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Home > Dogs > 20 Best Dog Movies in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

20 Best Dog Movies in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

dogs watching TV

What dog lover doesn’t love a good movie? Whether it’s a night in with your canine pal or you want to get the whole family together to watch a movie, there is nothing better than turning on a movie about a man’s best friend.

When searching for the right dog movie, you may get a bit overwhelmed by the number of choices you have. Even though you can’t go wrong with dogs, some movies stand out among the others. We decided to make your movie night a little easier by narrowing down the best dog movies over the years.

Not only have we watched all these movies ourselves, but we also looked at what the different reviews have to say. Here’s our list of the top 20 best dogs movies to watch this year.

divider-dog pawA Quick Look at Our Top Picks (2024)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
The Adventures of Milo & Otis The Adventures of Milo & Otis
  • Interesting live action
  • Great for the family
  • Happy ending
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Benji Benji
  • Classic
  • Great for the whole family
  • DVD comes in a pack
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
  • Great for the whole family
  • Action-packed and fun
  • Happy ending
  • 101 Dalmatians 101 Dalmatians
  • Disney classic
  • Great for kids
  • Live-action remakes
  • Beethoven Beethoven
  • Great for the whole family
  • Action-packed
  • Wonderful storyline
  • divider-paw

    The 20 Best Dog Movies in 2024

    1. The Adventures of Milo & Otis – Best Overall

    The Adventures of Milo and Otis

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    Genre: Family/Adventure
    Year Released: 1986
    Runtime: 1 hr 35 min

    This live-action family film from 1986 is narrated by Dudley Moore and follows Milo, the orange tabby cat, and Otis, the Pug. They grew up together on the family farm with lots of other animals. Their curiosity leads the youngsters astray and they become separated.

    You follow each of them on their dangerous quest to find one another where they brave perilous terrains and meet several other animals along the way. This is a wonderful family film for both dog and cat lovers.

    Pros
    • Interesting live action
    • Great for the family
    • Happy ending
    Cons
    • Nerve-racking scenes

    2. Benji – Best Value

    The Benji Collection

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    Genre: Family
    Year Released: 1974
    Runtime: 1 hr 27 min

    The 1974 film Benji, follows a lovable shaggy stray named Benji that spends his days roaming around a Texas town surviving on handouts from the locals. He may be a stray that lives out of an abandoned house, but he has won over the hearts of the townspeople.

    Everything changes when two children that Benji is very fond of being kidnapped and held for ransom. The police and the parents reach a dead end, but Benji comes along to save the day. Benji even meets a love interest along the way.

    This beloved classic is a great choice for the entire family and is our choice for the best value since it can be purchased, rented, or bought online for streaming at a very low cost.

    Pros
    • Classic
    • Great for the whole family
    • DVD comes in a pack
    Cons
    • Emotional scenes

    3. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey– Premium Choice

    Homeward Bound - The Incredible Journey

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    Genre: Family/Adventure
    Year Released: 1996
    Runtime: 1 hr 24 min

    A young rescued American Bulldog named Chance (Michael J. Fox) is welcomed to the home of Bob, Laura, Peter, Hope, and Jamie. Now a complete family with Golden Retriever, Shadow (Don Ameche), and Himalayan cat, Sassy (Sally Field) The gang has to stay at a friend’s ranch while the family vacations in San Francisco.

    Thinking they have all been left behind they decide as a group to find their way home to their humans. These house pets find themselves out in the rugged wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and each of them must use their strengths to get through the journey home in one piece.

    This is hands down one of the best dog movies of all time. It will have you feeling all sorts of emotions and will ultimately leave you full of joy.

    Pros
    • Great for the whole family
    • Action-packed and fun
    • Happy ending
    Cons
    • Emotional scenes

    4. 101 Dalmatians

    101 Dalmatians

    Genre: Family/Comedy
    Year Released: 1996
    Runtime: 1 hr 43 min

    If you are looking for a movie that involves puppies, you can’t go wrong with the 1961 Disney classic 101 Dalmatians. When Pongo’s owner Roger meets Perdita’s owner, Anita, sparks fly, and both the human couple and the dog couple fall in love.

    Pongo and Perdita welcome a litter of puppies and Anita’s old classmate Cruella De Vil wants to buy every puppy for herself. Roger declines Cruella’s offer, so she hires two criminal brothers to steal them so she can have the fur coat she desires. Follow the gang as they work to escape Cruella’s attempts and return to normal life.

    This film has also been made into live-action movies throughout the years including a 1996 film titled 101 Dalmatians starring Glenn Close, and a 2021 version called Cruella, starring Emma Stone.

