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How can Animation with animals impact on zoos, aquariums, and conservation.

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Thomas, 3 Dec 2019.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    jayjds2 and birdsandbats like this.
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone else have their own opinions have on cartoons, animated movies, and anime media on how they influence people to learn about animals and support wildlife conservation?
     
  3. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    I cannot read your link.

    About your question. Cartoons have too much influence. They are often unaware of it. And they need to use this power wisely. We live in the age of giant multinationals. Few vendors like Disney and Pixar are gatekeepers of most information about the world reaching hundreds of millions of people worldwide, not only children. Even if these companies want only a simple moneymaking entertainment.

    Cartoons should become more accurate biologically (no more anteaters in Africa). They could further expand into less known wildlife (nobody complained that he didn't know a fossa, a tenrec or a sifaka before seeing the well-known cartoon). They could actually still make an easy children story while give a whole lesson in biology or conservation in the background. A good model are great 19. and early 20. century stories like 'Around the world in 80 days'. They were not just entertainment, but for millions of readers were the education.

    But cartoons can also be a competition to conservation, if they are careless. They can distract from nature, or from the contact with the real nature. Allegedly, many tourists in Costa Rica complain that the real rainforest is boring. They can distract into fantastic themes. Many people who saw the latest 'Planet of the Apes' believed the apes are more clever than they really are.
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    You might be right.
    An example the protect the pride campaign is to raise awareness to conservation of lions and to double the population by 2050 made partnerships with many zoos and conservation organizations with the Disney Conservation Fund for the new 2019 “The Lion King” movie.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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  6. Black Footed Beast

    Black Footed Beast Well-Known Member

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    I feel if animation starts using more obscure animals, there could easily be more fans of said animals that probably wouldn't have known about them before, but with some companies idea of using a generic version of animal (Monkey is probably the biggest example I can think of) it takes away from people learning about the diversity of said species
     
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I think I remember reading once that for the exorbiant costs it took to make the dreamworks film "Madagascar" numerous ecosystems on the island could have effectively been conserved (or it might have been the film "Rio" and the Atlantic rainforest here in Brazil , cannot remember).

    That pretty much sums up my (admittedly very subjective and cynical) attitude to big budget animations and their supposed "positive impact" on conservation.
     
    Last edited: 11 Dec 2019
  8. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I think these movies have more of a positive impact than people assume - most people wouldn't know what a Spix's Macaw was if they hadn't seen Rio. I don't know about Rio or Madagascar in particular, but these movies often donate part of the profits to conservation anyway. Disney does more conservation work then most people would expect.
     
  9. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes you are right in a certain sense. For example, I'm aware of the work Disney has done in funding efforts to conserve the golden lion tamarin in Poço das Antas reserve in Rio Da Janiero state here in Brazil over the years which is wonderful. That said , they did not popularize knowledge about the species and that credit has to go to Brazilian conservationists and international organizations and media outlets like WWF, Durrell , ZSL and National Geographic magazine etc.

    Nevertheless, beyond funding some projects I'm not convinced that Disney or these kind of animation films have any widescale or tangible impact on conservation in a societal sense though they may have a marginal impact in stimulating children's interest in the natural world (and they evidently generate a lot of platitudes in adults though whether these actually signify anything is another question entirely).

    But I'll admit this may just be my own bias and idealism as I dont care at all for corporations like Disney / Dreamworks / Pixar. I particularly dislike them being the first introduction to these issues for people (speaks volumes about the quality of media and education not to mention our disconnect and alienation from nature) nor do I care for their over promoting themselves as being catalysts for conservation which sometimes strikes me too much as greenwashing.
     
    Last edited: 11 Dec 2019
  10. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    As OC said, Disney or Pixar are not automatically special. Most corporations sponsor some conservation projects as corporate responsibility. Many pick endangered animals as logos.

    For an animation to help it should: portrait facts accurately, talk about a real conservation issue, direct people to it and contribute to it.

    For now, the main request to the business, as others say too, is accuracy. If an animation messes facts about real animals (but also history or society), thousands of people will take it as truth. For many, it will be the first contact with the topic. Children understand some obvious fiction, but don't confuse them about something important they don't know and could take for reality.

    Good thing is that animals are always interesting for people. Biodiversity is so rich that whole species and topics are still untapped by media. I could pick many incredible animals and nature locales for next media franchises. Animation companies can benefit from it even with strong commitment to accuracy, directing people to conservation and sponsoring media projects.
     
  11. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    I agree with most of what has been said here, although I will add a few things regarding Disney.

    Disney's Animal Kingdom is AZA accredited, and they are actively breeding several endangered species. I think the company itself is partnered with AZA to some degree, given how much I saw the two working together in ads for the recent live-action Lion King.

    Also don't forget National Geographic is partnered with Disney, it is Disney that is responsible for the distributing and promotion of Nat Geo media. National Geographic was featured prominently in ads for the recent launch of Disney+, and indeed a large number of Nat Geo films are available on the streaming service.

    I guess that's a bit of the flip side of Disney's coin.
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Here's another example when the Angry Birds 2 movie was coming out with a promotional video on how the characters are compared with real-life birds from the Bird Show at the Los Angeles Zoo with a conservation message.