"I Heart Shakey" is now available on DVD. For more
information, visit iheartshakey.com.
There are plenty of reasons why "I Heart Shakey" was the
feel-good family flick of the summer, but not all of them are
apparent to the audience.
Husband/wife duo Kevin and DeAnna Cooper teamed up to
write, film and produce what amounts to a 20-year project in the
making-and one based on their own family.
"This is a story about love and loyalty and what you do
when your family is threatening to break up," DeAnna
Long before the Coopers settled in Wheaton, DeAnna and
Kevin moved from New York to Beverly Hills to work in the film
When Chaplain, the family mutt at the time, was not
welcomed at their new place, they begrudgingly tried to find him a
That didn't work out too well. Chaplain was a difficult
adoptee and eventually DeAnna thought: "He's not giving up on us,
so why are we giving up on him?"
"I Heart Shakey" follows a similar premise. A widower
moves from Toledo, Ohio, to a high-rise in Chicago with his
10-year-old daughter and their mutt, Shakey, in tow.
A Cruella de Vil-like building superintendent (Beverly
D'Angelo aka Mrs. Griswold) takes exception with the dog and thus
the film's conflict.
Parents of three children-two boys, 14 and 10, and a
6-year-old daughter-the Coopers moved to Wheaton in 2005. Both are
instructors at Columbia College.
Chaplain died in 2009, a year before the Coopers completed
their live-action 3-D feature film.
Because the family could not live without a dog, they soon
adopted Holly. For DeAnna, a family pet is an important part of a
Why? "Very simply, unconditional love," she
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