From Wonder Woman’s goats to a rat in a spacesuit and millipedes who starred with Malkovich, creature teachers share their stories
It is more than 80 years since Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn struggled with a leopard in Bringing Up Baby, and with a CGI Lion King due for release in July, you might think that the days of live animals in films were over. But not so. Many directors still prefer the texture of professionally trained creatures, even if they’re not centre stage. In fact, once you start looking closely, you notice animals everywhere on screen: the fish tank in the background, the horses carrying a cavalry, the rats scurrying up an alleyway. From woodlice to lions, each creature has a unique skillset and personality (yes, really!). Here, expert trainers explain how to pick the right millepede for the job, and what motivates a cobra.
'Make sure they don't eat the set!' Movie animal trainers' tips