There are any number of famous dogs in entertainment: Lassie, Eddie (of Frasier fame), Benji, Hooch, and Rin Tin Tin, but there is a certain breed of dog that has risen to a celebrity all their own. The animated dog. Here are my top ten animated dogs.
10. – Ren Hoeck – The Ren & Stimpy Show
A staple of Nickelodeon for many years, Ren was the often abrasive, usually neurotic companion of the slightly effeminate, hair-ball producing Stimpy. A take on a Chihuahua, Ren could go from screaming and calling Stimpy an idiot, to shivering in a corner much like a real Chihuahua. An icon for an entire generation of teenagers, Ren leads off our list at number ten.
9. – Blue – Blue’s Clues
Children around the world are familiar with Blue for his educational messages and great source of early childhood development skills. The recipient of nine Emmy awards, Blue’s Clues was inspired by Sesame Street, and appealed to the same crowd of pre-schoolers. Incorporating sign language, creative thinking, riddles, and both verbal and non-verbal skills, Blue’s Clues remains a great source for children of all ages.
8. – Santa’s Little Helper – The Simpsons
Often neglected, the Simpson’s dog, Santa’s Little Helper, is a charming, but poorly trained Greyhound. Having survived where the family’s cat has not (currently on Snowball V), this retired racing Greyhound has been a staple of the Simpson household for years. Having saved members of the family on numerous occasions, it’s often surprising that Bart was so quick to replace him with the more well trained Laddie (a joke on Lassie). Eventually Bart came to his senses, and Santa’s Little Helper has stayed with the Simpsons ever since.
7. – Brian Griffin – Family Guy
The Griffin’s dog is noticeable for his wit, intelligence, love of martinis, and ability to speak. While only 7 years old, Brian is only a few credits short of a degree from Brown University, owns a car, votes, and maintains a credit card. While displaying some of the typical canine behaviors (fear of vacuums), Brian’s anthropomorphic qualities are what have made him one of the more memorable animated dogs in recent history, catapulting him from tertiary character to one of the most popular characters in the series.
6. – Odie – Garfield
While certainly not the main star of the series, Odie has been a participant (sometimes willing, sometimes not), in many of Garfield’s hi-jinks. Though Garfield has usually gotten the better of Odie’s good nature and admitted simple nature, Odie has shown surprising ingenuity in getting revenge on Garfield on a number of occasions.