Cats And Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

When a scorned cat named Kitty Galore decides to seek vengeance on the human and animal world, two dogs, a cat and a pigeon take on a mission to stop her.

  • Starring: Chris O'Donnell and Jack McBrayer
  • Director(s): Brad Peyton
  • Producer(s): Polly Cohen Johnsen, Andrew Lazar
  • Screenwriter(s): Ron J. Friedman, Steve Bencich
  • Distributor: Warner Brothers
  • Animal Coordinator: Boone's Animals for Hollywood
  • Release Date: Friday, July 30, 2010

Featured Animal Action

General Safety Precautions

Before filming began, cast and crew members were instructed on the safety and handling of the animals. All grounds were thoroughly inspected for hazards — all areas were safe and secured and contained no sharp corners or hazardous terrain. Only necessary cast and crew members were allowed on the set and all were quiet during filming. Streets on the set were closed to traffic. Dogs were rested and shaded between takes and given plenty of food, water and praise. All of the dogs and cats in scenes together were familiar with each other and accustomed to being together.

Whenever dogs or cats barked or meowed or performed mild action, such as sitting, lying, jumping, pawing at something, hanging out on a cat post, crouching, or walking or running from one point to another, off-screen trainers used hand signals and verbal commands to achieve the action. For shots in which a paw is seen close-up, the paw was usually fake. When the dogs and cats are seen milling about at the headquarters, putting paws up on objects or sitting around a table, these were trained behaviors cued by off-screen trainers.

All food given to the animals was deemed safe for their consumption. Any object held in an animal's mouth was a lightweight prop that was not hazardous or breakable. For shots in which Diggs (the German shepherd) has a toothpick in his mouth, this was actually a custom-made wood block with a toothpick on the front, and the dog held the block in its mouth like a chew toy. For the scene in which Butch (the Anatolian shepherd) inflates a raft with his mouth, trainers cued the dog to "get" the nylon handle of the raft and step backwards; the inflation took place without the dog present. For the scene in which Diggs pulls the baby's blanket up over the bassinet, this well-trained dog was cued to "get" the corner of the blanket and then drop it after a moment. The bassinet was screwed to the table for safety.

All costumes worn by the animals were custom-made for comfort. The bunny costume worn by the hairless cat, along with the "cotton candy" wrapped around her, were comfortable, cotton costumes attached with Velcro and removed immediately after filming.

Special Effects and Stunts

For the catnip den scene, the smoke was added in post-production. Whenever real smoke or fog was used, it was a nontoxic, water-based smoke effect. All fire and explosions were computer-generated imagery (CGI).

The scene in which the cat and two dogs "fly" from the balcony was all done with CGI. Likewise, everything that took place on top of the amusement park ride was CGI, except for a few moments of an establishing shot of the animals, which was filmed on flat ground made to look like the top of the ride.

The scene in which the cocker spaniel unzips its fur to reveal a hairless cat and then gets hoisted up a cable to the ceiling was also CGI. Most of the scene in which the dogs are dropped into a rocket ship was an effect, except for the part where trainers placed them in a rigged car and lowered a safety harness. The car was secured to the floor and never actually moved. Trainers cued the animals to stay while fans blew their fur.

The scene in which the dog and cat dangle on chains above a water tank was CGI, except for the very end, in which the wet animals rest at the top of the tank. For this shot, the animals were wet down and placed on a platform inside the tank, next to another area of the tank that was sectioned off and filled with water. This made it appear as if the animals were in the water, when they were not. The animals were dried off immediately after filming.

All the cats in Alcatraz were props, except for the one with the chains up to its neck — this cat was cued to stay while lightweight plastic chains were briefly placed on its body. The cats in the life raft were also CGI.

For the scene in which Diggs and the cat ride in the motorcycle sidecar, a fake dog and cat were used for part of the scene, and the real animals were filmed briefly in a stationary sidecar against a green screen.

Other Dog and Cat Action

At a crime scene, Diggs the police dog runs after a criminal and bites him in the rear. For the biting part of the scene, a stunt trainer stood in for the actor, and trainers cued the dog to "get" his pants, which the dog had been trained to do — the pants were in the same pattern as its "bite pillow." The dog then leaps from a car hood into the air to grab the criminal's detonator. This scene was filmed in separate shots. A rubber mat was glued to the hood of the car for traction, and a trainer placed the dog on a platform a couple of feet away from the prop car, cuing the dog to jump from the platform onto the hood, and then jump off the hood a few feet onto the ground. The ground was lined with stunt pads for a soft landing. Trainers held the detonator, which was actually a foam toy on a stick, and cued the dog to get it. It was replaced with a more realistic detonator in post-production. The dog was well-trained and accustomed to this jumping and landing action. The dog shown biting a man's arm was cued for this action. The actor wore a padded "attack arm" used in police training.

