The Secret of the Aurochs

The movie Beasts of the Southern Wild is a live-action film featuring aurochs, which are extinct animals. How did they do that? National Geographic talked to second-unit director Ray Tintori about the animals in the film, and found out the big, fearsome, prehistoric cattle were played by baby potbelly pigs in costume!
We put a foam, bison-like hump under the nutria skins, to throw off the shape. With the horns, well, safety was the No. 1 concern at all times. And we must have gone through 40 versions of costume design, trying to figure it out. The first time we put wooden horns on one of the pigs, we realized we’d just handed a switchblade to a toddler. Because the pigs were always rooting around and charging everything. They’d run into us, and we’d be like, “Ow! Oh, my God that hurts!”

The horns we wound up using were really soft, like cast latex. In some of the footage we have, the horns would bend every time the pigs ran into something. The coolest thing about it was figuring out how to design the horns to look like they’re part of the skull. Because you really can’t have any wobble. We had to design a way to attach tusks and horns to a pig’s head without hurting the pig.

Read more about the porcine movie stars at NatGeo News. Link -Thanks, Marilyn Terrell!

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