Ever wondered what it’s like to be one of the innocent rabbits that are turned into animal testing subjects for the cosmetics industry? Well, you’ll find the answer in the viral animated short film “Save Ralph.”
“Save Ralph” is a stop-motion mockumentary that Humane Society International (HSI) premiered on April 7. Taika Waititi voices Ralph the Rabbit who gives us a peek at his daily routine as a tester in a lab, lending a darkly comedic charm to the character. Good-natured Ralph seems resigned and even a little proud of his “work” despite the miseries that it has brought him. Directed and written by Spencer Susser, the film is like a funny and heart-wrenching cross between “Happy Tree Friends” and an anti-animal testing PSA.
“I’m blind in my right eye. And this ear…can’t hear nothing but ringing now,” Ralph says to introduce himself. “So, I had my fur shaved and got chemical burns up and down my back. Kinda stings but it’s not a big deal,” he adds, as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.
“Point is, I’m not a space bunny. I’m a tester. My daddy was a tester. My mom, my brothers, my sisters, my kids—all testers. And they all died doing their job. Just like I will,” says Ralph in between bites of cereal, until a human hand unceremoniously brings him to a lab.
In the lab, we see his fellow testers, voiced by the likes of Zac Efron, Olivia Munn and Pom Klementieff. Though they’re in the same sorry shape, they still want to escape. While Ralph remains calm as a substance is dropped into his eye via a syringe, the other rabbits scream in horror.
By the end of the film, Ralph is in a neck brace and blind in both eyes. “I’d just like to say to everyone out there still buying animal-tested cosmetics… without you and countries that allow animal testing, I’d be out of a job,” he says. Then, a final statement appears: No animal should suffer and die in the name of beauty.
HSI encourages viewers to sign a petition urging Southeast Asian countries to ban cosmetic testing on animals and to donate to its campaign. “The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is one of the world’s largest markets for cosmetics and a region where animal testing for cosmetics still occurs,” HSI wrote. “We need your help to urge the governments of these countries to make this a priority issue and to agree on measures to ban cosmetic animal testing and trade throughout the region.”