Star Trek Guide

The Best Monkeys, Birds and Other Non-Cat & Dog Pets In Movies and TV

There are plenty of heroic dogs or clever cats that grace the silver screen, but there are also overlooked pets of different species that have been impactful to the hero’s story. This list is dedicated to different varieties of companions that have appeared in movies and TV over the years, and they have easily won the hearts of audiences.

Jack the Monkey - Pirates of the Caribbean

Jack Sparrow is not the only notable ‘Jack’ in the franchise. Barbosa's faithful monkey of the same name has influenced the story in his own subtle ways. Perhaps the most notable contribution is the fact the monkey delivers the last medallion to Barbosa, where the rest of the crew are too busy fighting for survival. This helps rid the pirates of the curse that also plagued the poor pet as well. Being small and nimble is an advantage in Jack the Monkey’s case, and he makes sure to use it to the fullest.

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Abu - Aladdin

Speaking of mischievous monkeys, Abu is both Aladdin’s friend and his partner in crime. This cute pet is not afraid to fight the enemies, casually “borrow” items left and right and act as a companion to a poor boy on his journey to become a worthy prince. Abu and Aladdin may have had a rocky start, meeting due to a conflict and then forming a criminal partnership, but their bond becomes genuine over time, and the two are inseparable by the time Jafar learns of the magical cave. The partnership that forms between the two thieves is one of the major dynamics of Aladdin, as they stand together through thick and thin.

Pascal - Tangled

The next pet on the list is perhaps more passive, but no less important. Pascal may not have action scenes, but to Rapunzel, he is her most important friend. It’s unknown when their paths crossed, but in her adulthood, the princess relies on Pascal to provide both comfort and companionship. He even warns her about the dangers of consorting with strangers, regardless of how well this plays out. Furthermore, the little chameleon has proven to be a reliable sidekick during her search for freedom.

Hedwig - Harry Potter

Perhaps no "best of" list would be complete without Hedwig. The famed white owl is with Harry every step of the way, representing his first tangible connection to the world of magic. She carries his letters, faithfully stays with the boy during his confinement in the Dursley household, accompanies him at school and, ultimately, gives her life to save Harry. This sacrifice has ingrained Hedwig as one of the more important characters in the whole series. While there are plenty of fantastic creatures in the Harry Potter universe, Hedwig outshines many of them.

Baby - Bringing Up Baby

Exotic pets can be exciting and dangerous, and nothing proves this as well as Baby, a leopard. Baby is meant to comfortably live on a farm, where it would bring joy to the owner, but in a twist of fate, it escapes. The caretakers aren't about to let the poor pet embrace a vagabond lifestyle, and a chase begins. Baby may not have actively participated in many of the shenanigans, but the leopard does bring the main couple together, and that’s worth celebrating.

Bill the Pony - Lord of the Rings

Bill assists the hobbits in their journey to Rivendell and, despite being old and not in the best of health, carries their items all the way to the mines of Moria. Such is the function of any horse, but Bill shows bravery in not turning tail at the first sight of trouble. Additionally, it’s unclear how far the hobbit group would have made it if they had to carry their bags by themselves, especially with Wraiths on their heels. Bill may have been only doing his job, but his existence helped to form the fellowship as fans know it.

Appa - Avatar: The Last Airbender

On the topic of faithful riding companions, Appa, a sky bison, is one of the best and most fantastical around. Throughout the series, he embodies the role of a companion, a childhood friend, a team member and an irreplaceable partner, so Appa deserves a place on this list. He is with Aang for most of his life, carrying him to safety and protecting him when the occasion calls for it. Appa has proven time and again he’s a force to be reckoned with, especially when someone threatens his family.

Huginn and Muninn - Thor and American Gods

Imagine having pets that can bring all the knowledge their owner would ever want. Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory) are a pair of ravens who travel the world and gather news to report to the Norse god Odin. These timeless pets have several on-screen appearances. One of them is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where they are shown in the background, delivering news to Thor’s father. Another of their appearances can be found in a TV series American Gods, where they are occasionally seen subtly circling Odin and Shadow Moon during their journey.

Tribbles - Star Trek

Tribbles make multiple appearances in different versions of Star Trek, and they are said to be fluffy and small, with the ability to multiply at an exponential rate. One of their more notable contributions comes from the alternate movie series. In Star Trek Into Darkness, tribbles are not only adorable pets, but they also help save Kirk’s life. Granted, Doctor McCoy does most of the work, but tribbles prove to be great testing subjects. Additionally, the furry creatures can be kept as a perfect security system, since they aggressively react to any Klingon in their presence. Once, in The Original Series, this even help Kirk's crew to identify a disguised Klingon.