7 min read

Animal Movies That Prompted Humans To Majorly Overreact

It's great to take a liking to an animal character in a film, but sometimes audiences take that appreciation just a step too far ... and do some major damage to the species in the process.

1. 'Harry Potter'

(Flickr:Peter G Trimming)

Everyone's favorite boy wizard caused quite a stir even after the final film came out. It turns out that a lot of kids wanted a Hedwig of their own to carry their messages to their friends, but weren't prepared for the reality of keeping an owl. Owls can live up to 20 years and require a lot of hard work to keep them healthy. After people began to realize their owls weren't going to be bringing them a letter for Hogwarts, they dumped them across England. Sanctuaries became full of owls, and many died after being released into the wild.

2. 'Finding Nemo'(Flickr/edanley)

One of the most popular Pixar movies to date, "Finding Nemo" was a fun story about the importance of family, courage and being true to yourself. Unfortunately, when the movie came out there was a massive demand to collect the ocean's clown fish population as pets. There were also reports of children flushing their live fish down toilets in order to free them, like in the movie.

3. 'Jaws'

(Flickr/Elias Levy)

"Jaws," the film that literally made people afraid to go into the water, has had a lasting effect on the image of great white sharks. Though they are responsible for between one-third and one-half of all annual shark bites a year, next to none of them are fatal. Great whites are known to "sample bite," meaning that they essentially taste test potential meals and find humans not to their liking. Let's not forget that the only way for a person to get by a shark in the first place is for them to venture into the shark's natural habitat, not the other way around.

4. 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

(Flickr/Rubenstein)

When the original "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" shows and movies came out around 30 years ago, they set off a frenzy of turtle-buying - and subsequent abandonment. Hundreds of thousands of terrapins were bought and introduced into foreign habitats, causing irreparable harm to both turtles and Europe's biodiversity. In America, just as many were bought with an estimated 90 percent of them being killed. The previous craze has caused many organizations to issue public warnings in light of the new film.

5. 'Beverly Hills Chihuahua'/'Legally Blonde'

(Flickr/sffoghorn)

Chihuahuas have seen a spike in adoptions and abandonment in recent years, and many of this can be directly attributed to Hollywood's portrayal of them as designer dogs. Films like "Legally Blonde" gave people the false impression that Chihuahuas were perfect for carrying around as an accessory in a bag - completely ignoring the fact that the breed is known for its skittish temperament. Films like "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" falsely portrayed them as secret action heroes, and animal shelters across Los Angeles noticed an increase of Chihuahua abandonment by 30 to 45 percent after the movies came out.

6. '101 Dalmatians'

(Flickr/DougieBoss)

"101 Dalmatians" is another cute film that suffered from what should be known as the "Mommy, I Want One! Effect." The buying and adopting of Dalmatians shot up after these movies came out. People weren't prepared for the real temperament of Dalmatians and the work necessary to make them part of the family, so many of them were discarded and killed.

7. 'G-Force'

(Flickr:j.reed)

The little guys were entirely CGI, but that didn't stop children from wanting their very own guinea pigs as pets after "G-Force" hit theaters. Children believed that they could make guinea pigs perform stunts and actions sequences like the ones in the movie. They were disappointed to find that guinea pigs aren't secretly masquerading as ninja warriors ... and shelters became overwhelmed with trying to find them homes.