It’s a good time to be Taika Waititi. The actor and filmmaker has made a big name for himself over the last few years with well-loved films like his Marvel debut Thor: Ragnarok and his Oscar-winning film Jojo Rabbit. However, it’s not a particularly great time to be the estimated 17 to 22 million animals that are tested on each year for companies primarily in the beauty industry. Waititi has used his gift of satire to share a sobering message about the realities of animal testing.
Taika Waititi partnered with Humane Society International to advocate for the global ban of animal testing for cosmetics. The Thor 4 filmmaker lent his voice to a stop-animation rabbit in this 4-minute short film called Save Ralph. Take a look:
Shot in the mockumentary style, Taika Waititi’s Ralph is a rabbit who has lost his ability to see in his right eye, and one of his ears is greatly damaged with a constant ringing in them. Ralph is pretty indifferent about his injuries considering he grew up in a family of rabbits who have all died doing the same job. He talks about how he is quite content with doing the same thing as he munches on some cereal. After all, humans are “far superior” than he is, and he is “not a space bunny.”
Save Ralph becomes more cutting when Ralph is ripped from his home by human hands and placed into a container with other rabbits before getting a shot right to his eye. He comes out of his testing with a neck brace and even more injuries than he had prior. The short ends with poor Ralph in intense pain as he imagines himself living in a field and struggles to put a thumb up to say “it’s all good” to the documentary filmmakers following him around.
The short film definitely goes the extra mile not to sugarcoat the truth of animal testing, bringing home its point that no animal should suffer in the name of beauty. Save Ralph has gone viral, with over 5 million views on YouTube and calls for people to sign a pledge to be cruelty-free over on Humane Society International’s website. You can “save Ralph” in your everyday life by buying products with the certified bunny logo on a product’s packaging.
Along with Thor’s Taika Waititi voicing Ralph, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron and Guardian of the Galaxy’s Pom Klementieff also contributed to Save Ralph with smaller voice roles. Waititi is currently filming the fourth Thor movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, with Chris Hemsworth and company. He’s a busy man, who is also set to helm his own Star Wars film along with a host of other projects.
Hopefully Save Ralph will inspire more of us to be serious about going cruelty free. We can stand by the Thor filmmaker by looking a bit more closely about the products we are buying and advocating for a global ban for animal testing on cosmetics.