Animal Actors


The next phase of my moviebrickroad journey comes face to face with the animal world. That brilliantly loyal terrier Toto is such a furry ball of nice isn’t he, well actually played by a female Cairn Terrier named Terry, this dog shows how that old rule of never work with children or animals doesn’t always ring true. A number of films actually include a lot of animal work that helps the film soar ever higher. I shall look over a few differing animal actors in the following.



FILMS: Lassie Come Home, Courage of Lassie, Lassie’s Great Adventure, Lassie and more

ANIMAL: Collie dog

NAME: Lassie

An iconic heroic female dog that is part of televisual and filmic history as the smart and helpful animal coming into lives of others and saving the day. A dog with a name that will forever stand the test of time.


FILMS: Babe & Babe: Pig in the City


NAME: Babe

A fun animal movie, or at least in the case of the 1995 first offering. Their uses of CGI with the farmyard gang but you can tell when real and cute piggies are being used and Babe is a great central star proving its worth as a sheepdog.


FILM: Racing Stripes


NAME: Stripes

Obviously not a great movie and trying to emulate the style of ‘Babe’ in having a talking animal succeed at something unexpected but still fun and real zebras were used on set actually being ridden by Hayden Panettiere to tell the film’s racing story.


FILM: I Am Legend

Animal: German Shepherd dog

Name: Samantha

This dog takes a huge percentage of the emotional welly behind this ok zombie feature. A loyal protective dog looking out for Will Smith’s Robert Neville who comes into some dizzying sad story conflict that packs more punch than the climax of the movie itself.


FILMS: Free Willy and three unnecessary sequels


NAME: Willy

A great yet sad and dark tale is told throughout this 1993 film between a runaway foster lad and a theme park attraction killer whale. Keiko the orca who was Willy in this movie is literally a huge star with people going to his grave honouring the animal as the famous creature he was.

Aside from a plentiful section of animated movies that like to position fun animals as the leads such as ‘Bolt’, ‘Dumbo’, ‘101 Dalmatians’, ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and more, it goes to show that including a real life animal of some description can actually pay off if you utilise their wiles wisely. A dog is always the safe bet as demonstrated nicely in ‘The Artist’ but other animals can be trained to film star status also and leave us with a talented critter to watch perform on the big screen.


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