New Delhi: American comedy drama A Dog’s Purpose that has netted more than $175 million worldwide released in India last week. The film that tells the story of a dog reincarnated multiple times in order to discover the meaning of its existence is an inspiration for Hindi cinema that has barely used animals as more than props. Here are 10 films with animals in key characters.
1. Haathi Mere Saathi (1971): The Rajesh Khanna film tells the story of an orphaned zookeeper forced to choose between his family and beloved pet elephant. Co-starring Tanuja, the film made Rs4 crore in box office collections.
2. Nagin (1976): Director Rajkumar Kohli’s fantasy horror thriller was the story of a female serpent who continually assumes human form to avenge her lover’s death. Starring Reena Roy, Sunil Dutt, Jeetendra and Feroz Khan, the film made Rs4 crore at the box office.
3. Teri Meherbaniyan (1985): The Jackie Shroff film was the story of a brave dog who avenges his master’s gruesome death. Directed by Vijay Reddy, it was the remake of Kannada film Thaliya Bhagya.
3. Parivaar (1987): As was common in the 1970s and 80s, the Mithun Chakraborty film showed a pair of faithful beasts managing everything, including driving a car, to catch the bad guys. The Shashilal Nair-directed film made Rs3 crore at the box office.
4. Maine Pyar Kiya (1989): Sooraj Barjatya’s directorial debut had a key role for its pigeon that acted as a messenger between the two leads and even helped overpower the antagonist in the climax. The film made Rs15 crore at the box office.
5. Aankhen (1993): Govinda’s blockbuster comedy had an important role for its lead monkey character. The David Dhawan-directed film crossed Rs11 crore at the box office.
6. Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!(1994): As with many Rajshri Films productions, Sooraj Barjatya’s family drama had a key role for its pet dog who ultimately plays a part in bringing the lead pair together. The Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan-starrer netted about Rs60 crore at the time of release and has emerged as one of the most successful Indian films ever.
7. Chillar Party (2011): The Salman Khan production revolves around a group of children striving to save a stray dog. The film co-directed by Nitesh Tiwari and Vikas Bahl earned Rs6 crore in box office collections.
9. Entertainment (2014): The Sajid-Farhad-directed comedy saw lead actor Akshay Kumar fight a dog for rights to his father’s property. The film earned over Rs72 crore in box office collections.
10. Dil Dhadakne Do (2015): Zoya Akhtar’s comedy drama had Aamir Khan doing a voice-over for the film’s narrator played by a dog. Starring Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma, the film netted Rs76 crore at the box office.
All figures have been sourced from movie websites Bollywood Hungama and IBOS Network