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James Cameron Wins Proggy for ‘Avatar’

Written by PETA | January 20, 2010

awn / CC


1/26 Update: You can call me soothsayer. Avatar has sunk Titanic and is now the highest-grossing movie of all time!

Confession: While I was watching Avatar, I found myself mumbling, “I want to go to there,” as I grabbed at the three-dimensional floating mountains in front of me. But the best films are those that entertain while also sparking important conversations, and Avatar is certainly one of those films. Through a mastery of CGI and an unparalleled script, Cameron beautifully shows that all nature is interconnected and that all beings—no matter their species or race—deserve to be treated with kindness, respect, and dignity.

For making a film with an overarching message of decency, understanding, and compassion—as well as breathtakingly beautiful CGI that heralds a new era in filmmaking (one that we hope marks the coming end of the use of live animals in entertainment)—we have awarded James Cameron our 2010 Proggy Award for Outstanding Feature Film.

Avatar has already become the second-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide (the number one blockbuster of all time is Titanic), truly making Cameron the “King of the World.” My prediction: Cameron will beat his own global box-office record with Avatar (and pick up an Oscar or 10 on the way) long before I’m done learning to speak Na’vi.

Written by Logan Scherer

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  • Launa1974 says:

    Hahah, My laptop crashed when I was browsing last time I was here. And for the past 2 months I have been looking for this wephorum, so thankful I located it once again! 😀

  • Gina says:

    What a wonderful movie. This movie deserved to win best film not that stupid Hurt Locker.

  • Avery says:

    This is definatley what I was thinking while watching it. I love the Na’vi and if by some chance we are able to find a population of living creatures who are humanlike I would immediatley pack up some stuff head there ASAP and never look back.

  • Kurt K says:

    Caryn You know Pandora is make believe right? You basically justified most hunters with your comparisons. If you honestly think that hunters are mindless killing machines who hunt just for the sake of killing things then you need to do some actual research instead of reading posts on PETAs website. How you described the hunters in Avatar is probably just as accurate in describing hunters here on planet earth. There may be some that are irresponsible but the majority are not. Plus where did you come up with that little nugget that hunters are over weight? You obviously never been rabbit hunting before.

  • Caryn says:

    The difference between killing in our world for food and in the world of Pandora is different. The humans in our world are corrupt. They kill without remorse by the billions just to sell it all. And the Navi understand the delicate balance in their world. They kill animals to eat yes. But they kill what they WILL eat and never more than what they will NEED. The reason humans suffer from obesity is not only from eating meat but because they do not need to hunt anymore now that they have grocery stores to provide them what they WANT to eat. I have promised to be vegan because I don’t support the way we are getting our meat and animal products and I will not hunt for my meat either because why do it when there are others who are doing it cruelly. Various animals in the movie were used as mounts but they were connected in mind as one and not whipped or roughly handled to move in the direction desired. They were fed good food and treated kindly as a trade for their speed advantage. It’s give and receive. I love this movie and hope it inspires others to treat the animals around us like equals.

  • Heather says:

    I think that is stupid! Titanic is a way better movie!

  • Cara says:

    Although they didn’t use live animals isn’t the idea of what the animals’ roles in Avatar matter also? I recall a scene where a bunch doglike creatures were killed albeit in selfdefense and the taming and training of other animals for their own use. These are obviously not terrible ideas either and the idea of the movie was that all creatures live in a cosymbiotic environment anyway but to go and say that Cameron receives an award for making them CGI seems a little silly to me. The nature of the movie calls for it since those creatures don’t actually exist. What are we proving by awarding him with this? more movies that are all computer generated? It takes the appeal of reality out of many movies today whether it be with mythical creatures or real ones. I’m running my own tangent here but the thought struck me as I read the briefing.

