If you are an animal lover and are not yet familiar with Disney’s “Buddies” series, you are in for an action packed, globe-trotting, multi-species adventure.
It’s my pleasure to promote the upcoming release of Disney’s latest pet-centric offering, Treasure Buddies (released on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on January 31, 2012).
Treasure Buddies stars Disney’s lovable group of canine Golden Retriever puppy buddies: B-Dawg, Budderball, Buddha, Mudbud, and Rosebud. Cats and other animals are represented too: Ubasti, a Sphynx cat with an agenda all her own, Cammy the camel, and Babi, a clever monkey who serves as the movie’s narrator.
The story focuses on the Buddies’ journey to Egypt to prevent Ubasti and her human caretaker, Dr. Phillip Wellington, from stealing the legendary Cat’s Eye Jewel from the tomb of Cleocatra.
Although a movie exclusively starring our furry friends would be exceedingly entertaining, we need our human characters to help drive the drama. That’s where 1999 Emmy Award winning actor (“Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series” for The Practice), Edward Herrmann steps in to play the scheming Dr. Wellington.
Herrmann has an extensive history in television, as evidenced by his Emmy win and multiple other Emmy and Screen Actor’s Guild Award nominations. He has also been highly featured in movies, including The Day of the Dolphin, The Aviator, and one of my favorites, The Lost Boys (where he plays Max, the head vampire). Considering Herrmann’s many accomplishments, his presence in Treasure Buddies lends theatrical substance to the family friendly film.
In addition to having the unique experience of acting in the presence of live animals, Herrmann has quite the menagerie of his own at his Connecticut home. “Three cats, five dogs, and a turtle” populate the roost of this warm and talented individual.
With my career as a holistic veterinarian and Herrmann’s on and off screen love of animals, we had much to discuss during my interview.
Prior to Treasure Buddies, Herrmann’s most notable working experience with animals was The Day of the Dolphin, in which he shot in the Bahamas for three months with six Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphins. Part of Herrmann’s responsibility was “to swim with the dolphins to keep them trained and from becoming feral.”
As those dolphins seem rather good-natured, I was curious about his perspective on the seemingly opposite type: the scheming feline, Ubasti. According to Herrmann, the Sphynx cat that played Ubasti “looks sinister, but is very smart and even tempered.” In fact, he said, she would “sit on my arm and not want to leave.”
Animals and children are known for creating a notorious challenge for their screen mates, so I was curious as to potential tensions that formed on the Treasure Buddies’ set. Herrmann claims there were “no problems, as the trainers did all of the work.” While he did not share time on set with any of the “Buddies,” he did form a close bond with his Sphynx companion. “I loved this cat,” he told me.
Working animal actors are put under a stress that is not normally experienced by your average household pet, but Herrmann reported that the presence of an American Humane Association representative ensured that Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media were followed.
With his passion for on-screen work and evident love of furry companions, I hope that we will see Herrmann in another fusion of these interests.
Stay connected with the latest news and information on Treasure Buddies by “liking” their Facebook page. You can also find games, coloring pages, trailers, video clips and more from the Treasure Buddies film — and find links to other “Buddies” films — at Disney’s official Treasure Buddies page.
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Copyright of this article (2012) is owned by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr. Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr. Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.