Our Favourite Talking Movie Dogs

18 June 2020
Who let the dogs talk?
the art of racing in the rain article billboard

Kevin Costner is the voice of Enzo in your Sunday night movie, The Art of Racing in the Rain. Enzo is a Golden Retriever and we get to hear his thoughts in this charming story, which stars Milo Ventimiglia and Amanda Seyfried as talking humans. This got us thinking about other talking movie dogs.

From Disney’s Goofy to Family Guy’s Brian, we’re used to seeing animated dogs talking.  That’s why we focused our barking-good list on live-action features and the dogs who let us know what’s on their minds and in their hearts.

Chance and Shadow in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
The journey of this story starts with the book by Sheila Bunford. The three furry main characters are based on her own pets: a Bull Terrier, a Labrador Retriever, and a Siamese cat. The book was first adapted into a feature film in 1963, retaining the animals’ original names: Luath, Bodger, and Tao. However, it was only with the remake thirty years later that the animals received voices. They were also renamed – now called Chance, Shadow, and Sassy – and voiced by Michael J. Fox, Don Ameche, and Sally Field.

Dogs and Cats in Cats & Dogs (2001)
If you’re a dog lover, then this one’s for you because all the dogs (talking, of course) have to defeat all the evil talking kitties. Not only is it packed with adorable dogs, but they’re voiced by an impressive host of stars, including Tobey Maguire, Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, and Charlton Heston.

The Dogs in Dr. Dolittle
If you ignore the sequels, there are three feature films based on the series of children’s books by Hugh Lofting. But if you want the talking dog variety, you’d have to look to the 1998 version with Eddie Murphy, or this year’s adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr, with his MCU co-star Tom Holland voicing a dog called Jip.

Fluke in Fluke (1995)
In this doggy reincarnation story, a man is reborn as an adorable Retriever named Fluke. He’s voiced by Matthew Modine, while Samuel L. Jackson provides the voice of his best bud, Rumbo.

Fly and Rex in Babe (1995)
It may centre around the pig, but he’s not the only animal that talks in this gorgeous mid-90s flick that will have you rethinking bacon. Babe’s many farm friends include a couple of Border Collies, who have a litter of adorable puppies, and are voiced by the amazing Miriam Margolyes and Hugo Weaving.

Rocks and Daphne in Look Who’s Talking Now (1993)
First, it was talking babies. Then, it was more talking babies. Finally, it was talking dogs, with the third instalment in this comedy franchise starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. With little Mikey and Julie a little older and not just talking in their heads anymore, it was the dogs’ turn to provide a comedic inner monologue. Voicing the starring canines are none other than Danny DeVito as rescue pup Rocks and Diane Keaton as fancy poodle Daphne.

Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo
As an animated talking dog, you may think Scooby doesn’t belong on our list. But remember, he has two feature-length live-action movies to his name. Besides, he may just be the most famous talking dog of them all – even if he isn’t as intelligible as his nephew Scrappy-Doo. Both Scooby and Scrappy are also more anthropomorphised than their fellow canines on this list. While talking movie dogs tend to go about their doggy business, eating, sleeping, and sniffing butts, Scooby and Scrappy chase criminals and sniff out crimes. Come to think of it…dogs IRL do that too – so maybe Scooby-Doo isn’t such a stretch of the imagination after all.

Fall in love with another talking dog in The Art of Racing in the Rain, your Sunday night movie on Father’s Day, 21 June, at 20:05 on M-Net channel 101.