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Watch This: Save Ralph

Animation is often used in commercial advertising but it's often also used very effectively for something much nobler in intention. Animated campaign films for charities have been used to spread awareness and help support many important issues. Case in point is Save Ralph, a new short film made in support of The Humane Society.

The short is a plea to end the barbaric process of cosmetic testing on animals. Made in faux-documentary style, lab rabbit Ralph is interviewed about his 'work'. It's a sobering subject and we should warn you that there are some disturbing scenes in here (although no real-life footage, fortunately). However, it's also extremely well written with a script full of dark humour. Despite starring cute rabbits, we would say this is very much not for kids.

Also, key to its success is the fact that Ralph is voice by kiwi comedy god Taika Waititi. The mockumentary style draws a parallel with What We Do In The Shadows, the modern comedy classic which Waititi directed and starred in (and inspired the FX TV show spin-off of the same name). Waititi brings his trademark dry humour to the role, but it's true strength is in the sense of vulnerability he brings to the role, creating a real sense of pathos in a short amount of time.  The film also features the voice of Ricky Gervais,  Olivia Munn, Zac Efron and others.

It's a beautifully animated piece as well. The stop-motion animation was produced by Arch Model the studio behind Wes Anderson's Isle Of Dogs and Fantastic Mr Fox, with which it shares an exquisitely crafted style. The puppets were made by Andy Gent.

Save Ralph is written and directed by indie director Spencer Susser, best known for his live-action feature Hesher. It's produced by Susser along with Jeff Vespa and executive produced by Peter Kline and Troy Seidle.

Visit The Humane Society website and join the campaign today.

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