- 2.04.11 - 3:30PM
- - by
- Annemarie Dooling
A Day in the Life of Puppy Bowl, Behind the Scenes
Puppy Bowl: It's more than a diversion from the Super Bowl. For fans like we Urlbots, it's a reason for Super Bowl Sunday to happen in the first place. This year's extravaganza features more than the usual on-field puppy antics. The infamous kitten halftime show is back, along with a group of spunky cheerleading chickens and tail-gating dogs. How does it all come together?
We went behind-the-scenes for a look at a day in the life of Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl.
We arrived at Puppy Bowl Stadium Studios bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and were rushed up into the "puppy green rooms" to meet the players. We spent some time with the pups while they were romping, lapping up overfilled bowls of water and nibbling on treats, prepping for their big game. The four green rooms were filled with people hugging, rubbing and lavishing attention of these little furry MVP's.
Next we visited the green rooms of the halftime show kittens. Just like the pups, they were lounging on cushions, sipping water and loving all of the hugs and kisses they were getting from their groupies. Some kittens chose to rest up for their time to shine by squatting on the food bowl or faceplanting on the floor (like adorable orange kitten below) to prepare for what lies ahead in Puppy Bowl Stadium.
Meanwhile downstairs in the stadium, crews were just about done setting up the stage for the kittens to come out. Rows of toys, water bowls and cat canopies lined the arena while subtle, low disco lights strobed overhead. The other half-time entertainment, John Fulton, host of the Animal Planet show "Must Love Cats," practiced his tune and strummed his guitar for the camera. Finally the big moment arrived. Mr. Fulton sang his song into the rolling cameras and three by three the kittens were brought out by their escorts.
The kittens were gently placed in the stadium and immediately started rolling around on the carpet, knocking toys around and running into each other. Only once or twice did a kitten try to make a run for it, distracted by the cameras and crowds, by leaping up on top of the stadium and heading around the back. Don't worry, he was given some water and sent back to his green room for his diva kitten behavior.
With the director calling a wrap on filming, the lights were lowered and the halftime show kittens were led back up into their rooms for dinner and cat naps.
For the big show, we watched the Puppy Bowl from the comfort of backstage from a big screen 3D TV filming live from Puppy Bowl stadium. We sat down for awhile and enjoying watching the puppies come down, one by one, to film their big entrances from our dorky (and lovely) 3D glasses. If you think puppies running into a big green stadium was cute before, you need to experience it in 3D at least once in your life.
Each puppy was filmed running down the tunnel and onto the field by themselves and then they were all unleashed into Puppy Bowl Stadium in two groups: small pups and bigger pups. At first apprehension is in the air; should they play? Should they drink water? Should they try to leave? Yes. They do all of the above and more.
While one puppy romped in circles, another took the chance to relieve himself on the fake grass - a rare miss in the list of tasks that makes us want to quit our jobs and become a Puppy Bowl Ref. Toys were piled into the stadium and the puppies ran at them in record speed, tossing footballs around, chewing on bones and, of course, getting tired and taking a break, as shown by the awesome water bowl cam.
Sure, the all stars are adorable, but best part of being behind-the-scenes during Puppy Bowl filming was seeing the crew interact with the pups and kittens. Everyone was kind and gentle, making the four-legged friends their first priority. If a kitten or puppy became uncomfortable on camera, he was released with his escort to his dressing room. If they wanted a toy, they got one. If they just needed a rub, they got one. And yes, the odd scuffle did happen, and was immediately separated by the ref. The only ones who looked happier to be at Puppy Bowl than your friendly neighborhood Urlbots were the puppies and kittens themselves. Of course, every single puppy player is adoptable; you can even take home your own MVP.
If you don't have room for your own MVP, here are some animated GIFs we made for you that are almost like the real thing:
Check out this behind the scenes video from Animal Planet for a better look at the action:
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