By Lily Morris
Taika Waititi and Spencer Susser have joined with Humane Society International to bring a new short film campaigning against animal testing.
Save Ralph, a short stop-motion mockumentary, was released on 6 April to critical acclaim and worldwide popularity on social media. In the style of a documentary narrated by comedian Ricky Gervais, the 4-minute film depicts the daily life of Ralph, a testing rabbit voiced by Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit star and director Taika Waititi.
Baywatch actor Zac Efron and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 actress Pom Klementieff also voice two of the several other testing rabbits, who are seen begging Ralph to use his newfound television fame to “get us out of here” and crying out that “I don’t want to die!”
Ralph, who is blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, remains worryingly optimistic about his miserable life and depressing fate as a testing rabbit, explaining that his entire family also died “doing their job”. Viewers watch on in horror as Ralph is held down and has a harmful chemical squirted directly into his one good eye, before he returns to the screen totally blind and in visible agony and distress.
Dr Katy Taylor, director of science and regulatory affairs for Cruelty Free International, said in 2019: “We estimate that every year at least 115 million animals across the world suffer and die in cruel tests carried out for a wide range of research, including biological studies and the testing of medicines and chemicals.”
The Humane Society found: “More than 40 countries have passed laws to limit or ban cosmetics animal testing.”
In response to the film, a bill to ban cosmetic animal testing has been pushed through both legislative chambers in Mexico, following a petition of over 1.2 million signatures within weeks of the film’s release.