ORLANDO, Fla. - When you watch Disney’s new film ‘Cruella’ this summer, you will catch one of Central Florida’s brightest stars in action.
The star has got a winning personality, a snazzy coat, a terrific smile, and… big floppy ears. He's a Dalmatian named Parker and he plays a key role in the blockbuster film.
"So they love him, they loved his look, they cast-typed him right away. They say they loved him and we want him for the movie!" said Jennifer Mohr, Parker's owner and trainer.
Life might have gone very differently for the four-year-old canine, though. Mohr took him in as a rescue dog from a Missouri family that got him from a breeder.
"So I drove up there and I got to meet him and as soon as I met him, I was like, he's the one! I want to take him home, love on him and train him and work with him, and there he is!" she explained.
The company Mohr works for runs animal shows at Universal Orlando and their highly-trained animals are often scouted by production companies for roles in movies, television shows, and commercials.
Cruella is actually not the first movie that Parker's been in. He also had a small role in Disney's live-action version of ‘Lady and the Tramp.’ But, in Cruella, he is one of three dalmatians owned by Emma Thompson’s character, ‘the Baroness von Hellman.’
"A lot of the scenes she's in, they were in too, either just kind of hanging out by her side, walking them through a lot of the parties," Mohr told FOX 35. She's had Parker for three years and said it has been incredible seeing him blossom. "From when I picked him up, from this timid, shy, kind of nervous-about-everything dog, to this dog that came out of his shell, was able to go into a major production and do really well, everyone loved him - of course, I'm proud of him!"
Mohr also said that anyone looking to adopt should always give a rescue dog a chance, stating "you can help these guys, go rescue a dog that needs it, they can turn into a really good dog!"