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Got some time during the holiday break? Unwind with these highly recommended family-friendly movies with dogs for great stories and important life lessons.
11/22/2022 | Sniff & Bark
Who doesn’t love a good movie? Movies inspire us, recharge our minds, and give us a chance to take a break from our daily lives. They have the ability to transport us to different times and places, leaving us engrossed in their stories and characters.
The end-of-the-year holidays are a fantastic time to catch up on movies you may have missed during the year. Since many of us have a few days off to unwind with the family, it’s a fantastic (not to mention affordable) way to relax and spend some quality time together.
As we all have furry family members, you’ll naturally want to indulge in a movie or two that features our favorite four-legged animals. Sniff & Bark is here to help with our list of family-friendly movies with dogs you can watch during the holiday break.
Take a look and let us know which films you’re likely to check out!
Dog Movies 2022: New Releases
Starring: Channing Tatum, Ryder McLaughlin, Aavi Haas
Genres: Comedy, drama
A Channing Tatum dog movie? Sign us up! Simply entitled, Dog, this comedy-drama was released in February 2022.
It tells the story of Army Ranger Briggs and Lulu. Lulu is a Belgian Malinois military working dog whose handler recently died. In order for Lulu to make it to the funeral, Briggs and Lulu must go on a road trip from Washington to Arizona.
The journey is far from smooth as the pair drive each other crazy, end up breaking a few laws, and go on a few misadventures. Lulu’s aggression and Briggs’ seizures complicate matters.
Despite being classified as a comedy, the movie surprised moviegoers with its unexpected depth and grit.
DC League of Super-Pets
Featuring the voices of Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Kate McKinnon
Genres: Animation, adventure, action
Lex Luthor has captured the Justice League. It’s now up to a team of shelter animals, led by a Labrador Retriever named Krypto voiced by Johnson, to save them! Joining him are Merton (a turtle with lightning speed), Chip (a squirrel that can harness electricity), PB (a pig that can radically become much larger), and Ace (a super-strong hound).
Before they can accomplish their mission, however, they must master their powers and learn to work as a team.
If you think this super dog movie is only something that your kids will enjoy, this excerpt from a user review may have you thinking otherwise:
“When it comes to animated movies, this was a film that was a nice surprise and I really did enjoy the wonderful piece they brought. It is a kid's movie through and through, but the team managed to finally craft with it something all family members can enjoy.”
Christmas Dog Movies
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Starring: Jim Carrey, Kelley, Taylor Momsen
Genres: Comedy, fantasy
Narrated by Anthony Hopkins, this Dr. Seuss-inspired film tells the story of the Grinch, a recluse who hates Christmas. Accompanied by his dog Max, the Grinch is grudgingly befriended by adorable Cindy Lou Who, one of the children in the Christmas-loving village of Whoville.
After executing an elaborate plot to ruin the holiday for the residents of Whoville, the Grinch learns about the meaning of friendship and Christmas while Cindy discovers that being with people you care about is more important than material gifts.
Those looking for a classic Christmas feel-good story will enjoy watching (or rewatching) How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure
Starring: John Cleese, Kim Rhodes, Munro Chambers
Genres: Comedy, fantasy
One of Santa’s elves runs away in his sleigh, taking Santa’s bag of toys with him. Henry the elf crashes the sleigh and gets the bag stolen in the small town where Beethoven (a Saint Bernard) lives. Beethoven and the elf team up to recover the bag of toys — but can they do it in time for Christmas?
While it isn’t the most original of plots, the second to the last film in the eight-part Beethoven movie series is a funny and relaxing watch for those in need of some wholesome Christmas cheer.
Best Reboot: Clifford the Big Red Dog
Starring: Jack Whitehall, Darby Camp, Izaac Wang
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Animation
Eight-year-old Emily Elizabeth doesn’t fit in anywhere until she befriends Clifford, a small puppy that eventually becomes her best friend. Little does she know that the red vizsla she adopted will grow up to become a huge ten-foot dog! Clifford’s gigantic size piques the interest of the public, including the attention of Lyfegro, a genetics company that wants to capture and do tests on him.
Emily, her Uncle Casey, and Clifford dash across New York to keep Clifford away from the greedy clutches of Lyfegro. Along the way, the giant dog touches the lives of different people. Released in 2021, Clifford the Big Red Dog movie will teach audiences how to love generously.
Based on a book by Norman Bridwell, Clifford the Big Red Dog is a reboot of an animated series in early 2000. Kids may have been the primary audience for this movie but adults still rated it highly for being all-around enjoyable.
Good Old Classics
Starring: Gabriel Bateman, Kiele Sanchez, Darby Camp
Genres: Family, Drama, Crime
A remake of the 1974 original, Benji’s heartwarming story tells the tale of a mutt (part cocker spaniel, poodle, and schnauzer) that wanders the streets for handouts. He eventually forms a bond with two children, Carter and Franke, who try to adopt him. Their mother disapproves and tells the children to get rid of the dog.
When Carter and Frankie get kidnapped, Benji is there to save the day. Those looking for a classic movie about a dog will find their hearts full with its happy ending and lessons about friendship, courage, and kindness.
Turner and Hooch
Starring: Tom Hanks, Craig T. Nelson, Mare Winningham
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Crime
Ambitious police detective Scott Turner (Hanks) tries to solve the murder of his long-time friend Amos Reed. His biggest lead? Hooch, a French mastiff and the only witness to the crime.
Despite having little experience with dogs, Turner is compelled to temporarily adopt Hooch to prevent it from getting euthanized, resulting in a series of funny and frustrating mishaps. As the detective gets embroiled in the case and gets closer to tracking the murderer, their bond grows and he eventually adopts Hooch for good.
This lighthearted dog-cop movie from the 80s is a great watch that shows how taking care of others, even when it’s inconvenient, can have great rewards.
Great Stories with Great Lessons
What is it about dog movies that always move us? Most films with dogs in starring roles are great stories with great lessons. They explore the wonderful kinship between dogs and people, reminding us that we’re only at our best when we learn to work with others and take care of them, even if those “others” are animals.
So, if you’re looking to unwind with touching and entertaining stories, give some of these movies a try. Let us know in the comments below what you thought of them or if you have other movies to recommend. Happy viewing!