Cats And Dogs
There's a secret war being waged in homes and neighborhoods all across America that humans don't know anything about. Cats & Dogs reveals the struggle between these two historic adversaries as they battle for world domination. Dogs have proven to be man's best friend and have protected him from feline domination for over 3000 years. The story finds the latest confrontation stimulated by Professor Brody (Goldblum) who is developing a cure for people allergic to dogs. The maniacal feline, Mr. Tinkles, a power-hungry Persian, is determined to lead the movement against man's best friend, steal the formula and regain cat control. He enlists an army of mercenaries, assassins, and secret agents to foil the canine forces. The intrepid dogs, crack canine agents, are on a mission to stop the Tinkles takeover.
- Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Perkins, Allexander Pollock, Tobey Maguire, Sean Hayes, Peek Sam, Clarke Duncan, Jon Lovitz and Charelton Heston
- Director(s): Lawrence Gueterman
- Producer(s): Mad Chance/Zide/Perry Production
- Screenwriter(s): John Requa, Glenn Ficarra
- Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures
- Animal Coordinator: Boone's Animals for Hollywood
- Release Date: Wednesday, July 04, 2001
- Rating: Acceptable
Featured Animal Action
Movie Magic Makes the Fur Fly:
Seamlessly interwoven elements from live animal actors to the latest computer imaging, melded the extraordinary work of filmmakers, animal trainers, puppeteers, animators, designers, compositors, sculptors and visual effects technicians. Intricate animatronic puppets were created to match each animal character and painstaking computer innovations brought a level of reality to animal stunts that enabled the production to present daring sequences free from danger to the live animal stars.
Some of the best visual effects designers in the film industry were enlisted to work on the film: Academy Award winning visual effects studio, Rhythm & Hues; multi-media production company, Jim Henson's Creature Shop, renowned for the Muppets; animation and visual effects powerhouse, Tippett Studio; and England's prestigious commercial studio, Mill Film. Each animal performance was an complex process and involved multiple mediums.
They began with the live animal actors. Each animal's image was scanned onto a computer recording detailed facial expressions and exact body dimensions. From this information designers could create limitless actions and expressions. CGI models of each animal's face further enhanced the range of expression and physiology. Coupled with this were intricate life-size models that were built to capture the musculature and skeleton of the animal so that the "computer puppet" could be manipulated to move realistically with the same weight and flexibility as the real animal.
Highly sophisticated puppets were created to deliver some of the daring feats that would be beyond the range of mere mortal cats and dogs. A dozen puppets with a range of complicated actions were built for the film, the most intricate being Mr. Tinkles. The power hungry Persian appears throughout the film and much of the performance fell to the puppet version. Months of meticulous work went into the creation of the mechanical head, individual limbs, body parts and fur. A variety of tiny motors, controlled by the Puppeteer Motion Memory Computer system enabled the puppeteers to duplicate all of the emotional nuances of the live animal — and then some.
Creating the fur was a singular challenge. Researching different material for the puppets' fake fur took a significant amount of time and then this challenge was revisited when the fur was simulated in the computer. Because animal fur is so alive, it had to be rendered with all the glints, transparent edge lighting and self-shadowing capabilities as the real thing. These "fur dynamics" finally came down to a series of mathematical computations in the computer that made 14 million hairs move in unison and individually.
Eyes and teeth had to be meticulously matched as well. The end result is a flawless composite that begins with the live animal, moves to its puppet double, and into a CGI "cyber" double and back to the real thing. These elements had to exist side by side without breaking the illusion.
Six puppeteers were needed to operate Mr. Tinkles alone. These technicians had to be hidden during filming and found themselves under floorboards, inside an underground chamber stuffed with mechanical elements, under the stage, under a wheelchair and under a cut-away limo. The grueling filming schedule found the puppet crew maneuvering around the set like a football team performing intricate plays.
