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The House of Two Bows is truly honored to feature this guest post from a canine star and horror aficionado, Anubis the Barkless Dog. Anubis first caught our attention with a short video circulating on dog lists and forums, entitled Paranormal Activity. True to her Basenji nature, this petite pup packs some potent star power. Anubis is currently cultivating her acting and modeling profile, built upon an extensive background in the study of canine horror stars.

Without further ado, I hand today’s post over to Anubis.

Top 5 Dogs in Tim Burton movies
By Anubis, http://www.facebook.com/anubisthebarklessdog

Anubis, the Barkless Dog, with her Frankenweenie toy (photo courtesy of Anubis' mum)

Anubis, the Barkless Dog (photo courtesy of Anubis’ mum)

Many filmmakers are huge dog fans (my mummy is certainly one of them), but few have showcased their love the way Tim Burton has over the course of his extraordinary career. His first live-action short film, Frankenweenie (1984), recently remade into an animated feature (2012), is the most remarkable example of Burton’s passion for us dogs, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

“That sort of unconditional love that only dogs can give, people can’t do that,” Burton said in an interview; “but yes, that sort of thing where it’s very powerful, it’s kind of your first love and your first real relationship.”

Here is my homage to five of Tim Burton’s most fantastic canine heroes.

5. Scraps, The Corpse Bride (2005)


Kickstarting the countdown is part of a popular Burton sub-genre: the undead dog. Scraps is the childhood pet of Victor, the hero of the film, and is reunited with him when Victor visits the underworld. It’s a lovely scene, and a recurring theme in Burton’s work…

“I had this strong connection with a mutt we had named Pepe,” Burton once explained, “and it was a good connection. The dog was not meant to live very long because of a disease he had, but he ended up living quite a long time. So you have this strong connection, and then you think: ‘Well, how long is this going to last?’ You don’t really understand those concepts of death at the time.”

4. Poppy, Mars Attacks! (1996)


Not only did Poppy play the part of the Chihuahua whose body is switched with his owner’s during horrifying alien experiments in Mars Attacks!, he was also Tim Burton and then-partner Lisa Marie’s real life doggie. He put in a strong dramatic performance despite his lack of formal training.

Besides his film work, Poppy served as a model for numerous photos and drawings by Burton, who also often posed with him in interviews. You’ve got to admire his patience. I would have chewed these antlers right off.



3. Abercrombie, Vincent (1982)


In Burton’s first short film Vincent, Abercrombie is the titular character’s partner-in-crime. Little is known about him, but his look is really cool, and these wonderful verses are about him:

He likes to experiment on his dog Abercrombie

In the hopes of creating a horrible zombie

So he and his horrible zombie dog

Could go searching for victims in the London fog

2. Zero, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)


Zero the ghost dog belongs to Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King. Though his home is a kennel grave in the cemetery, Zero is inseparable from his owner, who uses his own ribs to play fetch with him…

1. Sparky, Frankenweenie (1984; 2012)


Sparky is brought back to life by his young owner Victor after being run over by a car.

Although played by a bull terrier in the original short film, Sparky is meant to be a mutt, and to represent the very essence of a dog: loving, innocent, and utterly loveable. In both films, Victor and Sparky make little films together, like my mummy and I.


The animated version is adorable, but I have a soft spot for the original Sparky, who did really well with a challenging and emotional part.

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Screencaps and promotional photos courtesy of Anubis’ mummy. Extra screencaps for Frankenweenie supplied by the House of Two Bows.

Thanks again to Anubis (and mom) for sharing their knowledge. Look for more Anubis on a screen near you…

The House of Two Bows keeps a running index of movies blurbed on the site, annotated by breed. If you’re interested in writing a guest blog for a dog film, contact for details.