by Universal Pictures, BALTO is the story of a wolfdog who helps to save children dying of diphtheria during a true event called the Great Race of Mercy (later celebrated with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race). The film did not receive either positive critical reviews or box office success, but its strong sales when released on video caused it to spawn two sequels. Many children remember Balto (voiced by Kevin Bacon) as a real-life hero because of the film, and despite a few inaccuracies, it also provides a rather great history lesson.
12LASSIE COME HOME (1943)
Lassie Come Home was the first of many films starring Pal, a Rough Collie who later took on the stage name of Lassie. The film, about a dog and a boy in Yorkshire, England whose love for one another allows them to find each other against all obstacles, was a huge hit for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Pal and his owner made a lucrative career from Lassie’s success, and the dog’s decedents even played the title character in the television series Lassie, launched in 1954. However, the original film is still the best of the bunch.