For the scene in which the dogs (and CGI pigeon) interrogate Catherine the cat on a jungle gym, the gym was a custom-made platform with plastic bubbles, made to look like a real jungle gym. The shot in which the dogs squirt the cat with water was achieved by combining separate shots. Trainers gently blew air on the cat's face, then wet the cat down separately. Once these elements were combined, it appeared as if the cat was squirted in the face with water.

Several dogs mill about in the secret headquarters. These dogs were familiar with each other and cued to stay, walk or perform their various activities. Trainers stood all around the area. The skateboarding dog loved skateboarding and did so without needing to be cued by trainers. The dogs that rode on the vacuum-like disc platform and moving chairs were all well-rehearsed for the action and were secured to the objects with waist ties. Camera speeds were adjusted to allow crew members to slowly move the objects, and then the film was sped up in post-production. The same technique was used with the dog on the treadmill. This dog was accustomed to walking forward while trainers controlled the treadmill speed, and the film was sped up in post-production.

For the scene in which the large dog gets stuck entering through the cat door at the house, this was a trained behavior — the dog had been extremely well-rehearsed to enter through the door, which was just large enough for the dog to fit. Trainers cued the dog to put its paws in first, making it appear as if it was struggling. Later, when the dog appears to squeeze into the cat castle and scratching post, the back of the post was removed, so the dog only had to enter the front, as if walking through a hoop. Fake legs and paws were then placed on either side of the dog's face to make it look squished.

For a scene in which several puppies play with toys on newspaper and then run out of the room, the puppies came from the same litter and were placed on their marks and allowed to play with the toys. Trainers in the next room called them to come. For a scene in which several kittens play with Diggs, food was placed between the dog's paws to entice the kittens to stay there and lick. The dog and kittens were accustomed to each other.

For the scene in which the brown and black cat that eventually turns into the hairless cat named Kitty Galore falls off a grate into a giant vat of hair remover, trainers placed the cat on its mark on a grate, in front of a green screen. Apple boxes were placed directly below the grate, which was only a few feet off the ground, and stunt pads surrounded it. Trainers cued the cat to walk backward to the edge of the grate and walk down a few inches to the first apple box. Later, the cat was placed on the edge of the grate in a manner that allowed its back feet to dangle. The cat was also gently dropped a few inches onto the stunt pads below, which were on a green screen floor. These takes were edited together to make it appear as if the cat slipped and fell off the grate and the green screen floor was digitally replaced with the vat of hair remover in post-production.

During the cat montage at the cat lady's house, cats are seen on the floor, on the couch, in dresser drawers and throughout the house. Several cats were filmed in this scene, all of which were accustomed to being together. Trainers placed two cats in each drawer of the dresser and allowed them to do whatever came naturally, which was mainly sit around. Trainers stood nearby in case they needed to stop the cats from climbing out, which they did not try to do. When two cats look left and right as if watching a cat-clock's eyes move from side to side, trainers shined a laser to the right and left to get them to look.

The two dogs (Diggs and Butch) and the cat (Catherine) get buried in kitty litter in a laundry room. The crew custom-made a contraption consisting of several apple boxes secured to the ground a short distance from each other and a sheet of plywood secured on top. Holes were cut in the plywood for the animals' heads and fake paws, and vermiculite mineral, a nontoxic material used in exfoliating products and for fireproofing in insulation, was layered all around the plywood, making it look like the animals were buried up to their necks. After trainers removed the plywood contraption and allowed the fake litter to slide down and out of the room, a ramp was covered in the litter, just enough to cover it but still allow for safe footing, and the animals were cued to run down the litter-covered ramp and walk over a stunt woman who stood in for the old lady.

In one scene, the two dogs, the cat and a (CGI) pigeon are attacked on a boat. This was filmed in separate shots. Trainers stood behind the dog, placed a muzzle over its mouth and pulled the straps, which raised its head a little and made the dog look as if he was fighting it. The two dogs were placed on a dolly platform with green screen material on it. A rope was rigged under the dolly for the crew members to pull. The dogs were then cued to stay and "lean back," which was a trained behavior that the dogs excelled at. While the dogs leaned back in a "stay" position, crew members slowly rolled the dolly forward, and once the green screen was removed in post-production, it appeared as if the dogs were being pulled hard enough to skid across the ferry deck while leaning back in resistance. This entire scene involved green screen, camera angles, editing tricks and some impressive trained behaviors from the dogs.

The shot in which Diggs falls over the side of the ferry and dangles over the edge, barely holding on with his front paws was filmed using a combination of a prop dog and an animatronic dog.

Other Animals

The pigeons, birds, squirrel and fish in this film were CGI.