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‘The Hobbit’: Epic Failure for Animals

Written by Jennifer O'Connor | December 10, 2013

Unlike Frodo Baggins, animals don’t aspire to epic adventures—they simply want to live their lives without being captured, confined, tormented, and slaughtered.

During the production of the first film in director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, multiple whistleblowers tell us that horses were corralled in crowded pens, kept on ground full of burrows that caused them to lose their footing, and exposed to a variety of other hazards from which they couldn’t escape. Two horses were even run off embankments by other horses in their paddocks and sustained broken necks.

Chickens left at the mercy of dogs allowed to run loose were chased down and killed. In total, more than two dozen animals died.

Although faced with a public outcry that would make an Orc flinch, director Peter Jackson disingenuously deflected criticism and refused to give assurances that he’d stop putting animals at risk. Jackson has even less of an excuse than most: He’s the Gandalf of computer-generated imagery—yet he’s playing the role of Sauron, harassing and even killing animals simply because he can.

Before even thinking of buying a ticket to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, remind yourself of the animals who died in real life for the making of the film.


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  • Tina says:

    I totally agree with Connie,there has to be inspectors on location when these movies are being filmed to make sure these animals are in a safe environment at ALL times!

  • Connie says:

    I am Horrified to learn this!!!! Please STOP the abuse of animals!!! They are precious beings that God created and they deserve respect and care just like humans! I will NOT see this film and will spread the word……

  • Flower says:

    OH MY GOD! I can’t go see that now! I have heard about the cruelty in the first one but never looked into it… I am an animal lover and horse rider, those poor ponys! Shame on the directors and animal trainers! And on the people who go see this knowing about the cruelty they gave to these animals!