The movie, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray Jan. 31, is the 11th in the Disney Buddy series directed by Robert Vince. This time, the buddies (BDawg, Budderball, Buddha, Mudbud, and Rosebud) must save their young owner and keep the evil kitty Ubasti from finding the lost collar of Cleocatra, which will unleash a powerful magic that will make cats the rulers of the world.
The day’s events included coloring and “digging for treasure” activities for kids, Q&A with the Los Angeles K9 Units and the County of LA Fire Department, and photos with the adorable Golden Retrievers who play the buddies in the new film.
Radio Disney was also present, handing out goody bags to the kids, which were full of Disney-related games and toys.
Hot Dogs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were served for hungry patrons and guests could buy plush dogs as a fundraiser for Los Angeles Police Foundation, which provides programs the city does not pay for, including youth programs.
DogChannel.com caught up with Anna McRoberts, producer, at the screening of the film and asked her what it was like working with such cute canines!
DC: How many puppies do you use to play the roles of the buddies?
McRoberts: We use three litters of puppies that are each two weeks apart. There are usually eight puppies per litter, so about 24 puppies.
DC: Why do the litters have to be two weeks apart?
McRoberts: We use puppies that are between 12-14 weeks of age. When they hit that 14 weeks, they really start growing, so there would be a size difference in the pups. So, after two weeks the pups get switched out. Of course, sometimes a puppy is bigger or smaller within that time, so they get switched out accordingly.
DC: Are the puppies bred for Hollywood?
McRoberts: No, we get them from top breeders around the country. The breeders have to be really, really good, and the puppies have to be really well bred. Of course, timing is a huge thing too!
DC: Is it hard to get the dogs to do what you want them to do?
McRoberts: Not really. We have really talented trainers that work really well with the dogs. And, Golden Retrievers are smart and like to work. They really love it and want to do it.
DC: How many trainers did you have working on the film?
McRoberts: 15 trainers.
DC: What is a typical work day for the pups?
McRoberts: On a 12 hour day, the puppies work for half an hour and then get a one hour play or rest break. So they get a lot of breaks and everything is monitored really carefully. If a puppy starts to act tired or not cooperate, it gets a break.
DC: Is it hard to not just sit and play with the puppies?
McRoberts: Yes! I just want to pick them up and play with them. When they are working, we can’t, but during play breaks we can play with them and I did get to pick them up after a work day was done. That was great.
The buddy puppies at the screening certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves, especially all the hugs from the kids. The buddies will be coming back this December in another adventure, Santa Pups, and McRoberts told us they have started pre-production on Super Buddies, which will come out sometime in 2013.
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DogChannel catches up with human co-star Edward Herrmann >>