At some latitudes, summer is NOT THE VACATION WE WERE PROMISED, but an oppressive lake of heat that slowly breaks down your dignity, one drop of sweat at a time. Even worse for your pup who must pant embarrassingly like he did before he was neutered. When the temperature spikes, retreat to your well-shaded or temperature-controlled living space to cuddle up with Rex or Roxy and watch these 13 dog films available on Netflix.
PRO TIP: The Title links will carry you directly to the movie. Enjoy!
1. The Fox and the Hound – The Really Good Animated Classic
I got no jokes. The Fox and the Hound is one of those rare gems: A fun children’s flick that seems to resonate with parents of all ages. There are hilarious supporting characters built around, as Roger Ebert called it, “a rather thoughtful meditation on how society determines our behavior.” This Ebert gives it two paws way up.
2. Space Dogs – the Foreign Animated Film Filled With Cultural Oddities
Space Dogs is a Russian animated film that follows the true(ish) story of the first dogs to return from space. It is hilarious – if for no other reason than its distinctly Russian pacing and soundtrack. But it also portrays the Sputnik space program with a native pride and reverence, and even provides a brief tour of the famous Worker and Kolkhoz Woman statue that was created for the Soviet Pavilion at the 1937 World’s Fair. How bout that, Comrade?
3. Cujo – The Terrifying Horror Film
Nothing says summer like a spine-chilling horror flick. Cujo, based on Stephen King’s 1983 novel about a hulking St. Bernard turned mad by a rabid bat bite, is guaranteed to scare the saliva out of you and your dog.
4. Dogs with Jobs – The Series
Two Seasons of in-depth profiles of dogs and the people they serve. Common Sense Media says “the show also celebrates the emotional connection between humans and companion animals by highlighting their special level of co-dependence and cooperation.” The best part? The twenty-minute episodes are easily ingestible, like one large dollop of ice-cream. Get ready to binge.
5. 101 Dalmations – the Slightly Not As Good Live-Action Version of the Original
Let’s face it. The cards are stacked against any remake of a classic. But this version starring Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, and with great supporting performances by Mark Williams and Hugh Laurie, holds its own. A really fun watch. Also, don’t forget, live-action = live snuggly pups.
6/7. Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2 and 3) – the Franchise Film
Proving that there is no justice in this world, only Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and 3 are available on Netflix. These movies are hysterical. Will BHC 2 and BHC 3 make sense without having seen the first? Yes.
X. Not A Dog Movie
But you should probably re-watch Zoolander.
8. Air Bud – The Inspirational Sports Comedy
Remember, Air Bud!?!?? The sports-dominating golden retriever? Netflix has FOUR (4!) Air Bud movies! Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud Spikes Back, Air Buddies, and my personal favorite, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch. How much Bud is too much Bud? (0.08% BAC but specific laws and penalties vary substantially from state to state. Drink responsibly.)
9. Red Dog – The Movie About a Red Dog
I have not seen this movie. But, Josh Lucas of Sweet Home Alabama stars in it and I have it from many reputable sources that this is enough of a reason to see it (hubba hubba). This movie is also set in Australia, which means some characters speak like they swallowed a didgeridoo.
10. Clifford the Big Red Dog! – The Name-Adjective-Color-Dog Series
Continuing the trend of red, comes the classic Clifford The Big Red Dog, two seasons of squeaky-clean family fun. There. I said it.
11. Jock the Hero Dog – the Animated Adventure Story
This movie is awesome and you should totally see it. It’s basically a formulaic, heart-warming, coming-of-age adventure story. But stacked with an all-star cast, Jock at turns delights and moves with something approaching pathos. Also, Jock (and the soundtrack) are voiced by Bryan Adams. So there’s that.
12. Vampire Dog – The Terrible Movie You Watch to Feel Superior
Not every pitch can be a strike, but this film is so wide of the plate it is laughable. A boy adopts a 600-year-old vampire dog named Fang. You’ve just seen the movie. The only redeeming part is that Fang is played by Norm MacDonald who somehow manages to mock the film while inside it. The perfect film to watch when your AC breaks. The chill wind of smugness will keep you cool.
13. Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog – The Family Adventure Story
A young man, Angus, and his dog, Yellow, are shipwrecked off the coast of British Columbia and must fight their way through hundreds (thousands?) of miles of mountainous terrain to return home. Luckily, Angus is schooled by his father in wilderness survival skills, and Yellow is conveniently adept at certain tasks. You never really doubt (maybe a little) that they won’t make it home and thank Doge. By the end you’re so invested in Angus and Yellow that a sad ending might actually ruin your summer.