11 Most Famous Disney Dogs
By Kit Copson
The Disney dogs are some of the world’s most beloved and best-known animated characters. A diverse bunch, you’ve got chunky delights like Rolly from One Hundred and One Dalmatians, sensitive and faithful companions like Bruno in Cinderella, and snooty, pampered pets like Percy in Pocahontas. They all have a couple of important things in common, though.
For one thing, we can’t get enough of them. Secondly, they’re furry icons of the screen with legacies that will live on just as long as their human companions. Whittling this list down wasn’t easy, but here are 10 of the most famous Disney dogs of all time.
11 Most Famous Disney Dogs
1. Pluto – Mickey Mouse Movies
Pluto is undoubtedly the most famous Disney dog of all time. The ultimate sidekick to the world’s most famous animated character, his strength and legacy lies ultimately in his “ordinariness.”
There’s nothing extraordinary about Pluto—he’s a medium-sized yellow dog with no distinguishing features and he rarely speaks. He communicates instead through his famous facial expressions. Loving, fiercely loyal, cheerful, and good-natured, Pluto is the ultimate “good boy”, and we love him for that.
2. Nana – Peter Pan (1953)
Nana is the Darling family’s Saint Bernard who, as her name suggests, is charged with caring for the Darling children in the absence of a human nanny or nursemaid. Nana does everything for the Darling brood, from giving them “tonic” to bathing them and keeping their behavior in check.
She’s a proud lady and takes her role very seriously. As such, Nana doesn’t take kindly to being treated as a regular dog, considering herself very much a member of the Darling family. Nothing in the world could stop Nana from attending to her duties.
3. Bruno – Cinderella (1950)
In her otherwise loveless life, Cinderella often takes comfort in her animal companions, one of whom is Bruno, a gentle-natured bloodhound (except where Lucifer is concerned!). Bruno seems to have real empathy for Cinderella’s predicament and is always there to comfort her and offer companionship.
He despises the stepmother’s scheming cat, Lucifer, something he never hesitates to make clear—and which gets him in trouble on occasion. It is Bruno’s unwavering loyalty that has endeared so many to him over the years.
4. Max – The Little Mermaid (1989)
It’s easy to understand why Prince Eric’s dog Max from The Little Mermaid (1989) is one of the most famous and beloved Disney dogs. For one thing, he’s an old English Sheepdog—and oh, how we just love those gentle giants!—and to boot, one of the most loyal dogs you could ever hope to meet. He’s also super affectionate with a penchant for licking the face of anyone he takes a shine to.
5. Goofy – Mickey Mouse Movies
Like Pluto, Goofy is by far one of the most recognizable Disney dogs. Unlike Pluto, he walks on two legs, speaks, wears clothes, and even has his own family. Eccentric, gawky, and clumsy but good-natured, Goofy is pretty hard to dislike in spite of his perpetual dopiness, which sometimes irks his son, Max Goof. Nevertheless, there’s a great deal of love between the two.
6. Lady – Lady and the Tramp (1955)
No “Most Famous Disney Dogs” list would be complete without Lady from Lady and the Tramp (1955). Lady is a Cocker Spaniel with a normal life who gets to experience the dangers of street life and human cruelty first-hand when her family goes away for a while.
Despite her gracefulness and reserved personality, she soon develops a new inner strength and becomes more rebellious, confident, and outspoken over the course of the movie.
7. Tramp – Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Everyone’s favorite mixed-breed, Tramp, is the street-smart stray dog who steals Lady’s heart in Lady and the Tramp (1955). Don’t let his charm and devil-may-care attitude fool you—Tramp has a heart of gold and is deeply protective of those he loves. Everyone has met a dog like Tramp—who hasn’t had the easiest time of it and needs to learn to trust humans again—at least once.
8. Pongo – One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
Funny and spirited Dalmatian daddy, Pongo, stole hearts the world over as one half of the spotted canine power duo of One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961).
Pongo loves his owner, Roger, whom he refers to as his “pet”, but is disillusioned by their bachelor lifestyle. Pongo, determined to seek out a mate for both of them, was the driving force behind Roger and Anita’s bizarre first meeting when he became enamored with Anita’s female Dalmatian, Perdy. He later became a protective and loving father to a ginormous litter of Dalmatian puppies.
9. Perdy – One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
You probably saw this one coming. Perdy—short for Perdita—is the sweet-natured, well-mannered, classy love interest of Pongo in One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961). Perdy is a gentle soul, but stands no nonsense from her puppies or the more buoyant and carefree Pongo, and is also incredibly courageous. Perdy will stop at nothing to keep her puppies safe.
And we can’t forget the puppies—there was no way we were going to list all 101 here, but that doesn’t mean they were overlooked! Special shoutout to Rolly, the constantly hungry pup with whom we deeply relate.
10. Percy – Pocahontas (1995)
Pampered pug Percy is one of the more complicated Disney dogs. He’s lived in the lap of luxury and is the ultimate snob as a result, but there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye. We love Percy because he’s flawed and hilarious in equal effect, and seriously likable despite his snootiness.
11. Dodger – Oliver & Company (1988)
Last, but certainly not least, is Dodger, a Jack Russel Terrier canine gang leader with a real melange of character traits that place him somewhere between antagonist and protagonist. As sly and calculated as he is generous and sweet-natured, this multifaceted loveable rogue is based on the human character The Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist.
Now that we’ve come to the end of this list of most famous Disney canine characters, we’d be lying if we said we found it easy to choose a top 10 from such a formidable bunch. Disney dogs have formed such a huge part of people’s childhoods for a long time and have taught us as much as, if not more, about loyalty, love, and friendship as their human counterparts.
Featured Image Credit: Taha, Unsplash