Training the Live Animal Actors:
Casting and training the live animals took roughly a year in pre-production. Serious training began in January 2000 in order to begin filming in July. Thousands of hours of training prepared the dogs to do a large variety of behaviors. For example, Lou, the lead beagle, had to learn to stay, speak, look forward, look away, look left or right, sit down, stand up, back up, chase his tail, walk side by side with other dogs, lick faces, play on command and even work with cats! Each of the other animals had to master a similar list of behaviors.
Actual training sessions were brief with lots of time for play and rest. Trainers were constantly attending to the grooming, training, exercising and general comfort of the animals. One of the trainers commented that in the case of Noah, an Anatolian Shephard who played Butch, "If he's not needed yet, he'll just lie down somewhere on the set and go to sleep, even with 60 or 70 people working all around him."
"I couldn't believe how disciplined and well trained the animals were," recalls producer Lazar. "There seemed to be no limits to their ability. In fact three weeks into the shoot I fired my assistant and replaced him with one of Boone's Mastiffs."
Production took the welfare of its animal stars very seriously. Before production began a complete, on-site housing, grooming and training facility was constructed for over 50 animals. Feeding and exercise schedules were carefully worked out. Animal-friendly sets, set pieces and props were designed, built and tested by the animal actors. Costumers designed special vests and goggles for the Ninja cats and equipment vests for the hero dogs. The site was picked so that the area for the animals was away from heavy traffic, noise and pollution. This complex was one of the first areas established so that the animals had time to settle in and acclimate to the training routine.
The Canine Agents:
Many of the leading animal characters were actually played by several animals that were the same breed and coloring. Five dogs played the part of Lou, a pocket Beagle, who learns the ropes as a young agent and the new addition to the Brody household. Lou is an adventurous young pup and the script originally called for a Foxhound puppy. However, the two-year old Pocket Beagles were more trainable and versatile actors and had the look, size and temperament to play a puppy. The actors were Buddy, Confusion, Prada, Coco and C.J.
Butch is played by three Anatolian Shephards named Noah, Moses, and Cain. This breed originated in Turkey as a herding dog. Noah was the lead dog who did most of the acting as the seasoned agent who becomes Lou's mentor, trainer and protector. All of the dogs were rescues and Cain was even adopted after filming wrapped by an AHA Field Representative, Gina Johnson. Cain now lives back east with Gina, her Newfoundland and two cats. He has become a loving addition to her flock and is so mellow that he visits nursing homes in his new role as a therapy dog.
Ivy is played by two Saluki hounds named Fancy and Mia. Ivy acts as a warm and wise guide for Lou . She and Butch have had some history together and she is his voice of conscience. As a breed this exotic dog is a keen hunter using more sight than smell. They are generally fast and highly spirited. As the trainer has noted, these dogs are not to be walked off-leash because if they run, you will never catch them. To get the fine performance from this canine actress, the trainer's patience and skill was indeed tested.
Peek, played by a hairless Chinese Crested named Maggie, is the techno-brains in the covert canine operation. This unusual and fragile looking breed is quite playful and very smart. Peek was fitted with his own lightweight headset and is introduced as he emerges from his high-tech cylinder garbage can complete with data base computer. A puppet was used when the tube comes out of the can. The real dog was placed on the seat by a trainer who used toys to get the dog to look in various directions. These shots were filmed separately and then edited into the film later.
Sam, the English Sheepdog, has so much hair in his eyes that although he can't see what's going on, he contributes to the cause with dedication and a responsive heart. Sheepdogs have wonderful temperaments and are great with children, but their lush coats require constant grooming. They also like lots of exercise.
Sam is introduced to Lou after practicing some of his secret agent moves, like rolling across the street in front of an oncoming car. In the scene, the car was alluded to and the dog was not in danger during filming. Later this same dog hops on its hind legs. This pooch named Bert was very talented and performed both of these tricks. The dog was verbally cued by the trainer to roll across the street which was closed to all traffic. Trainers and crew members stood off camera, mainly to watch in amazement. Later the trainer verbally cued the dog to stand up on its hind legs and then to hop - the dog happily obliged!
