Loving, loyal and fiercely friendly, our furry pals may have a limited vocabulary but they do know love (often better than their human counterparts). While Hollywood has celebrated dogs for a long time in their stories, Bollywood isn’t far behind either.
We’re diving into the vibrant world of Bollywood to celebrate our furry, four-legged friends. We’ve handpicked a bunch of blockbusters that not only tugged at our heartstrings but also featured some seriously pawsome canine co-stars.
Bollywood movies dog lovers must watch:
From heartwarming tales to laugh-out-loud comedies, these movies have it all. And don’t worry, we’ve done the “ruff” work for you and selected them based on both popular vote and critical acclaim. So, whether you’re a seasoned Bollywood buff or just looking for a feel-good flick, this list has something for everyone.
So grab your popcorn, get comfy, and let’s embark on a Bollywood adventure filled with wagging tails, wet noses, and unforgettable moments. Let’s roll!
1. Chillar Party (2011)
This National Award winner is about a group of kids living in a housing society who initially take a dislike to Fatka – a street kid who lives in the society and cleans cars, and his dog Bhidu, a stray.
After some initial resistance, the kids start getting along and soon Fatka and Bhidu become a part of the gang. However, the problem starts when a politician announces a plan to catch and terminate all stray dogs – leaving the kids with 30 days to get a NOC(No-Objection-Certificate) from their society to save the dog.
What follows is a slew of innovative attempts by kids to get the signatures culminating in a chaddi march and TV debate with the minister which ultimately helps them change the hearts of society members and save Bhidu. This movie celebrates stray dogs and hence is our favourite of the lot!
2. Hum Aapke Hai Kaun (1994)
Sooraj Barjatya’s cult classic wouldn’t have become the legend without furry assistance from Tuffy, the Indian Spitz. Tuffy not only made the audience laugh with his biased umpiring antics and as a gullible guard of the groom’s shoes, but he ran for aid when his mistress fell down the stairs, and most importantly, reunited the lovers in a dramatic sequence.
The movie’s climax is almost impossible to imagine without the dog’s role. Rado (the dog who played Tuffy) was adopted by Madhuri Dixit and died at the age of twelve in 2000.
3. Sachaa Jhutha (1970)
This Manmohan Desai hit from the seventies stars Moti as the loyal dog (aren’t they all?) of the hero’s disabled sister, who has come to town to look for her missing brother. Now as Bollywood dramas of that age had it, the brother has an evil look-alike and only Moti can identify who the good guy is.
The evil look-alike orders his henchmen to kill Moti but the wonder-dog evades capture and fakes his own death (by throwing a rock into deep waters and hiding underneath a cliff). He then by some divine intervention makes a gallop across the city and reaches the courtroom to testify at the eventful trial to determine who the imposter is. Welcome to Bollywood! 🙂
See also: 777 Charlie, the Kannada superhit
4. Teri Meherbaniyan (1985)
Moti, the dog is the emotional epicentre of this superhit movie which pushed boundaries like before. Imagine a Bollywood movie where the lead pair gets murdered mid-way but the dog carries on the movie on his paws. The movie begins with the young Moti being rescued by Jackie Shroff, and the whole film seems to be a picture of their love.
Unfortunately, Ram is murdered by the villains and that’s when fiercely loyal Moti avenges his death by going after each villain – biting, barking and mauling them to death. But that’s not all, Moti is shown performing the last rites of Ram, brooding over his samadhi and even leading police to crucial evidence in the murder. The movie’s title song is every dog parents’ ode to their pooches. This 80’s drama needs a reboot to go down well with today’s audiences but the core idea remains the same: love, care, and loyalty.
5. Entertainment (2014)
This is the rare Bollywood no-brainer where a canine star doesn’t play second fiddle to the lead star but rather is the top dog! Akhil (Akshay Kumar) discovers that his late biological father (a billionaire), has willed his entire estate to a dog (Entertainment). He tries to kill him to get his inheritance only to develop a deep bond with the dog due to his fierce loyalty.
The movie culminates with a melodramatic scene that praises the role played by dogs in human lives – something which every dog lover and parent would endorse.
