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Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors Hardcover – September 16, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

About the Author

Robin Ganzert, PhD, is president and CEO of American Humane Association, the first national humane organization, founded in 1877. Robin is a passionate advocate for the power of the child-animal bond. The mother of three children, she lives with her family, including three dogs and two cats, in North Carolina.

Allen & Linda Anderson are coauthors of a series of popular books, published in many languages, about the benefits of human-animal companionship, and cofounders of the Angel Animals Network. They have won recognition from the American Society of Journalists and Authors Outstanding Book Award program and are New York Times bestselling authors. They share their home in Minneapolis with a dog named Leaf, Cuddles the cat, and a cockatiel named Sunshine.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; 1st edition (September 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608682633
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608682638
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Florence Barnes on October 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love how this is written. I enjoy reading about the animals I loved in the movies and am happy how safe and protected they are on the movie set. The Humane Society has a representative on the set of any animal show.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Growing up, I was always excited when Saturday movie day came around and I got to see the latest movie with an animal as the hero. The movie Big Red, for example, began a life long love affair with Irish Setters. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Animal Stars. The stories of the animal actors took me back to fond memories of my childhood. I can only hope that today's movie animals will sow the seeds of compassion in a child as it did in me all those years ago. Read this book. You'll be pleased you did.
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Format: Hardcover
I have not finished the book yet, but I would have a hard time criticizing anything animal -related, especially when the animals get the profits from the work. Dr. Ganzert is head of American Humane, a charity that does lots of good for animals, even rating food animals producers. I have supported the charity for years, and this book allows both of us to get a perk for purchasing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! What a gift to be able to see behind the scenes of what goes on with the animals we fall in love with on screen. What unique personalities each one has! The bond between the animals, and their trainers and their fellow actors is what makes each story so compelling. Animals have much to teach us and with this inside view you are able to see the gift that each one brings. Thank you Robin Ganzert and the Andersons for taking the time to write this book and let us into a world we would normally never get to see. (I can see my holiday gift giving taken care of with Animal Stars!)
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Format: Hardcover
This is a remarkable book that takes readers to the stories behind the animal actors that they have seen and loved on the TV or on the movie screen. The chapters are written by different trainers who worked with the animal actors and trained them to produce all those memorable performances that made us laugh, cry, applaud, appreciate and introspect.

The animal stars range from dogs and cats to horses, bears, birds, snakes, monkeys, wolves, sea lions and so on. Every chapter provides an interesting perspective into the lives of the trainers and the animal stars, how the animals were trained to play their roles, and also about what the animals went on to do after completing their movie roles.

If I were to pick my favorite chapter from the book, I would say it is Chapter 6 by Mark Harden, where he says how a total of 5 dogs were used to play the complete arc of a dog's lifetime from puppy-hood to old age in Hachi: A Dog's Tale. Harden describes the details of the role played by each of the adult Akita dogs - Chico, Layla and Forrest. It is very interesting to read about the work that went into making a young 4-year old Forrest look and "act" like a very old Hachi. Harden writes how he enjoys "the audible gasp from first-time viewers when Forrest, as old Hachi, makes his entrance" in the movie. He says that the movie was one of the best experiences of his career and adds, "I will pass down memories of it to my grandchildren."

I would recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed watching movies that feature animals. In particular, this would be such an education for the children to know the effort involved, both by the trainers and the animals, in the making of animal movies.
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Format: Hardcover
Hardly had I recovered from the shock and sadness after the passing of Robin Williams when I opened Linda and Allen Anderson's new Animal Stars to discover the little monkey called Crystal was one of the featured animals in the book. Crystal opened the door to a new dimension in understanding animal consciousness in a film clip appearing on the news showing her reaction after being informed of Robin Williams' passing. She showed the same love, compassion, and sadness we all felt hearing that we lost him. Tom Gunderson, Crystal's Trainer, tells the story of her role with Robin in "Night at the Museum."
"During the filming of Night at the Museum," writes Gunderson, "Robin Williams preferred to visit with Crystal between takes rather than watch his own performance on the monitor."
Linda and Allen Anderson also consistently do such a wonderful job at helping us understand deep-seated secrets of life through our furry and feathered companions and teachers on this planet. In this collection of stellar beings (stars) who most of us have seen on the big screen, I was also captivated by behind-the-scenes stories about Finder, the horse who played Joey in Spielberg's "War Horse," Crackerjack (who played Crookshanks, Hermione’s cat in the Harry Potter movies), and the incredible wolves from "Game of Thrones."
And this barely scratches the surface. See for yourself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. I have often wondered about the animal trainers and the animals they train. This book gave me a glimpse into their world. Well written and fun!
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Format: Hardcover
A terrific book on so many levels....it reminds you of why we love animals and of all the film and TV stars who captured our hearts and made us empathize with animals we know, and animals we'll never meet in our everyday lives. Makes you realize how a couple of animal stars can make a difference for the way mankind thinks of and treats animals around the world. Plus, it's a lot of fun to read. I definitely recommend it.
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