Let's face it, Hollywood actors are a bunch of animals.

Luckily, sometimes they turn out to be the cute and furry sort, which is really better for all involved. The good news is that, thanks to the magic CGI and other special effects, the cuddly sort were all over the cineplex this year, making even the most notoriously difficult critters a director's dream and allowing animals some of the meatiest roles of the year.

Here are our picks for the cream of the crop (or herd, or flock, or colony... well, you get the idea).