From zany comedies to animated adventures and heart-tugging dramas, pets have stolen the show in movies of all stripes.
Sharon Knolle, who has written about movies for outlets such as Variety and USA Today for 20 years, says movies about pets are so beloved—and in turn, very financially viable—because they are perhaps the only outlet through which we can see the world from a pet’s point of view.
“Most people grew up with cats or dogs, and they’re very often our best friends, so millions of people can relate to loving and losing a pet,” Knolle says. “And they can only ever talk to us in the movies!”
Continue reading for ten of our favorite movie pets who, by the time the end credits roll (or even before), you’ll wish you could take home.
Buddy from “Air Bud”
Not only is he a loyal golden, but he’s also a basketball star. Just a day or two with Buddy ought to improve your jump shot significantly.
Mr. Jinx from “Meet the Parents”
Like Buddy, this Himalayan brings more to the table than most other movie pets. In this case, he’s the only feline we know of who can use and flush a human toilet, opposable thumbs be damned. No word on if Greg (Ben Stiller) actually did try to milk Mr. Jinx, but he should be OK regardless.
Toothless from “How to Train Your Dragon”
Though he’s an animal that doesn’t exist in the real world, this Dreamworks Animation creation takes Knolle’s theory on why we love movies about pets a step further. Where many films take dogs or cats and put them into situations that we as humans relate to, this film takes a fictional animal and puts him into a situation we associate with most dogs and cats. The result is a beautiful movie that perhaps encapsulates better than any other on this list what it’s like to own and love an animal.
Dug from “Up”
We’re not entirely sure what breed Dug, another animated animal, is supposed to be, but he’s fiercely loyal and extremely curious, and while he’s perhaps a little energetic for some—SQUIRREL!—there’s always the cone of shame.
Sassy from “Homeward Bound”
There’s no shortage of candidates from this beloved 1990s classic. Chance is an American bulldog with a heart of gold. Shadow is the golden who never gives up. But Sassy is the out-of-her-comfort zone Himalayan cat who nonetheless perseveres in an incredibly challenging situation (and she’s the only one of the three who careens off a waterfall and survives … so pretty tough cat!)
Babe from “Babe”
Or “Pig” as his owner affectionately refers to him. What’s great about Babe is that he’s a unifier. Whether you throw him into your house with dogs, cats, sheep, birds, or lizards, he ought to find common ground. He can also warm even the coldest of souls, Knolle says, recalling the scene in which James Cromwell breaks out in dance to cheer up his ailing pig.
Uggie from “The Artist”
We didn’t actually hear much from this Jack Russell Terrier in the movie, but that’s because “The Artist” is a silent film, and we didn’t hear much from anyone. Still, Uggie stole America’s collective heart in the world of the film and even got to accept an Oscar with the film’s human star, Jean Dujardin, in 2012.
Jones from “Alien”
Originally brought aboard the Nostromo as a form of rodent control, this ginger American Shorthair cat became the closest companion to Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley after the two were the only living things to survive the attack of the xenomorph in the 1979 sci-fi horror classic.
The Geese from “Fly Away Home”
When these unlikely pets hatch from their abandoned eggs, the first thing they see is a young Anna Paquin, leading them to believe she’s their mother. Knolle loves this family-friendly story, in which Paquin devise a way to teach them to fly and, eventually, migrate south.
Einstein from “Back to the Future”
This shaggy sheepdog was the first living being to travel through time. He’s also easy-going enough to live with and love the crazy Doc Brown, so it stands to reason he could deal with a lot around your house without putting up much of a fuss.