In the last couple of days, these videos have been making the rounds on both TV and the Web. The first one is a British commercial.
The next one has actually been around awhile, but has suddenly become really popular:
I think between the 2, I like the penguins better, even though it's just fantasy, or maybe because it's fantasy. It's just delightful. I can imagine the joy the penguins would feel to be able to fly. It's fun, and (I'm fairly confident,) no penguins were harmed during the making of the commercial.
The elephant video is real. I looked around on the Web, and learned that in Thailand, elephant camps are big tourist attractions. They perform, give rides, and many are actually trained to paint. And not just random swipes of color across the paper. They're making recognizable images! They manipulate their paintbrushes with purpose and dexterity, to the delight of the paying audience.
On the one hand, this adds a new level to what I already know about elephants' intelligence, and with it, a greater respect for these creatures. But at the same time, I can't help feeling that these elephants are aware of their captivity and that they are being forced to perform actions that they would never undertake of their own free will. That makes me feel a little sad for them.