Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Dogs are immune to pretty much any force of cinematic catastrophe, including, as the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead proves, zombies. In one scene, Chips is lowered into the zombie’s midst to transport food and supplies to another human survivor, since zombies obviously don’t eat dogs. Although Chips survives, the human he was sent to rescue is ironically eaten.
Leave it to Sylvester Stallone to risk his life saving a dog from a collapsed section of the Holland Tunnel to honor the wishes of somebody’s dying mother. Stallone passes Cooper to safety before a beam breaks, causing him to fall back down into the water.
What would a classic ’90s disaster flick be without putting a dog dangerously close to certain death and then resolving the peril with some lighthearted canine antics? Roger Ebert probably puts it best: “In a tiny subplot, we see a dog barking at the lava coming in the front door, and then grabbing his Doggy-Bone and escaping out the back. When that happened, not a single dog in the audience had dry eyes.”
Another quintessential ’90s disaster film, Twister opens with a tornado from Jo’s (Jodie Foster) childhood in which her father dies, but somehow her dog makes it, setting up the plot for her lifelong obsession with storm chasing. And, at least one other dog survives a tornado in this film.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
In addition to the homeless man and his dog who, after being initially turned away, manage to find shelter in the public library before an epic tsunami wipes out New York City, The Day After Tomorrow also features some escaped CGI wolves capable of enduring unthinkably cold CGI temperatures.