In HSI’s ‘Save Ralph,’ a lovable spokesbunny makes a case for ending cosmetics animal testing

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on April 6, 2021 with 27 Comments

Animals used by the cosmetics testing industry have long suffered in silence. But they now have a new spokesbunny, Ralph, who is telling it like it is.

“Save Ralph” is a powerful stop-motion animation short film featuring Oscar winner Taika Waititi as the voice of Ralph, who is being interviewed for a documentary as he goes through his daily routine as a “tester” in a lab. “I’m a tester. My daddy was a tester, my mom, my brothers, my sisters, my kids. All testers,” he tells a documentary filmmaker voiced by actor and animal advocate Ricky Gervais. Ralph tells his interviewer that he is “doing it for the humans,” so long as “just one human can have the illusion of a safer lipstick or deodorant,” regardless of his own personal suffering.

HSI’s #SaveRalph campaign tackles the cruelty of animal testing in an original and unexpected way—using the story of one bunny to shine a light on the plight of countless rabbits and other animals in laboratories around the world.

While Ralph is animated, the miseries he endures in the short film are far from made up. As Spencer Susser, the director of “Save Ralph,” says, “It’s so important that Ralph feels real because he represents countless real animals who suffer every day.”

Susser, known for his film “Hesher,” is among a slate of powerhouse celebrities and influencers who collaborated with Humane Society International on the making of “Save Ralph.” In addition to Waititi as Ralph and Gervais as the interviewer, the film has Zac Efron as Bobby, Olivia Munn as Marshmallow, Pom Klementieff as Cinnamon and Tricia Helfer as Cottonballs.

Producer Jeff Vespa (“Voices of Parkland”) teamed up with the Arch Model studio of puppet maker supreme Andy Gent on the production.

The film will also be launched in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Vietnamese, with global celebrities like Rodrigo Santoro, Rosario Dawson, Wilmer Valderrama, H’Hen Nie, Diem My, Denis Villeneuve and others voicing the characters in those languages, and Maggie Q providing a video message of support for the #SaveRalph campaign in southeast Asia. The campaign will focus particularly on 16 countries, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, and 10 southeast Asian nations, where we hope to move lawmakers to ban cosmetics animal testing.

We are also hoping Ralph will amplify our ongoing efforts here in the United States, where four states have already passed bans to end the sale of animal-tested cosmetics, and where the Humane Society of the United States is hard at work to get more statewide laws passed. The Humane Society Legislative Fund is also anticipating that the Humane Cosmetics Act, a bill prohibiting cosmetics animal testing and imports with the support of more than 900 companies, will be reintroduced shortly and movement is expected this Congress.

Animal testing for cosmetics is not just cruel, it is absolutely unnecessary. These tests are unreliable predictors of human safety and can under- or over-estimate real-world hazards to people. Many non-animal methods have been, and continue to be, developed for new ingredients that deliver human-relevant results at less cost and in less time than traditional animal tests.

In the film, when Ralph is clamped into the acrylic restraint, the other bunnies, awed by his new celebrity, press him to ask the documentary crew to “get us out of here.” We are working to make sure that cry for help is heard around the world and we are fighting for the day when no animal, anywhere, is subjected to the needless misery of cosmetics testing.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Animal Research and Testing, Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Esto tiene que acabar ya no podemos permitir que más animalitos sigan sufriendo por favor ya no mas abusos ni más violencia

  2. Dave Boules says:

    Any testing on animals for any product is totally unnecessary in these modern times and must be permanently stopped immediately. It is very cruel and inexcusable to continue and testing on animals.

    • Charlotte Bice says:

      Yes, there should be NO ANIMAL TESTING in today’s world at all. This needs to stop. It’s cruel and inhumane. Just stop it!

  3. Jo Anna D Kloster says:

    This needs to get into schools…children will understand this and want to do something…by launching letter-writing campaigns to companies that don’t have labels saying their products are cruelty-free. And a child shall lead them…..