Buddy is a Bloodhound who was the canine agent living with the professor before Lou is adopted. In fact, his run-in with the cats leaves his post vacant, which is why Lou becomes the replacement pooch. Buddy is played by two adult hounds named Maggie and Daisy.
The Feline Liberation Front:
Mr.Tinkles was played by two live White Persians, Foster and Fritz. Mr. Tinkles is into a major power trip and will settle for nothing less than total domination. He leads his troops with a heavy paw. Persians can be wonderful house pets but their luxurious coats need constant attention. However, their distinctive pushed in faces can lead to breathing problems. According to the trainer, the pet-quality Persian usually has a more elongated and healthier muzzle.
Calico is Mr. Tinkles side-kick and is played by two brown classic tabby Exotic Shorthairs named Edison and Edgar. This is actually a fancy name for shorthaired Persians that are known to make great pets. They have good personalities and fewer grooming problems than the longhaired variety. Calico is also Mr. Tinkles limo driver. He steers while two other cats work the brakes and gas peddles. Although the car was a fake with fake pedals, the cats were real. Since the limo was fake, it never moved and was filmed in front of a green screen. The moving vehicle was added in later.
The Russian Blue assassin and bomb expert is played by a British Shorthair kitten named Zen. The director chose the British over the Russian Blue purely for looks because they have a rounder face and larger eyes than the Russian breed and looked more kitten-like on film. This endearing quality allows the evil infiltrator to charm the professor's wife and gain access to the house.
The new kitty rubs against Lou to deceive the human into believing that dogs and cats can peacefully co-exist. But can they? To make sure, puppets were used to get the rub just right. Once the human is out of the way, the sweet kitty becomes the evil Russian. He spits up a hairball that turns into a spiked ball that explodes propelling dogs out the window. A ramp was built behind the couch to enable the dogs to go from the couch onto the ramp behind it and easily out the window. The spiked ball and spikes that were shot at the dogs really couldn't hurt them cause they were CGI.
As Lou and Butch chase the Russian throughout the house, the cabinet falls over barely missing Butch. This was done on a split screen, so the dog and cat were never really filmed together. The china cabinet had rubber plates inside and was also filmed using split screen. The camera was placed on different platforms to achieve various angles that made things appear different than they really were. The cabinet was tilted and tied into various positions so the filming could be done without the cabinet really falling. A seamless combination of live animals and animatronic puppets was used.
The lethal Ninja cats were played by a breed called Deven Rex. The main Ninja character was portrayed by a rex named Jet. This breed of cat is known for its wavy coat and, although they can be hard to find, are very outgoing and social making wonderful pets. The Ninja flying cats with glowing green eyes drop from planes and proceed to throw Ninja weapons at Lou and Butch. This was accomplished using the combination of CGI and anamatronics.
Some of the other cats who appear are: two Siamese, Neon and Flash; the Grays, Tango and Cash; the Orange Tabby's, Rex and Red; the Gray and White, Dodger; the Black cat, Goober; the Munchkins, Munchie and Shortie; and the Tabby and White, Dakota.
War is Declared:
The dogs know that war has been declared when Buddy, the professor's trusty dog, chases a cat stealing the family newspaper and ends up kidnapped by the feline forces.
As the orange tabby cat rolls away the newspaper, Buddy barks and jumps at the window inside house. When the family comes home, the door is opened, Buddy runs out and chases the cat up a tree. However, as the cat scales the branches, Buddy smashes into the tree. Only slightly shaken, the intrepid Buddy climbs up the tree and tries to pull down the branch where the cat sits. They both go flying off the branch.
The cat was released by the trainer and cued to roll with the newspaper. The dog was filmed separately and cued by the trainer to stand at the window and bark. Cats and dogs were never filmed together so when the dog chases the cat to the tree each was filmed separately. The prop glass in the windows was much thicker than normal glass to eliminate the chance of it breaking.
