10 of the Best Canine Stars in Kid’s Movies (Dog Stars!)

Best dogs starring in kids’ movies: What was your favourite movie when you were younger? Children’s movies are enjoyable and exciting, filled with plenty of action, adventure and comedy.

But in amongst all the fun and games, almost always there is an animal to be found. And from loveable pups to animated favorites, dogs are one of the most popular animals in kid’s movies.

As we’re feeling reminiscent, here are ten of our favourite canine movie stars. Why not take the opportunity to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and a bowl of popcorn and catch up on some of your childhood favourites this season?


The loveable St Bernard is the star of the Beethoven films, starting with the 1992 children’s comedy flick. Starring Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt, the movie centres around Beethoven, a St Bernard named after the classical composer of the same name. During the sequel, the St Bernard puppies starring in the film reportedly grew so fast that over 100 different pups were cast in the role of the movie’s four puppies!


toto dorothy dog

Terry (not a Yorkie!) the Cairn Terrier appeared in the grand total of 16 movies, the most famous of which was her portrayal of Toto opposite Judy Garland’s Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in 1939. Owned and trained by Carl Spitz, it seemed as though little Terry was always destined for stardom.

In fact, The Wizard of Oz proved to be so popular that Terry’s name was officially changed to Toto several years after her starring role. Sadly, Terry passed away in 1945, but her memory lives on through her movie performances and the memorial dedicated to her at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Lady and the Tramp

Who doesn’t love a classic Disney movie? The 1955 animated movie follows two dogs, Lady and the Tramp. The two come from vastly different worlds but are soon introduced and come together through a series of circumstances. Whether you prefer Tramp, the scruffy stray, or Lady, the refined pampered pooch, the Lady and the Tramp is undoubtedly an enduring family favourite.

Lady and the Tramp are the two best “dog stars” this side of Canis Minor!


One movie which never fails to bring a tear to the eye is Marley & Me. Based on the novel by John Grogan, the story follows the life of the Grogan family and their dog Marley. The yellow Labrador retriever was played by a rescue dog named Rudy from Tampa Bay – who says that rescue dogs can’t act?

101 Dalmatians:

original 101 dalmatians

101 Dalamatians Disney 1961

Arguably one of the most famous and beloved Disney films of all time, 101 Dalmatians is a surefire family favourite. The original animated classic was released in 1961, with a live-action remake hitting our screens in 1996. With so many dogs needed for the live-action movie, all that training must have been a daunting task!


Another Disney favourite, the 1981 movie The Fox and The Hound features a fox named Tod and a hound dog by the name of Copper. During the course of the movie, the two struggle to maintain their friendship against the backdrop of social pressures and basic animal instincts. Voiced by Kurt Russell, it’s no surprise that Copper is one of Disney’s best canine characters.


lassie original movie dog

Lassie Come Home!

The story of Lassie is one which has withstood the test of time, with more than ten movies as well as TV shows, radio appearances and books being released around the story. In the famous 1943 movie Lassie Come Home, the titular role was played by a Rough Collie named Pal. After his starring role, Pal went on to play Lassie in six more films before the honour was passed on to his offspring – Pal’s descendants continued to play Lassie for many years after.


One for a more modern audience, animated movie Bolt was released in 2008. Starring a dog who believes he has superpowers, Bolt is an action-packed comedy-adventure film that stars John Travolta in the titular role. What’s not to love?


The Magic Roundabout has long been a children’s favourite, with loveable pooch Doogal capturing the hearts and imaginations of kids across the globe. From the original TV series to the 2005 Magic Roundabout film and Doogal, in 2006, the character’s popularity shows no signs of waning.


air bud dunk

The star of the 1997 comedy, Air Bud, is a golden retriever named Buddy. In fact, the success of the film even sparked a whole franchise around Buddy! Found as a stray in 1989, Buddy was another pooch destined for stardom who went on to enjoy a successful career in the limelight.

Of course, it’s essential to remember that many of these movies have important lessons to teach us. From caring for your pets to the importance of the humble dog tag, there are many things we can take away from these movies. Plus, that’s not to mention one of the most important lessons of all – the relationship between children and their pets!

At the end of the day, however, one thing’s for sure. These might be movies for children, but we still love all of our favourite canine stars!

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