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Critters of the Cinema

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Critters of the Cinema is a company which provides animal talents to film, television, music videos, commercials, print work, parades and live stage events. The company was founded by Rob Bloch in 1981. Critters of the Cinema provided animal talents to several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Voyager and to the seventh feature film, Star Trek Generations. [1]

Star Trek Edit

Critters of the Cinema started to work on The Next Generation in 1992 when several horses were required for the cliffhanger "Time's Arrow" and its sequel "Time's Arrow, Part II". Bloch and fellow horse trainer John Hanna worked on these episodes and Hanna also appeared as a background actor, a buggy driver in the second episode.

Bloch and his crew chose the dog Friday to play Maura in the sixth season episode "Aquiel". Friday previously worked on the television series Perfect Strangers and for four years on General Hospital beside other projects. For the episode "Dark Page", Bloch chose the two wolves Buck and Teddy. They previously worked as the wolf "Two Socks" on the Academy Award winning adventure Dances with Wolves in 1990.

Critters of the Cinema also took over from Gary Gero and Birds & Animals Unlimited when they "cast" a new Spot. Animal trainer Scott Hart worked with Somali cats on the episodes "Data's Day" and "In Theory". Bloch and his crew changed Spot's appearance when they chose orange tabby cats instead. Monster, Brandy, and Bud became the lead "Spots" while Tyler later joined the group. For Spot's appearance in Star Trek: Generations, Critters of the Cinema worked with Monster for some early scenes and with Brandy for the end scenes. The back-ups Spencer and Zoe also worked on this film. Star Trek: Generations is the only Star Trek project on which the company received screen credit for their work.

Karen Thomas-Kolakowski is the animal trainer who was responsible for the work with the cats on Star Trek: The Next Generation. For the final TNG episode "All Good Things..." she worked with the cats Bacall, Uma, Zeke, Bandit, Wendy, and Shelley, the fill-ins Aspen, Caesar, Buffy and Fido as well as their doubles Crystal, Sinbad, Sascha and Justin. All these cats can be seen as Data's cats in the anti-time future.

One of the trainers who worked on Star Trek: Voyager was Rose Ordile.


Year Image Role Animal Episode / Film Trainers
1992 Horse, 1893 Horses Unknown TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Time's Arrow, Part II" Rob Bloch and John Hanna
1992 Puppies, 2369 Labrador Retriever puppies Unknown TNG: "True Q" Rob Bloch, LuJean Rose, and Karen Thomas-Kolakowski
1992 - 1994 Spot, 2370 Spot Monster, Brandy, Bud, and Tyler TNG: "A Fistful of Datas", "Birthright, Part I", "Descent, Part II", "Phantasms", "Force of Nature", "Genesis" Rob Bloch and Karen Thomas-Kolakowski
1993 Maura Maura Friday TNG: "Aquiel" Rob Bloch and LuJean Rose
1993 Trois dog Troi's dog Simon TNG: "Dark Page" Robert Dollwet
1993 Wolf, 2370 Wolf Buck and Teddy TNG: "Dark Page" Rob Bloch, Chris Edrington, and Bobbi Edrington
1994 Datas cats Data's six cats Bacall, Uma, Zeke, Bandit, Wendy, Shelley; Doubles: Crystal, Sinbad, Sascha and Justin; Fill-ins: Aspen, Caesar, Buffy and Fido TNG: "All Good Things..." Rob Bloch, Karen Thomas-Kolakowski, LuJean Rose, Carrie Toth, and Debbie Silverman
1994 Data crying Spot Monster and Brandy, back-ups Spencer and Zoe Star Trek Generations Rob Bloch, Karen Thomas-Kolakowski, and Kelli Cole
1994 Neeka Neeka Gizmo VOY: "Ex Post Facto" Rob Bloch and Cynthia Coulter
1995 Spawn beetle Spawn beetles Unknown VOY: "Elogium" John Baldwin and Karen Thomas-Kolakowski
1999 Neelix (cat) Neelix Unknown VOY: "Pathfinder" Unknown


Other productions Edit

Critters of the Cinema provided animal talents to dozens of film, television, commercial and print productions. Between 1995 and 1999 they worked on the comedy series Unhappily Ever After and in 1997 on the fantasy series Power Rangers Turbo. Other television work includes Dinosaurs, Home Improvement, Married with Children, Alf, Knots Landing, Hunter, Murphy Brown, Falcon Crest, The Garry Shandling Show, S Club 7 in L.A., CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Numb3rs, Without a Trace, CSI: Miami, Threat Matrix, Providence, Murder She Wrote, Matlock, Roseanne, Golden Girls, Mr. Belvedere, General Hospital, The Wonder Years, The Tracey Ullman Show, The Young and the Restless, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Remington Steele, Who's the Boss?, The A-Team, Tales from the Crypt, Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Moloney, Players, Cracker, Boy Meets World, Sunset Beach, The Bold and the Beautiful, Everybody Loves Raymond, Suddenly Susan, The Lion's Den, Monk, and Sex and the City.

Film work includes the romance The Woman in Red (1984), the action adventure Romancing the Stone (1984), the comedy sequel Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), the horror film Re-Animator (1985), the drama The Men's Club (1986), the crime drama Tough Guys Don't Dance (1987), the comic adaptation Masters of the Universe (1987), the fantasy sequel Teen Wolf Too (1987), the horror sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), the horror film Puppetmaster (1989), the horror film Howling VI: The Freaks (1991), the science fiction comedy The Meteor Man (1993), the thriller The Disappearance of Christina (1993), the drama Corrina, Corrina (1994), the crime drama Suicide Kings (1997), the crime comedy A Life Less Ordinary (1997), the family movie Stuart Little (1999), the comedy Drowning Mona (2000), the comedy More Dogs Than Bones (2000), the drama Coyote Ugly (2000), the comedy sequel Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), the comedy 100 Girls (2000), and the crime thriller Red Dragon (2002).

Critters of Cinema also worked on commercials and print ads for Toyota, ShowBiz Pizza, Sony, Ray Ban, Hitachi, Bud Light, K-Mart, Lipton Iced Tea, Oldsmobile, Pepe Jeans, Dorito Chips, JC Penny, Toys'R'Us, Sprite, Avis, Pepsi, Epson Printers, Meow Mix cat food, yahoo.com, T-Mobile, Wrangler Jeans, Wells Fargo Bank, Kelloggs, Chevrolet, Pac Bell, McDonald's, Nissan, Viacom Cable, M&Ms, HBO, Chysler, Honda, HIS Jeans, Ford, Wrigley's Gum, and Fruit of the Loom. Animal talents also worked in music videos for Michael Bolton, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Tom Jones, Madonna, Queen Latifah, Aaliyah, Simply Red, Puff Daddy, Genesis, No Doubt, Anastacia, Limp Bizkit, ZZ Top, Outkast, and Ozzy Osbourne.

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