Strategically placed treats encouraged the cat and the dog to either climb the fake rubber tree trunk or leap toward the hanging branch. A puppet cat was placed on the branch of the tree and Buddy was cued by the trainer to run toward the tree where the meat treat awaited. A Bloodhound puppet was used when the cat swats at the dog from the tree limb and also when the poor dog slams into the tree. This same puppet was used when Buddy slams against the windows of the house later on.
During the chase, the cat is hurled through a kitchen window and onto a woman who is holding a freshly baked pie. Both go crashing to the floor. The cat was filmed earlier on the tree branch and the shot was inserted later in post-production. Trainers worked with the cameraman to do close-ups and soft tosses against a blue screen. These shots were later edited to look like the cat flew in the window. One trainer tossed the cat gently into the window of the kitchen and it landed on the shoulder of the actress holding a pie. She fell gently backwards onto a padded area and the scene was completed. A trainer retrieved the cat and rewarded it with a treat.
Since this is a chase, Buddy follows suit and also flies through the window and crashes into the same lady holding the freshly baked pie. The dog got a running start on a ramp that was built for him outside the window. A platform was built to the height of the counter and carpeted so the dog could land with ease. One trainer released the dog, it ran up the ramp and onto the platform where another trainer waited off screen with a treat and praise. As the dog lands, the actress falls backwards making it look like the dog has knocked her over launching the pie.
For many of the scenes in the film where animals jump over large objects or out windows, a ramp was placed against the prop, away from the camera and the animal was allowed a running start. A platform was placed on the other side of the obstacle and both were covered with carpet. Trainers were always at the starting and ending points ready with praise and treats.
When Buddy chases the cat into the hallway and the cat runs on top of the dog to exit, the animals never really were filmed together. A special carpeted platform was built and the cat was cued to run on the platform and leap off. Later in post-production it was made to look like the cat runs on the back of the dog.
Being a good covert agent, the cat plays dead in the road and Buddy approaches to investigate. This ploy provides the opportunity for the cats to kidnap the unwitting canine. The trainer put the cat on its mark to play opossum as a puppet dog approached into frame.
A New Agent Enlisted:
With Buddy gone, a new pooch is needed at the professor's house, both as a pet for his son, Scott, and a necessary element in his anti-allergy experiments. The dog forces see this as an opportunity to place a highly trained agent in Buddy's position. Mrs. Brody goes to a farm to adopt a new pup. Although the canines believe they have slipped in some crack Doberman Pinscher pups, it is adorable Lou who ends up going home to the Brody's.
The farm where the pups are up for adoption has a large barn that is home to the litter and where birds careen in the rafters. Ten pigeons and two trainers were used to get the birds to fly out of the barn on cue. Both trainers stood high on cranes, one inside the barn and the other outside, both off camera. The trainer inside the barn had a release box with 10 pigeons inside. Once released, the birds flew up and out to the awaiting trainer holding an open catch box to retrieve all of the pigeons.
After Lou tries his own escape plan, the beagles watch as a hole opens in the barn floor. Out pop a litter of highly trained mini-Pinschers who are on a mission to get inside the Brody home. The beagles go down the hole, except for Lou who watches in wonder.
Lou attempts to get out the barn window by catapulting himself through the window using a pitchfork. Unfortunately, he misses his mark and lands under a tin basin in the hay. The puppies, grown up Pocket Beagles, share the scene with animatronic animals and computerized images. The split screen technique was also used. Whenever there were live animals in this scene, they always appeared on the set alone. Lou was cued by the trainer to jump onto some bales of hay and grab the handle of the pitchfork. Another trainer was off camera holding the pitchfork to steady it for the dog. The trainer used visual signals to get the dog to grab a burlap bag and drag it to the pitchfork and to get Lou to pull the rope that drops the bag and is supposed to catapult him out of the barn. The dog that is shown flying in the air is not real, but when it lands on the bale of hay it is the living Lou. That action was achieved by having the dog jump onto a bale of hay and editing it into the scene later.
