Before I start, let me make this clear that ‘Save Ralph’ (2021) is a short animated film. “Then what the hell is this review sitting on in this category?” The header shows Short Collections where I plan to compile shorts that I had watched based on a theme (or director, actor, programme, or any similarities that these shorts had) and give a short review for each film. Yet I can’t find any similar films that came to my mind and I believe that ‘Save Ralph’ had its own importance that deserves the spotlight between features. Plus, this is a short that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.
‘Save Ralph’ isn’t a film where filmmakers just create what’s on their head as the part of their freedom of expression. It is a film in collaboration with Humane Society International that addresses issues of inhumane practice mostly towards animals. As a campaign, it is no coincidence that Writer-Director Spencer Susser casts known names such as Pom Klementieff, Zac Efron and even Taika Waititi to participate in the project. However, even if Susser casts more unknown names the whole product would still work as Susser summarizes its issues effectively (and horribly heartbreaking) in 4 minutes.
The film opens with Ralph (Taika Waititi), a bunny, figuring out how to slate a take as the interviewer (Ricky Gervais) instructed him the method. The mockumentary style relieves a moment that this would be a light-hearted tone shorts that touch on a sensitive issue. Yet as Ralph explains that he is a “tester” in a lab and describing his scars from his “job”, you know the short will break your heart into pieces. You just don’t know how much. (Yet if you still want to know I put the link at the end of this review)
Spencer Susser tries to keep the short as light-hearted as possible so the audience could at the very least enjoy their 4 minutes watching the screen. Yet the attempt on using jokes of Ralph contributing to the development of human lifestyle, human race being superiors or all of his family is a “tester” can’t help to produce a dry laugh that irritates our emotion. It just punches us to the guts as a human race of how cruel we have become to creatures that are far inferior than us.
‘Save Ralph’ is a disturbing piece even with the minimal use of graphic violence (except that one specific piece. You know where). The fact that Ralph still proud of what he did as a contribution to the most complex living beings on Earth is just distressing and sick as fuck. At the very least, we should respect Ralph’s legacy for his contribution on how advanced and safe our cosmetics had become, right? NO! It should stop now! No animal deserves this kind of treatment.
I’m just jaw-dropped of how much ‘Save Ralph’ impacted me through the use of animation. I’ve watched tons of live-action animal cruelty in the Instagram explore page, and never once I thought the use of animation became very effective. Perhaps it is because it is told through the story of the victim, not the bystander. And tasting a piece of what the victim had gone through, it’s time to take action for the better doesn’t it?
Your individual voices alone certainly wouldn’t stop these large corporations. But you could participate your individual voices by signing these pledge to stop animal testing on cosmetic product. Or the very least you could do is educate yourself by watching ‘Save Ralph’ and share this video to the people around you.
I still can’t believe how much ‘Save Ralph’ could affect and change me in 4 minutes. This is a powerful short piece that manages to be a double-edge sword, having (a bit) of entertainment value through its black comedy while also harrowing depiction in discussing the subject matter.
Watch Save Ralph now!