Soul Surfer

Based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, an up-and-coming surfer who loses her arm to a shark. Her story features her inspirational comeback and the obstacles she faces while returning to the sport she loves.

  • Starring: Anna Sophia Robb, Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid
  • Director(s): Sean McNamara
  • Producer(s): David Brookwell
  • Screenwriter(s): Michael Berk
  • Distributor: Sony Pictures
  • Animal Coordinator: Sierra Podorean / Private Party
  • Release Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2011
  • Rating: Outstanding

Featured Animal Action

The beach grounds were inspected for hazards and secured prior to filming. Cast and crew members were introduced to the animals and instructed on their proper handling.

Throughout the film, Bethany (Anna Sophia Robb) had a pet dog, Hana, who was seen performing such mild action as sitting/lying/licking, being petted, and walking off leash. For all of these scenes, trainers used hand signals and verbal commands to cue the mild action, which the trained dog was accustomed to performing. The barking was also a trained behavior .Whenever Hana is seen with objects in her mouth, these were safe, lightweight props that the animal was trained to carry/play with.

In the scene where Bethany tries on her prosthetic arm, a trainer baited the straps with food in the middle to get the dog to bite them. The off-screen trainer got the dog's attention by cueing it with the help of a treat.

After Bethany gets home from the hospital, she and Hana share a moment in her bedroom. In order to get the dog to lick Bethany's stump, the arm bandage was covered with some treats and the dog was instructed by an off-screen trainer to lick the stump.

After Bethany gets home from the hospital, she and Hana share a moment in her bedroom. In order to get the dog to lick Bethany's stump, the arm bandage was covered with some treats and the dog was instructed by an off-screen trainer to lick the stump.