The 88th annual Academy Awards take place this Sunday, and while fans of film will soon be getting the popcorn ready to watch the parade of paparazzi magnets on the red carpet admirers of animal actors are applauding the efforts of the dogs, cats and other four-legged luminaries on the big screen as they watch the American Humane Association’s annual PAWSCAR awards presentation.
Once again stepping into the roles of co-hosts, NCIS star Pauley Perrette and actor/Kids Against Animal Cruelty founder Lou Wegner have announced this year’s list of animals whose acting chops earned a PAWSCAR:
Rags, the recipient of the Best Family Dog Award— a St. Bernard with star power, Rags was dubbed “The Marlon Brando of Dogs” by the director of the comedy Love the Coopers for stealing scenes on the silver screen alongside such Hollywood heavyweights as Academy Award winner Diane Keaton, Steve Martin, John Goodman and Amanda Seyfried.
Bolt, the winner of the Best Hichcockian Hound Award— A dog with a gift for emoting on cue, Bolt fascinated Fido-loving fright fans who watched the Jason Bateman/Rebecca Hall thriller The Gift.
Max, the recipient of the Best Hero Dog Award— A touching tale of a traumatized military working dog who is taken in by the family of a fallen Marine, a Belgian Malinois named Carlos was among the five dogs who starred in Max, a movie with a mission to raise awareness of the lasting bond formed by members of the military and the dogs who serve alongside them in order to defend our freedom. The American Humane Association helped to champion the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which ensures that every military working dog can now return home following a tour of duty.
This year’s PAWSCARS also celebrated tail-waggers of Tinseltown’s past, recognizing the 1989 Tom Hanks comedy Turner and Hooch with the Favorite Animal Buddy Movie of All Time Award and the heart-tugging tale of Old Yeller with the honor of Favorite Animal Family Movie of All Time.
Along with the award presentation’s top dogs, felines who gained fame this year in films were also honored, with John and Orion– who portrayed Buttercup in The Hunger Games franchise– receiving a nod for Best Repurring Cat Performance, and Best Ensemble Performance went to a cast that included the cats, chickens, mice, geese and horses who starred in Disney’s latest version of Cinderella.
Our other friends with fur, fins and feathers also had a chance to shine in the spotlight at the PAWSCARS, with a team of equestrian actors celebrated for Most Moving Performance in The Quentin Taratino film The Hateful Eight; a bevy of bulls received credit for Best Rodeo Performance in the big screen interpretation of the romantic Nicholas Sparks novel The Longest Ride; a pony got props for Best Bribe in the Will Ferrell comedy Daddy’s Home; and the true story of the famous racing horse Seabiscuit received a first place finish as the Favorite Animal Drama of All Time.
2016 marks the seventh consecutive year for the PAWSCARS. For more information regarding the history of American Humane Association’s “No Animals Were Harmed” program, read Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors and visit www.americanhumane.org.
Photo Credit: American Humane Association