Ever easily amused; I love dogs. Be it pictures of dogs, objects in the shape of dogs; I like just about anything remotely related to canines. Possibly my favorite example of this sometimes misguided obsession with pups is 2009s The Proposal. Despite what some may say; the only good thing about the Bullock/Renolds rom-com is the ridiculously cute puppy that the producers cleverly threw into the mix. It is sight of this little ball of fluff that made the film bearable (just about).
Without further ado, here is a list of my favorite, if a little unconventional, dogs in film (there’s no Beethoven or Hooch here).
10. Mojo – Transformers
First on the list is Mojo; the Witwicky family Chihuahua whose first appearance was in the 2007 Transformers. Easily one of the best aspects of the terrible Transformers franchise, Mojo never fails to be entertaining; normally at the expense of his weak bladder. Who would have thought that a small dog urinating on a robot would be the highlight of the film?
9. Fang – Harry Potter
A regular character in both the novels and film adaptations, Hagrid’s faithful hound Fang is always around to offer comedic relief and a bit of support to the loveable giant throughout the Harry Potter series. Although he’s described affectionately by his owner as “a bloody coward”, any character that can destroy small creatures with the force of his bark is going to be favorable.
8. Snowy – The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn
Snowy (or Milou en Francais) is a white Wire Fox Terrier, who is easily the best character from Steven Spielberg’s reboot of the classic Tintin tales. Far more emotive than his human counterpart Tintin, this canine sidekick shows insight into his owner’s character, thus providing many entertaining scenes. If I had to trust one animal with my life, it would probably be Snowy thanks to his rich life experiences.
7. Blackie – Hugo
The first dog on this list to receive critical acclaim in last year’s Golden Collar awards (the pooch equivalent of the Oscars) is Blackie; a Doberman whose job is assisting the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), hell-bent on punishing Hugo for living in the train station. Blackie evidently has a close relationship with his owner, as he not only supports his desire to punish Hugo; the two even bathe together.
Even though Blackie isn’t quite as cute as his canine peers, I cannot compile a list of my favorite dogs in film and not mention this loveable rogue. Proof that dog really is a man’s best friend because, really, who else would like to share a bath with Cohen?
6. Baxter – Anchorman
Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in Anchorman is simply brilliant. The only thing that can make a good comedy even better is the inclusion of a loveable mutt. Luckily, Baxter, Burgundy’s endearing Border Terrier, adds crucial laughs and one of the most touching friendships between man and dog. A talented linguist, not only can Baxter speak Spanish, he’s especially talented when it comes to appeasing bears.
5. Zero – The Nightmare Before Christmas
The only Disney dog on this list is a very special canine. Zero, hero Jack Skellington’s ghost-dog from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, is the most loyal character so far. Faithful to Jack as his obsessions move from Halloween to Christmas; Zero even helps guide his master through the Christmas Eve ghost with the aid of his bright, shining jack-o-lantern nose. Floating and following Jack wherever he goes, his pet even has his own little doghouse in the graveyard: even Burton knows how to treat a dog right.
4. Buckley – The Royal Tenenbaums
Buckley the Beagle may only have a small role in one of my favorite movies of all time, The Royal Tenenbaums, but he’s pretty integral to the family dynamic. The two children of the film, Azi and Uri, have a close and adventurous relationship with their canine companion, hinted because of the loss of their mother in a plane crash. The same crash that Buckley survived. The adventurous Buckley is a delight throughout The Royal Tenenbaums despite his untimely departure.
3. Frank The Pug – Men In Black
This list just wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of a pug. Frank the Pug, an alien in disguise, from the Men in Black series is the perfect example of my favorite breed. Subject to many sassy lines, including the timeless “kiss my furry little butt”, Frank injects the right amount of humor and charisma to lift the lifeless Men in Black II. Or maybe I’m just being biased and entranced by the pooch’s presence.
2. Jack – The Artist
In second place is the dog who won the hearts of the world, and trotted away with last year’s Palm Dog award: Jack from The Artist; the Jack Russell Terrier famously played by professional actor and spokesperson (so says his wikipedia page) Uggie. No, seriously. Uggie received much critical acclaim for his acting. One critic even claimed he should receive a recognized award (as opposed to the canine specific one he received) as his performance in The Artist notably outshone Leonardo diCaprio’s in J Edgar. I don’t know about you, but I feel like the Oscars ceremony could really do with a few paws and waggy tails.
1. Arthur – Beginners
My number one favorite dog in the history of film is Arthur, one of the stars in Mike Miles’ masterpiece Beginners. Even though, like the rest of the stars on this list, Arthur doesn’t talk; he has the ingenious ability to convey his thoughts to the audience via the medium of subtitles. Arthur’s hilarious lines include “Are we getting married now?” and “Whilst I can understand 150 words – I don’t talk”. This wit and clever scripting means that Arthur seriously out acts some of his human colleagues.
That about wraps up my list of Top 10 Best Dogs In Film History! Hopefully this article will make you appreciate all the cute and furry animals that make some of your favorite movies your favorite movies.