On December 16, 2022, Avatar: The Way of Water, the highly anticipated sequel to Avatar, will be arriving in theaters. Ahead of its arrival, Disney and Avatar have launched a new conservation initiative called “Keep Our Oceans Amazing.” The goal of this initiative is to raise awareness of the challenges facing oceans and marine life. It will be supporting the The Nature Conservancy (TNC) along with the work it does to precept animals in their habitats in 10 different oceans. Part of the campaign involves inviting fans to participate in celebratory experiences and products.
Virtual Pandoran Ocean
One experience is Virtual Pandoran Ocean. This gives fans an opportunity to experience the wonders found in the reef. This digital activation allows fans to create their own Avatar-inspired ocean creature. This can be done at Avatar.com/KeepOurOceansAmazing. What makes this even better is not only is it an experience. For every creature that is created in the Virtual Pandoran Ocean, Disney will give $5 to TNC. This will go up to $1 million to help this organization reach its goal of protecting 10% of the ocean by 2030!
“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,” said Melissa Garvey, Global Director of Ocean Protection at The Nature Conservancy. “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.”
TNC and Avatar
When fans see Avatar: The Way of Water they will be seeing a new clan of the Na’vi. They are from the ocean. With them will come all of the creatures around them as well. It is hoped that the beauty of this film will help inspire people to want to protect the beauty found in oceans on Earth. With over 70% of the planet covered by oceans, there is an incredible array of life to be found in the oceans. They also provide food, jobs, and more than half of the oxygen that is breathed. Sadly less than 8% of oceans are currently protected. “Keep Our Oceans Amazing” strives to continue Disney’s conservation legacy to help protect 10 amazing ocean animals and their habits. This is a new initiative and it will help support TNC in efforts to protect the following animals and habitats:
- beluga whales
- blue whales
- whale sharks
- hawksbill sea turtles
- manta rays
- staghorn coral
- sea lions
- mangroves—coastal habitats that provide important shelter for many marine species.
All of the animals and habitats on this list have been selected and can be found in waters around the world. They also share similarities with Pandoran creatures and habitats that will be seen in the film. All of these are also classified as threatened, vulnerable, or endangered. TNC works alongside indigenous peoples and also local communities to create multi-faced solutions to the challenges these species are facing. Together they seek out solutions that ensure both people and also the wildlife thrive.
Disney’s history of taking action to conserve the ocean and protecting marine life goes back a very long ways. This includes the 2030 environmental goals that include efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, source sustainable seafood, and also investments in the protection of watersheds. Disney is also working on biodiversity protection through Disney Conservation. The Disney Conservation Fund has directed over $120 million to help support nonprofit organizations around the world in their efforts to “save wildlife, inspire action, and protect the planet.” Nearly $20 million of the funds have been directed towards programs that benefit marine life, communities, and also the oceans. The initiative is a part of Disney Planet Possible that has Disney taking tangible actions to help create a healthier home planet for people and wildlife.
“Disney has a rich legacy of conservation and inspiring action to protect nature,” said Jennifer Cohen, executive vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility for The Walt Disney Company. “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 Waterproducer 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.”
Returning to Pandora
The highest grossing film of all time, Avatar showed fans a new world with a population that was very connected with nature. Not only was this a beautiful film but it also inspired people to protect the world around them. This message continued when the movie inspired Pandora – The World of Avatar to be built at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This message is experienced as guests walk into this land and experience its attractions, shop, and restaurant. Disney shared the following update to Pandora about where it came from and where it is going.
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 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.
What do you think of this new “Keep Our Oceans Amazing” initiative? Will you be checking out Virtual Pandoran Ocean and helping raise money for TNC? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!