Curl up with your furry friends while watching one of these animal movies on a chilly afternoon. From true-life tales of penguins to touching stories that share the wonders of the animal spirit, these movies are motivational, adorable, and perfect for enjoying on a snowy Winter afternoon. Plus, many of these classics are appropriate for animal lovers of all ages.
Tim Burton's next adorably gruesome animated adventure, Frankenweenie, comes out in theaters today, and I'm totally smitten by Sparky, the pointy-nosed Bull Terrier so loved by little Victor that his buddy brings him back from the dead. He's, of course, adorable when alive, but he's almost more darling in his undead form with a few stitches and missing parts! Resurrected Sparky has now joined a long line of movie critters that aren't real . . . but I wish they were! Check out the others in this slideshow, and chime in with your favorites.
We can't wait for the Academy Awards this Sunday night, and while Uggie won't be making a red-carpet appearance, another animal gets to steal the limelight when War Horse vies for the best picture title! Surprisingly, only five other animal films have been nominated for this prestigious award in the history of the show, which we've rounded up for your viewing pleasure.
Last week dog lovers and their furry friends lined up for the first film festival especially for dogs in Prague. The four-day event, which was titled Aero Dog Festival (or Aero Pes Fest), presented movies about and for the dogs. No news whether any of our favorite animal flicks made the cut. For a quick cute boost, take a peep at the doggies sitting patiently in the dark.
I totally enjoyed Beverly Hills Chihuahua (did you?) – so here's a tail-waggingly good tale about one of the film's heroes, the lovable and macho Papi. The bat-eared Chihuahua mix named Rusco was rescued for the part from the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter by a trainer who's now the pup's proud parent, too.
The lil guy was a fast learner (just like another rescue-turned-star pooch I remember) able to quickly acclimate to a role in front of lights, cameras and action. His fave rewards during the learning process . . . steak and a stuffed, squeaky flower named "Daisy May." Ahh, tough life.
Find out about the furry costars of Rusco . . . errrr, Papi . . . when you read more
While several of the pups of Beverly Hills Chihuahua sported fashions I recognized from doggie couture label Little Lily, for most of her clothed scenes, star pup Chloe wore handmade outfits of sleek and chic materials imported from Europe . . . all to give her a look modeled after Chanel, Valentino, and the like.
Costume designer Mariestela Fernández designed 30 dresses to fit a prototype of the canine actress (named Angel) and worked with the star's animal coordinator over three fittings to select the final 17 outfits used in the film. From nightgowns to ball gowns, most outfits featured specially created booties meant to stay on her paws (well, most of the time . . . wink wink to those of you who've seen the film already).
Curious about that diamond collar (and to see photos from the film!) read more
I've already mentioned another film on a controversial topic making its way around the festival circuit, and here is another: now it's animal testing. But this isn't a documentary showing you disturbing secret footage shot guerrilla style about things that go on behind closed doors. This film is brought to you by Jessica Biel, one of my favorite dog lovers! It's called Hole in the Paper Sky, and I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Jessica to make considering the horrible feelings I've got in my stomach . . . just from watching the trailer!
The 30-minute-long short has already taken in two awards at the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival for Best Drama and Best Director, and I'm sure it will rack up plenty of others on its national tour. For festival dates where you can catch Hole in the Paper Sky check out Jessica's Myspace blog.
See the short, but moving – get your Kleenex ready! – trailer for Hole in the Paper Sky when you read more
If there were any event I might want to see in person besides the World's Ugliest Dog Competition, it'd be a screening of Wiener Takes All! I've been hearing rumblings for weeks now about this new "dogumentary" that takes a behind-the-scenes look at competitive dachshund racing, and I finally found the trailer. While I definitely don't support dog racing of any kind, I've heard the film is packed with juicy bits of controversy – lying, cheating, steroids! – about this, well, controversial sport.
Since the dogs are oh-so-adoro, and they've been selling out all screenings during their recent Film Festival tour, I have a feeling Wiener Takes All must pack a pretty powerful pawful of information to be so popular. Check out the cute trailer for this indie film when you read more