When The Meatrix launched in November 2003, the viral film broke new ground in online grassroots advocacy, creating a unique vehicle by which to educate, entertain and motivate people to create change. The Meatrix movies, now a series, have been translated into more than 30 languages and are one of the most successful online advocacy campaigns ever – with well over 15 million viewers worldwide.
In early 2003, Free Range Studios awarded a grant to GRACE’s Sustainable Table program to create an animated movie. The studio was impressed that Sustainable Table not only educated viewers about factory farming but also offered simple solutions to support sustainable food and agriculture. They created The Meatrix, spoofing The Matrix movie while educating viewers about the problems with factory farming. To respond to the overwhelming positive feedback from the public, Sustainable Table and Free Range Studios launched the sequel The Meatrix II: Revolting in March 2006, to explore the dark side of the industrial dairy industry. In November 2006, in partnership with Participant Productions, The Meatrix II 1/2 was also released to help promote the social action campaign around the Fast Food Nation movie and to show what happens inside a meat processing facility.
The films are humorous and creative satires that use pop culture and entertainment to educate viewers about the food they eat and where it comes from. All the films feature three superhero farm animals including Leo, the young pig who wonders if he is “the one," Chickity, the feathered family farm defender, and Moopheus, the trench-coat-clad cow with a passion for green pastures.
The Meatrix series has received worldwide critical acclaim and has been honored with more than a dozen major film and Web awards, including the prestigious Webby Award, Annecy International Animated Film Festival Award, South by Southwest Interactive Award, and Environmental Media Association’s Best Documentary Short Film award. Since its launch, The Meatrix has been shown at festivals, conferences, meetings, events, and local gatherings, while thousands of DVDs have been distributed to teachers, students, parents, and individuals worldwide.