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Behind the Scenes: 'The Search for Santa Paws'

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If you're looking for the perfect family movie this holiday season, pick up a copy of "The Search for Santa Paws," available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Disney Home Movies. The story, which is a prequel to the movie "Santa Buddies," chronicles magical (talking) dogs as they team up with an elf and two children to rescue Santa, who has lost his memory.

The Search for Santa Paws
We sat down with director Robert Vince for the scoop on this instant holiday classic.

momlogic: Is there a secret formula for making kids' movies? If so, we think you've found it!

Robert Vince:
Watching a movie should be a family experience. Ultimately, a movie should be watched together. It's not something to sit your kid in front of as a babysitter. My goal would be for the parent to like my movies as well. I strive to have my movies be the kind of movies that you and I watched as a kid.

Making family movies is what I choose to do and love to do, and it's where I want to be. Believe me, I'd be the worst person to do a killer slasher movie. I believe that to do anything in life well, you have to be passionate about it. The team we've built is dedicated to making family movies -- the kind that Walt would have been proud to have in his studio. We look at every classic and be sure that we have and continue to hold true to those ideals of families, selflessness, caring and understanding.

ml: How does being a dad influence your moviemaking?

RV:
I have two older sons, 21 and 22 years old, and a stepdaughter who is 6. I put all of myself into the movies I make. I write them and direct and produce them. My team is all committed to the ideal of a classic movie experience. They are not overly commercialized but speak for themselves.

When I did the original "Air Bud" movies, my boys were 8 and 9 at the time. That's what it was all about: making movies that can really affect and help kids develop their imagination. As parents, you know that kids don't sit still very long, but they will for a movie they love. We have them during that allotted time to present positive messages -- such as teamwork -- that can help them in their daily lives. Great messages for life.

ml: Who was the most interesting animal actor you've worked with? We know you've even worked with a chimp ....

RV:
All animals are interesting and unique. All we do, as directors and producers, is create the environment. It's the trainers that do all the work! They are such special people. In the past, I've worked with camels, snakes, monkeys, chimps, dogs, cats -- you name it. Owls recently. For children, animals and family movies go hand-in-hand. Animals are always members of the family; they are not separate. Sometimes kids connect more with the animal actors than the human actors in movies.


next: Win It: 'Sorcerer's Apprentice' Combo Pack & Magic Kit
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