Dogs are man’s best friend, and we can see that represented in all of our media, including cartoons and other animated shows and films! In fact, many cartoon dogs are iconic characters whom we remember more fondly than most human characters, and long after their shows were canceled or otherwise ended. Here are 10 of the top animated canine companions that we still think of today when we think of famous dogs:
We’ll start with perhaps the best-known dog in the world of cartoons: Snoopy. Creator Charles Schulz’s world of Peanuts was characterized by generous humor and a playful sense of irony and fun about its characters. Each one played a drastically different role in the ensemble that he managed to craft over the years. None have struck a deeper chord than Snoopy whose hijinks amused us and whose overtures of friendship touched us.
Of course, we can’t forget the first dog of Disney, Pluto. Disney is, after all, the progenitor of some of the most iconic characters in all of animation, so it comes as no surprise that their dog is among the most well-known dogs in the world!
Whereas Pluto is very much a dog, Goofy is an anthropomorphic dog, which is a dog that has human-like qualities. Where Pluto is the happy-go-lucky, energetic puppy, Goofy is the big, awkward dog that is always running into things and making those puppy-dog eyes at you.
4. Astro Jetson
Astro gets his own mention in the theme song of his show, The Jetsons. In this classic show about a futuristic family living in the sky, Astro’s presence was a reassurance that, in the end, the family is still very similar to what it is today.
Whereas all the aforementioned dogs were supporting cast members, Scooby-Doo headlined his show. His strange way of talking, his friendship with Shaggy, and his utter cowardice – that somehow managed to save the day anyway – are things that stick with us decades after this show ended!
6. Mr. Peabody
Most dogs are represented as the intellectual inferior of their master, but not so with Mr. Peabody. A time traveler, a scientist, a historian, and a connoisseur of countless things, Mr. Peabody was our guide as well as Sherman’s through a difficult time in life: all of human history!
7. Santa’s Little Helper
The new first family of animated television is, of course, the Simpsons. It may not seem new now, but keep in mind that the Flintstones and Jetsons reigned supreme long before them. At the foot of the throne lies Santa’s Little Helper, who is perpetually flea-ridden, eating things he definitely should not, and dumb as a rock – but still a faithful companion to Bart and the whole Simpsons family.
8. Brian Griffin
Brian is a Mr. Peabody-like interpretation of the dog as intelligent, self-aware, and with a life and desires of his own. Brian is very human-like in his behavior – in fact, he may be the most realistic person in the entire Griffin family.
Garfield is perhaps the most iconic animated cat in the world. He embodies the cat ethos so well: eat, sleep, and leave him alone. Odie, on the other hand, embodies the dog ethos as well: lick, bark, and play! It’s not hard to see why the two just can’t seem to get along.
This last one is a tearjerker. Charlie, of All Dogs Go to Heaven fame, was voiced by Burt Reynolds. In his film, he told us a tale of redemption and love that can’t help but make us think of those dogs who have enriched our lives and then left us in their time.