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 middles?

16. John Wick( 2014)

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

15. I Am Legend( 2007)

This third modification of Richard Matheson’s 1954 sci-fi classic about the last man alive cravenly misconstrues the novel’s premise, but grasps in its early stages, as Will Smith zooms around a depopulated Manhattan in a crimson Mustang with Sam, his trusty German shepherd, travelling shotgun. Alas, Sam gets bitten by a zombie puppy and has to be put down. It’s all downhill from there.

14. Frankenweenie( 2012)

Young Victor Frankenstein accompanies 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 terminating that fails to elicit Corpse Bride levels of weeping. Sparky looks like an animated parsnip, but it is hard not to- no pun aimed- root for him.

13. Eight Below( 2006)

Six Siberian huskies and two malamutes are stranded in Antarctica and have to fend for themselves against these components( and a unnerving shut) while Paul Walker tries to find the money to bring them home. 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 sidekick subgenre, with Tom Hanks generating a mini masterclass in ad-libbing opposite a jowly, slobbering dogue de Bordeaux, a good son whose devotion to his human partner eventually exits above and beyond the call of duty.

11. Fluke( 1995)

Matthew Modine dies in a vehicle disintegrate and is reincarnated as a miscoloured golden retriever who gets busted out of Ron Perlman’s cosmetics-testing lab by a streetwise St Bernard-retriever cross announced Rumbo, voiced 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 desire … Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston document 15 years in dog Marley’s life. Photograph: Rex/ 20 th Century Fox/ Everett

10. Marley& Me( 2008)

Journalists Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, so blond and shiny they virtually look like labradors themselves, get a labrador pup but fail to train it properly, so it destroys substance and whacks over Kathleen Turner. Fifteen times and three kids later, it is time for that one last trip to the vet:” You’re a great hound, Marley .” Cue tearful collapse 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 bird-dogs operating casinoes- a terrifying vision of hell with an unabashedly sentimental ending.

8. Wendy and Lucy( 2008)

Michelle Williams plays a penniless gypsy whose gondola breaks down in a small Oregon town, where she gets arrested for trying to shoplift a can of bird-dog meat for Lucy, her golden-brown desegregated breed. The dog doesn’t die in Kelly Reichardt’s achingly heartbreaking painting of the sort of marginal cosmo 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 aids a boy overcome his shyness. The money panorama 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 berthed, and fails.

6. Umberto D( 1952)

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

5. Dean Spanley( 2008)

Sam Neill plays a preacher whose ardour of Hungarian tokay initiations recollections about his past life as a Welsh springer spaniel called Wag in this delicious Edwardian fantasy, adapted from a novella by Anglo-Irish writer Lord Dunsany. It all culminates in father-son reconciliation and a blub-worthy denouement.

4. Lassie Come Home( 1943)

Little Roddy McDowall’s mothers are so broke they have to sell their rough collie( played by a son dog announced Pal) to a luxuriou aristocrat. But, is assisting little Elizabeth Taylor, Lassie flees and treks from Scotland to Yorkshire, having lots of escapades, one of them involving a loyal but fated little terrier announced Toots.

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

3. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale( 2009)

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

2. The Plague Dogs( 1982)

Like Watership Down, this animated denunciation of man’s inhumane treatment of swine was adapted by Martin Rosen from a Richard Adams novel, and is guaranteed to traumatise not just younger viewers, but numerous adults as well. Rowf( labrador concoction) 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 shrewd fox. The film fastens with Adams’s original objective, which his publishers coaxed 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 desegregate) alliances with a family of farmers in postbellum Texas. After saving its humans from angry bears, wild boars and mad moo-cows, the” best doggone bird-dog in the west” lastly goes burnt by a fanatic wolf, leading to a tear-jerking conclusion at the business end of a shotgun swung by little Tommy Kirk. If you have tears, prepare to molted them here.


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