A movie animator charged with bludgeoning his neighbor’s German shepherd to death with a hammer changed his not guilty plea in the middle of his trial last week.
After jurors were shown home security video showing him shooting and beating the muzzled German shepherd, Young Song, 42, switched his plea to no contest, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Young was sentenced to a year in jail and three years of probation. He was also banned from owning any animals for 10 years.
The change of pleas was made over the objection of prosecutors, who were seeking the maximum four-year sentence.
In the video, the 14-month-old shepherd being is shot and beaten by Song, who then is believed to have hidden the dog’s body, prosecutors said. The body of the dog, who belonged to Song’s next door neighbor, was never found.
Prosecutors say Song climbed a fence and entered his neighbor’s yard, shot the dog with a pellet gun, then returned a few minutes later and started hitting dog with a hammer.
Song is an animator who has worked for DreamWorks. His credits include ”Kung Fu Panda,” “Shark Tale,” “Bee Movie” and “Madagascar 2.”
Officials said Song’s reasons for attacking the dog weren’t entirely clear, but they suspected the dog could have been getting on his property through a hole in the fence.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, animation, animator, beat, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, dream works, german shepherd, hammer, jail, los angeles, neighbors, no contest, one year, pets, plea, security, sentenced, surveillance, switch, trial, video, young song
The Shelter Pet Project was launched about two years ago, and quickly teamed up with Patrick McDonnell, creator of Mutts comics.
The series of animated ads they’ve produced are aimed at encouraging pet adoptions, and reducing the 3 million deaths of cats in shelters each year.
In the one above — and they are all equal parts sweet and funny – an old dog finds a home.
In another, a Boston Terrier watches while his owner gets arrested for insider trading. “He’s going to jail and I’m going to a shelter. And no, they’re not the same thing.”
The Shelter Pet Project marks the first Ad Council campaign to focus on pets.
In addition to the animated “Mutts” ads, the campaign has produced some pretty memorable non-animated ads as well. Here’s one, called “Ditched.”
(All of our “Woof in Advertising” selections can be found archived here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, ads, advertising, animal welfare, animals, animation, ditched, dogs, dogs in advertising, marketing, mutts, old dogs, patrick mcdonnell, pets, psa, rescue, shelter, shelter pet project, woof in advertising
“My Dog Tulip” — J.R. Ackerley’s classic account of how a dog entered his life, stimulated his curiosity, broadened his horizons, and brightened his otherwise cranky golden years — is now out as an animated movie, and the book has been reissued in paperback.
“Unable to love each other, the English turn naturally to dogs,” the British writer wrote in what’s perhaps the most famous line of the 1956 book about the bond between dog and man.
“Sometimes love really is a bitch,” reads the tagline, updated for the times, of the new movie.
The movie came out late last summer, directed by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, who are also responsible for the hand-drawn animations that, on screen, are like a New Yorker cartoon come to life.
The film is narrated by Christopher Plummer, in the role of Ackerley, and also features the voice of Lynn Redgrave, who died in May and to whom the movie is dedicated. One review called it “the most sophisticated dog movie ever made.”
It tells the story of a lonely gay man who has all but given up on finding a longtime companion and “ideal friend” in the human world.
Enter Tulip, or, as was her name in real life, Queenie, a German shepherd Ackerley acquired from his neighbors when he was “quite over 50,” and with whom he would spend the next 15 years.
“She offered me what I had never found in my life with humans: constant, single-hearted, incorruptible, uncritical devotion, which it is in the nature of dogs to offer.”
Ackerley died in 1967, and though the book is now 55 years old, it retains a sense of freshness attributable to the fact that Queenie was his first dog. His keen observation of inter-species interaction is that of someone who just landed on the planet, as opposed to being an old hand with dogs.
“It seemed to me both touching and strange,” he says at one point, “that she should find the world so wonderful.”
We long-time dog lovers know exactly what he means. It’s what makes dogs so lovable — they see the world as wonderful, and, no matter how curmudgeonly we may be, they help us see it that way too.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ackerley, animals, animated, animation, bond, books, books on dogs, connection, dog books, dogs, fierlinger, german shepherd, jr ackerley, literature, movie, movies, my dog tulip, paperback, paul, pets, queenie, relationships, sandra, tulip
Contrary to what many, including PETA, might think , animals were used in the making of “Avatar” — but none were harmed, according to the American Humane Association.
“American Humane applauds ‘Avatar’ director James Cameron and the production for earning our highest rating by ensuring the safety of the animals used in the filming,” said Karen Rosa, vice president of American Humane’s Film & TV Unit.
