People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is standing up for the rights of fictional movie characters.
In a letter to director Tim Burton, who is reportedly helming a live-action remake of the classic Disney movie Dumbo, PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange urged the director to give the floppy-eared elephant a “truly happy ending.”
“We understand that you’ll be directing Dumbo, and if Alice in Wonderland, Frankenweenie, and Corpse Bride are any indication, the artistry of the computer-generated imagery in this remake is in good hands,” the letter begins.
Lange referenced news from earlier this month that the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey circus will discontinue its use of elephants in shows by 2018 to urge Burton to take a similar stand.
“We love the original Dumbo because it tells the story of the heartbreaking abuse that elephants in circuses endure, and we hope you will keep this storyline in the new film,” Lange writes.
Still, she added, “We hope that in your adaptation of Dumbo, the young elephant and his mother can have a truly happy ending by living out their lives at a sanctuary instead of continuing to be imprisoned and abused in the entertainment industry. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.”
For his part, Burton has not yet confirmed that he will be directing the Dumbo remake.
In other elephant-related news, a drunk man in Sri Lanka was reminded this week why it’s never a good idea to mess with an elephant.