In Hollywood, there is an old adage--a chestnut of wisdom that is attributed to the great comedian W.C. Fields--that goes: "Never work with children or animals." The reason for this, I presume, is that both child actors and animal actors are much harder to control and have a good deal more trouble following directions than adult actors do. Or perhaps Fields said it as an acknowledgement of the fact that once there is a child and/or an animal in any scene, no viewer will be able to look at anything else on the screen. No viewer with a heart, that is. Those little rascals tend to be scene-stealers, that's it in a nutshell.
If you're old enough to have been a fan of the T.V. show Full House, tell me, when one of the tiny, mousy-voiced Olsen twins was onscreen, did you ever even notice Uncle Joey? I don't think so. Or if you saw the movie Marley & Me, could you take your eyes away from that lovable Golden Retriever, even to look at Owen Wilson or Jennifer Aniston? Doubt it.
I don't think the inimitable W.C. Fields had any trouble stealing a scene, however, even away from the most delightful child or puppy dog. He was quite a character himself, larger than life, with both a voice and a face that would be hard to ignore. He is one of my father's heroes, and you really do have to love a guy who gave this reason for choosing a career in show business: "If I can make them laugh and through that laughter make this old world seem just a little brighter, then I am satisfied."
(I realize I should have found a photo from a T.V. show or movie to go with this post. But I thought this vintage Good Housekeeping cover was such a great illustration of the scene-stealing capabilities of children and animals! And check out that article title on the bottom right of the cover: Fields might fit into that very category!)