    Pros
    • Disney classic
    • Great for kids
    • Live-action remakes
    Cons
    • Some scenes may be frightening for young children

    5. Beethoven

    Beethoven The Complete Collection

    Genre: Family/Comedy
    Year Released: 1992
    Runtime: 1 hr 27 min

    Who doesn’t love a giant, lovable, slobbery, Saint Bernard? This 1992 family comedy starts when an adorable Saint Bernard puppy and several others are stolen from a pet shop. The Saint Bernard puppy manages to break free from the thieves and ends up at the doorstep of the Newton family.

    George Newton (Charles Grodin) isn’t too keen on bringing a dog into the home but his wife Alice and his children Ryce, Ted, and Emily convince him otherwise. Beethoven becomes a beloved member of the family, though struggles to win the affections of George along the way.

    His happy life is jeopardized when a veterinarian pulls a horrible scheme on the family to steal Beethoven for a deadly experiment he has been conducting. It turns out, this veterinarian has been performing cruel experiments on many dogs and it is up to Beethoven and the Newtons to try and set things right.

    Pros
    • Great for the whole family
    • Action-packed
    • Wonderful storyline
    Cons
    • Emotional scenes

    6. All Dogs Go to Heaven

    All Dogs Go To Heaven 1 and 2

    Genre: Family/Musical
    Year Released: 1989
    Runtime: 1 hr 25 min

    All Dogs Go to Heaven is a 1989 animated film that follows a German Shepherd named Charlie B. Barkin, voiced by Burt Reynolds. He is murdered by a friend, Carface Carruthers but decides to skip out on Heaven and return to Earth to get revenge on Carface and return to his best friend, Itchiford.

    Charlie ends up concocting an elaborate revenge plan that involves a young orphaned human girl named Anne-Marie. She ends up changing everything. Charlie gets the opportunity to learn a lot about the importance of friendship, love, and kindness and is faced with an important decision.

    Pros
    • Classic animated film
    • Great for the whole family
    Cons
    • Sad moments

    7. Old Yeller

    Old Yeller 2-Movie Collection

    Genre: Drama
    Year Released: 1957
    Runtime: 1 hr 23 min

    If you are looking for a classic tearjerker, Old Yeller from 1957 is a great choice. Based on the Fred Gipson children’s novel turned live-action Disney film has withstood the test of time and remained one of the most beloved dog movies for many decades.

    The film is set in the 1860s and follows the friendship between a young boy named Tommy Coates and the stray dog he adopts while his father is away on a cattle drive. As they both grow up together, Old Yeller proves what an impact he has on Tommy, even saving his life, and ends up a beloved member of their family.

    Keep your tissues ready, as this film covers the hard realities of dog ownership in the old days and the difficult circumstances surrounding it.

    Pros
    • Great storyline
    • All-time classic
    Cons
    • Tearjerker

    8. The Fox and the Hound

    The Fox and the Hound 1 & 2

    Genre: Family/Comedy
    Year Released: 1997
    Runtime: 1 hr 38 min

    Another Walt Disney classic that is highly recommended is The Fox and the Hound. It tells the story of a little rescued fox named Tod and a hound named Copper that become fast friends when they are little and pledge their loyalty to each other.

    Copper is owned by a hunter and is brought up and trained as a hunting dog. The two end up as enemies with Copper setting out to hunt Tod. Thankfully, their prior friendship ends up being Tod’s savior, but this film doesn’t give the happily ever after we all hope for. It teaches us that co-existing is not always so easy and highlights issues like prejudice.

    This 1997 animated film is worth a watch and is a beloved favorite among dog lovers and Disney enthusiasts.

    Pros
    • Classic Disney film
    • Teaches about differences
    Cons
    • Bittersweet ending

    9. Marley & Me

    Marley And Me

    Genre: Family/Comedy
    Year Released: 2008
    Runtime: 1 hr 55 min

    This heartfelt family comedy is based on the book by John Grogan that follows, Jenny (Jennifer Aniston) and John, (Owen Wilson) through 13 years of ups, downs, and everything in between. As newlyweds, the couple brings home an adorable but high-strung, out-of-control Yellow Labrador named The Fox and the Hound.

    Marley may cause a lot of stress and destruction, but he is a member of the family that is there with them from start to finish, through all life has to offer. You are almost guaranteed to cry, as this does follow the family through the love and companionship of Marley’s lifetime.

    Pros
    • Wonderful storyline
    • Fun for the family
    Cons
    • Tearjerker

    10. Lassie

    Lassie

    Genre: Family/Drama
    Year Released: 1994
    Runtime: 1 hr 35 min

    This 1994 live-action family drama is based on the well-known and beloved series, Lassie. The city-dwelling Turner family are on their way to start a new life in Virginia on a sheep farm. During the trip, they are delayed by an accident on the highway that resulted in the death of a truck driver.

