War Horse encourages us to think about the needs and the feelings of both the humans and the animals in the story. The focus is on Joey and Albert but there are other animals and humans who experience pain, sadness and joy at different stages in the film. We are shown both the cruelty of war and the kindness of friendship.
In this section, you will have a chance to think about what animals need to have a happy life. You will also reflect on the communication between Joey and Albert and start thinking about how we communicate with animals and respect their dignity.
To begin your work in this area, talk in groups about the following:
- What do you think are the basic needs of any animal to keep fit and healthy? What needs might horses in particular have?
- Do you think it is important to show respect for animals? Explain your point of view.
- How do you think the conditions during wartime would have affected the welfare of the animals involved?
Now watch these interviews with members of the film crew for some behind-the-scenes insight about how the horses were cared for on set. As you watch, make a note of information you find particularly interesting or unusual. Now imagine you are on the film’s production team, use the information from the interviews to write a blog post on the official film website about how the animals were cared for during filming.