Top 7 Heart-Warming Dog Movies (Happy Endings Only!)
No matter the genre or movie, there’s one thing everyone can definitely agree on: dogs are always the best characters!
Hence, we have compiled a small list of dog movies that are perfect for a weekend night with your family (and furchild!). Although some of them can be absolute tear-jerkers, we promise you that all films in this list have happy endings. ;)
So grab yourself some popcorn and blankets as we introduce you to some wholesome doggo movies that will leave your heart as warm as homemade soup!
Adventure / Comedy / Drama
Runtime: 87 minutes
Beethoven, a much beloved but cheeky dog of a suburban family, finds his peaceful life destroyed by an evil veterinarian called Dr. Herman Varnick! To avoid being kidnapped by the mad vet for his deadly experiments, Beethoven decides that he’d do anything to prevent his peaceful life from being jeopardized. 🐶
Beethoven’s adventures are as chaotic as they are silly, ranging from scaring bullies to ruining barbecue parties. But it is Beethoven’s big heart that really brings the show together, even though he does end up causing a little too much mischief!
Beethoven is like that mischievous sibling that you’d absolutely loathe for the first 6 years of your childhood only for them to become your best friend as you grow older. As a child I was lowkey praying on Beethoven’s downfall because he caused so MUCH havoc in the house, but rewatching it as an adult makes him endearing somewhat — like revisiting a childhood friend that hasn't changed all that much. Also, Dr Herman Varnick reminds me of Dr Doofenshmirtz (if you know what I mean).
Overall a campy, un-serious movie that’s perfect for family night!
2. Bolt (2008)
Adventure / Comedy
Runtime: 96 minutes
Bolt has everything in life: sleek white fur, the best hooman sidekick and incredible superpowers! What he doesn’t know, however, is that he’s a canine superstar of a popular action show.
Believing himself to be invincible, Bolt finds his beliefs being put to the test when his human sidekick is threatened by a mega evil threat. Determined to save the world and his favorite person, Bolt travels across the country — only to learn that true power comes from friendship.
A super adorable Disney classic that’s suitable for all ages!
3. Isle of Dogs (2018)
Science Fiction / Drama
Language: Japanese & English
Runtime: 101 minutes
This epic stop motion animation follows the adventures of Atari Kobayashi, a 12 year old boy who hijacks a plane in a desperate search for his missing dog, Spots. When Atari ends up crash landing onto an abandoned garbage island, he finds himself becoming friends with a ferocious stray dog named Chief – who recruits other dogs to help search for Spots on the vast, dangerous island.
Isle of Dogs is bound to bring about tears and laughter with its whimsical visuals as we accompany Kobayashi’s search for his favorite paw-pal in a retro-futuristic Japan!
A beautifully crafted movie that definitely deserved all the awards it got!
4. Togo (2019)
Adventure / Historical
Runtime: 114 minutes
This movie is inspired by the true story of champion dogsled trainer Leonhard Seppala and Togo, a lead sled dog on the verge of retirement due to old age.
However, when a small town called Nome is affected by a deadly infection, Seppala and Togo find themselves tasked by the government to take part in an unprecedented and dangerous 600 mile journey across the icy cold terrain of Alaska to transport the antidote. With the odds stacked against them, will they be able to successfully pull off their mission?
The story is bound to leave you hanging on the edge of your seats as you cheer for the man / dog duo! It definitely left us with the need to hug our own doggos.
When you hear about the The 1925 Serum Run, many people would think of Balto, the lead sled dog on the final stretch into Nome. However, it was Seppala and Togo who covered much of the most dangerous parts of the route and ran the farthest.
Overall, Togo is a heartfelt story about unsung heroes that will leave you on the edge of your seats (and maybe in a bit of tears, too ><).
5. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Adventure / Comedy / Drama
Runtime: 84 minutes
The movie follows the adventures of an unlikely friend group between Chance (a young, adventurous pup), Sassy (a sarcastic cat) and Shadow (a wise old dog) when they find themselves left at home while their owners go on a holiday.
Being unsure of what happened to their favorite hoomans, the trio decides to embark on a quest across America to find their owners!
This comedy film is perfect for animal lovers to watch with their furry friends, but prepare some tissues for a few tear-jerker moments!
This film is like hugging your doggo on a rainy day – warm, fuzzy and definitely cuddly! 100% recommended for dog and cat lovers alike. ♥️
6. Rescued by Ruby (2022)
Runtime: 90 minutes
This film follows Dan, an ambitious state trooper who dreams of joining an elite K-9 unit. His continuous hard work to join the team goes unnoticed until he stumbles upon Ruby, a clever but cheeky shelter dog. With only one last shot to achieve his dreams, Dan will do whatever it takes even if it’s in the form of a seemingly impossible task — training a mischievous and hyperactive dog!
Based on the true story of an unlikely partnership between two underdogs, the interactions of Dan and Ruby as they overcome life’s challenges will definitely pull at your heartstrings and leave you wanting for more!
Rescued by Ruby is a classic story about a man and his dog – wholesome and comforting in all the best ways! The fact that the dog playing Ruby is an actual rescue dog before being euthanized just makes it better. 💓
7. Lassie (2005)
Adventure / Comedy / Drama
A family wracked by poverty is forced to sell Lassie, their beloved dog, to a rich man and his granddaughter. 500 miles away from her true family, Lassie escapes and sets out on a journey home.
While Lassie is 100% a tear-jerker that depicts the pains and perils of life in 1930s Yorkshire, it is a dog movie classic that is bound to stay with you for a long time!
Lassie is a beautifully shot movie that manages to balance humor, innocence and mature themes without being overly sappy. The on-screen chemistry amongst the cast and cinematography is marvelous, along with iconic scenes that definitely squeezed a few tears out of me.
Thanks for reading this far! We hope that this list was helpful to all dog lovers looking for a relaxing movie sesh with their loved ones~
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