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Cosplaying Sea Otters

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Hugh's Aquarium Views Video Number 51

A long time ago, in an Aquarium far, far away…

Ok so it was actually just 15 years ago and the Aquarium of the Pacific is only a little more than 20 miles from my house in Orange County. In 2003 the aquarium hosted a marine animal trainer’s conference. As the aquarium’s contribution to the conference’s welcome video, I was asked if I could produce a special effects clip of our sea otters with lightsabers. So I videoed Brook the sea otter standing up facing one of the mammologists who was wearing a hoodie cosplaying a Jedi. I dubbed Brook, “Darth Otter” as I patterned the scene as a takeoff of the famous battle. Back then it was pretty tedious adding the lightsaber to Brook’s paw on my computer but I managed to finish it in time for the conference. Needless to say, it was a hit.

Fast forward 15 years. The technology of today makes it so much easier to add special effects to videos. I also remembered that after I made the original clip, then mammologist and now assistant curator Rob asked if one day we could have his favorite otter Charlie wielded a light saber. Of course, I said yes. However, it did take me 15 years to follow up on that promise.

In the video, Charlie is the sea otter in the water approaching and spinning with a lightsaber. I kind of based this one on the newest movie with Charlie as an older character being how Charlie is the oldest sea otter around. The original clip of Brook is the second to last clip. I also have sea otters Ollie, Betty, and Chloe with lightsabers.

Check out this short just-for-fun video of otters cosplaying.