When settling down for a home movie night with the whole family, there’s likely to be some debate on what to watch. Maybe the girls want to watch their favorite princess movie again, but the boys want some action-packed sci-fi. It can be hard finding some common ground that everyone can agree on. However, if there’s one type of movie that we’re sure the whole family will love, it’s a pet-themed movie. They are generally wholesome and fun and teach your children lessons about friendship’s importance, making them the perfect movie night solution. The only risk is for your children to start asking for a puppy.
Over the years, Disney has put out a number of animated pet movie classics such as 101 Dalmatians, Lady and the Tramp, and The Aristocats that we’re sure your kids have watched a hundred times already. However, we have for you a top 5 pet-themed movies we’re looking back for some feature films that your kids have probably never seen before but deserve a family cinema night.
1. Air Bud
After moving to a new state with his recently widowed mother and little brother, high schooler Josh is left feeling alone and adrift as he struggles to adapt to all of the new changes in his life. Things take a turn, however, when he takes in a golden retriever stray named Buddy, whose talents with a basketball will not only help him make friends but also show him the skills he had inside all along.
Air Bud is like the gift that keeps on giving, with 14 total movies centered around teamwork, friendship, and family lessons. While nothing can top the original in our opinion, this multi-talented pooch also tackles sports like football, soccer, and volleyball throughout his series of movies. The Air Buddies spin-offs that focus on Buddy’s sport savvy offspring are also great for young children.
2. Homeward Bound
This classic tale of bravery and loyalty focuses on Shadow, a wise golden retriever, Chance, an adventurous bulldog, and Sassy, a curious cat. They are left by their owners to stay at a friend’s ranch while they are off on vacation. Worried that their owners have left them there for good, these three spunky pets decide to take matters into their own hands and find their way home through the California wilderness. Facing off against bears, porcupines, skunks, and even park rangers, our four-legged heroes never waver from their quest to return to the children that love them.
3. Charlotte’s Web
This pick is for our non-traditional pet owners, as there are more than just dogs and cats in the world who need our love. When little Fern Arable finds out that her father intends to put down the baby piglets’ runt, she takes it upon herself to raise the baby pig as her own and names him Wilbur. A farm pig’s life is fraught with danger, but Wilbur and his friends band together to show everyone just how special a pig can be. Originally a book by E.B. White, this movie can bring your child’s bedtime story to life on the screen.
4. Because of Winn-Dixie
Another movie based on a beloved children’s book, Because of Winn-Dixie, centers around 10-year-old Opal, who has recently moved in with her father in a small Floridian town. Finding it difficult to make friends in a new place, Opal decides to take in the rambunctious pup she discovers one day at the Winn-Dixie grocery store. With the help of her new four-legged companion, Opal soon makes friends with a colorful cast of characters from around her new town and even begins to repair her relationship with her father. If your children enjoy this movie, then they might also enjoy reading the book by Kate DiCamillo.
We may think that our dogs are superheroes, but this pooch believes he is one. The star of his hit show, Bolt, feels that the powers he has on TV also have in real life. Under the impression that his owner, Penny, is in danger, Bolt escapes from his trailer and sets off on a cross-country adventure to save her and a few friends he makes along the way, Mittens the cat and Rhino, the hamster.
The great thing about pet-themed movies is that there are so many out there for your family to enjoy, whether you’re watching a Disney animated classic or one of the many other films that almost made it onto our list, such as Fly Away Home, Beethoven, or Hotel for Dogs. No matter what you choose to watch, just make sure to include the whole family, even if they are furry (or feathered, or scaley).