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As a huge animal lover I have always been drawn towards movies about pets. The great thing is they are usually family-friendly and therefore a great way to get parents, grandparents and kids all enjoying the same activity. Even better, there are life lessons built into these movies which children absorb, without you even having to spell them out – isn’t that a win/win? Kids having a great time while learning!
This list isn’t exhaustive by any means, but there are some great titles below, many of them classics, and all worth a watch.
Get comfy on the sofa, break out the popcorn and enjoy!
Lassie Come Home is a classic. It is one of the first pet movies to have hit the big screen. A young dog is taken from her owners and finally finds her way home after many trials.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey explores the mentality of pets when their owners leave them for an indeterminate amount of time. Are they coming back? Do they really care? The movie follows a group of two dogs and a cat searching for their owner despite the many dangers.
Marley and Me is relatable to any pet owner! The story follows a dog and his two owners who are just trying to get by as writers. Fortunately for John, Marley, his dog, is just the sort of character to inspire his articles. Pretty soon, much of South Florida is following Marley’s antics through John’s column in the paper.
Doctor Dolittle is one of the quintessential ‘what if’ movies exploring pets and human communication. A doctor born with the gift of understanding and talking to animals learns to befriend them and get himself into trouble because of it. This movie not only explores animal communication, but also a range of animals from vermin to fowl to cats and dogs.
Paulie is sort of the opposite of Doctor Dolittle. Instead of one human talking to every animal, one bird can communicate with every human. This leads Paulie, the conure parrot in question, to use his gift of speech to help him travel across the US in an attempt to find his long lost love – his first owner, Marie.
The AristoCats shows how animals of all species will stick together in a true time of need. After several cats are kidnapped and presumably left for dead over legal matters, they find their way home with the aid of several different species.
Hotel for Dogs begins by introducing two kind-hearted foster children who are always getting themselves into trouble. They have a dog that they are trying to hide, and soon find the perfect opportunity to do so – in an abandoned hotel. The abandoned hotel eventually turns into a retreat for all stray dogs in the area.
Babe captures the essence of pets that want to think they are other animals. For every owner that’s had a dog that wanted to be a cat, or a cat that wanted to be a dog, this movie is essential and hilarious. In this particular tale, a pig wants to be a sheepdog.
The Adventures of Milo and Otis takes a new spin on the pet that loses his way and tries to find his way back home. Instead, this story is about a cat and dog that lose each other and set off on a journey to be reunited again. This is especially heart-warming to pet owners whose pets have a very special bond not only with their owners, but with other pets as well.
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is about a horse that refuses to be broken and the Native American man he befriends who resists the same thing. Together, they refuse to be conquered by the men who wish to suppress the Wild West. The two have a loyalty to each other that only a pet and owner could understand.