Guterman, a computer animation whiz who helped direct ”Antz,” had no appetite for another animal driven live action/ CGI hybrid when ”Cats & Dogs” came his way in 1999. Not after he spent the previous year developing ”Curious George” with Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment to no avail. But then he read the screenplay, in which kung fu fighting felines and secret agent canines wage war in the yard of a kooky scientist (Goldblum). ”How come no one thought of this before?” he says.
After a year of script honing, Guterman shot in Vancouver, B.C., with 27 dogs and 33 cats, plus a posse of Henson Creature Shop puppeteers. His F/X teams are racing to complete 700 more shots; originally slated for August, the flick impressed Warner Bros. so much that it was moved into the thick of summer. Guterman says the project has ruined him for pets. ”I love my golden retriever,” he says, ”but sometimes, I just wish it could talk.”