"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to." ~ Alfred A. Montapert

Animals have always been a human’s best friend(s). And these affectionate animals have secured an irreplaceable place for themselves in movies. Bollywood films and animals share a special relationship. Some of the most-memorable movies have animal thespians playing a pivotal role. Be it Hum Aapke Hai Koun or the upcoming movie, Entertainment. The same holds true for Hollywood flicks. For instance, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Both the movies have Caesar, the chimp, taking over the film completely.

Speaking of animals in films, the upcoming Bollywood slapstick comedy will feature a special co-star with Akshay Kumar. Yes, you guessed it right. It’s a beautiful Golden Retriever. Entertainment, the dog, plays an important role along with the rough and tough Khiladi, and he is the latest film to join the animal-movie league.

This is not a first-of-its-kind film. Bollywood has offered some of the best animal actors to the nation and to the world. From being playful buddies to life-savers to love cupids, animals have a lot more to offer in a film than being just another pet.

Let’s revisit some of the memorable roles played by animals in the world of Bollywood.

Dobby – Maa (1992)

It is said that a dog is a man’s best friend. Proving the fact is Dobby in the paranormal movie, Maa. Starring Jeetendra and Jayapradha, Dobby is a dog who can see ghosts. After her death, Jayapradha returns as a ghost. But is distraught to see her husband and child’s condition. With the help of Dobby, who can see her and executes her orders, she avenges her death. It is Dobby who takes the centerstage and saves the day for Maa.

Ramu – Haathi Mere Saathi (1971)

Have you ever hummed the song, ‘Chal chal chal, mere saathi’? from the movie Haathi Mere Saathi. Who doesn’t love the Disney-esque 1971 evergreen classic starring Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja? Did you know the original name of this film was Pyaar Ki Duniya. But owing to the quintessential role of Ramu the elephant, the title was changed.

In a nutshell, the story revolves around animal-lover Raju who has to choose between his family or his pet, Ramu. He refuses to leave Ramu. Soon Ramu dons the role of a peacemaker. He wins over everyone’s heart with his unconditional love. And brings Raju and his estranged wife, Tanu together, by sacrificing his life. Ramu had a lion’s share in the success of the film apart from keeping everyone entertained with his antics. The highlight of the flick was the special bond between Raju & Ramu.

Tuffy – Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994)

His name was Tuffy. But he was far from being tough. In fact, he was a cute pomeranian. Had it not been for Tuffy, Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit wouldn’t have got married in the 1994 blockbuster hit, Hum Aapke Hai Koun. He played a vital role as the love cupid and saved the day for the two love birds caught in a circumstantial net. And it’s his presence that added to the BO collection of the movie. Also a fact worth accepting, no other pet can carry the look as Tuffy does in his designer outfits and D&G goggles in the film.

Handsome – Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989)

He is a love messenger. He is a hero fighting the baddie. He is Handsome, the pigeon (or dove). Remember the song, ‘Kabootar jaa jaa jaa’? Suman (Bhagyashree) pleads to the pigeon to deliver her message to Suraj (Salman Khan). It remains one of the classic hits till date. And towards the climax of the film, the pigeon dons the role of a hero and attacks the villain, played by Mohnish Bahl. Handsome was not just the love agent. Instead, the bird plays an important role throughout the film and is instrumental in bringing a happy ending to Maine Pyaar Kiya.

Moti – Teri Meherbaniyan (1985)

This Jackie Shroff and Poonam Dhillon starrer has Moti, the dog as the lead character after the death of the hero. He carries the entire film on his shoulder.

Moti’s master Ram, and his sweetheart Bijli, get murdered by the villainous Thakur and his aides. Ram’s faithful friend Moti, takes the centerstage and avenges his master’s death. With his intelligence he tracks down all the culprits. The master-plan element of the movie leaves you awed. But the scene where Moti yearns at Ram’s grave, is a tear-jerker of all times. The title track, Teri Meherbaniyan is sure to leave you teary-eyed.

The film boasted of a stellar cast including Jackie Shroff, Poonam Dhillon, Raj Kiran and Amrish Puri. But Brownie as Moti stole the show.

Rajni, the Nagin – Nagina (1986)

Bollywood has its fair share of snake flicks. Some famous snake films of all time include, Doodh Ka Karz, Nagin, Nigaahen, Jaani Dushman. But none can beat Nagina. It remains the best and most popular snake movie starring Rishi Kapoor and Sridevi.

The ‘nagin’ dance – ‘Main Teri Dushman’ remains the iconic snake dance till date. Sridevi slithered like a real serpent to the tunes of Bhairo Nath (Amrish Puri). Based on the theme of ‘icchadhari nagin’, where the snake can shape-shift to various human forms, Nagina was a blockbuster hit. All hail to Rajni, the nagin, a fabulous performance by Sridevi.

If you too share your love for animals and pets like us, don’t forget to watch the upcoming movie Entertainment this weekend. The comedy movie stars Akshay Kumar, Tamannaah Bhatia, Krushna, Mithun Chakraborty and Johnny Lever. But it’s definitely going to be an Entertainment(‘s) show.

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