The American Humane Association, which oversees the safety and humane treatment of animals in film and television, presented its version of the Oscars — called Pawscars — recognizing best animal performances in Hollywood. Here are some of this year's winners:
Best Harbinger of Doom: What's scarier than Anthony Hopkins in a fat suit playing the famed director Alfred Hitchcock in the film biopic Hitchcock? How about a raven standing on the director's shoulder? Chilling! In the last scene of Hitchcock, after the director found a newfound fame with Psycho, he asks the audience what is to come next in his career when suddenly a black raven flies onto his shoulder, a foreboding to the release of his next hit, The Birds of course.
Best Literary Muse: The independent comedy Ruby Sparks is about a sad, lonely writer suffering from writer's block. When his muse comes to life in the form of a girl named Ruby Sparks, your eyes still can't be torn away from protagonist Paul Dano's cute dog, Scotty, who is by his owner's side throughout the film. The movie has a lesson about searching for inspiration in someone else when it's standing right there beside you. Could Scotty qualify for that description?
Best Pig in a Blanket: Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh made the right choice by casting breakout star Maynard the Pig, which overshadowed pretty boys Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey in the role of Herman. If a pig can steal that kind of thunder, you know he deserves the Pawscar.
Best Animal in a Leading Role: If Uggie became a household name from last year's The Artist, then Bonny from this year's off-beat comedy Seven Psychopaths should earn the same glorious fate. Like Uggie, Bonny the dog is pretty much the epicenter of Seven Psychopaths, spurring the action and attracting the attention of every character in the movie. When misfits steal Bonny from her vicious owner and mob boss played by Woody Harrelson, they immediately hit the road when they realize whose dog they stole.
Best Human/Animal Bond: Without a doubt, the film that truly captured the beauty of the human and animal bond this year was Ang Lee's Life of Pi. The story of an Indian adolescent and a Tiger he calls Richard Parker stranded on a lifeboat together after being shipwrecked cuts to the core of life and how all of us, humans and animals, are part of the same cycle. More than just an allegorical tale of the existence of God, Life of Pi shows us that there is an incredible connection between the animal and human world.