It's an unsaid rule that try and avoid acting with children and animals, as they will walk all over you - the adult actor. they will be better than you, more memorable and hell just plain cuter than you can ever be...
so where does the man who is - the ACTOR, Marlon Brando stand when he has had the opportunity to work with either children or animals - well to put it succintly he has created magic out of those instances, magic which no other actor could even try and attempt.
the proof of the pudding is in the eating - so here goes. a list of those scenes where MB did his magic with children and animals.
Lets start with the animals
On the Waterfront …animals?? Well remember the pigeons, they were a huge part in showcasing the fact that this ex boxer and now dockworker, has a sensitive side to him and can be capable of tenderness, which he also proceeds to shower on his love interest. But the scenes with the pigeons, showcase the fact that this man was actually acting with them and using whatever they gave back to him to convey the essence of the scene at hand and also present the character of his character to the public.
From pigeons lets move to the CAT. Godfather, opening scene, remember the pussy on his lap (pun unintended). That scene is now mandatory viewing for any wannabe actor. The cat becomes such an integral part of showcasing DON VITO’s character, that its magical when on realizes that it was unscripted moment. Pure genius. Watch it and relive the excitement.
How about romancing a horse – Missouri Breaks. MB weaves his magic and literally shares a carrot kiss with the horse. the lips of Salome and the eyes of Cleopatra. Wow – what a scene and so totally in character of an eccentric crazed regulator. This is one of the highpoints of MB’s acting.
VITO DIES with his grandson in the garden….one of the finest scenes in motion pic history…all brando….
There are others, like his interaction with kids, in nightcomers, apocalypse now redux etc…see them and learn how to act.