National Pet Day: 8 adorable pet movies to watch with the family

To celebrate National Pet Day, we've rounded up eight adorable pet movies that made us all go 'awwww!'


1. One Hundred And One Dalmatians

One of Disney's most enduringly popular hits, this adaptation of Dodie Smith's novel turned tail-wagging Dalmatians into the most popular dog breed on the planet. Even in the face of classic, cackling villain Cruella De Vil, the fun-loving pooches more than hold their own.

The movie was remade in live-action in 1996 with a deliciously ripe performance from Glenn Close as Cruella. And in 2021, La La Land Oscar-winner Emma Stone shows us how the character came to be in origin story Cruella.

2. The AristoCats

This Disney classic revolves around a family of pampered felines who find themselves abandoned on the outskirts of Paris. On their travels back to their mistress, they come across wisecracking alley cat O'Malley, voiced by The Jungle Book favourite Phil Harris.

If any movie made cats cool (let's not forget, O'Malley loves a bit of jazz), it was this one. Isn't it time we got the live-action remake?

3. Beethoven

Doing for massive, slobbery St Bernards what 101 Dalmatians did for, well, dalmatians, this madcap comedy holds a special place in audiences' hearts.

When an American family takes in a four-legged addition to their brood, father Charles Grodin must overcome his dog-hating tendencies – when he finally does, it's super-cute.

4. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

This popular family adventure was a feast for animal lovers as two dogs and a cat trek across America to be reunited with their owners.

On vocal duties are veteran Oscar winners Don Ameche and Sally Field, and Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox. The movie was so successful it spawned a 1996 sequel: Lost in San Francisco.

5. Air Bud

What's better than a Golden Retriever? Answer: a Golden Retriever that can play basketball. The adorable and intelligent dog breed takes centre-stage in the first of several Air Bud movies, in which the eponymous canine, Air Buddy, shows an unexpected knack for sports.

The first film was such a hit that it spawned a tail-wagging franchise, in which the title character learns the ins and outs of American football, baseball and more besides.

6. Marley and Me

Adapted from journalist John Grogan's bestseller, this is the fun-filled story of one family's life with the world's most destructive labrador.

As the eponymous Marley trashes the furniture, poops on the carpet and much more besides, he nevertheless becomes a close companion to the central characters played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston. The inevitable goodbye is a real tear-jerker.

7. Rio

It's not all about cats and dogs, you know. This hit 2011 animation (and its lesser 2014 sequel) explores the adventures of a domesticated macaw Blue, unmistakably voiced by The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg, as he finds himself lost in the samba-infused sprawl of Rio De Janeiro.

Anne Hathaway voices Blue's spontaneous opposite and eventual sweetheart, Jewel, and both characters re-appeared in 2014 sequel Rio 2.

8. The Secret Life Of Pets

What do our beloved pets get up to behind closed doors? That Toy Story-esque premise is applied to dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, rabbits and a lot more in this smash-hit animation from Illumination, the team behind Despicable Me. In 2019, The Secret Life Of Pets 2 reprised the scenario, and got us all keeping a very close eye on our animal companions.

What are your favourite pet movies? Let us know @Cineworld.