The Super Bowl has the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. The Oscars has the Pawscars online. This is where the American Humane Association revealed the winners of this year’s top acting awards and honor the top animal stars in film and television. Hosted by TV star Pauley Perrette and Lou Wegner, the 2015 American Humane Association PAWSCARS are now available for viewing online at www.americanhumane.org. It w as filmed and not live so there is no red carpet, no going over the time allotted, no political statements and no streakers. The American Humane Association made sure all the animals were not harmed in these movies.
The 2015 PAWSCARS winners are:
Best Puppy Under Pressure – “The Interview “
Certainly the cutest star of the film was Wolfie, a King Charles spaniel. Don’t worry. Wolfie was kept safe with all the chaos and action. He was never near any of the explosions, gunfire, or loud noise because some effects added later or a stuffed double was used. Most important was that he was kept warm with a hot water bottle. He has not been hacked at this time.
Best Magical Cow – “Into The Woods”
The movie has three Oscar nominations. “Into The Woods” is Disney’s version of the Stephen Sondheim fairy tale mash-up musical. The award for Best Magical Cow goes to “Milky White” played by animal actor Tug. She was not in any danger in the milking scenes because the American Humane Association Certified Animal Safety Representatives™ were just off camera making sure she stood still and that Jack was taught how to milk the cow before attempting it on camera.
Best Aquatic Performance – “Dolphin Tale 2”
This is the sequel to “Dolphin Tale.” The dolphins never worked more than an hour and had assigned water breaks (dolphins don’t drink coffee). The dolphin lying at the bottom of the tank was not a real dolphin, but an animatronic prop.
Best Chase Sequence – “Sex Tape”
In the scene where Jason Segal is searching one friend’s home, he encounters a German shepherd , played by both Nicki and King, and their was the chase. Again American Humane Association Certified Animal Safety Representatives were there for the dogs. In the treadmill gag, the machine was never running when the dog was on it; stuffed animals and CGI were used for all the dangerous parts and the full scene was put together in post-production.
Best Supporting Equine – “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
Dale, the horse, was ridden by the apes’ leader, Caesar. It may have looked like he, and the other Apes, are riding bareback but there were saddles. Dale and the other horses were dotted with non-toxic special effects markers which allowed the saddles to be eliminated in post-production. The horses were fitted with rubber hooves for scenes when they were on pavement.
Best Young Animal Performer(s) – “The Drop”
The pit bull puppy named Rocco was played by three separate puppies T, Puppers, and Ice to maintain age continuity. Because different puppies were used to play the same character, some nontoxic make-up was needed to make them all match. None of the pups were overworked, asked to do anything outside of their capabilities, and they had a safe and comfortable environment on set and off.
Best Ensemble – “Wild”
No, Reese Witherspoon’s character was not hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alone. There were many animal encounters including : a horse played by Muffet, a fox played by Dharma, a rattlesnake played by Fred, a dog played by Tess, a rabbit played by Sport, and even a llama played by Taiga. In the scene where frogs are released on to Witherspoon, the area was surrounded with a one foot-high barrier so that none of them got away and all 40 frogs were kept safe.
This year, American Humane Association’s “No Animals Were Harmed®” program celebrates 75 years as the only official film-industry sanctioned group ensuring the humane protection, safety and welfare of animal actors on the sets of movies, television shows, and commercial shoots. In honor of this special anniversary, they asked America who its favorite dog and cat stars of all time were. With 2,527 votes, the votes have been tabulated and the results are in.
Top Dog Star of all Time – Lassie
This lovable collie has been around for more than 75 years. Her first movie was “Lassie Come Home” with Elizabeth Taylor in her first starring role. Taylor was paid $100 a week, but Lassie got $250. There have been many more movies since then as well as a really successful television series. Lassie was the first animal actor to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the first inductee into the Animal Actors Hall of Fame. She has a long relationship with American Humane Association, winning 11 of its Animal Television Star Awards, the PATSYs.
Top Cat Star of all Time – Sassy
This Himalayan cat starred in Disney’s “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey” and the sequel, “Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco.” In both films, Sassy was played by a cat named Tiki and voiced by Oscar winner Sally Field.
Finally, a very special Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded.
Lifetime Diva Achievement Winner – Crystal
This capuchin monkey has been an animal star for 18 years starring in more than 25 films including the “Night At The Museum” series, “The Hangover: Part 2,” “American Pie,” and the “Dr. Doolittle” films, as well as television shows, and commercials. One amazing fact about Crystal is that she is a rescue animal. Approximately 80 percent of the cats and dogs you see on the large and small screen are rescues or adopted from shelters. This monkey is so beloved that the late Robin Williams called her “his favorite leading lady.” She makes a special appearance on the video.
A new book has been published in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the “No Animals Were Harmed” program. American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert wrote and published the book “Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors,” with Allen and Linda Anderson, the husband-and-wife founders of the Angel Animals Network. Featuring a foreword by “America’s Veterinarian,” Dr. Marty Becker, “Animal Stars” offers a peek at the fascinating world of animals and animal trainers in today’s film and television industry – and the celebrities with whom they work. Proceeds from the sale of the book support American Humane Association’s lifesaving work and programs protecting America’s children and animals.