    The family notices the deceased truck driver’s abandoned Collie on the roadways and decides to adopt her. This film follows the bonds formed with Lassie as the Tuners work to adjust to life in the country. Their beloved new Collie sure does help them along the way.

    Lassie remains a well-known classic thanks to the faithful dog that is always putting her owner’s safety above her own.

    Pros
    • Loved by wany
    • Based on the old TV series
    • Happy movie
    Cons
    • There may be some inappropriate words for children

    11. Balto

    Balto 3-Movie Adventure Pack

    Genre: Family/Adventure
    Year Released: 1995
    Runtime: 1 hr 18 min

    This 1995 animated family film tells the story of Balto, an unlikely hero during a deadly diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska during the dead of winter. The medicine needed to save the lives of the sick is located hundreds of miles away and the only way to retrieve it is by summoning a sled dog team to make the venture.

    Balto, voiced by Kevin Bacon, is a half-wolf dog that is not so popular among the other sled dogs. When the other dogs get lost in the snow on the way to the medicine, Balto risks his own life to rescue them and deliver the medicine back to the town.

    This is a beloved family favorite that is loosely based on the true story of a wolf hybrid named Balto that has a statue in New York City.

    Pros
    • Based loosely on a true story
    • Great for the whole family
    Cons
    • Some were disappointed storyline didn’t match the true story of Balto

    12. A Dog’s Purpose

    A Dog's Purpose

    Genre: Comedy/Drama
    Year Released: 2017
    Runtime: 2 hrs

    Based on the book written by Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose is a very touching movie about following a boy’s beloved dog, voiced by Josh Gad, through several reincarnations. He goes through all sorts of good and bad experiences as he makes his way through several very different lifetimes.

    He learns what is most important in life by living several different lives, eventually making his way back to where he belongs and proving that true bonds are never broken, even with death. Make sure to keep the tissues handy for this one. It is a very touching film from a very interesting perspective.

    Pros
    • Interesting storyline
    • Happy ending
    Cons
    • Tearjerker

    13. My Dog Skip

    My Dog Skip

    Genre: Family/Drama
    Year Released: 2000
    Runtime: 1 hr 35 min

    My Dog Skip is a great movie that is based on the autobiographical book by Willie Morris. This movie tells you the story of Willie Morris when he was given a Jack Russell Terrier, named Skip for his 9th birthday.

    Skip changes Willie’s life in many ways by helping him make unlikely friends and even a new girlfriend. You get to follow the pair through their adventures, both good and bad, all the way up to the very end. It shines a light on just how impactful our four-legged friends truly are in our lives.

    Pros
    • Great movie about a boy and his dog
    • Based on true events
    Cons
    • Tearjerker

    14. Lady and the Tramp

    Lady and the Tramp

    Genre: Family/Comedy
    Year Released: 1955
    Runtime: 1 hr 16 min

    Lady and the Tramp is a Disney classic from 1955 that you do not want to miss. Best known for the iconic spaghetti scene, this movie revolves around Lady, the spoiled cocker spaniel that feels displaced when her owners bring home a new baby.

    Lady finds herself out on the streets and ends up befriending Tramp, a stray mutt that acts as her protector. Though they are very different from one another, romance blooms and you get to follow the pair through some intense drama and redemption of Tramp’s reputation.

    Pros
    • Disney classic
    • Happy ending
    Cons
    • More mild Disney movie

    15. Max

    Max

    Genre: Family
    Year Released: 2015
    Runtime: 1 hr 51 min

    This live-action film was released in 2015 and is a very popular family movie that tells the tale of Max, a hardy Belgian Malinois military dog that helped American Marines in Afghanistan. After his handler, Kyle Wincott is killed during the war, Max suffers from severe stress and is unable to return to duty.

    Max returns to the United States and is adopted by his handler’s family. Kyle’s teenage brother Justin is struggling with his issues and does not want anything to do with the dog. However, Max ends up being the key to unraveling a mystery. With the help of a dog-savvy friend of Justin’s, Justin and Max end up forming a bond.

    The story follows the two through the ups and downs that ultimately reveal how much they truly needed one another.

    Pros
    • Interesting storyline
    • Shed light on military dogs
    Cons
    • Not the best for young kids

    16. Where the Red Fern Grows

    Where the Red Fern Grows

    Genre: Drama
    Year Released: 1974
    Runtime: 1 hr 37 min

    This 1974 favorite is set in the Ozark Mountains during the Great Depression. A young Billy Colman wants nothing more than a pair of Redbone Coonhounds to take hunting. He spends his time working odd jobs to gather up the money to pay for two puppies.

