From talking pigs and lifesaving mutts to magical owls, audiences love animals. Pair a chimpanzee with a comedian, and you've got box-office gold. Over the decades, some four-legged stars have inspired our imaginations and earned places in Hollywood history. After much debate, we narrowed our list down to the top nine...not counting cartoon creatures. No offense, Mickey.
Lassie may be a classic choice, but this time around, Benji edged her out by a hair. While we appreciate Lassie and Timmy's bond, Benji is a stray with serious spunk. He may not have any pedigree, but Benji gets the job done. In his first film—released in 1974—Benji uses his keen canine senses to help save children from kidnappers. Plus, this pound puppy inspires audiences to open their hearts and homes to mutts of all shapes and sizes.