Director sparks fury by holding Avatar 2 conference at DOLPHIN show
14th December 2022

James Cameron sparks animal welfare fury by holding Avatar 2 press conference at a DOLPHIN show in Japan

  • Director James Cameron accused of ‘endorsing the cruelty of marine parks’
  • He attended dolphin show as part of ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ publicity tour
  • Cameron introduced the show in Tokyo by saying ‘Welcome to Pandora’ 

Director James Cameron has sparked fury among animal welfare activists by holding an Avatar 2 press conference at a dolphin show in Japan.

Cameron, 68, has been accused of ‘endorsing the cruelty of marine parks’ after he attended the dolphin show as part of the ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ publicity tour in Tokyo.

The Canadian filmmaker sat beside actors Jon Landau, Zoe Saldaña, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang as they watched the dolphins perform in a small pool at the marine park. 

Cameron, referring to the fictional world the Avatar films are set in, introduced the show by saying, ‘Welcome to Pandora’ before dolphins entered the pool with two trainers.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=fRR_59i_tFM%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26hl%3Den-US

Director James Cameron (centre right) has sparked fury among animal welfare activists by holding an Avatar 2 press conference at a dolphin show in Japan

The Canadian filmmaker sat beside actors Jon Landau, Zoe Saldaña, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang as they watched the dolphins perform in a small pool at the marine park

Cameron, 68, has been accused of ‘endorsing the cruelty of marine parks’ after he attended the dolphin show as part of the ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ publicity tour in Tokyo

Video from the press tour shows dolphins performing tricks in the water, with the two trainers being lifted into the air by the aquatic mammals. 

The actors, who were sat in a row with clips from the Avatar film playing on a screen behind them, can be seen cheering and clapping throughout the show.

Following the show, which featured more than six dolphins jumping across the pool simultaneously, Cameron joked that he was sure ‘everybody asked the animals permission to be in the show’.

Cameron said: ‘I love these animals, I love their intelligence. I love their sociability, their ability to connect with us and to interact with us and learn from us. And I’m sure everybody asked their permission to be in the show.’ 

Animal rights organisation PETA criticised Cameron for attending the controversial dolphin show.  

PETA US Senior Vice President Lisa Lange told Plant Based News: ‘James Cameron waited 13 years for the development of the right technology to bring the underwater world of Pandora to life. 

‘So why on Earth didn’t he pause for just five minutes to consider whether he should have allowed himself to be seen as endorsing the cruelty of marine parks?’

Cameron, referring to the fictional world the Avatar films are set in, introduced the show by saying, ‘Welcome to Pandora’ before dolphins entered the pool with two trainers

Video from the press tour shows dolphins performing tricks in the water, with the two trainers being lifted into the air by the aquatic mammals

The actors, who were sat in a row with clips from the Avatar film playing on a screen behind them, can be seen cheering and clapping throughout the show

Following the show, which featured more than six dolphins jumping across the pool simultaneously, Cameron joked that he was sure ‘everybody asked the animals permission to be in the show’

Lange added: ‘Confining far-ranging dolphins to concrete tanks and using them as surfboards – riding on their faces in circus-style shows – is something the villains of Avatar would do. 

‘PETA urges him to reject such animal misery outright and encourages everyone to shun these cruel parks.’

Another activist, Bailey Mason, told the outlet: ‘James Cameron, as a high profile environmentalist, should never associate himself with the captivity of dolphins. Dolphin shows are cruel, not conservation.’

PETA says dolphins suffer physical and behavioural harm during live shows and confinement in captivity.

Of greatest concern is the practice of trainers riding dolphins through the water while standing on their backs and beaks.

Such stunts strain the marine mammals’ sensitive lower jaws in a way that can damage their hearing, injure joints and muscles and worsen other injuries caused by confinement within holding tanks where the dolphins are kept.

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Cameron and Avatar’s producers 20th Century Studios for comment. 

The film ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ premiered last week in London, 13 years after Cameron released the highest-grossing film of all time, ‘Avatar’.

The long-awaited sequeltakes audiences back to the enchanting world of Pandora, where in the first film the native blue Na’vi people battled human colonists for the moon’s natural resources.

Set more than a decade later, ‘The Way of Water’ sees actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana return as Jake Sully and Neytiri, now parents of five children.

Their peaceful life in the paradise-like jungle is interrupted by the return of the ‘Sky People’, the Na’vi name for humans, who are after Sully. To protect their family and their tribe, Sully, Neytiri and their children flee to a far-flung territory and seek refuge with the oceanic Metkayina clan.

Critics rave about Avatar sequel’s ‘ravishing’ visuals… but James Cameron’s $350m epic comes under fire for being VERY long with ‘no plot’ and ‘atrocious dialogue’

After a number of different premieres all over the world, the reviews are finally in for director James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.

The first waves of reviews were published on Tuesday evening, with the film scoring a strong 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, out of the first 133 reviews.

