Each issue, RSL offers up that perennial internet favourite: the themed list. This time, to celebrate the release of the whale-tastic, In the Heart of the Sea, we take a look at some other real-life creatures whose adventures have been fictionalised on screen…
Featured creature: The titular champion thoroughbred racehorse.
What the story? Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper star in this tale of an undersized racehorse who beat the odds to become a champion during the Great Depression. The film is based on the non-fiction book Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand.
Featured creatures: A family of Canadian geese.
What the story? Anna Paquin and Jeff Daniels star in this story of a young girl who finds a nest of goose eggs. She raises the chicks and enlists her inventor father’s help to teach them to fly! The film is a dramatization of the actual experiences of Bill Lishman, who trained geese to follow his ultralight; succeeding in leading their migration.
Featured creatures: Rwandan with mountain gorillas
What the story? Sigourney Weaver stars as Dian Fossey, a scientist who travelled to Africa to study the endangered mountain gorilla, and fought a crusade to protect them. The film was partly based on Harold T.P. Hayes’ The Dark Romance of Dian Fossey and Fossey’s own 1983 book, Gorillas in the Mist.
Featured creature: Another racehorse!
What the story? Louise Osmond wrote and directed this low-key film set in the north of England, which tells the true story of group of friends from a working men’s club who bred a racehorse, named Dream Alliance.
Featured creature: A lion cub named Elsa
What the story? Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers star in this classic story of a couple living on a Kenyan game reserve who end up adopting a family of orphaned lion cubs. They keep the smallest, Elsa, and raise her to lioness maturity, before realising she needs her freedom. The film was based upon the1960 non-fiction book, Born Free, by McKenna’s real-life counterpart, Joy Adamson.
Featured creatures: A whole bunch of them!
What the story? Cameron Crowe directs Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson in this ‘feel-good family film’ about a widowed father who buys and renovates a run-down zoo. It’s loosely based on the 2008 memoir by Benjamin Mee, Damon’s real-life counterpart.
Bonus: For more fact-based animal fare, keep an eye out for Oddball and the Penguins. You can read the about the true story here…http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35039105.
Issue 14 of RSL is out on 25 January.