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Announcing the Nominees for the Dog Academy Awards (The Osc-grrr-s)

March 1, 2018

Academy Awards season is upon us once again. Oscar buzzworthy films and performances are the talk of the town. This left us at Embark pondering: If there was an awards show for dogs, who would be the nominees in the “Dog Academy Awards?”

We decided to pull together our nominees across a few canine categories. Then we would leave it up to you, our friends and fans, to pick the winners. Since this is the first year presenting the Osc-grrr-s, we opened up nominations to performances from all years. Further, we included television dogs in our considerations.

Here are the categories for the Dog Academy Awards (the Osc-grrr-s).

Canine In a Leading Role

These are the obvious dog stars-the pups who are lead characters and the central drivers of their respective films’ plots. The nominees for Canine in a Leading Role are:

Clyde as “Marley”-“Marley & Me”

There aren’t many dog stories that tug at the heartstrings as deftly as “Marley & Me.” The film, based on John Grogan’s novel of the same name, starred Clyde, a yellow Labrador Retriever. While 22 dogs were used to portray Marley throughout the various stages of life, three-year-old Clyde was the dog who got the most screen time in the titular role. His emotional range as a mischievous yet charming companion made the film a dog-lover favorite. For your consideration: watch Clyde here.

“Winston”-“Feast”

This precocious puppy stole the hearts of filmgoers as the star in the Pixar short, “Feast.” The short won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, but we think the puppy deserves consideration for his performance as the lead protagonist. Given the Streep-like status of the Oscar-winning film he starred in, Winston is a favorite contender in this category. For your consideration: watch Winston here.

Classic Film or Television Dog

From Lassie to Rin Tin Tin and Benji to Hooch, television and film dogs have a storied tradition of stealing our hearts. This year, we’re looking back through the century for the most standout performances of dogs in film and television. The final 2018 nominees in this category are:

Skippy as “Asta”-“The Thin Man”

If you’re a crossword puzzle enthusiast, you know Asta as “The Thin Man’s best friend”. This plucky Wire Fox Terrier was the unspoken comedic secret to the popularity of this film series, co-starring Myrna Loy and William Powell, and his investigative skills were, at times, major plot points. Skippy’s fame has waned over the decades, however, making him the underdog in this category. For your consideration: watch Skippy here.

Moose as “Eddie”-“Frasier”

This expressive Jack Russell Terrier is one of the most recognizable pups from the 1990s and present-day syndication. As Eddie, Moose’s talents were the source of many visual jokes on the classic sitcom, “Frasier,” upstaging star Kelsey Grammar himself. We wouldn’t be surprised if he took this category given his awareness advantage over Asta whose films are not as widely viewed as “Frasier.” For your consideration: watch Moose (and co-star, his son Enzo) here.

Canine-Like Character or Duo in a Supporting Role

There are many films where supporting roles are performed by unconventional, dog-adjacent characters. This category recognizes the achievements of actors who captured the essence of “man’s best friend.” The nominees are:

“Timon” and “Pumbaa”-“The Lion King”

This dynamic duo not only stole the show in Disney’s “The Lion King”. They also got their own film spin-off and television show! These sidekicks are the faithful companions of Simba, winning them Osc-grrr buzz in this nontraditional category. After all, what captures the spirit of a dog like a trusty duo who reminds you to live life with “no worries?” For your consideration: watch Timon & Pumbaa here.

“BB-8”-“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Sure, BB-8 is an astromech droid, not a living canine, but as his scenes with companion Poe Dameron demonstrate, he might be the closest thing in the “Star Wars” franchise to a puppy. The undeniable challenge of conveying emotion as a metallic droid-limited to sounds, lights and only minimal movement of its parts-could bring BB-8 a win this year in this tough and unconventional category. For your consideration: watch BB-8 here.

Cast your vote for the 2018 Dog Academy Awards on Facebook, or find us on Twitter and Instagram at @embarkvet and take the poll for each category there. (And of course, here at Embark, we wonder: If BB-8 were a dog, what breed would he be?)

We’ll reveal the winners and our favorite comments in the coming weeks. May the best pooch win!