  • Robert Pavao says:

    I just wanted to say that I agree with all points made above….I am a vegetarian and feel completely satisfied that I do not have to eat meat to sustain myself. It’s simple have respect for all living things and for nature….there is no need to completely clearcut our forests we do not have to treat our animals inhumanely and we MUST keep sending the message out…..Humans are resourceful people….how is it that they can build rockets to go to the moon but lack in the coexistance between animals and humans. We have the capability of saving our planet It’s up to us now or we will not have any place to live…there is only one earth….love it nourish it and respect it. Let’s enjoy the fact that so many people are inspired by this great film and hopefully that inspiration will integrate all of our energies for the greater good of the planet nature animals and humans alike. LOVE. LIGHT and LAUGHTER TO ALL!!!! Join my facebook group Coalition of Positve Energy and Change and share your stories of inspiration.

  • Michelle says:

    I loved the movie!! The love and respect they have for everything around them. The seen when she gets mad at him for having to kill that animal That didnt have to happen I turned to my nonanimal lover friend with a great big smile. Then to my surprise they turn around and kill later in the movie. I just wish they could have been vegetarians. I like to think that in the future every human in the world finally become a vegetarians.

  • Charleton Rog says:

    Heard about how good this movie was from a few friends. I will go see it this week or next weekend.

  • Amanda says:

    This was probably the best movie Ive ever seen I loved it and I really wish I could go there too haha D It has such a strong message…

  • Daniel Manahan says:

    I didn’t care for the message of the Avatar graduating because he made a clean kill. They could easily have shown that foraging was enough for them and that no animals needed to die by anyone’s hands clean kill or not. People simply don’t need to eat animals and this promoted hunters around the world that claim to be conservationists while they murder animals.

  • Heather Joy says:

    Great points Julie R. I have been in an accident too and felt no pain only discomfort I’ve felt more pain during other procedures in my life that were mild compared to the accident where I broke my jaw and 4 teeth falling off a bike. It seemed to me that the Navi were primative in ways of eating although highly advanced in thinking! and therefor needed to hunt to eat although they did it in the most respectful and “clean” way as to not torture the animal. If one must do it at all I suppose that is the best way. The animal lived its life in the wild. I’ve been a vegetarianalmostvegan for almost 10 years now just because I cannot stand to see animals in factory farms.

  • Julie R says:

    I respond to Kurt K. I agree that killing for food is not a pretty act but in nature it actually appears more brutal than it truly is. The lion’s prey will struggle for it’s life but while doing so it is in a state of shock which is perhaps nature’s way of providing some protection against suffering. I have been in shock myself after an accident my injury was severe yet I felt no pain at all for a certain time following the accident. Nature did not plan for the cruelties of human beings shock only lasts a short time therefore provides no protection against the lengthy tortures an animal endures in factory farms laboratories and slaughterhouses. Or from inept “sport hunters” who wound almost as many animals as they kill.

  • andy sapam says:

    This planet is our home we must collectively save it from anything ‘evil’. We are both saintly and devilish.

  • Tiffany Meyer says:

    What about the sounds of screamingyelping dogs? I don’t think that those sound effects came from dogs that were good actors. That’s when I left the movie.

  • gisele Martin says:

    I love this movie. I found so many parallels between my life my culture Nuuchahnulth First Nations and terrible things are happening here in our forests and mountains. I find it curious that people want to ‘go’ there as we are already here… We live on a beautiful planet which we share with many other beautiful life forms. It is crazy that we go to the movies to experience this. It is too ironic and It worries me that mining companies will come and destroy our mountains to get copper to make new 3D TV’s for people to watch this at home… But I am happy that PETA approves of this movie. As for the hunting there are many different hunting methods in this world and they need to be recognized. For example fishing. Salmon is a traditional staple food of our Nation but it was not treated as a sport. It is important to show our respect to all plants and animals and while fishing for salmon beings to catch them quickly and as painlessly as possible to give thanks and eat ALL of their body including the head. I really feel sorry for the salmon who are trapped in fish farms today and my heart goes out to the few remaining wild salmon who are disappearing from our seas.

  • chander kumar soni says:

    i liked avatar too.

  • Kevin Wales says:

    I am looking forward to seeing this film as I believe it will show all the folley of mankind only a few I hasten to add but many of do nothing to stop it. Does anybody know the best way to watch this film at home or is it impossible to record it on ordinary DVD and sell it in the shops?