6. Halo (1996)
Santosh Sivan’s Halo is an innocent coming-of-age movie about a 7-year-old girl (Benaf Dadachandji) looking for her lost pup. On an eventful day, Halo goes missing and thus begins Sasha’s quest to find her dog which takes this little girl through the shady underbelly of Mumbai city dealing with dog catchers, smugglers and gangs of street kids among other things.
The poignant quest ultimately leads her to an elderly couple only to realize that they have a disabled kid who has taken a fancy to the pup. Even though Sasha has been dying to get her pup back, she realizes that the kid needs her pup more and thus forfeits her ownership… such magnanimity! No wonder, this National Award winner is one of the best children’s movies produced in India.
7. Maa (1992)
A rip-off of the Hollywood hit Ghost, this Bollywood adaptation has Dobby, the dog (now we know where J.K. Rowling got the idea from) who could see the spirit of her dead mistress. The dog followed instructions from the spirit and thus protected the infant!
8. Khoon Bhari Maang (1988)
This revenge drama of a woman undone by her human relations has animals at the forefront (barring a crocodile) as they can see through the masked appearances of the villains. By the time the movie reaches the climax, the dog martyrs himself by taking a bullet to the chest, thus saving Rekha’s life.
9. Betaab (1983)
The ever-volatile Sunny Deol plays a rather toned-down farm boy with a cute Labrador, Bozo. His constant companion through highs and lows, Bozo seems to understand Sunny better than even the actress. But that’s not all, in an action sequence where the bad guys try to kidnap Sunny’s love interest Roma, Bozo plays the dog who saves the day!
10. Mard (1985)
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan is accompanied and aided by side heroes: a horse and a dog, with the latter making a definite literal statement by urinating on the face of British colonial oppression.
11. Mera Naam Joker (1970)
Raj Kapoor’s most ambitious project, Mera Naam Joker, had a dog in the concluding chapter. The protagonist befriends a woman and her mongrel Moti and they form a street circus team till the latter is rudely grabbed into a municipality van meant to capture a stray population, sheer heartbreak! 🙁
12. Dil Dhadakne Do (2015)
Aamir Khan made no bones about voicing a real-life dog in ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’. Pluto Mehra, the philosophical dog of the Mehra clan showcased the family and the various characters through his ever-observant narratives. Aamir Khan, the dog lover, confessed in an interview that he fondly remembered his pariah dog Peanuts as he essayed this voice-over.
13. Water (2005)
In the melancholic landscape that Deepa Mehta’s Water paints, Kalu the puppy is the solitary colour of hope. Devoid of basic human rights, Kalyani(Lisa Ray) discovers love and friendship with the stray puppy she hides in her room. Kalu leads Kalyani to Chuiya, a child widow and lately Narayan (John Abraham), her love interest.
A beautiful movie about the time and age that pre-independence India was.
14. Taal (1999)
Brownie, the dog, in Taal movie is the thread of semblance between the two lovers – Manav (Akshay Khanna) and Manasi (Aishwarya Rai). Manav saves him from a burning house while Manasi keeps her safe from a stampede. His playful act lights up the screen and he garners affection from the protagonists of this love story.
15. Bol Radha Bol (1992)
In the Bollywood classic “Bol Radha Bol” (1992), a tale of duality and deception unfolds. Rishi Kapoor takes on a dual role, portraying both the virtuous and the conniving sides. When the hero discovers that his doppelgänger has hoodwinked his family and seized control of his business, he embarks on a mission of retribution. Despite the family’s unwitting acceptance of the imposter, it is his faithful canine companion, Moti, who sees through the ruse. With Moti’s aid, Kapoor fights to reclaim his rightful identity, adding an intriguing layer of loyalty and canine intuition to the storyline.
16. Aiyaary (2018)
In the 2018 film ‘Aiyyari’, Naseeruddin Shah’s character, Baburao, takes a backseat for much of the narrative, only making a significant appearance towards the latter part of the movie. However, it’s his profound connection with Babloo, the ailing dog from Colaba, that steals the spotlight and ultimately serves as the linchpin of the film’s climax. This heartwarming bond adds a touching layer to the story, showcasing the power of human-animal connections in unexpected places.
Did we miss your favourite Bollywood movie featuring a dog? Let us know in the comments section.