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15 Awesome Golden Retriever Movies to Watch Today

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Dogster Team

Happy family and dog watching TV together in living room

15 Awesome Golden Retriever Movies to Watch Today

Who doesn’t love a great movie featuring a canine? Films starring dogs are everywhere, and one of the most common breeds on the big screen is the Golden Retriever. Whether you’re interested in watching Golden Retrievers play basketball or want to cry your eyes out over the love dogs have for their people, you can find a Golden Retriever movie to satisfy your needs.

Rather than have you do the work of hunting these films down, we’ve gathered some of our favorite Golden Retriever movies you can watch today below. Take a look to find kids’ films, family films, and more!

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The 15 Golden Retriever Movies

1. Air Bud

Release Date August 1, 1997
Rating PG
Film Length 1 hr 38 min

When you think of movies starring Golden Retrievers, chances are Air Bud (and the accompanying sequels and spin-offs) is one of the first to pop into your head (at least if you’re of a certain age). This family-friendly flick features a dog named Buddy who is an excellent basketball player. There’s more to it than that, of course, such as learning to live with grief after the death of a loved one and dealing with bullies. The movie was popular when it came out, and it’s still fun to watch today!

2. Air Buddies

Release Date December 12, 2006
Rating PG
Film Length 1 hr 20 min

Air Buddies is the first film in the Air Bud spin-off series and features Buddy’s puppies—puppies who talk, we might add! This was a marked difference from the Air Bud films, as Buddy couldn’t talk in those (although he speaks in Air Buddies). Instead of featuring the puppies playing sports, Air Buddies is more about the adventures of these cute little guys. In this film, the puppies are chased by bad guys who want to steal them. In the third film, the puppies go to space!

3. The Art of Racing in the Rain

Release Date August 9, 2019
Rating PG
Film Length 1 hr 49 min

If you’re in the mood to cry, The Art of Racing in the Rain might be the film for you. In this movie, a Golden Retriever named Enzo narrates his life from beginning to end. Starting from puppyhood, we see Enzo get adopted by a race car driver, then go through his life as the race car driver gets married and has a child. Plenty more comes after that, but you’ll have to watch the movie to find out what! Just remember to have the tissues handy.

4. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

Release Date February 3, 1993
Rating G
Film Length 1 hr 24 min

If you’re a kid of the 1990s, then you remember this film! Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a remake of a 1963 film based on a novel. The movie features three animals—Chance (an American Bulldog), Shadow (a Golden Retriever), and Sassy (a Himalayan cat)—who mistakenly believe they’ve been abandoned by their family and decide to make the trek across the Sierra Nevada to make it home. It’s an excellent film with plenty of adventure and drama, and you’ll love it!

5. For the Love of a Dog

Release Date November 20, 2007
Rating G
Film Length 1 hr 30 min

Looking for an utterly heartwarming film? It doesn’t get much more heartwarming than this one! For the Love of a Dog is about a community (primarily teens) banding together to raise money for a local Golden Retriever in need of expensive surgery. This movie was never a big hit, like Homeward Bound, but people who’ve seen it have greatly enjoyed it, saying it’s incredibly uplifting.

6. Pick of the Litter

Release Date August 31, 2018
Rating PG
Film Length 1 hr 20 min

Do you love documentaries or are curious about what it takes for a canine to become a guide dog to people who are blind? Then Pick of the Litter is for you! This documentary follows a group of Golden Retriever puppies from the moment they’re born and shows their two-year journey to become guide dogs for the blind. You’ll see all the training it takes to become a guide dog and find out which pups make the final cut.

7. Napoleon

Release Date December 26, 1996
Rating G
Film Length 1 hr 21 min

This adorable Australian film features a Golden Retriever named Muffin (who calls himself Napoleon) and his cockatoo friend, Birdo. Napoleon dreams of living as a wild dog rather than the family dog he is. One day, during a birthday party, a basket lined with balloons carries him away from his family and dumps him in the wilderness. Napoleon meets many of Australia’s wild animals, learns how to be brave, and learns the importance of family. Fun fact: 64 dogs played Napoleon!