  • Fox says:

    Who else loved this film as much as I did. Not only was it done by the director that created my other favorite movie Aliens and Terminator but it had an amazing eco message to go along with it. This was by far one of the best movies of all time

  • Sebastian Verdikt says:

    It’s fairly simple 1 Jake’s avatar and Neytiri shoot an arrow through an animals larynx finnishing him off with a knife to the throat. Just because they say “it was a clean death” add some mumbo jumbo prayers right after acting as if they did it out of “respect to animals” doesn’t make it any less cruel and unnecessary. 2 The Na’vi do not mentally “become one” with the creatures they plug their organic USB in they literally brainwash them. I say this because if there were actually some kind of symbiosis involved the animal would have it’s say. And it doesn’t. It just blindly follows everything “the rider” tells it to do. Both are signs of human domination and animal abuse. Roberto Herrera had it right “It seams it is just another PETA’s political approach to conquering publics sympathy even if it is against its own ideological premises”. …and let’s not even touch the subject of transforming a peaceful people into a warmongering nation. It’s just another Hollywood propaganda effort.

  • Kurt K says:

    I am going to see this movie tonight in IMax 3D. I’ve heard it is pretty good and I am pretty pumped about the experience. I will report my findings on Monday. In the mean I have to respond to Alex. Sorry to burst your bubble but if PETA is not against hunting as you have claimed then I can walk on water. I’d like to know where you learned that. Also I think you need to watch a documentary about lions and watch them kill their prey. It is very brutal and violent. Many times the prey is still alive when the other lions start to feast. That is just a fact of nature. Killing something for food is not a pretty act but it must be done.

  • Cathy says:

    I loved Avatar and after watching it the first time was so moved by the message of respect for all creatures that I checked out the Peta website and have now become a vegan.

  • Salisu Umar says:

    I haven’t seen Avar yet but have read reviews about it especially about it’s being the secondhighestgrossing film of all time. I can just imagine what the experience would be like knowing what the Titanic feels like being the highestgrossing film of all time which Avatar is only second to !

  • Alex says:

    Peta is not against hunting. I hate hunting but that’s not the point. “if slaugther houses had glass walls”. That is all about! Abuse. In the Movie it’s all about respect. I cryed all three times I’ve seen it. I cryed for US humans. The lions Hunt for survival. They don’t abuse the Zebras! They don’t murder milions of zebras by draging them on the ground kick them cut their throats while they are constiuos. Sadly we’ll NEVER be like the Na’vi. I salute James Cameron for this unique feeling he transmits through his incredible fantasy. I understand everything in Avatar.

  • serena says:

    This movie was beautiful and sad I cried because I know I won’t be alive when the masses realize that we are all connected. if it ever happens at all.

  • Thomas Lee Boles says:

    I have reservations about the hunting scene also. Of course the Na’vi have better evidence than anyone on Earth for their belief that something of the prey survives. And consider the alternative. Jake Sully says that on the Earth of his day “There is no green left.” Like it or not we are headed toward that condition led by people who like the miners think “They can take whatever they want.” I think I resent the implication that anyone who rides a horse is abusive. I had a horse of my own for 14 years. If I abused her why was it that every time I went to the stable her greetings were heard half a mile away? I felt I almost had a Na’vi style neural net connection right through the saddle. As far as I’m concerned that’s what the Na’vi were defendingand I’ve never seen anything more worth the risk. I am worried about a sequel. In the real world the story would not end where the film does. The mining company would go to Congress make some nice big fat briI mean “campaign contributions” The Supreme Court just said that’s “free speech” whomp up some blather about Na’vi “terrorists” and procure a war. It has already been done for oil they would surely do it for something worth $20 million per kilo. The “tea party” wackos would love itand never mind that the Na’vi are in the position of the original tea partiers only worse. One can live without tea.

  • Jon B says:

    The CG was pretty realistic. I find ironic that the film was awarded partially for how it’s helping to usher a new age of not using animals when the animals in the film were not going to appear any other way. I mean if you can show me any of those bad boys exist let me see a picture…I’m kidding. Those animals were realistic and are a good stepping stone for the non use of animals in film just like the 2005 King Kong.

