• Entertainment

The Best Animal Performances in Film History

The best animal performances in film history includes some of the greatest cinematic achievements by dogs, cats, monkeys, dolphins and even bears. These animals provide great supporting roles in major motion pictures. Whether they're acting heroically or just providing some much-needed comic relief, animals in movies always add a little extra something on the big screen. Be sure to vote for your favorite animal performances in film history -- and vote down those animals whose performances you feel lacked a certain...humanity.

From Einstein in 'Back to the Future' to Uggie from 'The Artist,' dogs definitely lead the pack (so to speak) when it comes to great animal movie performances. These four-legged thespians are highly trained professionals who can steal entire films away from the humans. They can make us laugh (Crystal the Monkey from 'Hangover II') and cry (Old Yeller, we're talking to you). Hats off to the dogs of cinema, and their wonderful trainers!

It's not fair or right to exclude other brilliant animal movie performers, either. Monkeys and orangutans are also on this list. Who can forget Clyde from 'Every Which Way But Loose,' or Crystal from 'The Hangover Part II?'

In case you're wondering, I've only included movies that feature actual live animals. This, unfortunately, disqualifies the Gopher from 'Caddyshack.' Sorry, Mr. Gopher. It also disqualifies animated movies like Disney's '101 Dalmatians' and 'Lady and the Tramp.' Enjoy this list and be amazed - animals have been a huge part of some of the best movies ever made, including the best dog movies ever.
 

  • 1
    63
    17

    Toto

    The Wizard of Oz
    Played by Toto the Dog
  • 2
    66
    25

    Einstein

    Back to the Future
    Played by Tiger the Dog
  • 3
    66
    35

    Hooch

    Turner and Hooch
    Played by Beasley the Dog
  • 4
    56
    28

    Winn-Dixie

    Because of Winn Dixie
    Played by Lyco and Scott the Dogs
  • 5
    50
    26

    Winter

    Dolphin Tale
    From Dolphin Tale
    Played by Winter the Dolphin
  • 6
    56
    34
    LanaYoshii added

    Joey

    War Horse
    Played by multiple Horses
  • 7
    69
    48

    Baxter

    Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
    Played by Peanut the Dog
  • 8
    44
    23

    Andre

    Andre
    Played by Cassie the Sea Lion
  • 9
    50
    34

    Lassie

    Lassie, Courage of Lassie
    Played by Lassie the Dog
  • 10
    31
    19

    Shadow

    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
    Played by Ben the Dog
  • 11
    32
    21

    Chance

    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco
    Played by Rattler the Dog
  • 12
    27
    19
    LanaYoshii added

    The Black

    The Black Stallion
    Played by Cass Ole and Fae Jur
  • 13
    38
    31

    Bruiser Woods

    Legally Blonde
    Played by Bruiser the Dog
  • 14
    38
    33

    Jerry Lee

    K-9
    Played by multiple Dogs
  • 15
    38
    35

    Speck

    Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
    Played by Speck the Dog
  • 16
    33
    29

    Monkey

    Indiana Jones: The Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Played by the Capuchin Monkey
  • 17
    35
    32

    Old Yeller

    Old Yeller
    Played by Spike the Dog
  • 18
    33
    29
    Benji, Benji: Off the Leash!
    Played by Benji the Dog
  • 19
    21
    18
    Amy Boal added

    Sassy

    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
    Played by Tiki the Cat
  • 20
    35
    39

    Beethoven

    Beethoven, Beethoven's Big Break
    Played by Beethoven the Dog
  • 21
    18
    17

    Willy

    Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home
    Played by Keiko the Orca
  • 22
    4
    0
    704792 added

    Verdell

    As Good as It Gets
  • 23
    9
    4
    ColdPizzaNY added

    Asta

    The Thin Man, After the Thin Man

    Played by Skippy the fox terrier

  • 24
    27
    29

    Lou

    Cats and Dogs
    Played by Lou the Dog
  • 25
    7
    4

    Keanu

    Keanu