This weekend I’m going to go stay with my parents for a few days. While I do miss them, there are a couple of other people back home I miss more: my dogs, Finn and Bram.
My beautiful boys are seven-years-old, though you wouldn’t know that if you met them. Watching them chase each other is always very entertaining – Finn has always been the fastest! They have very different personalities, too. Bram is my little sweetheart and he loves attention. Finn is more happy doing his own thing; while everyone else is in the living room he’ll no doubt be somewhere else!
This got me thinking, what are cinema’s most beloved dogs? The dog is man’s best friend so surely there are quite a few canine companions in the movie world. Here’s my top 5:
1. Lassie – from many, many films
The one word to describe Lassie is loyal. She was created by Eric Knight for his short story, which was later expanded to novel length, ‘Lassie Come-Home’. It was about a Rough Collie, Lassie, and her quest to be reunited with the boy she loves, Joe.
The first film was released in 1943 and starred a dog called Pal as Lassie. The story goes that many of Pal’s descendants have also portrayed Lassie.
2. Beethoven – from the Beethoven film series
The first film in the series, Beethoven, was released in 1992. The star of the film is a loveable, slobbering St Bernard, Beethoven. The word ‘handful’ is an understatement: Beethoven is a giant of a dog and is full of energy.
He catches the eye of their vet, who needs dogs for a terrible, unethical scientific experiment he is working on. After the vet stages an attack by Beethoven using fake blood, the family has to decide whether to have Beethoven euthanized or face charges… What will they decide?
3. Shadow – from Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
Shadow, a wise Golden Retriever, is left behind with the other pets, Chance and Sassy, when their family goes on holiday. Unsure of where their family has gone, together they decide to try and find them.
I am most familiar with the 1993 film, which is a remake of the 1963 film The Incredibly Journey. Shadow was voiced by Don Ameche, Chance by Michael J Fox and Sassy by Sally Field.
4. Toto – from The Wizard of Oz
Dorothy’s faithful companion, Toto is also in the house when it is whisked away by the twister. Together they come across many fantastic beings, including the Munchkins and an army of flying monkeys.
Toto does get himself in to trouble quite a bit, though, and has quite a few run-ins with the Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys.
5. Zero – fromThe Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington’s ghostly companion, Zero has a bright red nose. A faithful, friendly little dog he floats along the ground wherever Jack goes. That red nose comes in very handy too, especially when Jack needs someone to guide his sleigh.
PS. An honourable mention must go to Snowy, who is currently making an appearance alongside Tintin in The Adventures of Tintin.