The Sandlot is one of the most iconic coming-of-age films from the 1990s. The film is best known for its great one-liners (“You’re killing me, Smalls!”) and its primary antagonist, the Beast. The Beast–also known as Hercules–is a neighborhood legend in the film, which is well known for making it impossible for any balls knocked into his master’s yard to be retrieved. The following is everything you ever wanted or needed to know about this iconic 90s film dog.
“The Beast” legends get more ridiculous as the film goes on
The legends about The Beast in the film range from his extensive age to his many terrible deeds, which are often the top and even include murder–such as the legend that the Beast ate anywhere between 120 and 173 thieves (bones and all) who snuck into his master’s backyard. As the film goes on, the legends about the Beast become even more sinister. Rumors are spread that the Beast is not just an ordinary dog, but a giant gorilla-like dog who ate at least one little boy.
Towards the end of the film, after the Beast is saved and makes friends with Smalls and his friends, it is revealed that his real name is actually Hercules.
The Beast has an extraordinary life span
If the legends about when the Beast was born are true, it would make him about 20 years old in the film. The typical lifespan of an English Mastiff is 7 to 11 years, so if the timeline is correct, it would make the Beast an extraordinarily old dog for his breed.
Several English Mastiff dogs played The Beast
Several English Mastiff dogs were used to play The Beast in the film. Younger dogs were used for some of the more physical stunts, while the older dogs were used for the establishing shots of the character. The names of the dogs who worked on the film are unknown.
Special Beast puppets were created for the film’s “Beast” sequences
During the scenes where the kids were imagining the Beast as a gigantic monster, special monster puppets designed by the show’s costume department were used to create the effect of a huge, monstrous dog-like beast. The puppets required at least two to three people inside to use, and took hours of work to complete.