Steven Spielberg's epic 'War Horse' trots into cinemas up and down the country this week and there's neigh denying it's going to be massive (blimey, we're sorry about that...). The World War One film, adapted from the 1982 novel and the hugely successful 2007 stage play of the same name has already been nominated for a Golden Globe.
[Video:We chat to the cast of 'War Horse']
Throughout filming, Spielberg used fourteen different horses as Joey, the brave soldier colt. So that's fourteen different horse-tuxedos that Hugo Boss is going to have to make... But while our thespian War Horses are preparing for award show schmoozing, let's take a look at what some other famous movie animals got up to after filming wrapped...
Lassie - Lassie Come Home
The original Lassie (from 1943's 'Lassie Come Home'), Pal, was one of Hollywood's first four-legged greats (we're not counting Laurel & Hardy here). The luvvy Rough Collie retired in 1954 to a life of total luxury. We're talking specialist groomers, custom-made food... Pal even got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He fathered five puppies that went on to play Lassie themselves in movies and on TV before he died a peaceful ol' mutt in 1958.
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The pigs – Babe
Incredibly, there were 48 piglets used throughout the filming of 1995's porcine smash hit 'Babe', all of whom - you'll be glad to know - were spared that dreaded visit to the slaughterhouse. They lived their days out on various farms, without a sausage in sight. Which is the least they could do for the swines, considering they helped the movie make over $250m at the box office and snaffle seven Oscar nominations!
Clyde - Any Which Way But Loose
Clyde the orang-utan from '70s Clint Eastwood curio 'Any Which Way But Loose' was allegedly beaten to death by his sometime trainer after filming finished. No charges were ever brought against the trainer, but rumour has it Clyde was secretly hit with a stick off the set to make him more docile and camera-friendly. A depressing Hollywood urban myth that will probably never be proven. Thankfully all films now using animals are now monitored extremely closely, with welfare absolutely paramount.
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Keiko – Free Willy
Keiko, the killer whale from 'Free Willy' was captured in 1979 and exhibited in a Mexican marine park until 1992, when shooting began on the kid's film. The success of the movie saw activists protest for the release of Keiko, successfully. He was finally released back into the wild in 2001 in Norway and died a natural death 18 months later.
Beasley – Turner and Hooch
French Mastiff Beasley from '80's comedy 'Turner & Hooch' made no further screen credits after he was seen drinking beer with Tom Hanks and slobbering everywhere and died three years later, at an impressive 14 years old - twice the average age of French Mastiffs. Must've been all that beer, we reckon...
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The monkey – The Hangover Part II
The monkey from 'The Hangover 2' got hooked on cigarettes during filming, something which – unsurprisingly - director Todd Philips got in a lot of trouble from animal welfare group PETA for. The monkey went on to appear in Cameron Crowe's new film, 'We Bought a Zoo', where his smoking has apparently continued to cause problems!
Toto - The Wizard of Oz
Toto from The 'Wizard of Oz' (real name: Terry) was a real acting pro. Prior to ‘Oz’, Terry had been in six feature films. Post-‘Oz’, a further eight. Incredibly, Terry used to earn more than most of the human actors on-set. She picked up $125 per week on 'The Wizard of Oz' – a fair old amount in 1939!
The horses – Seabiscuit
Six horses were used in the 2003 Tobey Maguire flick 'Seabiscuit'. The one used for the racing scenes was the successful American thoroughbred and punter's favourite, Popcorn Deelites. He continued his successful racing career after the film, winning multiple races back home in Colorado. He's now relaxing in a horsey retirement paddock in Georgetown, Kentucky. Probably eating a well-deserved carrot.
Do you know any other interesting tidbits about one of these cinematic creatures? Perhaps you can tell us what happened to another popular Hollywood beast after their fifteen minutes of cinematic fame was up? Let us know below...