The world is divided into cat and dog people, with some overlaps as well. The dogs of Disney, however, are almost universally appealing to viewers of all ages and backgrounds. They have their own unique personalities and are sometimes even the main character of the movie or show.
Disney dogs are a huge part of their work, so let’s take a look at the best Disney dogs of all time:
1. Nana (Peter Pan)
Nana serves as a nanny to the Darling children, presumably because the family can’t afford a human one. She has to deal with the harsh treatment of the father but remains loyal through and through. It’s different seeing a dog in such a motherly capacity, but very heartwarming nonetheless.
2. Patch (101 Dalmatians)
With so many puppies in this movie and its sequels, Patch is one character that stands out every time. He’s rarely sleepy and is absolutely fearless. His role in the movie is quite pivotal, as Patch was the one who figured out Cruella’s intentions and wanted his parents. What’s more, the cute wrestling scenes with his siblings make up some of the happiest parts of the movie.
3. Max (The Little Mermaid)
Ariel had such memorable sidekicks that we might forget that the prince had that shaggy sheepdog called Max. He’s not just a pet, but more of a right hand that’s always on hand to help out. True to animal instinct, Max senses the evil in Ursula even when she’s in human form and about to marry the prince. He also recognizes Ariel as a mermaid even with her two legs.
This dog is actually a major part of the story if we think about it. He’s quite smart, has been through life-threatening adventures, and is overall a delightful addition to the movie.
4. Sparky (Frankenweenie)
Here we have a loyal dog that some might say joined Disney fairly recently. However, in addition to the short in 2012, Sparky was introduced by Tim Burton by in 1984. In both stories, the dog is so beloved that his owner brings him back to life after Sparky passes away.
5. Dodger (Oliver and Company)
Literary geeks would be pleased to know that this Dodger was inspired by the Artful Dodger from ‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens. He’s the epitome of street-wise, confident, and witty personalities, though he’s also an amazing friend and guide to Oliver the kitten.
Other than all these traits, this pup is just too cool to handle. We can forgive all his stealing habits too, as a dog’s gotta eat.
6. Slinky Dog (Toy Story 1, 2 and 3)
Yes, Slinky is technically a toy, but the world of Toy Story holds him us as an actual dog and so should we. Slinky is a bit different, as he doesn’t jump around and yap too much, but his stretching ability has come in handy for the toys on several occasions.
Those of us who grew up with Toy Story would remember Slinky as having a Southern drawl, a strong construction, a lot of trust, and unwavering loyalty to Woody and Andy.
7. Copper (The Fox and the Hound)
This tear-jerking movie shows us how a dog and a fox, who are natural enemies, can be best friends. He’s gone through a lot of ups and downs, but his character was strong enough to survive it all.
8. Goofy ( Disney Classic)
Goofy is less of a dog and more of an anthropomorphic animal. He’s a proper character with flaws, gray areas, and a family of his own. The original Goofy Movie was probably one of the top Disney movies of the ‘90s, but we might never have thought of this character as being particularly dog-like. While he started out as a wacky character in the beginning, he’s now also one of the best father figures that Disney has given us.
9. Pluto (Disney Classic)
So apparently Mickey Mouse has a dog as a pet and another dog as a best friend. Anything can happen in the Disney world, so we’re happy to just go along with it. Pluto might be the first dog that most adults remember, and is among the most famous characters in Disney canon.
While some might view Pluto as being a bit dumb, he’s actually more clumsy than anything else. He also possesses a strong sense of smell, though that’s sometimes more trouble than help. His walk is something that sets him apart from most other Disney animals, but his wide range of emotions always endear him to our hearts.
10. Dug (Up)
Up is a beautiful movie, with each and every character playing a vital role. Dug the dog is loyal, heroic, and ends up saving no less than three lives. With his high spirits and unabashed optimism, he’s fascinated many children and adults alike.
11. Bruno (Cinderella)
The cat Lucifer might get more screen time, but Bruno presents a nice foil to the feline’s craftiness. While he’s rough and always ready to help, he’s most adorable when braking in his sleep.
12. Old Yeller (Old Yeller)
This classic Disney film was heartwarming, poignant, and quite traumatic all at once. The dog starts out as a stray, but soon wins the affection of the family by driving off dangers. Everything seems well and good, but the ending has left many in tears.
13. Pongo and Perdita (One Hundred and One Dalmatians)
These are the proud parents of no less than fifteen puppies in the first movie for this franchise. By the end of the movie, though, they’ve also adopted around 84 more puppies. While the two are the epitome of the term ’opposites attract’, they’re soon shown as something of a power couple.
The chemistry between these two is quite surprising, given that both are animated characters. Pongo eventually turns into a highly protective father, while Perdita can sense danger through her motherly instinct.
14. Rolly (101 Dalmatians)
This pudgy little puppy is probably the Disney canine character that many can relate to. He’s always hungry and asking about food even in the middle of an adventure. However, he also possesses a big and loving heart.
15. Zero (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
Disney dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and types. This Tim Burton creation is actually a ghost dog. While his features may not be very well defined, he has the wide eyes and happy smile of a loyal, loving dog. Plus, he’s always by Jack’s side as much as possible. Add in that shining nose that made him serve the role of Rudolph, and we have a unique, memorable doggie to revisit every Christmas and Halloween.
16. Little Brother (Mulan)
There were many classic characters in Mulan, so it’s not surprising if we forget the main character’s dog. The name ‘Little Brother’ had some of us fooled when we first saw the movie. In any case, this dog is cute enough to bring a smile to our faces.
17. Lady (Lady and the Tramp)
We’d love to include all the dogs in this cartoon here, but Lady is good enough to represent them in any case. She’s refined, classy, and undeniably cute even when out on the streets. All this provides a perfect foil to Tramp, who’s a diamond in the rough.
While Lady might begin the movie as a naïve dog, she’s open to finding a balance with other lifestyles. her spaghetti scene with Tramp remains one of the classic ones to this day. You can also read up on some more interesting facts about ‘The Lady and the Tramp’ movie.
18. Stella (The Princess and the Frog)
Stella is an adorable basset hound who belongs to Charlotte. While she’s a minor character in the movie, her love for beignets is something we can all relate to.
19. Bolt (Bolt)
This delusional dog has given us many laughs, as he thinks he’s a real superhero. His naivety and endearing looks are what make us include him in this list. However, he’s also to be commended for his bravery. Plus, when he finally understands the reality of his life, he understands and makes use of his traits.
20. Winston (Feast)
Winston is a relatively new addition to the Disney dog family, but he’s certainly won quite a few hearts. While he only appears in a short, he’s cute enough to be a cult favorite.
The Disney dogs discussed above each have their own unique traits and endearing quirks. We love them for the characters they represent as well as their adorable appearances. In fact, Disney animal in general hold a lot of appeal whether they’re talking characters or not. Some interesting facts about the movie Zootopia will give us more insight into how Disney develops its animal characters.