  4. Steve Carey says:

    Let’s hope that real rabbit fur wasn’t used to ‘fur’ the puppet as has often been the case when animal characters are created for stop-mo puppets

  5. Kathleen Bossart says:


  6. Concepcion Sanchez says:

    This must STOP now!!!!😡
    No to cruelty!!! 😪

  7. ariela godoy says:

    que tristeza ojalas las industrias vieran el dolor que sienten los animales

  8. flor says:

    ya no mas!! al maltrato de animal.

  9. Mel M. says:

    This video is devastating to watch. But I forced myself to, as I broke down into tears. Absolute heart break and deep empathy for my dear animal friends. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP! I will make even more of an effort to make sure that everything I purchase is labeled cruelty free. No animal, no living creature of any kind or size, no matter what, should ever have to suffer at the hands of humans. This is twisted and sick, and again, IT HAS TO STOP!!

  10. Masayo Sakai says:

    Animal testing is outdated and barbaric in these days. Everyone must imagine if your pet would be experienced with tortured tests, then animal test would be disappeared I believe.

  11. Diana Mesa says:

    Dios que dolor, todos debemos tener conciencia y acabar con tanta crueldad, no compremos los productos de quienes hacen este tipo de pruebas, la vida es mas valiosa que la vanidad 🙁

  12. Emma Henderson says:

    This is very very bad I have shared this on almost every platform I have pls stop this cruelty I’m gonna start making posters for my school >:(

  13. Edwin Gregorio Cruz Lopez says:

    Save Ralph

  14. Michele Patten says:

    As a rabbit rescuer for 20 yrs for abandoned rabbits ..which humans do frequently when they dont want them anymore…I can assure you they are beautiful intelligent sensitive beings with great personalities!!!
    Besides the torture they go through in labs which is ghastly….people need to stop breeding them.. It breaks my heart and the few cosmetics I
    use are purchased from reputable companies cruelty free ….with plant based ingredients and better for you andvsyops torture. Stop buying from big Corporate chemically made products. They dont care about animals. There are lots of cruelty free products out there…do the research or go to and find them.

  15. BELINDA TARVER says:

    If the cosmetics industry would transition into plant based products there would be no need for this type of testing. Until then, an alternative method must be used, stop animal testing!

  16. Francis Torres says:

    Es muy cruel lo que hacen , por un mundo mejor no debe continuar, como pueden hacerle daño a un animalito que no puede defenderse ? Es triste y lamentable.Ellos sienten y sufren con eso, no somos dignos de tanto amor que los animalitos nos dan.

  17. Karen Wray says:

    My family and I are boycotting ANY product tested on animals!! STOP the unnecessary torture… it us useless, inhumane and will not be tolerated anymore!! GET WITH THE TIMES

  18. Hilvind Aveen says:

    There should be an end for testing cosmetic on animals.Beacuse it harms the animal and sometimes it kills them every animal on this planet have the right to live their life normal without treating bad.

  19. kenzie says:

    whyyyyyyyyyyyy who else cried watching this

  20. Roaa says:

    Please !!!! Help save those animals !!! Please stop that it hurts so much !!!!!! How can i help !!!! I’m deeply broken !!!!!!! We must stop that!!!!!

  21. jiayee lee says:

    is there anywhere that there includes translations/subtitles of this shirt film so i can share it to my friends in countries that don’t speak english?

  22. Sarah says:

    Save all animales ..

  23. Sonia alusi says:

    The most important thing about any brand is the target audience and I don’t think that there are an audience who prefer the products that torture the creatures. Please stop doing this, because there are many other ways.

  24. Isabella Jose says:

    These bunnies need to no longer suffer in the name of beauty, the makeup companies need to suck it up and deal with it. The thing they are doing to bunnies is NOT okay and it needs to be stopped.

  25. Lydia M. Villalobos-White says:

    No torture and suffer! It’s Cruel!

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