Ricky Gervais and Zac Efron to Star in Short Film About Animal Testing
Zac Efron, Taika Waititi, and Ricky Gervais are set to star in an animated short film that spotlights the issue of animal testing. Save Ralph is the upcoming film that centers around the need to address and eventually end animal testing across all industries from cosmetic to medical. The film will also feature other big names including Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff, and Tricia Helfer.
Directed and written by Spencer Susser, the animated film brings to light the mission of animal advocacy non-profit Humane Society International [HSI]. The organization lists a number of animal procedures that occur regularly alongside the consequences and complications, giving context to what many companies practice as standard.
The stop-motion animated film stars Waititi as Ralph, a rabbit who survived extensive animal testing but escaped as anything but unscathed. Waititi’s character suffers from the loss of hearing in one ear and the loss of vision in one eye and finds himself the subject of the documentary-style interview. The film accompanies the #Save Ralph Campaign led by HSI, pushing cosmetic companies to ban cosmetic testing on animals. In the film, Ralph is interviewed by Gervais in an effort to expose the detrimental practices that harm animals.
“This is a cool thing that is coming soon. If you don’t watch it and love it then you hate animals and we can’t be friends anymore,” Waititi wrote alongside the teaser trailer link. The trailer debuted on March 26 and since then, it has racked up approximately 50,000 views with increasing traction on Twitter.
While Gervais has had his share of political controversy, this film shows him continuing his support for animal rights and the end to factory farming. The comedian remains vocal about his activism, and hopes that this film raises awareness, noting that he is “so proud to be a part of this short film to end animal testing.”
“[Animal Testing] doesn’t work,” Gervais said to BBC in 2019. “Ninety-three percent of all experiments that work on animals then fail and are dangerous to humans, because the models don’t work. Computer models work better than animal testing.”
The film challenges the efficacy and the benefits of animal testing, especially when juxtaposed with the repercussions. Dr. Robyn Hickerson’s company Ten Bio Ltd. developed a human skin culture that works as a substitute for traditional animal testing methods. The doctor explained that traditional animal testing often fails to yield any successful results.
“Upwards of 90 percent of drugs that are proven safe and effective in animals fail during clinical trials,” she explained. The general consumer trend has seen a growing dissatisfaction towards animal testing. Many companies have altered the manufacturing and development procedures. The Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] announced that it aims to end animal testing by 2035. It plans to provide a replacement that will transition the industry from animal testing completely.
The star-studded short will be released on April 6, 2021. The movie will share the cruelty of animal testing practices from an animal’s point of view, and Waititi promises that anyone who loves animals will love the movie, and its message will lend the fight against animal testing some much-needed amplification.
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