  • EVA says:

    This is a comment to Robert Herrera… if you saw the movie you would know that the animals have to accept you obviously domination is out the window… and the only killing by the natives was to save one stupid human the avatar… but seriously it’s just a movie and the overall message is a positive one… so why be picky if you can’t keep up…

  • Liz says:

    I belive it’s a beautiful movie and I felt angry when the tree was down… age 10

  • Shawna says:

    I agree with Roberto how can PETA support a movie in which the main character turns into an adept otherworldly “hunter” i.e. an animal killer? I do admit that some of the ideals behind the movie were good i.e. the fact that there is a profound respect and a deep interconnectedness between living beings and the planet they inhabit but since Jake is even shown killing an animal for food at one point in the movie how is this supportive of animal rightswelfare? Seems to me like PETA is sending an incredibly mixed message here….

  • Radar says:

    I can’t wait for it to come out on dvd! From what I’ve heard it is great! I hope I never see another live animal in movies again also but probably not for the same reason. Lately such movies are awful! lol

  • Roberto Herrera says:

    I’m surprised about PETA’s position about this movie. While Avatar does evoke the need to reengage with a more respectful relationship between humans or should I say American pop culture? with this planet we are part of It also tries to sell ideas about legitimate ways to relate with animals that don’t fit PETA’s ideological statements. If the Na’vi’s agreed with PETA’s believes about animals not being for our consumption or domination they would not be riding or controlling the will of flying horses nor killing any other animal for food. It seams it is just another PETA’s political approach to conquering publics sympathy even if it is against its own ideological premises.

  • Cat! =^-^= says:

    OMFG!!!! I can’t tell you how much I loved this movie for its message and I love it even more now that I know no animals were harmed during its making! I’m out to see it for the fourth time soon! WOOOHOO!!!!!!

  • Dave Benazani says:

    I loved the movie and certainly appreciated the message of reverence and respect for nature. The only thing I was disappointed in was theinclusion of the hunting scene. I would hope that at least on a planet like this with such enlightened people as the Na’vi there would be no need to kill fellow animals to eat them. Yes yes I know Pandora is just a fantasy world and it was a very realistic and beautiful fantasy. But it’s too bad Cameron felt the need to perpetuate one of the uglier human traits as “necessary” to the Na’vi as well. It would have been a more perfect world if they had lived in harmony with ALL the animals. Just one person’s fantasy that’s all.

  • raichu says:

    I’m not really against the use of animals for movies as long as the animals aren’t harmed. Especially if is a dog horse etc. that lives in captivity.

  • Robyn A Eastling says:

    Hopefully they’ll save the data they received from using animals for future movies. And since there maybe be a second movie or even a trilogy in the works it seems likely. Cameron was quoted saying some something along the lines of ‘not wanting to waste the technology’. Yay for recycling! The visuals were quite stunning. I was surprised when I realized there was little difference between the CGI world and the real one. There maybe be a sequal or even a trilogy in the works. Cameron was quotes saying some something along the lines of ‘not wanting to waste the technology’.

  • kate says:

    sorry for the fyi peeps but they did in fact have to use gasp live animals to get the motion of the animals into the CGI computers. I saw the “backstage” stuff on tv last night and they used a horse. He wasn’t being harmed in the makings though…

  • wes says:

    great movie with a great message. when i was watching this movie i thought about peta and nature and of course our beautiful animals.

  • raichu says:

    Not only did the technology used to portray animals in the movie keep from using live animals but the imagery was vivid and beautiful. So was the imagination of the artists!

  • quibble says:

    Um Ralph he didn’t say it was “the first majorly CGI film.” He said the “breathtakingly beautiful CGI… heralds a new era in filmmaking.” The implication being that the quality and realism of the CGI in this film exceeds that of previous efforts. Please at least do a little more critical reading before you post.

  • Jenn says:

    No one said it was THE first. They’re saying it was well done. …”please at least read the whole thing first.”

  • Ralph says:

    This isn’t the first majorly CGI film. There have been many films prior to this this is just the largest boxoffice gatherer. It’s good to know that no animals are harmed in the making of these films however please at least do a little research.