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The Year James Gunn Reminded Us Animals Are the Best

by on January 24, 2015

James Gunn had a great year. You may have heard of him. He is just responsible for bringing to movie screens 2014’s second highest grossing film, the summer wildcard success, Guardians of the Galaxy.

What comes to mind when you think about Guardians is often Dancing Baby Groot, the stellar soundtrack, and the charming humor running throughout the cinematically stunning movie. But the camera also gives a glimpse into one of Director James Gunn’s other passions: animals.

Here are just a few examples why James Gunn had the best year filled with cuddly animals:

  1. James Gunn kicked off his year of animal appreciation by posting this precious baby meerkat picture on New Year’s Day 2014.

Baby New Year is a little different this time around. Happy 2014.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on


  1. There is nothing sweeter than this picture of Gunn cuddling a baby raccoon named Podge in February.

With my little pal Podge.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. Gunn advocated for shelter pets by playing with these pups at Wylder’s Pet Center in Studio City.

I just spent time at Wylder's Pet center – at 11948 Ventura Blvd in Studio City – playing with the dogs up for adoption. These are four of the seven little maniacs there now. The upper left is a female, incredibly sweet and beautiful, very balanced and would probably be good for anyone; the little dude on the upper right I fell in love with – an incredibly cute little guy, very gentle and amazingly affectionate – loves to play and belly rubs – seems very young; the gent in the lower left hand is a maniac – they were calling him 'Evil', I believe – little scruffy scrappy trouble-making bastard that reminded me of a certain Von Spears; in the lower right hand corner is a mellow little three year old girl, very sweet also. I don't believe either of the top two shed – the bottom two are probably light shedders. The other three dogs are equally awesome – you can see them on on Wylder's FB page. It's also a great store with healthy and holistic food for dogs and cats.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. Gunn rounded up his pets for this sweet photo op. His pooch is Von Spears and the calico sassing him is Emily (or Emily Monster as numerously referred to on Gunn’s Instagram).

  1. In April, Gunn shared with us the joys of iPhoto tagging.

I love iPhoto's face recognition software because it helps me tag all my friends without effort.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. The eternal conundrum of cat ownership: snapping a stunning picture of your feline while she sleeps on your laptop, preventing work from being accomplished.

  1. Because men in suits holding a puppy is all anyone should be taking pictures of.

Last night with @blackehart & Nietzsche at #yarvoscrazybday

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. Perhaps the biggest celebrity of Guardians you may be unaware of. Oreo is the raccoon muse and reference for Rocket. Gunn’s team studied Oreo in great lengths to deliver Rocket’s beautiful CGI. We wish they had included a Rocket belly rub just like the one Oreo is getting.

#tbt My pal Oreo getting some joyous belly rubs.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. This was a flashback photo but that doesn’t mean it’s any less cute.

#fbf to my pal Kipenzi having a little crawl on my chest. #meerkat

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. Gunn is friends with this eyeless dog named Henri. She looks very majestic here.

  1. Another flashback photo Gunn shared in July of being on set. His meerkat friend Timone is visiting him in Ronan’s throne room. Timone was also his body guard on set.

  1. The Guardians premiere tour began in late July and James brought Oreo as his date. Oreo is from a United Kingdom wildlife rescue/encounter appropriately named Oreo and Friends.

Getting a little kiss from my pal @oreo_and_friends #gotg #guardiansofthegalaxy

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. The toughness of Gamora, played by the equally fierce Zoe Saldana, was easily melted away in this throwback picture of her and Timone.

  1. And with this picture you officially want to trade lives with Gunn. Just so you can bottle feed a tiger cub named Apple.

Her name is Apple and we will love each other until the very end (or until she eats me).

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. JUST HOW?

Good kitty.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. In honor of National Dog Day, Gunn had this photo of him and Cosmo from the Guardians set.

  1. We skipped over a bunch of cute tiger photos to give you this endearing photo of Gunn nuzzling a rhino at the Atlanta Zoo in September.

Yes we sort of fell in love. #rhino Thanks Atlanta Zoo!

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. He fed a panda too?!

I got to feed this #panda.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. These animals are called Bongos, and they love to kiss you.

Probably the coolest animals I met at the Atlanta Zoo are Bongos. They were a family – a male, a female, and this baby – and all of them were unbelievably affectionate towards humans. They love to lick you and be pet and scratched behind the ear. They were actually more affectionate and desiring of human attention than any other hoofed animal I've met, including horses. What's more incredible is that one of the three bongos I interacted with – the mother – was as engaging with humans as the other two – and she was wild, having been saved from poachers. Unfortunately, their total lack of fear towards humans is one reason why Bongos are one of the most endangered species in the world. There are less than a hundred mountain bongos left in the wild, and only a few hundred in captivity. Having few natural predators other than man (which is fairly recent as they were once revered as the manifestation of our human ancestors), they are easily poached. Zoos like the one in Atlanta help to keep the species alive, so that future generations of humans can enjoy this absolutely stunning creature.

A video posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. Just some nobody named Chris Pratt meeting a celebrity, Von Spears. No biggie.

Repost from @thejudgegunn – @prattprattpratt & #vonspears

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. Being a filmmaker comes with so many perks.

Yes I am face to face with a sloth right now.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. This damn armadillo’s name is Coconut.

Shh. Coconut is taking a rest.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. There’s an Owl Café in Tokyo and in October we learned James Gunn had beat us to it.

Hanging out with a new pal at the Owl Cafe!! If you're in Tokyo you must visit!

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. For all the amazing animals we’ve met vicariously through James Gunn, he still manages to appreciate his own so specially.

Trying to figure out how in the world this is comfortable. #emilymonster #catsofinstagram

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. Just when you thought he was done meeting awesome animals, he meets and plays with these baby otters while we ran around buying Christmas presents.

  1. Because not even Von Spears can escape Christmas cheer.

Me, an unimpressed Rudolph, and a half finished tree. Happy Holidays!

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on

  1. And this is how Emily Monster spends her Christmas day.

#EmilyMonster is cleaning herself up before the 23 people arrive at our home for Christmas.

A photo posted by James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on


If this list proves anything, it is that we are terribly jealous of Mr. Gunn. But we also can’t wait to see what animal he snaps a picture with next in 2015.

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