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Best Picks of Dog Father Movies


My Dog Tulip
My Dog Tulip This animated full-length feature film was adapted from J.R. Ackerley’s startling 1956 memoir that then, and even now, has a way of evoking either readers’ displeasure or intense admiration. Award winning-filmmakers Paul and Sandra Fierlinger codirected this film, and have done an artful job at bringing this eloquent study in love and adaptation to the screen. With the voices of Christopher Plummer, Isabella Rossellini and Lynn Redgrave this inimitable story of a man’s love for his dog showcases Ackerley’s determined efforts to ensure an existence of perfect happiness for his Alsatian, Tulip. See our review and interview with the filmmakers.



Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark's co-founder and editor in chief. thebark.com
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Submitted by Gaby | June 14 2012 |

You left the recent Australian movie "Red Dog" based on the true story of
a Kelpie/cattle dog cross that was well known for his travels through Western Australia's Pilbara region.

Submitted by Bridget | June 15 2012 |

Gosh, how can you forget the most 1970s touching animal draama movie Bim Black Ear ?

I see the writer has a slavic family name, and still she left this out .


Submitted by Lyn Honzel | June 15 2012 |

I hate that Old Yeller was included in your recommended Dog Father movies! This movie traumatized me as a child, to this day I will not see a movie or read a book with a dog or a horse in it because the animal usually ends up in a perilous situation that I just cannot tolerate. I have never forgiven Walt Disney for presenting this as a children's movie and I don't care how "classic" the story is considered, it is just HORRIBLE!!!!!!!

Submitted by Nina L. | June 15 2012 |

Great List. I love many of those films and just recently re-viewed "Because of Winn Dixie" and was moved by how tender and kind Jeff Daniels character is despite all the hardship - the thunderstorm scene is a lovely surprise.
Discovered a little treasure while perusing the library stacks - Bombón: El Perro - about a 54 year old man who has lost everything and when all is lost, his unexpected introduction to the world of siring and dog shows. He receives a beautiful Dogo Argentino and life begins to get interesting. Funny, touching and humane.

Submitted by Leslie | June 15 2012 |

You forgot "Up" (Pixar). In this animated feature, the old grump Mr. Fredrickson becomes a stand-in father figure to Russell thanks mostly to the hard work of the surprisingly realistic efforts of the golden retreiver "Dug"

In the original animated version of "101 Dalmations" (Disney) Pongo is the moving force that rescues his own family puppies when they are kidnapped, but also takes fatherhood to a whole new level and adopts the entire group of pups bringing his family count up to 101. His wife, Mrs. Pongo is basically a supporting character while Pongo is the brains behind the whole rescue.

Submitted by Amy Frazer | June 15 2012 |

There is a lovely movie (2008) with Sam Neill, Peter O'Toole, and Jeremy Northam called "Dean Spanley" that I highly recommend.