If The Lion King has taught me anything, it’s that the easiest way to get over the death of your father is to sing a song with a bunch of woodland creatures about having no worries. If taught me anything else it’s that all animals die, but that’s just part of the circle of life. So when news broke that 27 animals died during the production of The Hobbit trilogy, my first thought was, ‘Someone just find Elton John.’ But apparently producers were aware that the farm the animals were being kept on in Wellington, New Zealand was full of unsafe conditions like ‘bluffs, sinkholes and other death traps.’ While this may sound like the world’s most kickass petting zoo, to the ASPCA and American Humane Society, it sounds like Alicia Silverstone’s worst nightmare.
Film-making can be dangerous. Brandon Lee was killed on-set. A stunt man died making Expendables 2. And Twilight was filmed–like I said, dangerous. So it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that every now and then some horses and sheep on a shoddy farm in Kiwi-town get sacrificed to the filmmaking gods in order to make three movies about a bunch of midgets with hairy feet that go on an adventure. So while it’s always sad when an animal comes under harm, sometimes it happens.
So does The Hobbit’s animal deaths compare to these other films that are probably not discussed at length at Natalie Portman’s vegan dinner parties?