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    13 Facts About Animals In Movies That Made My Jaw Drop

    Wait, the dinosaur growls in Jurassic Park were sex sounds?!

    1. Trained owls were used in the Harry Potter films, and the entire first batch of letters had to be rewritten because they were too heavy for the little owls to carry.

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    When it came to filming the scene, the graphics team had to rewrite thousands of letters (by hand!) so that the trained owls could handle the weight.

    2. Multiple animals are often used for one character, but in Babe, the star was played by total of 48 piglets!

    Universal Pictures

    I don't know about you, but I think Babe's cuteness might have worn off a little bit if he grew to be a full-sized hog, and so the adorable little piglets were only used for three weeks before they got too big.

    3. And while we're on the subject of Babe, the little piggies were fed peanut butter to give the illusion of them speaking.

    Universal Pictures

    Quite possibly the oldest animal-movie trick in the book, but I'm pretty sure the pigs weren't complaining.

    4. Animal rights activists protested against 101 Dalmatians after seeing a rise of the breed in animal shelters.

    Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    The dog tale that we know and love was tainted by irresponsible breeders trying to capitalise on the film's success. To help curb this, Disney teamed up with the Dalmatian Club of America to promote pet adoption and education when 102 Dalmations was released.

    5. And Finding Nemo had a devastating effect on wild clownfish – so many people bought them as pets that they ended up locally extinct in parts of Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.

    Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    The movie's conservationist message was quite clearly misunderstood, with sales of the breed rising 40%, putting clownfish on the endangered species list. As a result, the organisation Saving Nemo was launched to help conserve the breed and their habitat.

    6. In Jurassic Park, the iconic velociraptors growls were actually the sounds of tortoises having sex.

    Universal Pictures

    It would have been impossible to make legit dinosaur sounds, so they went with, erm, the next best thing. Other sounds used for dino noises include; a horse squealing with excitement and the bark of a jack russell dog.

    7. And the makers of Flipper opted to use sounds from kookaburra birds instead of actual dolphin noises.

    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

    The chatterings of the Australian birds were sped up, and I don't know about you, but they sound pretty damn dolphin-esque to me.

    8. If you were thinking the squirrels in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were CGI, you would be wrong – they were real squirrels who were trained to crack nuts!

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Tim Burton opted to use 40 trained squirrels for the scene – some hand-reared, some from private homes, and some rescues – and they worked for a total of 10 months.

    9. Daniel Stern had originally thought that a fake spider would be used for the famous Home Alone scene, but was surprised with a real poisonous tarantula when it came to filming.

    20th Century Fox

    There was a long rumour that Daniel Stern had to remain silent to avoid scaring the spider, but Barry the tarantula didn't have any ears.

    10. The bees in Candyman were also very real, and Tony Todd was paid a bonus for each sting he received.

    TriStar Pictures

    Tony got a $1000 dollar bonus for every single sting he received, which wound up being a total of 23!

    11. In The Wizard of Oz, Toto was paid more than the actors who played the munchkins.

    Loew's, Incorporated

    Toto – played by Terry the terrier – earned $150 (about $2500 in today's money) a week, while the actors who played the munchkins took home just $50 a week, despite the fact that they sang, danced, and acted.

    12. 450 real snakes were used in Snakes on a Plane!

    New Line Cinema

    Yep, if you thought 48 piglets in Babe was a lot, this is something else. Among the 100s of snakes was a 22 foot long Burmese python, which is longer than the height of a giraffe!

    13. And finally, the star of Beverly Hills Chihuahua was in an animal shelter and hours away from being put down when he was discovered by the film's dog handler.

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Little Rusco, who plays the lead of Papi, was a complete acting novice when he was discovered and was given six months of training for his breakout role.

    CORRECTION

    DANIEL Stern starred in Home Alone, not Howard Stern, as the earlier version of this post would suggest. Oops!

    TV and Movies

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