Movies with animals, like everything else in existence, are not made equal. Some are much more common than others. Here are the ten greatest of all time.

Few moviegoers prefer cats to dogs, while others prefer dogs to cats. But one thing is certain: all moviegoers are animal lovers. Consider classics such as Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny, and it’s obvious that animals have a long and cherished tradition of movies.

But, as with everything else in existence, not all movies with animals are made equal. Some are much more common than others. When it comes to onscreen creatures, there is quite a range to pick from, ranging from real-life stars like Lassie to cartoon classics like Dug (the talking dog) from Up.

Get some popcorn (bones or balls of wool for your fuzzy friends) and watch these entertaining kids’ movies, family sitcom movies, and Nickelodeon movies with animals as the main characters. From classics like Old Yeller to modern favorites like The Secret Lives of Pets, these movies with animals will get a thumbs up from the entire brood.

With our top picks, you’re guaranteed to have a few fun, learn valuable lessons, and find a lot to enjoy. If you’re stuck at home, these movies with animals for kids and are perfect ways to kill time.

Our favorite movies with animals for kids get two thumbs up!

Life of Pi

Yann Martel’s award-winning novel of the same name inspired the film Life of Pi. Ang Lee, an award-winning producer, directed the film, which was released in 2012. The plot revolves around Pi, a teen stranded in Canada after the boat carrying his family and the animals in their zoo from India sinks.

Pi is the sole human survivor, though a Bengal tiger, orangutan, Zebra, and hyena accompany him in his lifeboat. The Tiger eventually eats the most of the others, and Pi and the Tiger must learn to survive together before they can make landfall or find help.



Zootopia is a Disney animated film that won many awards in 2016. The movies about animals, as it delves into the lives of anthropomorphized animals in Zootopia. It follows Judy Hopps, a police rabbit, as she teams up with Nick Wilde, a scheming mouse, to show that she can make it as a cop in the big city.

Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Bonnie Hunt, J.K. Simmons, Octavia Spencer, Alan Tudyk, and Shakira provided voices for the film.

Hachiko Momogatari


“Hachiko Monogatari” is a film that tells the true Tale of a Japanese dog named “Hachiko” who followed his trainer, Professor Ueno, to the train station every day before he went to work teaching at the university; the dog was still there waiting for the owner when he returned from work, and the two of them would then walk back home.

This practice was followed for two years before the lecturer, sadly, did not return, as he dies of a heart attack during a lecture. Hachiko, ever obedient, waited for his master’s return at the station for nine years.

Madagascar Series

Marty the Zebra, on his tenth birthday, is pining for the wild. Marty and his colleagues – Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe – have lived their whole lives in New York’s Central Park Zoo.

Marty runs from the zoo with a crack quartet of penguins – Skipper, Rico, Kowalski, and Private – and his three mates pursue him, striving in vain to make him see reason. When the animals arrive at Grand Central Station, they are misidentified as violent. They are transported to a Kenyan wildlife preserve by zoo officials.

But when the cunning penguins hijack the ship and events take an abrupt turn, Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria end up in Madagascar! Marty is overjoyed to be out in the wild, but Alex, who is used to being treated like a king at the zoo, is desperate to return. The gang gains the confidence of a group of lemurs led by the clever and arrogant King Julien on the island. Alex and company also rescue the lemurs from their dreadful foes, the fossa. However, the most difficult task is for Alex, who is desperate to satisfy his carnivorous cravings and longs for his favorite steak.

Also Read, 8 Best Dog Movies That Animal Lovers Should Watch

Lion King

lion king

Even for Pixar’s popularity and animation, they can’t yet compete with the classic Disney hand-drawn animation of the Lion King’s family favorite. The story of Simba and Mufasa, the cycle of life, and the survival of the Pride Lands was such a success for Disney that it got its own live-action reboot only last year in 2019.


movie bolt, bolt dog

Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is the deluded super-hero star of a hit live-action children’s television program, complete with a striking lightning logo emblazoned on his flank, in true Truman Show form. Bolt learns to be a “true puppy” after being removed by mistake from “his person,” the similarly innocent child-star Penny (voiced by Miley Cyrus) and accompanied by an alley-cat and couch-potato Hamster.

Secret Lives of Pets

Do you believe your four-legged companion is patiently awaiting your arrival at the door? Consider again! This mischievous misadventure follows the king of the house, Max, who is knocked for a loop when his trainer takes home another pup, Duke. The two buttheads, owing mainly to Max’s jealousy. Will the “brothers” be able to stay together as they end up on the streets of New York? A couple of Max’s mates band together to get the pups back to safety.

Have you ever wondered what your pets do when you’re away? This animated sitcom provides the solution.

Air Bud 

The wildly famous Air Bud was based on (and stars as) the stray dog discovered in the Sierra Nevada mountains that became a national phenomenon. (He also played Comet in an episode of Full House!) Josh Framm, 12, is inspired by Air Bud’s sudden talent to try out for the school basketball team.

Hachi: A dog’s Tale 

Movies with animals can teach, enlighten, amuse, frighten, or just make an audience weep. Hachi was a heartbreaking film. The 2009 film, starring Richard Gere, tells the story of Parker Wilson, a professor who discovers an abandoned Akita and adopts it.

Hachi, the Akita, is extremely devoted, even waiting at the train station every day for Parker’s return. But when Parker doesn’t return one day, Hachi’s allegiance remains unwavering. Bring on the tears.