Disney Since the company’s inception in 1923, the company has created some truly magical films. The franchise has evolved tremendously over the years and has changed for the better in many ways, especially with the portrayal of dogs. It’s easy enough to make a heartwarming connection with a dog in a movie, but Disney has found a way to make it even easier.
It’s rare for Disney to develop a film without a dog. Some tend to portray these adorable dogs as the hero’s loving companions, while others prefer to keep them in the spotlight for the entire duration of the movie. No matter their purpose in the story, dogs in Disney movies will quickly touch the hearts of everyone who sees them.
10/10 Little Brother – Mulan (1998)
Although Little Brother’s onscreen time is fairly short, he’s one of Disney’s most adorable dogs. Opening of Mulan Fa sees a small mixed-breed dog helping Mulan with her daily chores by feeding the family’s cattle.
Mushu fills the animal companion role well, but there’s something endearing about the little brother. He is a carefree soul who loves nothing more than helping his owners get through their days. It would have been interesting to see him join Mulan on her adventures, but he might be better off staying home.
9/10 Max – The Little Mermaid (1989)
Related to Prince Eric, Max is an Old English Sheepdog who spends a lot The Little Mermaid sporting a smile. He is first seen bouncing around Eric’s ship excitedly before catching Ariel’s scent. His nose then widens as he tracks her down until he finds her hiding on the ship.
Instead of signaling for his master, he licks Ariel’s face before calling him back. From the outside, Max looks like nothing more than a ball of hair, but he has a huge heart hidden beneath it all. He rarely gets angry, but it’s usually for a valid reason when he does.
8/10 Nana – Peter Pan (1953)
Peter Pan Follows the story of three children who end up in a magical world thanks to a boy who never grows old. Peter Pan arrives at Darling’s residence early in the movie. His initial goal was to find and reconnect with his shadow, but things change when he meets Wendy.
Before flying to Neverland, Wendy and her two brothers lived a happy life. Their parents loved them but their dog, Nana, adored them. Nana, an adorable Newfoundland, spent many evenings getting the children ready for bed. He would tuck children into bed when their parents weren’t around to do it themselves.
7/10 Bolt – Bolt (2008)
While most dogs try to live a relatively peaceful life, Bolt longs for adventure. He believes he has superpowers and is capable of great things. Only when he is accidentally sent to New York does he slowly begin to learn about his true nature.
Even though he immediately feels something is happening, he is like magic in his life. He spends most of his time in New York trying to track down his boss, Penny, who he believes has been kidnapped by his fictional arch nemesis, Calico. Even without his powers, he refuses to stop his quest.
6/10 Zero – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas Documenting the story of a skeleton in search of something new. Jack Skellington is tired of Halloween and wants to spice things up, but he doesn’t know how. His search for something different eventually leads him to Christmas Town, a land full of joy and wonder.
Jack’s closest friend The Nightmare Before Christmas Zero is a ghostly dog with a bright red nose. Zero loves his master and will often try to steer him in the right direction. Despite worrying about his master’s state of mind throughout the narrative, he remains with him until the end.
5/10 Buster – Toy Story 2 (1999)
The climax of the original Toy Story Andy reveals he got a dog for Christmas. Woody and Buzz are initially skeptical of this new addition to the family, but it seems they grow to love the creature before the events of the sequel.
Buster is one of the sweetest dogs in movie history. He is an adorable red dachshund who loves the company of Andy’s toys. He loves Woody the most out of all of Andy’s possessions and will even perform tricks for the toy cowboy on command.
4/10 Goofy – A Goofy Movie (1995)
A stupid movie Centers around the character of Max, a young teenager obsessed with impressing his crush, Roxanne. Max has tried to woo Roxanne several times, but it was only when he played a prank on his principal that he finally managed to get her attention.
Goofy, in response to the prank, decides to bring Max on a fishing trip so the two can bond. Goofy cares deeply for Max and only wants what’s best for him, but being forced to go fishing isn’t Max’s idea of fun. Goofy spends most of the story trying to bond with his son and, although most of his efforts are met with disapproval, he never gives up.
3/10 Lady and the Tramp – Lady and the Tramp (1955)
The Lady and the Tramp Follows the story of two unlikely dogs who form an unbreakable connection. Lady, a cocker spaniel, was pampered most of her life, but things took a turn when she hit the streets. She is chased by three stray dogs until Tramp, a terrier, intervenes and saves her.
The Tramp is a vagabond and therefore has the experience of a disabled life. He offers to show Lady what it means to live freely, to which Lady obliges. Although they come from different backgrounds, they manage to see past their differences. The 2019 remake gave the adorable duo a more realistic design, but it’s hard to forget how much heart went into their original portrayal.
2/10 Copper – The Fox and the Hound (1981)
When Todd, a young fox, is left an orphan, his friends plan to adopt him. A kind-hearted widow named Tweed stumbles upon the toad and decides to bring the creature home where he eventually meets Tweed’s neighbor’s hunting dog.
The two make an instant connection, but Amos, Copper’s boss, has no interest in allowing their friendship to blossom. As a hunting dog, Copper is destined to hunt foxes when he reaches adulthood. Although he is aware of his motives, he refuses to hurt Todd.
1/10 Dog – Up (2009)
Carl and Ellie Fredrickson spent most of their lives saving up for a trip to Paradise Falls. Each time they accumulated enough money, however, they were forced to spend their savings on more important things. After Ellie’s sudden death, Carl decides to travel by himself, tying thousands of balloons to his house.
Carl makes many friends during his time in Paradise Falls, but Doug is the cutest. Unlike most golden retrievers, this unlikely dog sports an unusual collar that gives him the ability to speak. Doug is one of the healthiest dogs to grace Disney’s filmography thanks to both his great actions and his thought processes.
More: Scary Characters in Musical Movies