Strays: How Much of the Film Uses Real Dogs?

Most of Strays features real dogs.

Strays is now playing in theaters, and it follows a dog named Reggie (Will Ferrell) who is abandoned by his owner, Doug (Will Forte) before meeting a foul-mouthed Boston Terrier named Bug (Jamie Foxx) and his gang of strays who all set out on an adventure. The film is being called a "raunchy Homeward Bound" and much like the 1993 Disney classic, the new comedy uses real dogs.'s Chris Killian recently spoke with Strays director Josh Greenbaum about the film's voice cast, and he revealed that 95% of the film uses real dogs. 

"Yeah, it was tricky," Greenbaum shared when asked about matching actors to their dog counterparts. "What I kind of wound up doing, because we shot the whole film before we recorded the voices, and in fact, shot a lot of the film before I had locked in my cast, my voice cast. Which made it kind of unique and interesting to kind of figure that math out. But really, I just pointed both the dog towards the character and the actor to the character. So they both had to serve Reggie [Ferrell]."

Greenbaum continued, "So as an example, like for Reggie, you needed a sweet, optimistic, you know, bright-eyed bushy-tailed dog, who's just constantly happy and excited about life. So will Ferrell points at that regardless of the breed, and then I looked for a breed that sort of conveys that. Particularly because I chose to make this film using real dogs. And the bulk of the film, if you look at it, it's like 95% is real dogs. We used CG dogs when we couldn't achieve something or when it wasn't safe for the dogs or something."

"So I needed their sort of 'resting dog face,' if you will, to convey the character where I didn't have to do a whole lot of extra lifting. So that's how I would kind of approach all of them, like Hunter plays this sort of gentle giant. Randall Park plays the gentle giant, Hunter. So finding this Great Dane who had kind of very sweet, soft eyes and almost looked like he lacked confidence despite being a 160lb dog. Like that's how I tried to find the pairings. And then of course, when the magic happened, when I took the voices and the footage and married them for the first time, that was like such a rush. It was seeing the film for the first time really come together."

Are you seeing Strays this weekend? Tell us in the comments!