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The Whale

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DEBUT 2005
DESIGN Dave Dunsterville designer

The Whale appeared in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This large sperm whale comes into existence when the Improbability Drive transforms a nuclear missile. The aquatic mammal ponders the questions of his existence and his physicality for a very brief period. As he plummets to his death, his final thought is the cheerful expectation that the ground will be friends with him.

A highly detailed model sperm whale was created and filmed in free fall. Jim Henson's Creature Shop built an 11-foot-long model of the typically 50-foot-long marine mammal. According to director Garth Jennings in the official presskit, "The whale that the Creature Shop created was truly beautiful... We shot it with an in-camera effect so it looks like it’s falling through the sky, and later we added just a couple of effects shots. But essentially the whole whale sequence was shot in camera. It looks so realistic—to me it’s as if we had a skydiver trying to film the whale as he was plummeting with it!"

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