Critics from around the world – including Daily Mail’s own Brian Viner – heaped praise on Cameron’s direction and astonishing visuals, though the story and bloated three-hour-12-minute runtime were points of contention in many reviews.

Reviews: After a number of different premieres all over the world, the reviews are finally in for director James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water

Critics: Critics from around the world – including Daily Mail’s own Brian Viner – heaped praise on Cameron’s direction and astonishing visuals, though the story and bloated three-hour-12-minute runtime were points of contention in many reviews

Viner stated in his four-stars-out-of-five-stars review, ‘This sequel is tremendous fun, even bigger and better than the original, but by golly it will test your bladder.’  

He added, ‘Yes, this is an insanely long film – but so was David Lean’s Lawrence Of Arabia, which director James Cameron cited as a major influence on Avatar for its ‘good, old-fashioned, adolescent adventure storytelling’, and that was even longer.’

Viner added that Pandora, ‘looks absolutely ravishing,’ particularly in 3D, though he doesn’t think it’s, ‘a film for the ages.’

Review: Viner stated in his four-stars-out-of-five-stars review, ‘This sequel is tremendous fun, even bigger and better than the original, but by golly it will test your bladder’

‘It is tailored so carefully for our own age, with ecological and environmental messages that could not hit the audience any more forcefully if they came flying out of the screen at them, which of course sometimes they appear to do,’ he added.

Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt also agreed the sequel was better than the first in her A- review.

‘A meticulous world-building as astonishing and enveloping as anything we’ve ever seen on screen — until that crown is passed, inevitably, in December 2024, the projected release date for Avatar 3,’ she said.

Tailored: ‘It is tailored so carefully for our own age, with ecological and environmental messages that could not hit the audience any more forcefully if they came flying out of the screen at them, which of course sometimes they appear to do,’ he added

She admitted that the film is, ‘almost certainly too long’ while adding the acting works in ‘varying degrees of success.’

‘Saldaña’s mother-warrior makes herself ferociously vulnerable, and Weaver somehow gets us to believe she’s an outcast teen; Worthington often sounds like he’s just doing his best to sound 10 percent less Australian,’ she said. 

‘Even the non-verbal creatures — bioluminescent jellyfish as delicate as fairy wings; whales the size of aircraft carriers, with four eyes and flesh like an unshelled turtle’s — have an uncanny anthropomorphic charm, stealing several moments from their speaking counterparts,’ she added.

Zoe: ‘Saldaña’s mother-warrior makes herself ferociously vulnerable, and Weaver somehow gets us to believe she’s an outcast teen; Worthington often sounds like he’s just doing his best to sound 10 percent less Australian,’ she said

Deadline’s Todd McCarthy added, ‘There is beauty everywhere you look, from the spectacle provided by nature’s creations, the tactile sense you get from the skin and hair of humans and other natural life, and the emotional expressions of strength and sensitivity.’

He added that moviegoers should see it on the big screen, adding those who wait to see it at home are, ‘wimping out.’

‘This is something to be experienced on the big screen — the bigger the better and very likely more than once,’ he added.

Big screen: He added that moviegoers should see it on the big screen, adding those who wait to see it at home are, ‘wimping out’

One of the few negative reviews was from Variety’s Owen Gleiberman, who admitted it’s, ‘bigger, longer and even more dizzyingly spectacular sequel,’ though he was not impressed with its substance.

‘I’m sorry, but as I watched ‘The Way of Water’ the only part of me that was moved was my eyeballs,’ he said.

The Daily Beast’s Nick Schager also posted a negative review, adding, ‘The Oscar winner’s latest does nothing if not take itself oh-so-seriously, be it with regards to its endless barrage of sound and fury or its puffed-up narrative about Pandora’s Na’vi resuming their good fight against villainous humanity.’

Negative: One of the few negative reviews was from Variety’s Owen Gleiberman, who admitted it’s, ‘bigger, longer and even more dizzyingly spectacular sequel,’ though he was not impressed with its substance

He added, ‘The director keeps pushing closer and closer to photorealism and yet coming up just short; the more he strives to meld the fake and the authentic, the more the contrast shows.’

Perhaps one of the most negative reviews of the sequel came from The Daily Telegraph‘s Robbie Collin, giving it just one star out of five, stating, ‘it’s like being waterboarded with turquoise cement.

‘James Cameron’s decade-in-the-making The Way of Water has no plot, no stakes and atrocious dialogue,’ adding, ‘What happened to this great director?’

It was also reported by Deadline that the sequel is eyeing a worldwide opening weekend of a whopping $525 million in what will be Disney’s largest worldwide debut ever playing in over 52K screens.

It’s projected to take in $175 million for its domestic debut, though that’s at the high end of tracking, with some projecting a $150 million domestic debut.

Analysts are also predicting $350 million from foreign markets – $100 million of which will come from China alone. 

 

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