Monday, August 30, 2010

The Ugly Dogling

As much as we love cute puppies, people also love ugly dogs. Just look at the annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair. Movies seem to love them even more.

For the past decade it has been a trend to throw a Chinese Crested in nearly every family dog movie made, from Cats & Dogs to Good Boy! to Hotel for Dogs ("Romeo," from the latter, pictured). Last year, Geoff Talbot started an international search for a three-legged dog to play Scrap in Lucky & Rich, which is in the works.

Motley dogs are not a new phenomenon in film though. Bull Terrier, "Bullseye," pictured, costars in 1968's Oliver! as Oliver Reed's extremely mangy sidekick. Makeup effects were used to give the dog scars and add to the overall appearance.

Another tattered Bull Terrier can be seen in Frankenweenie from 1984 (currently being remade as an animated film). English Bulldogs are another breed often chosen for a film role because of their look. Breeds like Chinese Cresteds, Bull Terriers, Bull Dogs, Neapolitan Mastiffs (as seen in the Harry Potter series), Pugs, and Dachshunds are instant character actors. These dogs have screen presence and personality just by walking across a set.