Animation has always been a great way to teach children about environmental issues. From the Smoky the Bear campaign to stop forest fires to Captain Planet’s weekly animated series, “Captain Planet and the Planeteers,” in the early 1990s, cartoons have given our culture environmental heroes. Now there might be a new hero in animation, a genetically modified hamster named Hamstrong.
According to the Hamstrong website, he is a hamster trying to escape an animal testing facility. He discovers he can escape his anxiety-filled cage and the testing lab but realizes he can’t leave his fellow animals behind so he decides to fight back.
Hamstrong is described as an animated comedy/adventure web-series and iPhone game created by Canadian animation company GFZ Studios. The series website promises that “episode through episode, Hamstrong will use reality, humor, and other means of entertainment to educate and create awareness to his millions of viewers in fighting toward cruelty-free animal testing.”
The Huffington Post quotes Geoffery Anthony, the president of GFZ Studios, as wanting his “studio to create a game about animal cruelty that would not only entertain, but also provide educational value.”
This is a smart move on Anthony’s part with today’s constant media stimulation, media has gone from an observational activity to an interactive one. By introducing Hamstrong to children through a webseries, a game for the iPhone, and future plans for an eBook, GFZ Studios is insuring a well-versed interactive character. This increased interaction will allow their ultimate goal of informing children about the cruelties of animal testing to be realized.
The Huffington Post also reports that the company plans to donate half of all revenues generated by Hamstrong to anti-cruelty groups in order to make a larger impact.
Video for the web-series can be found on the Hamstrong Youtube Channel. The first video in the series is quite intense and portrays the issues of animal testing well. You can watch it for yourself below.
The ingredients are there for Hamstrong to become an animated animal rights hero, but do you think this little fella will make a big impact?