The Truth About Real Animals in the Making of Zookeeper Movie
Zookeeper is a 2011 comedy movie that features the story of Griffin Keyes, played by actor Kevin James, who is a zookeeper that falls in love with a vet, played by Rosario Dawson. The film had an impressive cast, including the voice talents of animals such as Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Cher, and Nick Nolte. However, rumors have been circulating for years that real animals were used on set to create some of the film’s scenes. In this article, we will explore the truth behind these rumors and give you an insight into what actually went on during the filming of Zookeeper.
The Production of the Movie
The shooting of Zookeeper took place in different locations, including the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and the Los Angeles Zoo. The film relied heavily on CGI and motion capture technology to create realistic animal characters. However, it is worth mentioning that real animals were used on set to film some of the movie’s scenes. The animals used on set were well-trained and attended by professional animal trainers to ensure their safety and wellbeing throughout the shoot.
The Role of the American Humane Association (AHA)
The American Humane Association (AHA) is an organization that has been working to ensure the safety of animals in the entertainment industry for over 140 years. The AHA monitors and evaluates animal welfare on movie sets and gives its approval to films once they have passed its guidelines. However, the AHA did not oversee the filming of Zookeeper, as it was not contracted to do so by the filmmakers, but it did carry out a comprehensive investigation after allegations were made that real animals were used.
The Accusations by PETA
In July 2011, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) accused Zookeeper’s filmmakers of using real animals on set, which they alleged were mistreated, citing video footage from an animal training facility. PETA also claimed that the movie would promote the message that keeping animals in captivity is acceptable. The animal rights organization wrote a letter to the film’s producers and demanded that they clarify whether or not real animals were used.
The Filmmakers’ Response and the AHA Investigation
The filmmakers denied PETA’s allegations and insisted that the animals used in Zookeeper were computer-generated or animatronics, except for a few scenes that involved real animals. However, in response to PETA’s complaints, the AHA conducted an independent review of the film and concluded that some scenes did, in fact, involve the use of real animals, as the filmmakers had stated. Additionally, the AHA reported that the animals used were trained, experienced, and well-cared for on and off set.
The Importance of Animal Welfare on Movie Sets
Despite the AHA’s report, concerns about animal welfare on movie sets remain a hot topic, and several organizations continue to work towards improving the treatment of animals in the industry. Producers and filmmakers have a responsibility to ensure that animals are treated humanely and with respect during filming, and there are strict guidelines in place to protect animals on set.
In conclusion, whilst real animals were used to film some of the scenes in Zookeeper, they were well-treated and attended to by professional animal trainers. The suggestion that the movie would encourage people to keep animals in captivity is not accurate either, as the premise of the film is not a realistic portrayal of zookeeping or animal care. Ultimately, it is vital that animal welfare is respected and enforced during filming, and we should continue to hold filmmakers accountable for their actions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of animals on set.