War Horse


War Horse

War Horse

Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis
Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: War

Synopsis: From DreamWorks Studios and director Steven Spielberg comes War Horse, an epic adventure for audiences of all ages, and an unforgettable odyssey of friendship, discovery and courage.

This sweeping tale of a young boy named Albert and his beloved farm horse Joey, takes place at the outbreak of WWI. Joey is sold to the British cavalry by Albert's father and dispatched to the front lines, Joey begins an extraordinary journey against the backdrop of the Great War. Despite the obstacles he faces at every step of his journey, he touches and changes each life he encounters along the way. Albert, unable to forget his friend, leaves home for the battlefields of France to find his horse and bring him home.

Release Date: 26th of December, 2011

Production Notes

From DreamWorks Pictures and director Steven Spielberg comes 'War Horse', an epic adventure for audiences of all ages, and un unforgettable odyssey of friendship, discovery and courage.

This sweeping tale of a young boy named Albert and his beloved farm horse Joey, takes place at the outbreak of WWI. Joey is sold to the British cavalry by Albert's father and dispatched to the front lines, where he begins an extraordinary journey against the backdrop of the Great War. Despite the obstacles he faces at every step of his journey, Joey touches and changes each life he encounters along the way. Albert, unable to forget his friend, leaves home for the battlefields of France to find his horse and bring him home.

First published as a novel in 1982 War Horse quickly became a family classic of love and loyalty, beloved by children and adults alike around the world. The story went on to be adapted into a triumphant, international theatrical hit - which is where Steven Spielberg first encountered it with a passionate reaction.

"I thought the story was absolutely fascinating, and I was simply transported," the director recalls. "In my mind it was a very honest story; I saw it a s a move for families, the journey of a boy and a horse who were once so close, whose destinies drive them far apart. I hope this story will bring people together through this shared experiences; its heart and its message can be felt in every country."

As with many of Steven Spielberg's motion pictures, within the high adventure and grand scope is a moving story of human dimensions. "To me, this is a story about belief, hope and tenacity - the tenacity of a boy and a horse driven by devotion," he says.

Steven Spielberg was impressed with the beauty of the natural landscapes of Dartmoor, England, where many scenes for 'War Horse' were shot: "I have never been, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor. I hardly scratched the surface of the visual opportunities that were offered to me."

For Steven Spielberg, the opportunity to work cinematically with horses was an exhilarating experience, one that takes him into new territory. "The horses were an extraordinary experience for me, because several members of my family ride. I was really amazed at how expressive horses are and how much they can show what they're feeling."

American Humane Association on Set
American Humane Association which has explored and celebrated the human-animal bond for more than a century, has a unique historical connection to War Horse. In 1916, the U.S. Secretary of War wrote to American Humane Association requesting aid for animals injured in World War 1.

This invitation prompted American Humane Association to establish American Red Star Animal Relief, now know as Red Star™ Animal Emergency Services. During the First World War, Red Star workers bolstered U.S Army camps with vital veterinary care and were responsible for bringing much-needed first-aid for horse to far-flung battlefields. War Horse depicts the lives and heroism of the very animals that the Red Star team worked to protect nearly a century ago.

Since 1940, American Humane Association has been safeguarding animals in film. Although filming and special effects technologies have changed dramatically over the years, the animals have not - which is why American Humane Association serves as their voice on set. One the War Horse production sets, American Humane Association was present to make sure that the many horses used in the makring of the film were both safe and treated humanely.

American Humane Association's Film and TV Unit logged 1,100 hours on War Horse sets in England and California and safe guarded more than 100 horses. The production complied with American Humane Association's 'Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media' to ensure the safety of the horses and War Horse earned American Humane Association's highest certification rating, Monitored: Outstanding. 'No Animals Were Harmed.'

The human-animal bond, which War Horse so powerfully portrays on film, was apparent on the set of the production, as the safety and welfare of the horses was a primary concern. Safeguards included using rubber 'barbed wire' whenever it would be placed on a horse - and even when it was to appear anywhere near a horse. For scenes considered potentially risky, stressful or uncomfortable for live animals, American Humane Association recommended that animatronic horses artificial horse parts be used. And computer-generated imagery (CGI), green screens and other techniques were employed to increase dramatic impact with no risk to animals or people.

American Humane Association is committed to promoting the human-animal bond by working with Steven Spielberg and other producers as they continue to tell emotionally moving stories that so effectively illustrate that special bond, and which serve to educate the public around the world about the value of animals in their lives.

Produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, War Horse stars Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbathc and Toby Kebbell. Lee Hall and Richard Curtis penned the screenplay based on the book by Michael Morpurgo and the recent stage play by Nick Stafford, originally produced by National Theatre of Great Britain and directed by Tom Morris an Marianne Elliot.


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