To celebrate the launch of match socials with our Bark in the Park event, we’re looking back at our 5 favourite puppy love films.
From Pongo and Perdita’s antics in 101 Dalmatians to the unlikely bromance between Tod and Copper in The Fox and The Hound, we’re transporting you back to your childhood with these memorable movie moments…
‘That’ spaghetti moment in Lady and The Tramp (1955)
Lady lives a life of luxury as the pet of Darling and Jim Dear, but when a new baby is born, Lady is ousted from her position as pampered family favourite by Aunt Sarah’s devious Siamese cats.
Lady runs away from home after Aunt Sarah forces her to wear a muzzle, and is pursued by stray dogs before being rescued by the womanising yet warm-hearted Tramp.
After tricking a beaver at the zoo into removing the muzzle, Lady and Tramp enjoy a romantic candlelit spaghetti dinner date at Tony’s Italian.
Lady later finds out about Tramp’s womanising ways, but gets back into her good books when he helps her save the Dears’ baby from a rat in the nursery.
Grateful to Tramp for saving their precious baby, the Dears welcome Tramp into the family with his very own collar, and they live happily ever after.
Film fact: Walt Disney didn’t originally want to include the spaghetti-eating scene, now one of the most iconic moments in film history. Source: IMDB.com
Pongo and Perdita’s pondside antics in 101 Dalmatians (1961)
Songwriter Roger lives in London with his pet Dalmatian Pongo, but after Pongo grows bored with Roger’s bachelor ways, he decides to find Roger a wife, and himself a mate.
After spotting Anita and her female Dalmatian Perdita (see what they did there…) in the park, Pongo’s mind is made up.
He initially tries the subtle ‘steal your owners hat and place it next to the pretty lady’ approach, but when that fails he goes for the hard sell, wrapping his lead around Roger and Anita’s legs to bring them together.
This doesn’t go perfectly either, as Roger and Anita end up in a nearby pond, but eventually Anita sees the funny side and their love story begins…
Film fact: 101 Dalmatians features cameos from Lady and Tramp in the Twilight Bark scene. Source: IMDB.com
Simba and Nala’s reunion in The Lion King (1994)
They’re not dogs, but their story is the epitome of puppy love.
The story begins with Simba and Nala as cubs, living under Mufasa’s rule in his prosperous kingdom (“everything the light touches Simba”). The young cubs are betrothed at this point, but if we’re honest it’s more of a friend zone situation…
Soon after Mufasa is tragically killed by a herd of wildebeest while saving Simba from hyenas, Simba runs away, unable to live with the guilt.
He meets Timon & Pumbaa who teach him the Hakuna Matata philosophy, and from there on Simba’s life mainly consists of eating grubs and lazing around in the sunshine.
One day, the now grown Simba bumps into Nala while she’s out hunting far from home. Nala explains that their kingdom is suffering from famine under Scar’s rule and begs Simba to save them.
Though initially hesitant, Simba eventually pulls through, kills Scar and rules the kingdom once again with Nala by his side. Can you feel the love?
Film fact: The wildebeest stampede took approximately three years to animate. Source: IMDB.com
The montage celebrating Marley’s life in Marley & Me (2008)
Danger, tear-jerker alert! Marley & Me is one of the best loved canine films, perfectly capturing the way we welcome four legged friends into our families, and reminding us of our own dearly departed pets.
After John and Jenny Grogan buy their dream home, Jenny starts to consider parenthood. Not yet ready to be a father, John takes Jenny to see a litter of golden Labrador puppies, where they adopt Marley.
Unfortunately, Marley turns out to be far from the easy alternative to a baby John envisaged causing havoc wherever he goes and even being expelled from his dog training class. However, the Grogan’s grow to love Marley despite his flaws and he becomes an important part of their growing family, with John and Jenny’s son Connor later referring to Marley as his brother.
As the years go by we see Marley aging and eventually being put down after suffering from a twisted stomach. Following Marley’s death, an emotional montage reminds us how much John and Jenny loved him.
In the closing scene the Grogans bury Marley under a tree in their garden and offer him their final wishes. Jenny poignantly places her necklace into Marley’s grave with the words “your Dad gave me this to celebrate the beginning of our family but our family had already begun…”
Film fact: Owen Wilson’s parents in the film are played by his real life parents. His mum had trouble during filming as she kept referring to him as “Owen” rather than his character’s name. Source: IMDB.com
Tod and Copper’s bromance in The Fox and the Hound (1981)
Our final puppy love movie moment is the unlikely bromance between Tod and Copper in The Fox and The Hound.
After meeting as pups, the fox and hound dog become close friends, but when hunting season comes, Copper’s owner, Amos Slade, takes him on a hunting trip into the wilderness.
Tod’s owner Widow Tweed explains that a fox and a hound are natural enemies and cannot be friends. It results in a sad decision to move Tod to a game preserve.
Amos, still angry at Tod for causing injury to another dog during an earlier chase, decides to break into the game reserve to hunt Tod. He and Copper inadvertently provoke a bear attack, and after Amos gets caught in one of his traps, certain death seems inevitable.
Copper valiantly attempts to fight the bear off his owner, but is no match for the bear’s strength. As Tod sees Cooper struggling, he remembers their “friends forever” promise and steps in to fight the bear, culminating in both falling down a waterfall!
With the bear gone, Copper approaches Tod at the bottom of the waterfall. Amos is about to fire his gun, aiming at the fox, but Copper realises he has a true friend in Tod and positions himself so that Amos cannot shoot his childhood companion.
Film fact: The Fox and The Hound was the last Disney animated film to end simply with “The End; Walt Disney Productions”. In older Disney films, all the credits were at the beginning. Source: IMDB.com