By ‘pet films’, we don’t exactly mean films that you should show to your pet while you find something else to do, although we highly encourage watching them alongside your favourite animal(s). In order not to start another cats versus dogs debate of international proportions, we offer some cat films, some dog films, some hybrids, and some all-encompassing mixes.
Beethoven is the classic 90s family-friendly comedy, and so is the second film. And the third. And the fourth. And the fifth. You get the point. A well-loved St Bernard finds himself in the middle of a dog-napping hit, and must do his best to escape.
This one is also a real classic of the 90s, centred around a pig. Raised by sheepdogs, Babe is not your typical pig, as he accomplishes tasks that his fellow brethren would likely have no idea how to even start. A highlight about this film is that it won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects – not something you still see nowadays in pig-centred productions.
This Walt Disney animation might not be regarded as one of the studio’s best, but it has plenty of fans who dearly love it. A little over an hour long, The Aristocats follows a family of felines residing in Paris, and has all the things you’d expect for such a context, including famous landmarks, kidnappers and butlers with suspicious motives.
You’ll be very shocked to find out an unimaginable truth about this one: it posits the idea that pets have… a secret life! It has its funny moments, its cute moments, and its ‘oh no, not again’ moments. And while it might not be a masterpiece, it’s a recent pet-centred film that still deserves attention. It’s far, far from the quality of ‘Zootopia’, but we didn’t include that one here given the fact that it’s not a pet film per se.
Another real Disney classic, this short animation tells the love story between a Cocker Spaniel and a mixed breed stray. It’s a feelgood, beautifully-drawn film that set a very high standard more than half a century ago, and still holds up wonderfully all that time later.
How should we call a film about cats and dogs? Somebody had a great idea, it seems, although given the amount of espionage and psychological warfare that goes on between the two most popular animals in the world, a more telling title would have been ‘Cats vs Dogs’. With voiceovers from actors such as Alec Baldwin and Tobey Maguire, the animation might have only received a lukewarm approach, but it’s still perfectly able to make a dull evening instantly enjoyable.
This one is a real testament to dogs’ loyalty and ceaseless devotion to their owners, and should by no means be missed. Based on a real life story that took place in Japan, Hachi should definitely be savoured alongside your faithful dog. And even if it isn’t, I can almost guarantee that you’ll run in search of your dog and give it a hug before the credits roll.
The last entry on the list is a bit of an outlier when compared to the others, but I simply couldn’t resist placing it here. I am perfectly aware that Jim Carrey’s comedic style is not exactly for everyone, but I personally love it and I grew up with this film and its sequel (even better, I would say) and hold them in extremely high regard as a pinnacle of comedy. And it has the word ‘pet’ in the title, so you can’t argue against it having a spot here.