In celebration of the release of 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water, Disney and Avatar have launched a global “Keep Our Oceans Amazing” campaign to raise awareness of the challenges facing oceans and marine life. As part of the campaign, fans in the US have joined Disney in unlocking $1 million USD to The Nature Conservancy US to help protect 10 of our oceans’ amazing animals and their habitats, connected to the beauty of Pandora.
Melissa Garvey, Global Director of Ocean Protection at The Nature Conservancy US said: “The entire planet depends on the health of our ocean to support and sustain it. The ocean produces half the air we breathe, provides livelihoods for billions of people, and is home to more than half of all life on earth,” She continued, “We need to do our part to protect it. That’s why we are thrilled to collaborate with Disney and Avatar on this campaign. Our mission is driven by working together with those who believe we can shape a brighter future where people and nature can thrive together. The film’s important message complements our work, and we look forward to working together to protect the 10 species highlighted in this campaign and creating a healthier ocean for all.”
In Avatar: The Way of Water, audiences will be introduced to a new oceanic Na’vi clan and an array of diverse aquatic creatures, inspiring audiences to connect with the beauty of our oceans right here on Earth. Oceans cover 70% of the planet, shelter an incredible diversity of life, and provide us with food, jobs, and more than half of the oxygen we breathe. Unfortunately, less than 8% of this unique ecosystem is protected. “Keep Our Oceans Amazing” aims to extend Disney’s longstanding conservation legacy to help protect 10 amazing ocean animals and their habitats. This new initiative will support TNC to protect beluga whales, blue whales, whale sharks, hawksbill sea turtles, manatees, manta rays, parrotfish, staghorn coral, sea lions, and mangroves—coastal habitats that provide important shelter for many marine species. The specific ocean species that have been selected can be found in waters throughout the world and many of them share qualities with the Pandoran creatures and habitats featured throughout the film. Each animal and plant species is also classified as threatened, vulnerable, or endangered. TNC is working alongside indigenous peoples and local communities to develop multi-faceted solutions to the challenges these species face across the globe, to ensure that both people and wildlife thrive.
Disney has a long history of taking action for oceans and supporting the protection of marine life—from our 2030 environmental goals that include efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, source sustainable seafood, and invest in the protection of our watersheds, to our funding and expertise for biodiversity protection through Disney Conservation. To date, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed more than $120 million to support nonprofit organizations working around the world to save wildlife, inspire action, and protect the planet. Nearly $20 million of those funds have been provided to programs that benefit marine life, communities, and the oceans we all depend on. This initiative is part of Disney Planet Possible, tangible actions Disney is taking to help create a healthier home for people and wildlife.
Jennifer Cohen, executive vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility for The Walt Disney Company commented: “Disney has a rich legacy of conservation and inspiring action to protect nature,” Cohen continued, “We’re proud to celebrate the release of Avatar: The Way of Water by raising global awareness of the critical importance of protecting oceans and marine biodiversity.”
“The Avatar ethos is that we are all connected to each other and our planet, and therefore are responsible for positively impacting the people and world around us,” said Avatar: The Way of Water producer Jon Landau. “The ‘Keep Our Oceans Amazing’ campaign is a way for us to invite fans from around the world to join us in creating that impact.”
Global audiences were first introduced to the world of Pandora in the original Avatar and fell in love with the characters, the story, and the beautiful rainforests and creatures, which led to it becoming the highest-grossing film of all time. As we journey into Avatar: The Way of Water, audiences will be transported to an all-new biome—the reef—and will be introduced to a new oceanic clan and an array of diverse aquatic creatures. This expanding universe underlines just how intentionally Pandora has been designed to be a metaphor for Earth. Audiences will experience the beauty of the sea and the richness of biodiversity in Pandora’s oceans.
Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water, opening December 16, begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure. The film will feature awe-inspiring scenes that showcase the vibrant bioluminescence and beauty of Pandora’s aquatic landscape— scenes that will inspire us all to consider the wonders of our own oceanic world.