I need to know for a project I'm working on at school, and google isn't helping me out. I was to know what was the first movie that actually revolve around an animal character. (has an animal protagonist.)

  • 3
    Can you elaborate your question. Can the movie be animated(cartoon), documentary, short film? or it has to be released on the big screen?
    – pradyot
    May 14, 2016 at 3:35
  • 2
    This is maybe too broad as it stands. Off the top of my head, I'd say maybe Black Beauty; it has film adaptations as early as 1921 and the source novel was told from the horse's perspective. May 14, 2016 at 4:14

3 Answers 3


Rescued by Rover (1905) (IMDB entry) stars Blair, Cecil Hepworth's dog. The British silent short is about a dog who leads its master to a kidnapped baby.

The Wikipedia entry on Jean, the Vitagraph dog (the second canine film star), claims Blair as the first.

Whether there's an earlier animal star, though, I couldn't tell you.


I cant say whether this movie is the first, but definitely old.

A Dog's Love (1914)

IMDB link of this movie

Source for this answer: wikipedia

NOTE:If you are not satisfied with this answer, do go through the wiki source link I have provided. This might give you some insights.


I'm providing a second answer since A Dog's Love arguably has two main characters, one of whom is human.

Your Obedient Servant, 1917

This was the first film adaptation of the novel Black Beauty, whose central protagonist is a horse. It was a silent, black-and-white film.

Bambi, 1942

This must be one of the most iconic and famous films with an animal protagonist, namely a deer. It was an animated film.

Lassie Come-Home, 1943

Released only one year after Bambi, this is another well-loved classic, whose protagonist is a dog. It may have been (?) the first colour film with an animal protagonist.

I've included more than one film in this answer, since if you're working on a school project, you're probably interested in the history of animal protagonists in films rather than just the first. Also, there doesn't seem to be much information available on the very early ones.

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