After the puppies go into the hole, the mini-Pinschers come out. The mini-Pinscher's real names were Baby, Batman, Pats, Mouse, Vodoo and Bandit. This hole was specially made by the crew and trainers and had a ramp that helped the dogs maneuver as they went through. Two trainers were at the end of the ramp on the other side of the hole to retrieve the dogs and release them to climb up the ramp. Two more trainers stood off camera on the other end of the hole to do the same thing. A combination of real dogs and puppets were used to achieve this action.
A helium balloon with a bone/ bomb attached to it explodes as it lands in the Brody yard. Butch is able to warn naïve Lou so that they both avoid the explosion. The dogs were filmed separately from the balloon coming down. A trainer put the dogs on their marks and used treats to get their eye line to follow the balloon controlled by monofilaments. The balloon and the explosion were added in post-production.
At the park, two canine spies meet at a park bench and exchange covert bones. The dog's bones were made of styrofoam and trainers put the dogs on their marks and cued them to achieve the action. This action was filmed in several different shots that were later edited together. For example the dogs were told to drop their bones, the camera cut, then the dogs were placed on their marks with the bones on the ground and cued to pick up the bones. Then they were cued to exit.
Butch shows Lou the sophisticated equipment utilized by the canine forces to divert the feline conspiracy. When the dogs enter the doghouse, control panels open. Trainers placed dogs on marks inside the doghouse and another trainer stood behind the control panel that was actually a blank monitor. The trainer would make noises to get the dogs to react. The high tech lights, pictures and sounds were added in post.
Mr. Tinkles Holds Court:
Mr. Tinkles, struts on the long banquet table and addresses the other cats that sit on chairs at the table. The cats later run on the table to make a quick exit. For this scene a total of 11 cats were used and placed on cushioned chairs by their trainers and told to stay. Buzzers were hidden on the table and floor to cue the cats as to where to move. This whole scene was filmed one cat at a time using the motion control camera.
Later the cats congregate under the table laughing at Tinkles. This was achieved by filming the cats in separate shots with the motion control camera. When one cat falls over from laughing so hard, it is actually the cat placed in a down position then cued to a sitting position. Later the film was played in reverse. Puppets were also used to achieve some of the action in this scene.
The overbearing maid, Sophie, has no idea who she is dealing with and gives Mr. Tinkles a degrading bath. The trainer put the cat into the sink and the actor gently bathed the cat under the watchful eye of the trainer who stood just off camera. The other cat, Calico, shows up in the ba
throom and speaks to the wet Mr. Tinkles. The trainer put this cat on its mark and used hidden buzzers in the room to get the cat to walk over to Mr. Tinkles. The two cats conversing were done on a split screen so the cats were really not together. The shots of Tinkles wet were taken right after his bath before he was dried and groomed by his trainers.
The bath was preparation for Sophie to dress Mr. Tinkles in a humiliating bonnet for the enjoyment of a comatose Mr. Mason. She takes him out and places the cat on the bed and it begins to crawl on Mr. Mason's head and chest. The trainer handed the cat to the actor who carried it to bed and set it down. A dummy made to look like Mr. Mason was brought in when the cat walked on the actor. Afterwards the trainer retrieved the cat and offered it an edible reward.
This is no way to treat a power-crazed Persian despot! Mr. Tinkles is determined to make humans pay!
The Battles Begin:
Aside from sending in the Russian Blue to break into the Brody lab, the evil Tinkles also enlists the help of the lethal Ninja cats. They nearly get the upper hand, but the dogs win the battle. The house is left a mess. For the scene after the fight with the Ninja cats, the Brody's come downstairs and find Lou laying by the garbage which is strewn all over him and the kitchen floor. The trainer created make-up for the dog to wear while it was placed on a mark by the strewn garbage - hair gel was mixed with some flour, egg shells, and even a piece of banana. It was applied right before the scene and removed immediately afterwards. Clean up after he Russian Blue attack was engineered by digitally enhanced film magic.
