Friday, September 21, 2007

Animal Trainer Home From Set of Narnia

From the Kansas City Star: Can a big-time animal expert train a stubborn little puppy?
Hollywood animal trainer Mark Forbes can teach a Dalmatian to slide a tape into a VCR and a pig to walk on its hind legs.

He can get elephants and bears and wolves and sheep to board an ark without incident, as he did recently for “Evan Almighty.”

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This week he was headed home to California from Prague, where he coordinated the animals on the set of “The Chronicles of Narnia” sequel.

Forbes loves his job so much that he has been known to take it home. Among the dogs that live with him and his family are Pongo from the “Dalmatians” movie, the shaggy dog from the-you-know-which movie and a rare French Picardy shepherd who played the lead in “Because of Winn-Dixie.”

This is surprising, since no reports have indicated the presence of live animals on the set of Prince Caspian. Even the Bulgy Bear was only played by a stand-in (Shane Rangi, the evil minotaur general Otmin from the first film) because he would be computer-generated in post-production. Besides the live horses ridden by Caspian and the Telmarine soldiers, it remains to be seen what live animals required the presence of an animal trainer.

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