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WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? ANIMALS ON THE SILVER SCREEN!

Funny DogBy and large, most people love looking after animals and watching feature-length films. So it only makes sense, that by combining the two together, we’re definitely guaranteed to be in for a good time. Having said that, though, I'm afraid to say the same thing can't be said about the people who make this type of movie! After all, it's easier for a human to learn their lines than an animal to follow a stranger's orders. According to the animal trainer, Teresa Ann Miller, a person's body language and tone of voice is very important when it comes down to making a dog, a cat, or a warm and fussy-star, become obedient for the silver screen. Otherwise, you may need to get some form of insurance, like those supplied by Cliverton: The dog trainers liability insurance, who kindly gave us the following list of films featuring, yes, you guessed it, animals. Please enjoy.





Turner and Hooch (1989)


Throughout the years, Tom Hanks has starred opposite some very memorable people, including Sally FieldsMeg Ryan, plus that bloke from 'CSI: New York'. But as far as Tom is concerned, the most memorable person he's ever worked with was Beasley, the very po-faced Dogue de Bordeaux, who co-starred with him in 'Turner and Hooch'. Tom once said that he built up such a very close relationship with Beasley, that he sent a letter of appreciation to the dog’s owner and trainer, Clint Rowe.


Beethoven (1992)


If you're a dog lover then I'm sure you're going to go crazy over Beethoven! No. Not the German composer, but rather, the film that made over 147 million dollars at the box office and spawned a string of canine-related sequels. This giant Saint Bernard bundled onto our screens in 1992 when the Newton family decided to adopt a puppy. Yet little did they know, that when this pooch grew up, he would turn into a mischievous four-legged friend who was good at drooling, looking tired, and being kidnapped by a group of idiots.


Free Willy (1993)


If you live in England, the name of this film will always make you laugh! Well, let's face it, freeing someone's Willy can get you arrested in the UK, even though in Hollywood it can make you 153 million dollars. Only for making a film, OK? A family-friendly film which showcased the mistreatment of certain whales after they've been captured. Phew! Good job I corrected myself with that one, eh? And I did it without mentioning another whale-related classic, Moby-Dick! But then again, isn't Moby the name of a singer?


Black Beauty (1994)


My Uncle Nick once said that this 1994 family film destroyed his entire life and made him into the shmuck he is today. So, just for fun, let's see if you can guess why out of the following three options? Could it have something to do with: (1) The story being based on a novel written by Anna Sewell in 1877. (2) It featuring a black stallion who faces hardship, after hardship, after hardship, while being passed from owner, to owner, to owner. Or (3) My uncle loving to gamble on horses. Go on, have a guess, and while you're at it, keep in mind that horses are difficult to train and even more difficult to predict. So says horse trainer, Steve Dent, whose family have supplied stunt horses to Hollywood for more than seven decades.


Babe: Pig in the City (1998)


Sniff-Sniff! Hey! Can you smell something? Bacon, perhaps? And if it's not that, then it must be an Oscar-nominated movie about a pig who was taught to herd sheep. According to Jo Fenney, the head pig trainer for the movie, "It’s easier to work with a pig than a dog because they have more motivation for food”.


Marley and Me (2008)


When I first saw 'Marley and Me', I honestly thought I was watching a shampoo commercial because of the abundance of blond wavy hair shimmering about. But no. It wasn't a commercial. It was a film based on a best selling book written by the American journalist, John Grogan, which starred Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, and twenty-four different labradors who each played the titular role. Yes. That's right. I said twenty-four labradors; because throughout production, eight trainers were tasked with prepping eleven puppies, five young adult dogs, and three seniors who were chosen to play the lovable Marley.


With an abundance of other animal movies that could have made the list, it’s clear that casting animals in the lead role can help your movie be a success. A lot of the praise must go to the unsung heroes too – the trainers!

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? ANIMALS ON THE SILVER SCREEN! WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? ANIMALS ON THE SILVER SCREEN! Reviewed by David Lee Andrews on December 10, 2018 Rating: 5

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