Still the Humans are Clueless:
No matter what the dogs are planning, they always have to be aware that humans can't get wind of the truth. When a human barges in, they have to pretend to do stereotypical doggy behaviors. In one instance the cover behavior is the familiar "sniff my butt" and the other dog runs up and does. As natural an action we humans think this is for our canine pals, this part , played by Marge, a Chinese Crested, and Burt, an Old English Sheepdog was not as easy as one might think.. The scene called for Marge to be put on a sit/stay by her trainer and Burt cued to walk up to Marge and sniff. Well, apparently Burt kept over shooting his mark and although one of takes was good, the dogs had to be reversed and Marge walked up to Burt and did the sniffing.
Since all else is failing, the cats decide to kidnap the unsuspecting Brody's and get the allergy formula as ransom.
In this hostage crisis, Butch and Lou jump into a high tech vehicle and head for HQ. The super craft was specially designed and built for the dogs with carpeting throughout. The dogs were filmed one at a time and against a blue screen. Trainers used toys attached to sticks to get the dogs to look in different directions.
Headquarters proves to be a very hectic place with lots of different animals and breeds bustling about. This was filmed with a motion control camera, which meant that a camera was set up in a stationary spot, trainers brought the various animals in front of the camera, filmed their action, then accompanied them off camera. Later the footage was edited together to make it look like all the animals appeared together.
While at HQ they observe several military dogs, German Shepherds, in training. Verbal commands were given such as lay down, roll over, sit, etc. and we see dogs in several rows achieving these commands in unison. This was filmed with only one German Shepherd against a blue screen. Later in post, the dog was cloned many times.
The Dog Delegation was filmed using several techniques. Various breeds of dogs are shown together with one dog, Tiny, standing at the Podium ready to address the others. A large can of dog food rises up, Bam Bam pushes a button and a large opener opens it calling the proceedings to order. The whole scene was accomplished with a combination of motion control camera, split screen, puppets and live animals. Special bleachers were built and padded to make comfortable places for the dogs to sit.
The crisis has unfolded and the Brody family is in the clutches of Mr. Tinkles and his evil band being held hostage at Mr. Mason's Christmas tree flocking factory. The cats have gained control of the factory by posing the comatose Mr. Mason in his wheelchair as their cover with Mr. Tinkles in his lap providing a phony voice.
The trainer put Mr. Tinkles on the lap of the actor and he was content to sit and enjoy the ride on his motorized wheelchair. Of course when the ride became too bumpy or fast, the puppet was brought in. A laser pointer was used to direct Mr. Tinkle's eye line. Five cats were released by a trainer and followed the chair through the set until an off camera buzzer gave them a new cue. As the cats take over the factory, there are various shots of cats running around being released in groups of threes by the trainers. Buzzers were placed around the room to help direct the cats.
Although Lou was told to wait and not give in to the feline demands, he wants to save his humans. Of course he is duped and Butch and Ivy come to the rescue with lots of backup from the canine forces. Watchdogs are observed spying on the cats from a rooftop with binoculars. This was filmed on the rooftop set against a blue screen using an animatronic dog that looked through the binoculars. The two real dogs stood on either side of the puppet dog.
