Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
An “animal film” of sorts that came out this week on DVD/Blue-ray, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” is populated by computer-generated-imagery primates. Not only were no animals harmed in the making of that film — no animals were exploited at all!
The filmmakers’ ethically noble decision to employ digital magic rather than living (though probably suffering) animals didn’t lessen the appeal of “Apes,” apparently: It ranks ninth this year in domestic box office grosses.
I was impressed by the quality of the CGI, which allowed for a much more creative (and cruelty-free) story-telling.
Earlier this year, Hollywood produced a couple of other animal-related films that had compassionate messages. The animated “Rio,” which I blogged about in May, http://www.bornfreeusa.org/bfusablog.php?p=2804&more=1 advocated in an entertaining way that parrots should be left in the wild. And “The Big Year,” my Canadian colleague and avid birder Barry Kent MacKay tells me, portrays birders in a positive light.
I’m no formal film critic, but movies that might help animals are OK by me. Considering my parents starred in “Born Free,” an experience that helped bring this organization before you today, I’m entitled to give a thumb’s up and dig into the popcorn!