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Firefly - "Serenity" Movie’s Animal Use - Report by the AHA

Wednesday 18 January 2006, by Webmaster


Rating: Monitored Acceptable

In his feature film directorial debut, Joss Whedon adapts his cult favorite TV show Firefly into a new adventure set 500 years in the future aboard the transport ship Serenity. The story centers on Capt. Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), a veteran on the losing side of a galactic civil war, and his rag-tag crew of grumbling yet faithful allies. When the captain takes on two new passengers, a young doctor and his unstable, telepathic sister, he gets much more than he bargained for. These siblings are fugitives from the Alliance-the coalition now dominating the universe-and they will stop at nothing to reclaim the girl who knows something no one was ever supposed to learn.

American Humane’s role

American Humane’s Film & Television Unit monitored this film. Serenity is a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) production, and therefore it was required to provide American Humane’s Certified Animal Safety Representatives on-set access whenever animals were used. During pre-production of the film, American Humane’s Film & TV Unit received a copy of the script and the daily call sheets. American Humane’s Animal Safety Representatives carefully reviewed these materials to determine whether any scenes or situations appeared to put animals at risk. American Humane’s Certified Animal Safety Representatives were then on the set to ensure the animals remained safe throughout production.

This film met the Guidelines established by American Humane, received the Monitored Acceptable rating, and was awarded the "No Animals Were Harmed” End Credit Disclaimer.

Featured Animal Scenes

As the crew exits the ship for a night on the town, they pass through a marketplace that has some animals in cages. An iguana in the foreground is the most visible animal in the sequence; other caged critters include birds, chickens and turtles. A dog is also briefly seen walking around the market. Trainers supplied and maintained the cages and their inhabitants. All cages were securely placed and trainers stood off camera to retrieve the animals when filming was completed. The dog was placed on mark by one trainer and then called off screen by another handler waiting with a treat.

One brief scene contains a close-up of two goldfish swimming in a bowl. These fish were purchased at a pet store and maintained by a crew member, who adopted them as personal pets afterward.
Starring: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Jewel Staite
Director: Joss Whedon
Producer(s): David Lester Screenwriter: Joss Whedon
Studio: Universal Studios Animal Coordinator: Boone’s Animals for Hollywood
Released: September 30, 2005 Rating: Monitored Acceptable