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Universal Studios Florida – KidZone: Animal Actors On Location

Rating: * * * +
Type: Amphitheater show
Time: About 20 minutes
Our Take: Fun for just about everybody

This awww-inspiring spectacle shows off the handiwork of Universal’s animal trainers and their furry and feathery charges. It’s all done with the droll good humor and audience participation that characterize all of Universal’s shows. Volunteers are pulled from the audience to serve as foils for several amusing routines

The show alternates between live action on stage and video footage on a large overhead screen showing clips of animal actors in a surprising variety of films, from comedies to horror flicks. In one especially fascinating segment, we learn how birds can be filmed in flight using a large fan and some trick camera work. Just which animals you see will depend to some extent on which "stars" are available when you visit. But you can probably count on a display by a well-trained if slightly mercenary bird and a bit that uses a child volunteer from the audience. If you're lucky, an orangutan will provide comic relief.

In between the fun and games, the show sneaks in a few points about the serious business of producing "behaviors" that can be put to use in films. When an animal balks at performing a trick, as they do with amusing frequency, the trainer will work patiently with the animal until the behavior is performed correctly. We learn that what for us is light entertainment is serious business for the folks (both two- and four-legged) on the stage.

The best seats in the house. There really are no bad seats for this one. However, if you'd like a shot at serving as a landing strip for that mercenary bird, try sitting in the middle of the middle section.

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Universal Orlando 2011


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