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When cameras roll and directors call, “Action,” some of the most dependable, funniest, and most enthusiastic actors stand poised on four legs, with ears alert. From Joey in War Horse to the wolves in Game of Thrones, what we see on screen is the result of meticulous preparation and professional teamwork. The eye-popping, heartwarming stories in these pages reveal the trainers, actors, directors, and, of course, dogs, cats, horses, penguins, deer, and other animals in all their behind-the-scenes glory. You’ll discover that some animal actors have diva tendencies and others have rags-to-riches backstories. American Humane Association certified animal safety representatives work carefully to ensure that no animals are harmed, as they have been doing for decades.
Animal stars have done it all — convinced us to eat more tacos, broken our hearts in war dramas, inspired us with enduring love and loyalty, kept us at the edge of our seats as they snarled in the shadows, mirrored human antics to make us roar with laughter, and, like Uggie (from The Artist), stolen the show on the red carpet. Who besides a monkey named Crystal could impress a brilliant comedian like Robin Williams in Night at the Museum? And animal stars will work for food, including only KFC original recipe for Casey the bear — no other fried chicken will do!
These charming and sometimes hilarious stories will give you a new appreciation for the skill and patience it takes to teach nonhuman actors to perform on camera. Training tips from the pros and personal recollections of celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Hailee Steinfeld, and Steven Spielberg make this insider’s look at the lives and work of these incomparable stars as irresistible as the animals themselves.
A portion of the publisher’s proceeds from this book will aid American Humane Association.
“Every movie fan who loves to see animals in their favorite movies will want to read Animal Stars. The book contains animal-training tips along with the behind-the-scenes stories.”
— Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human
“Animal Stars is an inspiring tapestry, with emotions interwoven into every picture and word....Let yourself soak in the love that flows from every page!”
— Siegfried & Roy
“Animal Stars gets 5 ★s with a rating of G for ‘great.’”
— James F. Peddie, DVM, veterinarian to many animal stars
“I have fallen in love with many of the actors I’ve worked with — all of them animals. It’s impossible not to become completely infatuated by actors who do what you ask, amaze you with their skill, and lick your face.”
— Jon Turteltaub, award-winning director of National Treasure and The Kid
“Robin Ganzert and the Andersons give us the dish on all the Hollywood animals — who’s catty, who’s a dog, and who’s a real stallion! No, seriously, it’s about the real animal stars we all love!”
— Carson Kressley
“From Crystal the monkey in Night at the Museum to Hightower the horse in Runaway Bride, Animal Stars has it all. Giggy and I give it TWO PAWS UP!”
— Lisa Vanderpump
“I’m so thrilled that Dr. Robin Ganzert and American Humane Association not only monitor animal safety in films and television productions but also have a unique connection to these amazing animals and their trainers. As an animal lover, I’m glad that she is bringing these stars and their stories to a wider audience while at the same time teaching the value of protecting all animals.”
— Naomi Judd
“If you are an animal lover and a fan of movies and television, this is a must-read. I found myself enthralled with the stories from filmmakers and trainers about how they achieved cinematic magic with these amazing animals!”
— Candy Spelling
“Animal Stars celebrates perfectly the role of animal actors, those often unsung heroes on television and film that charm us with their talent and make us smile. As a trainer it’s encouraging to see the care that all the animal actor trainers featured in this book take of their ‘stars,’ and the support and guidance provided on set by the American Humane Association ensures that all animals in scripted entertainment are protected. Authors Robin Ganzert and Allen and Linda Anderson provide the reader with a fascinating ‘behind-the-scenes’ look into the lives of these amazing animals, from Crystal the monkey who stole the show in Night at the Museum, to Chico the Akita who performed alongside Richard Gere in Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. Animal Stars is a great read and if you love animals as much as I do, you’ll love this book!”
— Victoria Stilwell, author of Train Your Dog Positively