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Oscars for Animals? Rise of the Uggie the Dog and Andy Serkis Campaigns

Oscars for Animals? Rise of the Uggie the Dog and Andy Serkis Campaigns

Continuing both my story on the great animal characters of 2011 and my story from August on Andy Serkis’s Academy Award chances/worthiness, yesterday I wrote a Conversation roundup piece about the growing fan-based campaign for Uggie, the dog from The Artist,” and Fox’s official push for Serkis for Best Supporting Actor for playing Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

An excerpt:

First, there’s Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier who plays an Asta-like pup in The Artist (also seen this year in Water for Elephants). Begun by Movieline’s S.T. VanAirsdale, the cute little canine already has a Facebook campaign and Twitter hashtag (not to mention he’s skateboarding on TV for promotion) in the hopes that he’ll be recognized in some capacity. Maybe the Academy can quickly devise a new animal-based category (competition could be animals in BeginnersWar HorseThe Turin Horse and Le Havre), similar to the Cannes Palm Dog Award (which Uggie won this year). I think there’s too many great animal performances to just honor him with a special trophy. Besides, as Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone points out, Uggie wasn’t even the only dog in the role (of course, it can also be said that many actors share roles with stuntmen and doubles, too). At the very least, I think the Oscars ceremony should feature an animal montage.

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I think animals and their trainers should recognized. Trainers do so much with the animals and they deserve to be recognized for all their hard work behind the screen to make the animals on screen shine. The Academy would do well to recognize the unsung heroes of movies. Animals and their trainers.


Count me in as far as being an Uggie fan. He is adorable and heavens, what training and what skill as a performer. He helps make this picture what a hit it is. An Oscar for Uggie -yes, yes, yes – he deserves it. Just think how hard he had to work to learn all those tricks and how he follows the male lead – at his heels at all times. Uggie is a winner even if he doesn't get an Oscar or a Golden Globe


Just saw The Artist and Uggie simply stole every scene and my heart. I feel strongly that he should receive some kind of Oscar nomination — either as supporting actor or if the Academy freaks out over that, create a new category of non-human species best acting nomination. Someone should start a petition for Uggie's inclusion. Frankly, humans are highly overrated and this Jack Russell is more talented than many of his biped colleagues.

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