If you're the type of person who sticks around until the end of the credits, you're used to seeing it roll across the screen. So when it's not there, it's pretty noticeable.
It's the certification from the American Humane Association that states "No animals were harmed in the making of this film." In order to receive it, a movie production must have a Certified Animal Safety Representative from the AHA's Film and Television Unit on set to monitor all animal work during production and screen the final product. It's only then that a film receives the trademarked "No Animals Were Harmed" disclaimer.
Surprisingly, you won't find the designation at the end of this weekend's new release "The Hangover Part II." It's notable because a monkey plays a significant role in the R-rated comedy's rowdy hijinks. Coupled with the director's joking remarks about what the monkey was doing on the set, it has made some people wonder if the animal was mistreated. But the filmmakers -- and the monkey's trainer -- are adamant that she was entirely safe and cared for the entire time.
In the movie, the three main characters -- Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) -- wake up in a dingy Bangkok hotel room with no memory of how they got there or where they picked up a monkey in a denim vest. The monkey plays an important role in the trio discovering what happened to them and where they can find Stu's future brother-in-law.
The role of the monkey is played by Crystal, a 17-year-old capuchin monkey who has appeared in over 20 films. She appeared opposite Ben Stiller in the "Night at the Museum" movies, "Dr. Dolittle" with Eddie Murphy, and had previously worked with Bradley Cooper in "Failure to Launch." Crystal is owned by Birds and Animals Unlimited, which has provided animals for film productions for over 50 years. She lives with her trainer, Tom Gunderson, his family, and her understudy, another capuchin named Squirt.
Gunderson is clear that Crystal was entirely safe throughout filming, even when it doesn't look that way on film. What has drawn the most criticism for the film is the scene where it appears that the monkey is smoking a cigarette. Director Todd Phillips didn't help matters when he suggested that the monkey had become addicted to nicotine during the shoot, but he later made it clear he was only joking. Gunderson reiterated to USA Today that Crystal only handled a fake ceramic cigarette, and the smoke emanating from it was only a digital effect.
The American Humane Association told Entertainment Weekly that they were not invited to visit the filming of "The Hangover Part II" in Thailand and had not screened the film. Movies shot in the U.S. are required by the Screen Actors Guild to give representatives access when an animal on set, but not when they are in a foreign country. Since the production did not meet the AHA's guidelines, the certification is not on the finished film. To learn more about the "No Animals Were Harmed" designation, visit http://www.americanhumanefilmtv.org/
"The Hangover Part II" is in theaters now. To see what the stars had to say about working with Crystal the monkey, watch the exclusive interview with them below.