A bit of back-story first. If you’ve been listening to Hope Breakfast you’ll know that we, Sam and Duncan, are big fans of the quirky pet owners website that is Dogtime.com – and that we had a dream to one day have our own article published on there. Well, friends, that day has come. We now present to you, a re-publish of our historic article: ‘6 Dog Academy Awards That Should Exist, And The Pups Who Would Win!’
The dust has settled on film industry awards season, and yet again there has been a miscarriage of justice: another year has passed and still, pooches aren’t getting the attention they deserve!
Movies are just better with dogs, and they should be honoured. So, before another year passes, let’s take a moment to celebrate those canines that have captured our hearts on the silver screen. Here are six of the many dogs that deserve an Oscar for their performances in movies.
1. The ‘Lifetime Achievement Dog Award’ Goes To: Toto From The Wizard of Oz
In 1939, Toto was played by a female brindle Cairn Terrier named Terry. She was paid $125 a week to play the role, which was in fact slightly more than some of the human actors on set. Dorothy needs Toto, and Toto makes that movie! Terry the Terrier appears in 13 films, her first being 1934’s Bright Eyes opposite Shirley Temple.
Due to the incredible popularity of Terry’s role in Wizard of Oz her name was officially changed to Toto. There is a permanent memorial to Terry in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Terry’s resume is vast; she is one of the most iconic dogs of all time and should be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Dog Oscar.
2. The ‘International Movie Dog Award’ Goes To: Red Dog From Red Dog
Red Dog of Pilbara was a real-life Kelpie Cattle Dog with a series of owners, and was well known for travelling all over Australia. The incredible true story of Red Dog was documented in two books in 1983 and 1993, and finally captured in a feature film release in 2011. The film captures the spirit of a dog that transforms a sleepy mining town in Outback Australia and only serves to grow the legend of Red Dog. For this reason we believe that Red Dog should be considered for the first International Movie Dog Award.
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3. The ‘Retrospective 90s Iconic Dog Award’ Goes To: Buddy From Air Bud
Buddy was a Golden Retriever that jumped to fame on the set of TV’s Full House as Comet. Amazingly, Buddy was found by his owner Kevin DiCicco in the Sierra Nevada and was adopted. Prior to appearing in a Hollywood blockbuster Air Bud! (1997), Buddy was a regular on the David Letterman Show and also appeared on Funniest Home Videos. In 1998 and 1999 Buddy was nominated for a Kids Choice Award for Favorite Animal Star and sadly, did not win. As a result we think it’s only fair that we retrospectively award Buddy the Oscar he so richly deserves, while we all celebrate by re-watching his greatest work, Air Bud!
4. The ‘Retrospective 80s Iconic Dog Award’ Goes To: Otis from The Adventures of Milo and Otis
Milo doesn’t happen without Otis! Originally The Adventures of Milo and Otis was a Japanese TV series and was later adapted for US audiences and voiced by Dudley Moore. The French pug battles a bear and goes in pursuit of rescuing his feline friend, Milo. Stunningly, in the 1980s, this was Japan’s third highest grossing film of all time, eclipsed only by ET and Antarctica. While we acknowledge that there were some serious animal rights issue in the making of this film, we still believe Otis should be awarded an Oscar – because this adventurous little Pug worked hard under trying conditions to become the most popular dog of the ’80s in two countries, and will forever live on as the faithful companion of a cat, forever changing relations with the feline world. Thus proving that you don’t always have to fight like cats and dogs.
5. The ‘Larger Than Life Dog Award’ Goes To: Beethoven from Beethoven
Did you know in 2010 Beethoven was voted best Dog film on IMDB? The film is about a two-year-old purebred St Bernard, named after the famous composer. In real life, the original acting dog’s name was Chris. But in fact there were eight other St Bernard’s used as stand-ins and sixteen puppies used to represent Chris the dog as he grew up. Chris was owned by Teresa Miller and went on to act again in Beethoven 2, before retiring to live out a long life on a farm with the Miller Family. Ultimately, Beethoven went on to spawn four sequels and three stand-alone spin-offs. While Chris only acted in the first two movies, he did launch the Beethoven franchise and for this, he should be awarded the Larger Than Life Dog Award.
6. The ‘Best Animated Dog Award’ Goes To: Dug From Up
It isn’t possible to have an awards ceremony without acknowledging the incredible work of digital animators. Dug is a golden retriever who belongs to Charles Muntz and loves getting distracted by squirrels. And as an extra tidbit, did you know that his shadow can be seen in Ratatouille as Remy the rat runs through an apartment? No? You’re welcome. Dug went on to appear in two further digital shorts, Dug’s Special Mission and George & A.J. Dug, you captured our hearts and deserve to win Best Animated Dog!
These are our top six dogs deserving of Academy Awards; who else do you think should be on the list?
Sam Robinson and Duncan Robinson host a radio show on Hope 103.2 in Sydney, Australia. Tune in to Breakfast with Sam and Duncan every weekday, 5:30am to 9am, for a positive start to your day!