Yesterday, Chipotle Mexican Grill launched a two-minute animated short film about the growing impact of factory farming and the need for sustainable farming methods. That sounds like a lot for one little video, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s pretty simple and gets the message across without any words at all, save for a sparse rendition of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” as interpreted by Willie Nelson. Together, it makes a definite impact.
Presented as one continuous shot (panning forever to the right, like a side-scroller video game unfurling) the animated short film tells the story of a farmer on a small family farm that grows into a bustling factory farm. Over the years, the farmer starts to question the effect the factory farm is having on the environment and food he produces, and races “Back to the Start” by replacing the factory with smaller-scale sustainable practices.
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"We have always understood the importance of serving food that is raised right,” Chipotle CEO and co-founder Steve Ells told Nation’s Restaurant News. “We produced this film to help illustrate the choices people face in deciding what to eat, and hope that it will encourage people to choose food that is raised with respect for the land, the animals and the farmers that produce it.”
Sure – it’s less of a short film than a commercial. But it’s a thoughtful one that goes beyond just selling a product, and gets people talking about better practices and improvements in the way we produce our food. In our minds, that’s usually a good thing.
Throughout the month of September, the short film is slated to run before films at movie theaters across the country. Willie Nelson’s “The Scientist” cover is also available on iTunes, with all proceeds going toward the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation. Want to check out the video for yourself? Hit it, Willie!