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The Best Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer

The Best Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer


If it feels hotter than usual outside, that’s because it is. We’re officially in peak summer — the few weeks of the year known as "the dog days of summer," when the temperature is particularly high and going outside doesn’t sound like a particularly good idea. That means it's the ideal time to turn to our favorite indoor activity: Watching movies. And what better way is there to spend the dog days of summer than watching some of our favorite dog movies?

Beethoven (1992)

Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer: Beethoven

[Image Credit: Universal Pictures]

The title character of this kids’ movie is a giant, slobbering Saint Bernard who’s every bit as lovable as he is mischievous. Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt star as a mom and dad trying to keep Beethoven’s antics under control while the slobbering pooch avoids capture by an evil veterinarian. The movie, co-created by HOME ALONE and SIXTEEN CANDLES director John Hughes, proved so popular it led to a series of sequels that featured more hijinks with Beethoven—and his adorable puppies.

Marley & Me (2008)

Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer: Marley & Me

[Image Credit: 20th Century Studios]

This heartwarming drama stars Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston as a newlywed couple who adopt a yellow lab named Marley. Their new best friend turns out to be a major handful—but he’s also one of the most important members of their growing family. Marley sticks right by their side through every major life event, joy, and heartbreak. Don’t forget tissues because this one is definitely a tearjerker.

Bolt (2008)

Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer: Bolt

[Image Credit: Walt Disney Animation]

Disney’s hit animated movie follows the adventures of a dog actor named Bolt (John Travolta) and his best friend and human co-star, Penny (Miley Cyrus). On TV, the duo play crime-fighting superheroes, but when the cameras are off, Bolt thinks he really is a super-powered dog. That confidence comes in handy when Bolt believes Penny has been kidnapped by some real-life bad guys, and embarks on a wild journey to save her.

A Dog’s Purpose (2017)

Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer:

[Image Credit: Universal Pictures]

The idea of a dog as "man’s best friend" is explored from the perspective of one canine over the course of many lifetimes in this touching drama based on the bestselling novel. Voiced by Josh Gad, Bailey is a very good boy indeed, and the film follows his life and experiences as he is reincarnated as different dogs belonging to different owners over the course of many years—each relationship giving Bailey a chance to discover a new purpose in life.

Old Yeller (1957)

Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer:

[Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

This doggone classic about a boy and his dog is an unforgettable movie experience for every young viewer. This live-action Disney movie tells the story of a teen boy named Travis and his friendship with a stray yellow lab. Old Yeller sticks by Travis’ side as he helps his mom run their Texas homestead on their own while his father is away. It’s a simple tale that helps teach kids some tough but important lessons about love and loss.

Frankenweenie (2012)

Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer:

[Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Before movies like BEETLEJUICE and BATMAN made Tim Burton a household name, he directed a short black-and-white movie called FRANKENWEENIE. Many years later, Burton revisited this kooky story in a stop-motion animated film featuring the voices of Winona Ryder and Martin Short. FRANKENWEENIE is a classic story about a boy and his dog with a Tim Burton twist: when little Victor Frankenstein’s cherished dog dies very suddenly, he uses his science expertise to bring him back.

Cujo (1983)

Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer: Cujo

[Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

For something a little more grown-up, there’s CUJO, the chilling classic based on the novel by Stephen King, the master of literary horror. The film centers on a mom (Dee Wallace) and her young son who are out running errands in their small town when they encounter a rabies-infected Saint Bernard named Cujo. Trapped in their car by the deranged dog and with no help for miles, the pair soon learn they’re going to have to put up one heck of a fight to survive.

Best in Show (2000)

Dog Movies for the Dog Days of Summer: Best in Show

[Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

On the (much) lighter side of things is this hilarious mockumentary which follows an eclectic group of dog owners as they prepare for a national dog show. BEST IN SHOW comes from the minds of filmmaker Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy and features their collaborators from other beloved mockumentaries like THIS IS SPINAL TAP and A MIGHTY WIND.

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