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The cruel irony of Pixar's animal stories
NOTE: I’m writing every day in memory of Lisa, who died on October 13. Not every post will be of the highest quality, and on January 1, I’ll reassess and create a new schedule for higher quality posts.
Today, I went to Epcot Center, which I have not been to in approximately 30 years. And I was shocked to see that in the Finding Nemo exhibit, aquatic animals are being held in captivity.
This is jarring because Finding Nemo is a story of liberation.
While the themes in the movie are partially whimsical, they also relate to the real world consequences of human domination and decimation of wild spaces and animals. Families are destroyed. Lives are lost. And individuals who deserve to be free, instead suffer in cages or tanks.
I did not partake in the ride, so I don’t know how Disney/Pixar square the message of their movies with their real life participation in destruction, kidnapping, and captivity. As with all things on this blog, moreover, I am willing to give the company a fair shake. Perhaps there is some ethical or conservation justification for what they are doing, though the worker I briefly spoke to about the issue acknowledged that the animals at the aquarium, including dolphins, are apparently not all rescued.
But even my 7 year old niece, who decided to continue with the exhibit, saw captivity for what it is.
“They looked so bored,” she told me. “It was sad.”
The dolphin was apparently swimming circles in a tank endlessly.
What’s left unsaid is what was done to her family so that she could end up in a Disney/Pixar tank.
Shame on you, Pixar. And shame on you, Andrew Stanton. You exploit the best part of us — our compassion for the other living creatures — to fuel a corporate engine for profit. And yet the real living being who suffer have been ignored.