There have been many films over the years that involved animal stars like the Jungle Cruise. Some were awesome, and some not very much.
But there are always those few special ones that can make you cry at times or get up on your seat and cheer! So here’s our list of the top 12 movies with animals as the main characters.
- The Fox and the Hound (1981): One of Disney’s classics made back in 1981 is still seen by many as one of their best ever movies. It follows a young fox called Todd, who befriends an adorable hound called Copper. They become best friends despite the fact that once they’re fully grown, one will have to kill the other. Tragic much?
- The Lion King (1994): This is another one of Disney’s most famous movies around! At first glance, the Lion King doesn’t seem much different from other classic princess tales, but what makes this one so special and stand out are the animals that are involved – particularly Simba, Mufasa, and Scar. Some great voice actors and some amazing songs make for quite a fun time watching this as an adult, too – there were several times you will surely found yourself singing along.
- The Black Stallion (1979): This is another one of those movies that your parents probably loved back in the day, but you only started to appreciate when you grew up. This story was about a boy and a horse – brought together by chance after a shipwreck – trying to survive on a deserted island. It’s an incredible tale of friendship between these two characters who had nothing in common initially but end up sharing an unbreakable bond.
- All Dogs go to Heaven (1989): This movie is based on a popular novel called “Bless the Beasts and Children,” this is another classic 90s movie which tells the story of Charlie B Baran, who has just died and gone to heaven; however, his best friend dog doesn’t make it and has to find a way to go back. Of course, being the good-hearted boy that Charlie is, he agrees to help his furry friend, and together they embark on a wild adventure.
- You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008): A movie that doesn’t appear particularly compelling at first glance but will grow on you as you start watching it—and then creep up behind you when you least expect it! It’s about an Israeli bomb disposal expert who fakes his own death so he can move to the USA under a new identity – where he becomes a hairdresser.
- The Rescuers (1977): Based on a novel written 20 years earlier of the same name, this is another Disney classic that tells the tale of some mice friends trying to save an orphan girl from having her eyes cut out by a villain. The film won two Oscars back in the 70s, and one of them went to Bernadette Peters for best actress in supporting role. Despite being over 30 years old, it’s still worth watching!
- A Dog’s Purpose (2017): This could easily have gone into our top 3 if not number 1 because it was just that good! It follows the life of one particular dog as he lives through various owners and experiences. It’s a story of love, loyalty, and friendship between man and his best friend – and finding yourself along the way.
- American Sniper (2014): This is one of those movies where you feel slightly guilty for getting such pleasure out of it because it’s based on a true story about someone who gave their life for their country. But don’t let that put you off watching this fantastic movie starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, an American sniper during the Iraq war who was credited with more kills than any other US soldier in history but feared being taken advantage of when he came back to live among others.
- Finding Nemo (2003): Another classic from Pixar that tells the story of a clownfish (voiced by Albert Brooks) who sets out on an epic journey to rescue his son from an Australian sea-park after being captured during one of his most daring escapades. Some seriously fantastic underwater scenes make this movie quite spectacular to watch, and it also has quite a good message about protecting nature too.
- Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009): This is the first time that Richard Gere has made an appearance on our list – and it’s because of one particular scene in this movie that proves why he just might be one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors. The film itself tells a story about a man who sets out to train his dog to be loyal and obedient even when he dies, but after spending every day for 10 years waiting for him at the train station, the dog becomes heartbroken without its owner.
- The Jungle Book (2016) Disney doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to creating fantastic new movies built upon classic stories we all know and love, and The Jungle Book is no different. This 2016 reboot was a visual masterpiece with some incredibly realistic characters throughout, including Neel Sethi as Mowgli and Bill Murray as Baloo the bear. A great movie for all ages; you’ll love it from start to finish!
Bonus: Snow Dogs (2002): This comedy-drama follows a dentist who has lived all his life in Michigan without ever seeing snowfall until one day he gets a call from his mother back home saying that her neighbor needs someone to adopt their dog for two weeks because they’re going away – however when he gets there and finds out that it would be rude not to take care of this ‘dog’ after she’d gone to all that trouble, he embarks on a journey to Alaska with some very furry friends in tow.
This is one of those blog posts that’s practically impossible to write without smiling because the topic is so much fun. It takes a lot more words than usual to tell you about every movie we’ve listed here and why it’s worth watching, but rest assured that The Jungle Book (2016) and Finding Nemo are amazing and deserve a place on this list!
Joe McLean is one of the lead editors at Nerdy Writers. He consults with the professional writing service alongside other veteran academic writers and editors. You can see some of his work here. Outside the professional work, Joe enjoys playing basketball and cycling.
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