Cool Runnings may have not been the most conventional sports movie, but its story, based on the 1988 Jamaican bobsleigh team, didn’t need to be to both entertain and warm the hearts of those who watched it. Although the writers took their liberties with the story compared to the way it all played out in real life, there’s little doubt that it took some unique characters to make this narrative of hope come to fruition in both the factual and fictionalized versions. Because of it, along with some other important locations, quotes and concepts, there are plenty of options for potential dog-namers looking for a themed title.
Cool Runnings Inspired Dog Names in Pop Culture
When it comes to characters from Cool Runnings, few were as popular as Sanka Coffie, likely the film’s most lovable and humorous character — it didn’t hurt that on top of his comedic acting, he was also given some of the movie’s funniest and most iconic lines. It was a role that helped launch his career and played right along with some of his earliest work, as he joined the industry ranks as a stand-up comedian at only 17 years old (and was even first discovered by none other than Russell Simmons).
But Doug E. Doug isn’t the only Disney-based “Doug” to gain that kind of popularity either. In recent years, Dug the Dog from Disney/Pixar’s Up! may just be the most lovable and his character has nearly just as much backstory.
Originally belonging to the legendary explorer Charles Muntz, who is idolized by the film’s main character Carl Fredricksen, Dug is actually able to speak English thanks to a special collar that translates his thoughts into words (an invention of Muntz’s). Fredricksen and his accidental stowaway, Russell, a Junior Wilderness Explorer looking to get his “Assisting the Elderly” badge that will move him up in the Explorer ranks, end up with Dug after he flees from his original owner, taking to the pair of them.
But outside of his position in the film, Dug quickly became loved by audiences all over largely thanks to the translations that come out of his collar. While most of the sentences he speaks are elementary, they seem that much more believable coming from a dog. In fact, the writing team did a fantastic job developing Dug’s canine lexicon and writing lines that seem to perfectly depict the types of things we assume dogs think, from the simplicity of their structure to their easily-distracted nature (exemplified by Dug’s frequent and immediate head turns accompanied by the word “Squirrel!”).
Although Dug’s thoughts were largely written to give him enough personality to be featured as a main character, he also acts as a unique examination of the human-dog dynamic that exists between dogs and their owners, as well as an insightful look into what we assume they must be thinking about. Because of it, Dug allows viewers to enjoy the narration of a dog’s normal actions with his own narration, proving as much entertainment as he does perspective, from the intertwining language of English and dogspeak (“Yeah! Get off the ‘roof’!”) to experiencing the “cone of shame”.
Cool Runnings Inspired Dog Name Considerations
When attempting to come up with an appropriate Cool Runnings inspired dog name, it’s easiest to first compile a list of your dog’s most prominent traits including their looks, quirks and personality, as these will be the easiest points to play off of.
For instance, if you have a dog with dreadlocks such as a Puli, Komondor or Bergamasco, then the names Sanka, Coffie and Dougie (as in Doug E.) would certainly fit well, especially if they’re also coffee-colored and a bit on the goofy side. By contrast, if they’re more of the strong and silent type, then the names Yul or Brenner would be more appropriate. If you were more inspired by the true, original story more than the film itself, consider giving them the names of the actual 1988 team such as Stokes, Harris or Dudley. If you have any fascination with Jamaica itself, as a destination or cultural hub for food and music, you’ll have plenty of options as well.
There are a fair amount of directions you can take the naming process, so keep an open mind and see what stands out the most. If you need any additional inspiration, don’t hesitate to re-watch the film to help generate some ideas.