Entertainment
229 voters

The Best Animal Performances in Film History

Updated October 1, 2019 2.4k votes 229 voters 21.8k views44 items

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
    The Wizard of Oz
    Played by Toto the Dog
  • 2
    66
    25
    Back to the Future
    Played by Tiger the Dog
  • 3
    66
    35
    Turner and Hooch
    Played by Beasley the Dog
  • 4
    56
    28
    Because of Winn Dixie
    Played by Lyco and Scott the Dogs
  • 5
    50
    26
    Dolphin Tale
    From Dolphin Tale
    Played by Winter the Dolphin
  • 6
    56
    34
    LanaYoshii addedWar Horse
    Played by multiple Horses
  • 7
    69
    48
    Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
    Played by Peanut the Dog
  • 8
    44
    23
    Andre
    Played by Cassie the Sea Lion
  • 9
    50
    34
    Lassie, Courage of Lassie
    Played by Lassie the Dog
  • 10
    31
    19
    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
    Played by Ben the Dog
  • 11
    32
    21
    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco
    Played by Rattler the Dog
  • 12
    27
    19
    LanaYoshii addedThe Black Stallion
    Played by Cass Ole and Fae Jur
  • 13
    38
    31
    Legally Blonde
    Played by Bruiser the Dog
  • 14
    38
    33
    Played by multiple Dogs
  • 15
    38
    35
    Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
    Played by Speck the Dog
  • 16
    33
    29
    Indiana Jones: The Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Played by the Capuchin Monkey
  • 17
    35
    32
    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 addedHomeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
    Played by Tiki the Cat
  • 20
    35
    39
    Beethoven, Beethoven's Big Break
    Played by Beethoven the Dog
  • 21
    18
    17
    Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home
    Played by Keiko the Orca
  • 22
    4
    0
    704792 addedAs Good as It Gets
  • 23
    9
    4
    ColdPizzaNY addedThe Thin Man, After the Thin Man

    Played by Skippy the fox terrier

  • 24
    27
    29
    Cats and Dogs
    Played by Lou the Dog
  • 25
    7
    4
    Keanu