10 Movies Every Animal Lover Should See

More on PawNation: animal movies, AnimalMovies
Animals not only enrich our day to day lives, they entertain us on the big screen with their antics, occasionally making us cry, but always making us feel a whole lot better that we share the world with them. For the animal lover in all of us, here are 10 movies that deserve top spots in your Netflix queue.

10 Movies Every Animal Lover Must See

    Black Beauty
    Grab a box of Kleenex and a bowl of popcorn and prepare to be enthralled for the next 88 minutes of your life. The 1994 film stars the gentle voice of Alan Cumming as Black Beauty, the title character of the classic story penned in 1877 by Anna Sewell. Narrated from Black Beauty's point of view, we follow along as he is taken from his mother, trained to walk with a bit, and sent to live with a kind family in the country. Sadly, as Black Beauty is sold from one owner to another, he learns that humans can be cruel --- to one another and to animals --- as well as kind.


    Two Brothers
    Adorable twin tiger cubs illustrate the bonds of brotherly love in this movie about an unscrupulous treasure hunter (played by Guy Pearce) who kills the cubs' mother and causes one brother to be sold to the circus --- where he is whipped and forced to perform tricks --- while the other brother becomes the adored house pet of a rich family. Will the brothers be reunited? You'll be captivated from the beginning.


    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
    There ain't no mountain high enough when three house pets brave the wilderness to find their way back home. Chance (an American bulldog voiced by Michael J. Fox), Shadow (an elderly golden retriever voiced by Don Ameche) and Sassy (a snooty cat voiced by Sally Field) don't exactly get along, but they must learn the meaning of teamwork in order to survive their epic journey.


    What could you do if you didn't know you had limitations? That's the question underlying the charming story of Babe, a runty pig that Farmer Hoggett (played perfectly by a taciturn Hugh Cromwell) wins at a fair. Though he's fated to be Christmas dinner, Babe dreams of herding sheep like Rex and Fly, the farm's revered sheepdogs. Lucky for Babe, Farmer Hoggett follows a funny little idea he has to enter Babe in a sheepherding contest. You'll never look at bacon the same way again.


    When Xan and his father find a (seriously cute!) orphaned cheetah cub, they name him Duma, which means "cheetah" in Swahili. They try to raise it at home, but ultimately realize that the cub must be returned to the wild before it's too late for the cheetah to learn to survive on his own in his natural habitat. "Duma has to live the life he was born to --- or he'll never be fully alive," Xan's father tells him. But when his father dies, Xan decides to brave the brutal South African desert alone to take Duma to the wilds to be released.

    David Bloomer, Warner Bros.

    Charlotte's Web
    A star-studded list of movie stars lend their voices in the 2006 re-make of the much-loved children's story by E.B. White. Dakota Fanning plays Fern, a farm girl and animal lover who saves a piglet from slaughter and names him Wilbur. Julia Roberts is the voice of Charlotte, the spider who promises to help keep Wilbur alive, while Steve Buschemi is pitch-perfect as the voice of sly, old Templeton the rat. Other voices you may recognize among the barnyard animals are Oprah as Gussy the goose and Robert Redford as Ike, the horse. Full of witty repartee and comedic moments, the 2006 film is enormously entertaining --- especially with its combination of live action and computer-generated graphics.


    Hotel for Dogs
    Filled with insanely clever doggy-gadgets --- such as an automated pooper scooping device and ball-throwing machine --- "Hotel for Dogs" is an entertaining and sweet story about strays, both of the human and canine variety. Emma Roberts (niece of Julia Roberts) and Jake T. Austin play a pair of orphaned siblings sent to live with a foster family. While looking for a safe place to leave their dog Friday, the siblings discover an abandoned hotel, which they convert into a haven for stray dogs. An adorable coterie of canines help send the message that rescuing dogs is cool.

    Jaimie Trueblood, Dreamworks

    Free Willy
    You know a movie's good if it's been spoofed by "The Simpsons" and "South Park." In "Free Willy," a 12 year-old boy is saved from a path of juvenile delinquency by a chance meeting with a killer whale in an aquarium. When boy meets whale, it's the unlikeliest of friendships. But one worth watching.


    The Bear
    You hardly notice the lack of dialogue and narration in this quiet film about a baby bear struggling to survive on his own after his mother is killed. The cub is chased by hunters and stalked by a cougar, but has the good fortune of meeting an older, male grizzly who becomes his protector. Featuring the ruggedly beautiful scenery of the Dolomites, "The Bear" shows that humans can learn a thing or two from animals, including the notion of compassion.

    Columbia Pictures / Everett Collection

    Whether you're watching the original 1943 movie, "Lassie Come Home" or one of the later remakes (the 1994 and 2005 versions are particular favorites) the story of Lassie truly is "one of the greatest stories of loyalty and love ever told." Who cares if Lassie was just a fictional character made up by author Eric Knight in 1940? The legendary brown and white collie is as real to us as one of our own pets.

    Samuel Goldwyn

And if you're a bit of a masochist, check out the Saddest Animal Movie Deaths Ever.

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