Reptiles and Amphibians in Movies (2024)

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Lizards in Movies
The Parent Trap (1998)
Spoiler Alert !

Some of these pictures and descriptions may give away plot details that you might not want to know before watching the film.

This is a re-make of Disney's 1961 family comedy. Both Disney movies (and several other movies and tv shows) were based on a 1949 German novel "Das Doppelte Lottchen" ("The Double Lottie" or "Lisa and Lottie") by Frick Kastner. I haven't read the book so I don't know if it featured a lizard, but both Disney movies have a comic scene with a lizard, and it's interesting to compare this one with the simpler scene in the
original movie.

This one stars Lindsay Lohan in her feature-film debut as 11-year-old identical twin sisters Hallie and Annie. The girls were separated as infants and don't know they have a twin sister until they meet at a summer camp.. The parents live far from each other in London and the Napa Valley so the girls exchange places, pretending to be the other, to meet the parent they don't know. When Annie discovers that her father is planning to get married in two weeks, she calls Hallie and they devise a plan to stop the wedding and reunite him with his wife.

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Just like in the 1961 movie, the girls go on a camping trip with their father and his fiancé Meredith (Elaine Hendrix) who was tricked into going with them and doesn't want to go because she hates the outdoors. They are on a strenuous hike up a creek so Meredith stops to rest, complaining "I can't believe that people actually do this for fun." She asks Hallie for her bottled Evian water, unaware that Hallie is filling her backpack with rocks to torture her. When Hallie reaches to get the water, she sees a lizard, and picks it up, thinking it's a brilliant idea to put the lizard on the water bottle. When she picks up the bottle, Meredith sees the lizard and freaks out. She screams and throws the bottle.
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Hallie picks up the lizard again. The father (Dennis Quaid) hears the commotion and turns around to ask what happened, Hallie tells him there was a lizard on Meridith's Evian bottle. He is amused and tells his fiancé it won't hurt her. When he turns around to start hiking, Hallie puts the lizard in Meredith's face and annoys her again.
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Meredith tells Hallie to put the lizard down, so she does - slyly putting it on top of Meredith's head. Meredith then threatens the twins and Hallie walks away, telling her that there's something on her head. Meredith reaches up and finds her lizard in her hair. She screams one more time and the lizard crawls down her face into her wide open mouth. She tries to expel the lizard for quite a while before she finally manages to spit it out. The twins claim to be innocent and their father is never aware of their mischief. If you have ever watched a Disney movie before, it won't be a spoiler to tell you that this trick, and the others the girls pull on Meredith, eventually succeed in ousting her and reuniting their parents.

I'm not sure what species of lizard they used but it looks a lot like a hatchling Chinese Water Dragon. Whatever it is, it's definitely not a lizard that would be found naturally in the wild anywhere in California or anywhere in North America. The lizard we see crawling down Meredith's face into her mouth is animated. They didn't even bother to match the color of the live lizard, but I'll bet that most of the audience didn't notice.

Reptiles and Amphibians in Movies (2024)
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