What’s not to love about golden retrievers? Hardworking, intelligent and playful, these beloved dogs are one of the top breeds to be welcomed in the home today. That's why it is one of the most popular dog in the US and show up in many movies in the leading roles.
Air Bud (Franchise)
In 1997 Disney released “Air Bud”. The movie is about a young boy (Josh Framm) who loses his father in an accident and then his family moves to Washington (state). Meanwhile, an abusive and alcoholic dog owner (Norman Snively) is taking Buddy (a golden retriever) to the pound but his kennel falls off the back of the truck and buddy escapes. Josh and Buddy meet up and quickly becomes friends.
Just in time for the holiday season in 2009 Disney put out their latest in the “Buddies” movies – “Santa Buddies”. The movie stars a group of puppies (“the Buddies”) who decide to take a vacation to the North Pole. One of the puppies is on the “naughty” list and the son of Santa Paws, Puppy Paws decides to show him how to be a good puppy while the entire gang tries to teach everyone the true meaning of Christmas.
Puppy Paws and Santa Paws are reported as being a Great Pyrenees while the Buddies are retrievers. Great Pyrenees are very large (over 100 pounds) herding dogs from the Basque region of Spain and France. Retrievers are very popular pets and often very friendly, especially as puppies.
Normally I do not intend to do animated films but Pixar’s “Up” really hits home with their dogs.
First, we meed Dug, a retriever (voiced by Bob Peterson). What’s unique about Dug is that he has a collar that converts his thoughts to words we (humans) can understand. Dug is a very typical retriever – in love with everyone he meets and wants to be their best friend. of course, Dug is also not the brightest dog you’ve ever met nor the most attractive but what he lacks in intelligence and looks he over-compensates in sweetness and personality.
The mid-1980s TV show, “Punky Brewster” featured a golden retriever named “Brandon” (a.k.a. “Brandon the Wonder Dog” – his real name was also Brandon). Brandon was Punky’s trusty sidekick throughout the series – appearing in every episode but he wasn’t in the credits until the third season.
Brandon was a puppy when the show first aired and loyal viewers watched Brandon grow up along with Punky though the entire life of the series (88 episodes from 1984 to 1988) and he was named after the head of NBC (the network that aired Punky Brewster), Brandon Tartikoff. Brandon lived up to his alias learning many tricks during his show career including how to ride a skateboard in just a couple of days. Glen Garner is credited for being the on-set dog trainer.
A dog's purpose
A Dog’s Purpose is not a good movie. Its characters, both human and canine, are two-dimensional. Its narrative structure, which jumps from one unrelated dog owner to the next, is lumpy. Its premise, that dogs are reincarnated and retain memories and habits from their past lives, is highly dubious. If you are an even mildly discriminating filmgoer, you will roll your eyes throughout A Dog’s Purpose.
The second dog we meet — it’s the 1960s, the Bay of Pigs is in the news — is the central character (an odd description, I know, if all the dogs are reincarnated). He’s a golden retriever named Bailey.
When it comes to animals, we have come far since Rene Descartes’s view of them as unthinking, unfeeling automatons. Measuring animal intelligence is a legitimate field of scientific study, one that has contributed to some absorbing books in recent years, such as Frans De Waal’s Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?