While PETA has recognized the film and its director for using computer-generated images instead of live animals, American Humane says filmmakers also used live animals for motion capture, and explains the process on its website.
“This film was created using motion capture technology, in which performers wear miniature computerized motion sensors near joints and facial areas to capture the movements and facial muscle nuances that occur with each gesture, motion or expression. The live action was performed in a motion capture studio covered in dark fabric and carpet and then recorded as computer animation data, which was then mapped onto a computerized 3-D model.
“In this technology, humans wear a bodysuit for the ‘capture,’ but animals need to be ‘captured’ differently because of their body shapes, fur and other characteristics. To prepare the animals for having their motion data recorded, trainers shaved small areas of fur or hair where the movements would be recorded, such as near joints and on the face. Velcro pads were attached to the shaved spots with a nontoxic, nonirritating silicone adhesive. White light-reflective balls were placed onto the Velcro to capture the motion data onto the computer. The exception to this was horses’ tails, which were not shaved, but wrapped in a sensor-laden material. The adhesive and any additional markings were washed off each evening after filming ended.
“Throughout the film, horses are seen outdoors standing or being ridden at a walk, canter or gallop. We also see people mounting, dismounting and falling off horses. These scenes were all filmed inside the capture studio. Horses were given ample room to start and stop running. …For scenes in which horses appear to be near fire, trainers cued them to ‘dance’ or act skittish or afraid — the horses were not actually agitated nor were they ever near fire.”
American Humane monitors the use of animals in movies, and, when merited, bestows the trademark “No animals were harmed in the making of this film” certifcation.
American Humane encourages moviemakers to use computer generated images to increase safety.
“If, upon review of the script, American Humane believes there to be any dangerous animal action, American Humane will strongly encourage simulating the action through the use of computer-generated images, animatronics or fake animal doubles to minimize the risk of injury to animals,” the organization’s guidelines state.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 3-D, american, american humane, animals, animation, avatar, computer, computer generated images, horses, humane, james cameron, live, monitoring, motion picture, movies, news, no animals were harmed, peta
Today we begin our Christmas countdown — an eclectic mix of videos that will serve as our way of wishing you the happiest of holidays.
Of course, we’ll still be bringing you dog news as well this week — along with some possible posts related to my Christmas guests, all of whom are canines. In addition to my dog Ace, I’ll be hosting three other dogs this week whose owners are off to visit family.
There’s Lucas — an old yellow Lab who huffs, puffs and dawdles almost as much as me on his walks in the park. There’s Darcy, a young Boston terror, I mean terrier, who is a perpetually bouncing bundle of energy. And there’s Cheyenne, a sweet 11-year-old yellow Lab who, though bred to be a guide dog, didn’t make the cut, then at age 5 began going blind herself.
The more the merrier, I figured.
But back to our holiday greetings. We’ll be bringing you one a day all week, starting with this vintage R.O. Blechman animation that CBS aired in 1966 as a Christmas message to viewers.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ace, animation, blind, boston terrier, cbs, cheyenne, christmas, darcy, dogs, guests, guide dog, happy, holiday, holidays, lucas, news, ohmidog!, seasons greetings, video, videos, visitors, yellow lab
(To see more of Allen Mezquida’s “Smigly” animations, visit smigly.tv)
This little ditty is quickly approaching the one-million-view mark on YouTube.
Between that and five different people having sent it to me in the past couple of weeks, I thought this would be a good time to share it — if it hasn’t already showed up in your inbox.
The artist is Wendy Francisco, who you can learn more about on her website.
Wendy was born in 1955 in Boston, grew up in Del Mar, California and graduated from San Diego State University. She has been been involved with music, art, writing, photography, nature and animals since she childhood.
She learned guitar at age 8 and began to write her own songs. She was asked to perform often and in 1979, was signed to Sparrow Records. Wendy has since traveled all over the United States and beyond doing concerts. Her voice was used at the opening of ”Dear John” with Judd Hirsch.
In 2008, she participated in the editing of the book ”Wesley The Owl” by author Stacey O’ Brien. Most recently, she created this You Tube video, her first animation.
Wendy, according to her website, struggles with modern day religion which she believes limits most people and women in particular. Wendy believes that religion often masks the character of G-O-D.
Wendy is married to singer/songwriter Don Francisco, and lives in the mountains of Colorado where she continues to produce art, writings, and music. She also raises Friesian cross horses, Ragdoll cats, and Colorado Mountain Dogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animation, artist, g-o-d and d-o-g, god and dog, singer, song, songwriter, video, website, wendy francisco, youtube