9. A Dog’s Purpose

Release Date January 27, 2017
Rating PG
Film Length 1 hr 40 min

A Dog’s Purpose is another movie you just might end up crying over. This film features a reincarnated dog trying to find his purpose (so, the dog is only a Golden Retriever in one lifetime) and explores themes of dysfunctional families, loyalty, and grief. It’s an incredibly sweet story, but it’s another where you might want to have a box of tissues on standby.

10. Golden Winter

Release Date September 25, 2012
Rating G
Film Length 1 hr 29 min

Do you crave a holiday film featuring Golden Retrievers? Look no further than Golden Winter! Also known as Santa’s Little Yelpers, it features a litter of adorable Golden Retriever pups. There’s not much information about this film, but it follows the story of a boy who befriends the litter of stray Golden Retrievers and works with them to stop a bank robbery. It’s a feel-good kind of film!

11. A Letter to True

Release Date February 9, 2004
Rating Unrated
Film Length 1 hr 18 min

A Letter to True is unlike the other films on this list, but if you’re a fan of artsy, stream-of-consciousness cinema, you may enjoy it. The documentary was made by filmmaker Bruce Weber and heavily features his family of Golden Retrievers, including True. The movie’s focus isn’t only on the dogs; it’s interspersed with other themes and obsessions of Weber, including music, Liz Taylor, home movies, politics, and friendship. It isn’t a film for everyone, but if you love Golden Retrievers and artistic documentaries, it might be the movie for you!

12. Dog Gone

Release Date February 28, 2008
Rating PG
Film Length 1 hr 48 min

Dog Gone is a cross between a diamond heist and Home Alone! In this film, a boy saves a Golden Retriever from a group of criminals who mistreat the pup. The criminals steal a bunch of diamonds and hide them with the dog, so when Diamond (as the boy names him) goes missing, the criminal gang searches for him. It may be a bit ridiculous, but it’s incredibly entertaining.

12. The Retrievers

Release Date July 30, 2001
Rating Unrated
Film Length 1 hr 35 min

Grab the family to enjoy this film about a family who gets adopted by a Golden Retriever named Pilot! Pilot eventually ends up having a litter of puppies, which the household’s father insists must be given away. But once the puppies are gone, the family realizes how much they miss the dogs and rushes to track them down and bring them home. It’s a sweet, feel-good movie featuring Betty White and Robert Wagner.

13. Cybermutt

Release Date May 26, 2003
Rating PG
Film Length 1 hr 35 min

Your kids will love Cybermutt! This film stars a Golden Retriever named Rex, who saves a genius scientist’s life. However, Rex is badly injured while doing so. To thank the pup, the scientist turns Rex into a bionic dog (with superpowers!). Then, Rex can run 70 mph, see in infrared, and has super strength. Is it silly? Yes. Is it fun? Also, yes!

14. The Trial of Old Drum

Release Date 2000
Rating PG
Film Length 1 hr 29 min

The Trial of Old Drum is on the sadder side and based on a true story or, at least, the legends surrounding the story. Though the true-life version is much different (and not as happy), the film captures the love between a child and their favorite dog. When Old Drum is accused of killing sheep, he is jailed and given a trial to determine his guilt or innocence. Meanwhile, his owner works to find evidence of Old Drum’s innocence. It is an enjoyable film for the whole family!

15. One Minute More

Release Date May 9, 2014
Rating Unknown
Film Length 1 hr 50 min

If you’re a fan of foreign cinema and have been looking for a foreign film featuring a Golden Retriever, look no further! The Taiwanese movie One Minute More is a rom-com about a hardworking editor who adopts a Golden Retriever and gets a new outlook on life.

Wanchen works 14 hours a day as an editor, but after adopting Lila, the Golden Retriever, her life changes as the dog encourages her to put other things before work. The Japan Times called this film a bit corny but also tear-inducing, so it may be a fun watch for those who enjoy rom-coms from other countries!

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There’s no shortage of movies starring or featuring Golden Retrievers! Whether you’re seeking a movie for the whole family, a tear-jerker, a documentary, an artistic expression, or a foreign film, you’ll find a little bit of everything regarding Golden Retriever movies. Since some movies are available on streaming platforms, they are easier to watch than ever. So, pick a film, make some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy!

Featured Image Credit: Wavebreakmedia_Shutterstock

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