What’s On Blog

Celebrating Dogs in Film!

22nd March
Is it time we celebrate the dogs in film? The FIDOS is one of the only award shows that celebrate the dogs.

Could The FIDOS Rival The Oscars?

The cultural significance of dogs is ingrained into our heritage, from the Fine Art masters like Sir Edwin Landseer and Gainsborough whose paintings give us a view of dogs in the 1800’s. Many great Photographers from Man Ray to Richard Kalvar snapped timeless images that have captured dogs as man’s best friend through the 20th century.  

What About Dogs in Film?  

We all know about Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, and more recently the fame of Uggie, the Parsons Russel Terrier, who starred in the 2011 multi-award-winning comedy-drama – ‘The Artist’.  Incredibly Rin Tin Tim earned more than Greta Garbo and saved Warner Brothers from bankruptcy in the early 1930’s – thanks to his box huge office takings. Marking his passing on August 10th 1932 and the huge loss to the silver screen the world stopped still for a minute’s silence. Despite this, he never received an Oscar.

Neither did Lassie, even though his co-star in ‘Lassie Come Home’, Elizabeth Taylor, famously said that Lassie was her best-ever co-star. The list of films is endless from Toto, the Cairn Terrier in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Turner and Hooch’, played by a Dogue de Bordeaux called Beasley, there’s Beethoven, Digby, White Fang, Haichi, and hundreds more – all these canines have stolen the show!  


When cinema journalist, Toby Rose, a massive dog lover founded the FIDOS, or For Incredible Dogs On Screen Awards, in 2007 and the Palm Dog Awards in 2001, he wanted to mirror 2 of the biggest award shows, The Oscars and The Palme d’Or at The Cannes Film Festival, but to celebrate the canine co-stars.  Uggie, the star of ‘The Artist’, was rightfully awarded Best in Year at the 2011 FIDOS, acknowledging his talent.

The FIDOS are held on the same Sunday as The Oscars, and this year were staged at the British Film Institute for the first time. The red carpet was packed with a sparkling attendance of film critics, journalists, personalities, actors along with canine celebrities and influencers. As Toby explained: “Our 2024 event raised the ‘bark’ as it has been an extra special year because of the number of dogs in film from Barbie to Wonka to Napoleon. Plus, there’s been a trend of dogs starring alongside A-listers, from Tilda Swinton to Will Ferrell to Mark Wahlberg. 

The panel of judges was highly qualified to choose which dogs deserved the bespoke collars designed by Creature Clothes. An impressive judging panel included Kaleem Aftab, film writer and head of international programming for Red Sea Film Festival:  Peter Bradshaw, film critic for The Guardian; Rita Di Santo, FIPRESCI film critic; Wendy Mitchell, film journalist and author of Citizen Canine; Tim Robey, film critic for Daily Telegraph; Anna Smith, film critic, broadcaster and host of Girls On Film podcast; Joe Utichi, Executive Awards Editor at Deadline and Damon Wise, film Editor.  

The Winners Were:   

Mutt Moment: Anatomy of a Fall  (dir. Justine Triet) – Messi, the Border Collie who played Snoop

Blockbuster Bowser: The Little Mermaid (dir.  Rob Marshall) –  Gary the Australian Labradoodle who played Max, the Old English Sheepdog

Rom Com Rover – Barbie  (dir Greta Gerwig)  – Sugar, a West Highland White Terrier 

Historical Hound Napoleon (dir Ridley Scott)  – Fortune, Josephine’s Pomeranian 

Best In World: Anatomy of a Fall (dir. Justine Triet) – Messi, the Border Collie 

The Oscars 

There have even been indications that some of the lavish campaigning that has become a hallmark of the Oscars is starting to spill over into the FIDOS. 

 In February, Border Collie, Messi’s bid for the top award received a huge boost when he was flown to Los Angeles from his French home to mingle with Hollywood’s glitterati. Messi had lunch with Bradley Cooper and Billie Eilish, plaudits from Emma Stone and an encounter with Ryan Gosling that went viral online. Messi’s film role in Anatomy of a Fall as an assistance dog to a visually impaired boy who is the only witness to his father’s death includes a scene when Snoop, Messi’s character, almost dies. At one point Messi’s performance was so realistic that Ryan Gosling rushed over to help! 

It begs the question, could The Oscars and The FIDOS converge?  

About the Author – Anna Webb

As a Canine Nutrition and Behaviour expert, Anna combines her psychology degree, with study at the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT) and over 20 years of experience. Host of the award-nominated A DOG’S LIFE podcast, she lives in London and is owned by Prudence, a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr. Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. www.annawebb.co.uk 

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