Groundbreaking New Disney+ Film Tackles Wild-Animal Exploitation With Digitally Created Gorillas, Elephants, Dogs, and More
For Immediate Release:
August 19, 2020
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Los Angeles – A Free the Animals Award is on its way from PETA to Disney, which uses animal-friendly computer-generated imagery (CGI) to tell the story of Ivan and Ruby, a gorilla and an elephant held captive at a shopping mall, in The One and Only Ivan, which premieres on Disney+ this Friday.
“This is a story about liberation—you can’t tell that story by exploiting real animals,” The One and Only Ivan screenwriter and longtime PETA pal Mike White exclusively tells PETA. “CGI is the only humane way to depict animals, and one look at Ivan’s face proves that we didn’t lose an ounce of realism.”
“Countless wild animals just like Ivan and Ruby are trapped behind bars in Hollywood training compounds, in circuses, and at roadside zoos across the country,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA thanks Disney for shining a spotlight on their suffering and showing filmmakers how to tell important stories about animals without exploiting them.”
Wild animals used by the entertainment industry are separated from their mothers shortly after birth and denied everything that’s natural and important to them. PETA investigations and law enforcement probes into animal suppliers for the film and TV industries have revealed deplorable conditions, whippings, and deaths. And at roadside zoos and other facilities like the shopping mall in The One and Only Ivan, animals are put on display in cramped, barren enclosures; denied adequate veterinary care; and forced to perform tricks or endure excessive handling for photo ops. Many show signs of extreme psychological distress, such as endlessly pacing or swaying back and forth.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—previously recognized the use of CGI to portray animals in The Jungle Book, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Walking Dead, and Noah, among other productions.