With mutts all over our screens in John Wick 3, A Dogs Journey, Paw Patrol and more, which of films furry friends can defrost the most mettles?

16. John Wick( 2014)

Russian mobsters kill Daisy, the beagle puppy left to John Wick by his late wife. The sadness of the puppy death is offset by Wick going on to kill everyone who had anything to do with it, which establishes you feel better.

15. I Am Legend( 2007)

This third adjustment of Richard Matheson’s 1954 sci-fi classic about the last man alive cravenly misconstrues the novel’s premise, but clutches in its early stages, as Will Smith zooms around a depopulated Manhattan in a red-faced Mustang with Sam, his trusty German shepherd, riding shotgun. Alas, Sam get pierced by a zombie hound and has to be put down. It’s all downhill from there.

14. Frankenweenie( 2012)

Young Victor Frankenstein fetches his dead dog Sparky back to life in this Tim Burton animation which is let down by some gratuitous anti-cat propaganda and a cop-out culminating that fails to elicit Corpse Bride levels of weeping. Sparky looks like an animated parsnip, but it is hard not to- no pun purposed- root for him.

13. Eight Below( 2006)

Six Siberian huskies and two malamutes are stranded in Antarctica and have to fend for themselves against the elements( and a frightening seal) while Paul Walker tries to find the money to produce them residence. Spoiler: not all the dogs make it, but be thankful it isn’t the original Japanese survival drama this was based on, where the canine body count was devastating.

12. Turner and Hooch( 1989)

The best of the cop’n’canine friend subgenre, with Tom Hanks presenting a mini masterclass in ad-libbing opposite a jowly, slobbering dogue de Bordeaux, a good son whose devotion to his human partner ultimately starts above and beyond the call of duty.

11. Fluke( 1995)

Matthew Modine dies in a auto gate-crash and is reincarnated as a miscoloured golden retriever “whos got” busted out of Ron Perlman’s cosmetics-testing lab by a streetwise St Bernard-retriever cross called Rumbo, was put forward by Samuel L Jackson. Alas, Rumbo takes a bullet during the escape. Source material was a non-horror novel by James Herbert, better known as the author of The Rats and The Fog.

Blond ambition … Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston document 15 years in hound Marley’s life. Photograph: Rex/ 20 th Century Fox/ Everett

10. Marley& Me( 2008)

Journalists Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, so blond and elegant they nearly look like labradors themselves, get a labrador pup but fail to train it properly, this is why it destroys substance and slams over Kathleen Turner. Fifteen years and three kids later, it is time for that one last-place stay to the vet:” You’re a great puppy, Marley .” Cue tearful breakdown of hitherto sceptical viewer.

9. All Dogs Go to Heaven( 1989)

Burt Reynolds provides the voice of a roguish German shepherd announced Charlie who is killed by his business partner( a pitbull-bulldog cross) but returns to Earth to rescue an orphan in this noirish Don Bluth animation boasting puppies running casinos- a terrifying vision of inferno with an unabashedly nostalgic ending.

8. Wendy and Lucy( 2008)

Michelle Williams performances a penniless gypsy whose auto breaks down in a small Oregon town, where she gets arrested for trying to shoplift a can of bird-dog nutrient for Lucy, her golden-brown mixed multiplied. The dog doesn’t die in Kelly Reichardt’s achingly pathetic description of the sort of marginal live you don’t often see in American films, but the cinema will leave you in bits anyway.

7. My Dog Skip( 2000)

A nostalgic but far from rose-tinted memoir about grown up in 1940 s Mississippi, where the eponymous jack russell assists a son overcome his shyness. The fund stage for sad-dog-film completists is the one where an ageing, arthritis-suffering Skip( played by Frasier’s Eddie) tries to climb on to a bunked, and fails.

6. Umberto D( 1952)

For times, I refused to watch Vittorio De Sica’s neorealist masterpiece about a hard-up pensioner expelled from his room in Rome, because I was convinced that Flike, his jack russell, dies at the end. Well, spoiler alerting: Flike survives! But it is impossible not to sob your middle out anyway, especially when the poor old geezer tries to find a new residence for his beloved pooch.

5. Dean Spanley( 2008)

Sam Neill romps a rector whose desire of Hungarian tokay triggers recollections about his past life as a Welsh springer spaniel called Wag in this delightful Edwardian fantasy, changed from a novella by Anglo-Irish writer Lord Dunsany. It all terminates in father-son reconciliation and a blub-worthy denouement.

4. Lassie Come Home( 1943)

Little Roddy McDowall’s parents are so broke they have to sell their rough collie( giving full play to a son puppy announced Pal) to a luxury aristocrat. But, is assisting little Elizabeth Taylor, Lassie escapes and treks from Scotland to Yorkshire, having lots of adventures, one of them involving a loyal but doomed little terrier called Toots.

Station master … Hachi: A Dog’s Tale Photograph: Allstar/ Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

3. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale( 2009)

Richard Gere gamblings a New England music professor who attachments with an akita puppy, with causes that extend from heartwarming to heartrending. This is the Hollywood version of the history of the loyal hound commemorated by a bronze outside Tokyo’s Shibuya station, waiting eternally for the captain who will never arrive. A five-Kleenex weepie to contender Futurama’s notorious Jurassic Bark episode.

2. The Plague Dogs( 1982)

Like Watership Down, this animated denunciation of man’s inhuman treatment of animals was adapted by Martin Rosen from a Richard Adams novel, and is guaranteed to traumatise not just younger observers, but many adults as well. Rowf( labrador desegregate) and Snitter( smooth fox terrier, was put forward by John Hurt) escape from a research lab in the Lake District and evade capture with the aid of a wily fox. The film remains with Adams’s original resolve, which his publishers urged him to rework into something a little more cheerful.

1. Old Yeller( 1957)

A stray yellow dog( played by Spike, a labrador retriever and mastiff mix) bails with their own families of farmers in postbellum Texas. After saving terms of human from enraged endures, wild boars and mad cows, the” best doggone dog in the west” finally goes pierced by a fanatic wolf, leading to a tear-jerking conclusion at the business end of a shotgun exerted by little Tommy Kirk. If “youve had” tears, prepare to shed them here.


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