Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Disney film ‘The Hundred Year Old Man’ condemned for use of abused circus elephant

Posted: 11 December 2013. Updated: 27 May 2014


Upcoming movie ‘The Hundred Year Old Man’ is billed as a Christmas comedy, but there is nothing funny about the shocking abuse that the poor circus elephant who features in it has endured. The film, directed by Felix Herngren and due for release in Sweden, Denmark and Finland on 25 December, is co-produced by Buena Vista International Sweden, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company Nordic.

The use of the elephant Vana Mana in the movie has been condemned by ADI, who conducted a shocking undercover exposé of the Great British Circus in 2009, where Vana Mana, and two other elephants Sonja and Delhi, were chained for long periods, beaten by both their trainer and groom, and made to perform.

The horrifying footage prompted a recent outcry across Sweden, where Vana Mana and Sonja – now known as Ghandi and Baby – were performing with Cirkus Skott. Delhi, who was chronically lame at the time of the exposé, had since died. Following the uproar, Cirkus Scott announced that it would stop using wild animals, however Vana Mana and Sonja remain with their abusive trainer, Lars Hölscher, and continue to tour across Europe with other circuses.

Anyone who loves animals should avoid ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man’ and other films with performing animals, especially wild animals like elephants. The suffering of these intelligent and emotionally complex animals is receiving universal condemnation around the world from veterinarians, elephant experts, zoo industry insiders, the public and celebrities.

Take action!

  • Boycott ‘The Hundred Year Old Man’ and other films that feature performing animals.
  • Urge director Felix Herngern not to use animals in future productions – contact him via his agent, Johanna von Seth at
  • Urge Walt Disney Company Nordic not to support the use of animals in movies – post a message on Disney Svierge’s facebook page
  • Watch the ADI expose of the Great British Circus here
  • Find out more about our animals in entertainment campaign

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