    Thanks to a tree carving he noticed while picking up the puppies, he decided to name the dogs Little Ann and Old Dan. With help from his grandfather, Billy teaches his dogs to hunt, and they quickly become very successful, avid hunters that are fiercely loyal to Billy and one another.

    This story ends as a tearjerker that will tug at your heartstrings, but this beautiful story has kept this film one of the most well-revered dog movies of all time.

    Pros
    • Story from the 1860s
    • Highly-Reviewed classic
    Cons
    • Tearjerker

    17. Air Bud

    Air Bud

    Genre: Family/Comedy
    Year Released: 1997
    Runtime: 1 hr 37 min

    A young boy named Josh moves to a small town in Washington after losing his father. He’s the new kid in town and struggles to fit in. He loves basketball but is much too shy to try out for his school’s basketball team.

    He ends up befriending a surprisingly talented stray Golden Retriever that he names Buddy. It turns out Buddy is a great basketball player himself. Josh eventually tries out and makes the team and Buddy are named the Team Mascot. Josh and Buddy become the stars of the halftime show and get a lot of media attention.

    The attention catches the attention of Buddy’s former owner, and the two new friends are at risk of being separated for good. This 1997 film is a great family favorite that focuses on cooperation, teamwork, and the importance of friendship.

    Pros
    • Great for kids
    • Includes sports and teamwork
    Cons
    • Some complained there were a lack of captions

    18. Turner and Hooch

    Turner & Hooch

    Genre: Comedy/Crime
    Year Released: 1989
    Runtime: 1 hr 37 min

    In this 1989 crime comedy, Tom Hanks stars as Detective Scott Turner, an uptight police officer that hopes to leave his small California town to move on to life in the big city. When his friend Amos Reed is killed, Turner inherits his French Mastiff, Hooch.

    Turner is not so excited to have this new canine companion but realizes that Hooch may be the key to solving his friend’s murder. Though reluctant, Turner learns to adjust to his new chaotic life with Hooch and ends up with a loyal friend that gives the ultimate sacrifice to save his life.

    Pros
    • Classic crime movie from the 80s
    • Touching storyline
    Cons
    • Tearjerker
    • Not as kid-friendly as others on this list

    19. Scooby-Doo: The Movie

    Scooby Doo Moive

    Genre: Family/Comedy
    Year Released: 2002
    Runtime: 1 hr 26 min

    This live-action movie from 2002 catches up with Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby 2 years after Mystery Inc. disbanded on a bad note. The gang is individually summoned to a hip spring break destination called Spooky Island to investigate a series of paranormal happenings.

    The gang is unaware that the others have been invited and aren’t too happy to run into each other. They end up discovering that the young visitors are being affected in very unusual ways. It is not long before they all realize that to solve this mystery, they will need each other’s help.

    With some body-swapping, monsters, and a very unexpected culprit, the gang solves the mystery and decides they are better off together. This is a great movie for the whole family.

    Pros
    • Great for the whole family
    • Happy ending
    • Hilarious, feel-good movie
    Cons
    • Some were disappointed it wasn’t done as a cartoon

    20. Alpha

    Alpha

    Genre: Drama/History
    Year Released: 2018
    Runtime: 1 hr 36 min

    Based in prehistoric times, set in the last Ice Age, a young man named Keda struggles to return home after being separated from his tribe during a buffalo hunt. He comes across a lone wolf that shares his struggle and they form a bond that changes the future of man and wolf. The two must rely on each other for survival and to make their way home before the arrival of winter.

    Alpha is an interesting movie that was created to show how dogs wound up as man’s best friend. This movie won’t be ideal for the kids, as it is much more geared toward an adult audience. The movie does not have spoken language, but constructed languages with subtitles.

    Pros
    • Interesting storyline
    • Packed with adventure
    Cons
    • Not for kids
    • Dialogue in constructed languages

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    Conclusion

    We hope you liked our top-20 flicks featuring our favorite characters—dogs! For a recap of our top picks, we have Milo and Otis, which is a great story for all animal lovers that offers a great dose of comedy and adventure with a happy ending. Benji is a beloved classic that comes at a great value for your money when purchasing or renting. It is heartwarming and great for the entire family.

    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is an all-time favorite that is adventure-packed, heartwarming, and gets wonderful reviews.

    Whichever movie you choose to watch as you snuggle up on the couch and eat your popcorn, you can rest assured it will be a good one!


    Featured Image Credit: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock

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