In every movie, you’ve got your protagonist - the one with all the big lines and big moments and the one who gets his or her face plastered all over every poster. Then you’ve got his supporting characters or sidekicks, and if it’s a franchise film, those cohorts are bound to get their own character posters as the release date of the film nears. But occasionally, you get one more piece of that casting puzzle: the dog. The Sherlock Holmes property is so taken with its canine companion, Gladstone, that they gave the bulldog his very own poster. But the scene-stealing pup is not a new concept, and some of our favorite movie heroes come with a little side of puppy antics. In our humble opinions, these movie pups are the cat’s meow.
Gladstone, Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
He puts up with Holmes’ endless experiments and he’s an adorable bulldog. Case closed. It’s just too bad YouTube doesn’t have any embeddable clips of the dapper dog. Enjoy this adorable photo of Gladstone instead.
Zero, The Nightmare Before Christmas
Zero isn’t exactly a dog, but he’s not exactly not a dog either. This lovable little ghost has all the characteristics of a scene-stealing canine with the added bonus of a nose that glows like a certain sled-leading reindeer.
Toto, The Wizard of Oz
Toto just may be the originator of the memorable doggy role. He’s certainly the first dog in a film not about dogs to steal my attention. Plus, he’s just so scruffy and cute. Here’s a clip of him being the adorable, helpful security blanket Dorothy so desperately needs in The Wizard of Oz.
“My name is Dug. I have just met you, and I love you.” And with that, Dug became one of the single most lovable dogs to ever grace the big screen. He’s an adorable dog that says exactly what we imagine every dog is thinking in the exact voice we imagine every dog to have. Perfection.
Now, I may be biased because my own little pup looks remarkably like Señor Baxter, but I think this little guy is certainly a top movie dog. He speaks Spanish, he can eat a whole wheel of cheese and he’s a little English gentleman. Plus –spoiler alert – he can survive being drop-kicked from the top of the Coronado Bridge. He’s a miracle dog and he inspired great bouts of comedy from his master, Ron Burgundy.
Sonny, Due Date
He may now be known as the masturbating dog from Due Date, but he’s more than that. He’s also the punctuation on the end of every flamboyant action from Zach Galifianakis’ character. Plus, he kind of rocks that puppy cone.
Bruiser, Legally Blonde
The sequel in which Bruiser fights for his right to love other boy dogs not withstanding, Elle Woods’ furry companion certainly earns a spot on this list. You have to wait until about halfway through the montage of Elle getting ready for law school to glimpse him howling after the Taco Bell dog and getting highlights, but it’s pretty easy to see why we remember him so fondly – even in all his ridiculous glory.
Frank the Pug, Men in Black
Now, this is a dog with attitude. Technically, he’s an alien, but he’s about the cutest, foul-mouthed, seedy alien I ever did see. I still breaks my heart to see Tommy Lee Jones shake his little head all around. He’s just a pup…from another planet.
Milo, The Mask
Between Milo and Eddie, the dog from Frasier, we were fairly obsessed with the onscreen Jack Russell terrier. Of course, unlike Eddie, whose main job was to look at Kelsey Grammer as if he was an alien, Milo really kicks it up a notch when he takes his own little spin in the magical green mask. And that moment is actually more exciting than most of the times Jim Carrey’s character puts it on.
Fluffy, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
They can’t all be cute. Fluffy isn’t exactly cuddly, but he sure is memorable. Plus, the fact that Hagrid still loves the three-headed doggy in all its viciousness is a testament to its ability to hang with the rest of these adorable pups.
Am I missing some crucial pups? Who's your favorite onscreen pooch? Let me know in the comments or fire back on Twitter @Kelsea Stahler.