HBO’s The Last Of Us Giraffe Was Not CGI

The first season of HBO’s The Last Of Us is over, and now’s the time to unpack everything we’ve learned from the adaptation. The finale delivered deaths, even more puns, and in a magnificent scene, one of the most beautiful creatures to walk the show’s post-pandemic world. Inspired by the source material, Joel and Ellie’s final leg to the Firefly hospital in Salt Lake City is paused as they discover a giraffe. Ellie pets and feeds the giraffe as Joel watches her fondly, supported by Gustavo Santaolalla’s iconic score. 

Two pictures on the set show Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey standing before blue screen panels as they pet and feed the long-necked creature. Most incredibly, the giraffe is called Nabo and was not CGI, as many fans may have first expected.

In a behind-the-scenes documentary for the series on HBO Max, Making of The Last Of Us (courtesy of a story from GamesRadar), it was revealed that Nabo was filmed on a blue screen with VFX filling in the post-pandemic landscape of Utah later. “Giraffes are pretty massive,” said Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie. She described the moment as “a spiritual experience almost, being so close to such a magnificent animal.”

“Shooting with Nabo the giraffe will certainly be one of my favorite experiences,” Matt Palmer, the episode’s location manager, added. He said that while the giraffe could have been rendered with visual effects, the end result would not have been the same. 

Did you watch the season finale of The Last Of Us? Let us know in the comments below, and stay with us at GameLuster for more gaming news, including a well-hidden cameo that you might have missed.

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