The Re-List has arrived. I have been wishing to be a part of the Re-List for a long time now. Unfortunately, there has been some talk about replacing this show and that makes me sad. Still waiting….
This week’s Top 10 Re-List is nicely timed with the release of the CGI-messed film The Call of the Wild with Harrison Ford. I did not love that movie, but there are plenty of movies featuring dogs to make this list.
#10. Lady & the Tramp. This is the new live-action remake of the animated classic. This is one of the two films appearing as originals on Disney + that made this list. I did enjoy this version more than I thought I would and the talking dogs were not a deal breaker as it sometimes is in these live-action films.
#9. The Isle of Dogs. Wes Anderson’s animated film about the removal of dogs from Japan after an outbreak of a sickness believed to be spread by the dogs. Another one that was not my most favorite film, but that I enjoyed enough. The animation is good and the voice acting is above the line.
#8. The Shaggy Dog (1959). The original classic from Disney, The Shaggy Dog has been remade multiple times but has never reached the same level as it did with this Fred MacMurray vehicle. Silly comedy that was done extremely well.
#7. Mr. Peabody and Sherman. This was a film that when I saw it the first time, I loved it, but it slowly became lesser upon reflection. I still have some great nostalgic feels for Mr. Peabody as I can remember watching his animated shorts on Bullwinkle and Tennessee Tuxedo shows. Maybe I should revisit this one and see how much I like it the second time.
#6. John Wick. I would not have thought about this one without listening to the Re-List on the Top 10 this week, but it absolutely works in the topic. The entire film gets going because of the death of John Wick’s dog. So much so that it has become an iconic joke. This film is down the list a bit because the dog is not involved in the movie more than as the inspiration for John Wick’s return to the life. This movie was one of the great surprises and this moment with the dog is absolutely crushing and 100% relatable.
#5. The Sandlot. Another one that I may not have thought about without the Re-List episode, but The Beast is a major driving force with this movie about baseball. The presence of The Beast struck fear into the boys’ hearts and the attempt to reclaim the Babe Ruth signed baseball leads to a ton of great character moments for the boys. The Sandlot is a lot of fun and the film would not have been near as wonderful without the mythical Beast.
#4. Togo. Here is the second of the originals from Disney + to make the list and this is the example that the new The Call of the Wild should have followed. Sure there is some CGI in Togo, but it is used only when the dogs are needed to do something dangerous or something that they cannot do. Otherwise, the dogs here are alive and real and help create a connection between the audience and the characters. Willem Dafoe is great here and Togo is shown as a massive hero. I loved this movie.
#3. Old Yeller. A film from my childhood that I only somewhat remember. Of course, the part of the film that I remember is the ending that absolutely rips you apart as a viewer. Powerful and poignant, Old Yeller showed the love between a boy and his dog and the hazards that go with them. That end scene is utterly devastating and heartbreaking.
#2. Best in Show. The awesome mockumentary from Christopher Guest featuring a group of people at a dog show. The topic is ripe for satire and the ensemble cast put together the film in a way that you are constantly amazed by because they do not have scripts. Just background information on their characters and a healthy knowledge of improvisation.
#1. Frankenweenie. The brilliant animated film featuring a boy and his zombie dog. Well, maybe more like a Frankenstein’s monster dog instead. The film, directed by Tim Burton, is a beautiful piece of art that speaks to the connection between a boy and his dog and the lengths that he may go to to maintain that relationship under any circumstances. The film has a ton of fascinatingly original characters and some of the best art design of an animated film in a long time.
Honorable mention: Some of the other films I considered included Scooby Doo. Admittedly, there has never been a really great version of the detective mutt, but this was as close as it has come so far. I love the character of Scooby Doo and I hope this year’s new animated Scoob! will find its place at the top of this list. 101 Dalmations, the animated version, is a Disney classic that fell just a little short for this list. It has one of the great Disney villains ever in Cruella de Vil. The Peanuts Movie has Snoopy starring and was a really strong adaptation of the comic strip. Another animated film featurign a dog is John Travolta’s Bolt.