Garfield The Cat Day is celebrated annually on 19th June. The day is set aside to honor all things related to the ginger feline. Garfield was famously created by cartoonist Jim Davis and appeared in a cartoon strip on 19th June 1978. Garfield’s owner: Jon Arbuckle and his dog friend; Odie, also appear in the cartoon strip.
The world renowned comic strip featuring Garfield is set in Muncie, Indiana. Topical subjects focused on are: obsessive eating, love for consuming lasagna and a distaste of Mondays. Davis took the human faculties, that we do not like discussing and anthropomorphized them in our ginger friend.
National Pets in Film Day is observed next on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018. It has been observed annually on June 19th since 2011.
Nicknamed Rinty, Rin Tin Tin appeared in 27 films throughout his Hollywood career. His popularity even led to a surge in the amount of German Shepherds kept as pets. Rinty came to Hollywood after being rescued from the battlefield and trained by an American soldier named Lee Duncan during the Second World War. In 1929, it is rumoured that the German Shepherd received the most votes for the first Academy Award for Best Actor, but it was ultimately decided that the award should go to a human. Rin Tin Tin was honoured in many ways both in life and after his death. The Mayor of New York gave him a key to the city, he has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, his descendants were owned by Greta Garbo, W K Kellogg and Jean Harlow and his rescuer Lee Duncan wrote a poem about his attachment to his canine companion.
Born in June 1940, Pal the dog was the first animal actor to play Lassie, in the feature film Lassie Come Home. Pal’s ancestry can be traced all the way back to England’s first great collie, Old Cockie. 1,500 dogs auditioned for the role of Lassie, and Pal was originally rejected because he was male, his eyes were too big and a big white blaze ran straight down his forehead. A female prize-winning collie was selected instead, and Pal kept on as a stunt dog. Whilst filming a scene in which Lassie had to swim a flooded river, haul himself out, lie down without shaking his coat, attempt to crawl on his side and finally lay motionless and exhausted, Pal impressed. He completed the incredibly demanding scene in just one take. From that moment on, he was top dog. When Pal died of old age in 1958, his trainer Rudd Weatherwax was distraught. He slipped in and out of depression, and his son recalled that he would often return to visit the grave he had dug for Pal in a special spot on his ranch. He went on to write a book about Pal’s life entitled The Story of Lassie. Truly man’s best friend!
Keiko the killer whale was known for his roles in the Free Willy films. His name is Japanese for “lucky one”. This magnificent creature was living in an amusement park in Mexico when he was cast in Free Willy. The publicity from his role led to Warner Brothers finding him a new, more suitable home. Using $7million of public donations, the majority of which came from school children, the Oregon Coast Aquarium constructed facilities to return Keiko to health with a view to releasing him back into the wild. During his time in Oregon, the killer whale gained over a tonne. When he was finally released in 2002, he struggled to adjust to the wild. At one point he was discovered in a Norwegian fjord, seemingly seeking contact with people and allowing children to ride on his back. Keiko died in 2003 at around 26 years old. A memorial was set up to him in Halsa, Norway and tourists continue to visit his resting place to pay their respects.
•Whale action was accomplished with a real whale and animatronic or mechanical whales, both life-size and miniature.
•The producers of this film have a special interest in the plight of whales and took exceptional care to avoid endangering or stressing not only the whales, but all the animals in this film.
•All filming with the live whale was done at a seaquarium in Mexico City and our American Humane representative was present at all times.
•The whale portraying Willy is Keiko, a 13-year-old 7,000 pound Orcinus Orca, who resides at the seaquarium.
•A life-size, 20 foot animatronic whale was used in the sequences with the whale and Jesse interacting in the tank and in all scenes with the whale out of the tank.
See website below for more details on the Animatronic whale used in the film.
Waltconti Animatronic whale made for Free Willy film