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Which movie dog deserves Oscar treat?

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“I think there should be an Oscar for canine performances, because the dog from ‘Beginners’ definitely deserves an award,” says “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig. “We’ve got to get this category off the ground. Before comedies ever get recognized, dogs will be getting their own Oscar.”

Ask and ye shall receive, Mr. Feig. Ask and ye shall receive …

DOG

Uggie: “The Artist”

Snowy: “The Adventures of Tintin”

Skeletor: “50/50”

Arthur: “Beginners”

BREED

Uggie: Jack Russell terrier

Snowy: Fox terrier

Skeletor: Greyhound

Arthur: Jack Russell terrier

SCENE-CHEWING MOMENT

Uggie: Rescues despondent silent film star George Valentin from burning building.

Snowy: Saves adventurer pal Tintin after he’s captured and imprisoned on board SS Karaboudjan.

Skeletor: Inspires cancer-stricken Adam to use his newfound Lord Voldemort lookalike status as a pathway to pity sex.

Arthur: After his lonely owner meets comely actress at Halloween party, he begs (through the magic of subtitles): “Tell her the darkness is about to drown us unless something dramatic happens right now.”

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EMOTIONAL RANGE

Uggie: Loyal, playful, remains at his owner’s side through thick and thin.

Snowy: Brilliant mind, but not afraid to give in to baser instincts (sandwiches, booze) when the mood strikes.

Skeletor: Strong, silent type. Does nuzzle owner just before big operation. (Or was that a thank-you for filling his food bowl?)

Arthur: Demanding, yes (he will not be left alone!), but empathetic and precisely in sync with owner’s emotions. (“Are we married yet?”)

WORKING FOR HIM

Uggie: He’s a movie-star dog playing a movie-star dog. Meta-rrrrific!

Snowy: Only nominee with a line of toy tie-ins.

Skeletor: Likely to secure the vote of dog lovers tired of terriers. There are other breeds, you know!

Arthur: Understands up to 150 words. Claims not to talk, but subtitled vocabulary equal to that of a linguist.

WORKING AGAINST

Uggie: Movie is silent so we can’t hear the full scope of his barks, yelps and growls.

Snowy: He’s not a real dog! (At least, we don’t think so.)

Skeletor: Former athlete (retired race dog, remember?), and jocks never take this acting thing seriously enough.

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Arthur: Didn’t save owner from life-threatening peril like that other Jack Russell.

OSCAR CHANCES

Uggie: Jack Russell vote might split between him and Arthur. “Artist” momentum is with him though, and did take the Palm Dog prize at Cannes this year.

Snowy: CGI origins likely to limit votes with academy’s canine branch (WAG).

Skeletor: In only three scenes, so unless voters go all “Shakespeare” Judi Dench here, unlikely to win.

Arthur: Feig’s endorsement says it all: No dog played a more fully integrated character in a movie this year. Bow (wow) to him.

calendar@latimes.com

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