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Bryan Brown jumped at Red Dog role

AAP logoAAP 9/12/2016 Danielle McGrane

The star of this year's big Aussie family flick is playful, cute and very smart.

He also happens to be a dog who stars in the second film in Aussie canine franchise, Red Dog: True Blue, which serves as a prequel to the popular 2011 family film.

In the film set for release on Boxing Day, veteran actor Bryan Brown plays a strict grandfather to a young boy called Mick, played by Levi Miller.

But Brown may not have been the most obvious choice for the movie, considering his preferences.

"I'm a cat person," Brown told AAP.

"I was brought up all my life with cats so that's why I just have a natural affinity to them ... but dogs give great companionship to many people, they teach kids a lot about sharing and giving and being kind, they have their place in our society in a big way."

Dogs also have their place in this film.

While Mick befriends just one dog in the movie, it was necessary to use several in its making, particularly when the cast and crew returned after a break to film some interior scenes in Perth.

"The puppy had grown so they had to get a puppy that matched sizes, so that's where we used a different one. It's a pretty tricky game," he said.

It's been five years since the release of the original Red Dog film which stole hearts,including Brown's, and became a hit across Australia.

"I was very on side for doing Red Dog, there was no doubt about that. It's a popular movie, and one for families and you don't get a lot of those," he said.

In Red Dog: True Blue, Mick is sent sent to live on his grandfather's (Brown's) remote cattle station in the Pilbara region of WA in the 1960s.

"The period that the film's made in is at a time of great change, not only in Australia but throughout the world," Brown said.

"It's the summer of love, there's music going on, there's indigenous people's rights starting to be talked about and the advent of moving from agriculture to mining in the West. All these different changes are circling this period and will make a huge impact on Australia over the next 25 years."

*Red Dog: True Blue opens in Australian cinemas on December 26

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