These movies have gone to the dogs, cats and horses! While human actors often receive top billing when it comes to filmmaking, their adorable animal costars frequently steal the spotlight.
While the likes of Marley and Me, Dr. Dolittle and more flicks are well-known for their animal-friendly stories, avid dog lover Channing Tatum jumped into the canine film game when he starred in and codirected Dog, which was released in February 2022.
“I think Marley and Me scared everyone,” the Magic Mike actor joked during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at the time. “Every single person that I’ve told that I made a dog movie, they’re like, ‘I’m not going to see it unless you tell me if the dog lives.’ It’s a good ending, just so everyone knows. Yeah, yeah, don’t not see the movie just because you’re afraid of the dog [dying].”
In the movie, Tatum plays Army Ranger Briggs as he sets out on a lengthy road trip with the Belgian Malinois pup to attend his late buddy’s military funeral.
Dog is not the only pet-centric film that animal lovers can binge while cuddling their own four-legged friends. In 2020, streaming service Disney+ reinvented the classic novel Black Beauty with leading lady Mackenzie Foy. To play an avid equestrian, Foy had to saddle up and learn how to ride a horse — bareback.
“It was probably like two weeks of training, but I knew that I was going to do this film a couple months earlier,” the Nutcracker and the Four Realms star told The Hollywood Reporter in November 2020. “I actually wanted to start riding anyway once I finished high school, so this movie encouraged me to do it. I probably got ten lessons in on my own before I started filming. Once I got to South Africa, I worked with FilmEquus and they taught me everything I needed to know to do the film.
She noted: “There was a trainer named Cody Rawson-Harris, and he’s essentially a real-life version of the John Manley character [Iain Glen]. He is the horse whisperer. So he showed us how to not necessarily talk to the horses but how to read their emotions.”
Similar to author Anna Sewell’s bestselling novel of the same name, the Disney adaption followed Foy’s character, Jo Green, as she trained the beloved stallion. The Breaking Dawn actress, for her part, was equally enthusiastic about being on horseback as her character.
“[The sunset ride] was actually my last day on set, and it was the coolest last day ever,” Foy recalled to the outlet. “Of course, it’s a sunset shot, but it was a pretty foggy morning, so we were there from sunrise to sunset. I spent the entire day galloping on Black Beauty across a gorgeous beach in South Africa. It was a dream day. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Just stunning.”
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