When Butch catches up to Lou he is underneath some netting lying on the dock. Butch pulls the netting off and Ivy arrives as backup. Lou was put on mark and told to stay as the net was gently put over the dog. A natural gel was put in the dog's hair and some dark chalk was used to make circles around the eyes so it looked like he was tired. Since the dogs and trainer had rehearsed this many times, the dog was very comfortable with the net and make up. Butch was released by a trainer and verbally cued to walk to Lou and take the net off. Ivy enters the dock with a cat detector strapped onto a lightweight pack that was attached to the dog with Velcro straps. One trainer released Ivy who walked to the phone booth near Lou and Butch who were cued to stay by the dangling phone. The paw you see lifting the receiver is fake
Ivy, Butch and Lou all have lightweight backpacks strapped to them using Velcro closures. When dogs are shown moving past the stacked barrels, the trainers put the dogs on their marks and used hand signals to direct them. The barrels were attached to each other and secured to the ground so that they couldn't fall over and the spaces between filled with sand bags. Ivy was already placed on the top of the barrels and Lou was cued to climb up along with three other dogs equipped with packs. One dog was cued to start at the top of the barrels while the other two started at the bottom.
All the chase sequences were done in separate takes, so that dogs and cats were never on the set at the same time. When cats and dogs sit at a table together, the cats were real, but the dogs were puppets, or animatronics — or vice versa..
Mr. Tinkles' plan is to reverse the Brody formula and make humans even more allergic to dogs. He lowers a dog in a cage from the ceiling right in front of the captive boy to test whether the boy is allergic. The dog barks and then gets hoisted back up. For this, the trainer placed the dog in the cage and secured the cage to a pulley. The cage was lowered and the trainer held up the dog's favorite toy, a stuffed mouse. The dog began to bark and the cage was safely pulled back up. The trainer retrieved the dog afterwards and the mouse was given to the dog as well as an edible treat.
As the cats run from the burning room, Lou tries to save his family. The dog and cat were filmed at the actors' feet separately and edited in post-production, as was the fire. Lou, cued by the trainer, circled the chair with the rope in his mouth, attempting to untie the Brodys.
Meanwhile, the evil Tinkles has enlisted thousands of mice to do his bidding and spread his biological warfare. All of the mice were computer images.
The battle is on! Barrels fall and cats run. The barrels and the cats were filmed separately on a split screen. Two cats were put on marks and trainers stood off camera and used toys and treats to get them to look and to move in given directions. The cats happily ran to the awaiting trainer and the scenes were put together in post-production.
Three dogs enter with their flocking guns blazing. The dogs are CGI and shaving cream was used for the flock. In another part of the factory, Butch dodges the claws of the log loader that Mr. Tinkles is driving. The dog was placed on its mark after the claws to the log loader are opened wide. The trainer used a long stick with some food on the end to get the dog to look in various directions, but called the dog off screen before the claws clamped shut. Mr. Tinkles was placed on his mark in the log loader as it stood motionless. Later in post-production it was made to look as if the cat was driving using seamless CGI. Anytime the log loader was moving, no live animals were present and a fake cat was used when the flocking envelops it.
Cats in goggles counter spray flock from guns. Real cats wore goggles and put their paws up on the guns with the help of their trainers. When the cats are filmed running away from the tumbling barrels, each cat was filmed separately. The trainer put the cat on a mark and used buzzers to get the cat to run in a certain direction. This was done in front of a green screen and the tumbling barrels were added in post.
Lou jumps through a window over the camera and into the fray. A special ramp and platform were built and carpeted so the dog could get a running start and leap into the air, landing on the platform as the trainer supervised from off camera. The shattering window was movie magic.
A mentor and a hero, Butch runs out of the factory with a rope in his mouth, pulling an unconscious Lou. In this case Lou was actually a puppet lying on a piece of carpet. The dog is cued with hand signals to exit the set and run to the trainer. All of the explosions were added in post-production. Scott Brody picks up Lou and holds his best friend as Lou opens his eyes.
Man's Best Friend:
Whether a secret agent or just the family pooch, Lou is the dog of the hour. Lou pushes a soccer ball with his nose and plays with his family in the yard. The trainer put Lou on his mark with the ball and the dog could hardly stop when the scene came to an end. Of course the actors were familiar with the dog and this was a natural bonding moment — proof that dogs are still man's best friend. However, Mr. Tinkles may only be under house arrest and not completely foiled as yet!