Taking a year to produce, the emotionally and technically challenging stop-motion commercial uses nothing but ice as a visual metaphor of global warming’s devastation; advert launch coincides with the start of the global COP26 summit.
London-based animation studio Nomint conceived and produced a stop-motion commercial, using nothing but ice, for WWF’s Arctic Programme. The spot serves as a direct, visual metaphor of the devastating effect of global warming on the arctic. The initiative’s launch coincided with the start of the COP26 global summit that runs through November 12.
WWF’s campaign follows the story of a young polar bear that tries to survive in the increasingly melting Arctic environment. Nomint used the natural melting properties of ice to create a direct visual metaphor between the real-life Arctic and the animated environment. In the film, as in real life, Arctic Sea ice is melting quickly, “changing the Arctic ecosystems forever, causing destruction around the planet.”
The animation studio employed an innovative combination of 3D-printing, mold-making, and ice-sculpting to create 500 unique polar bear ice-sculptures. More than 1,000 liters of ice were used to create the polar-bear sculptures and environment. The film, which took a year to produce, was directed by Nomint co-founder Yannis Konstantinidis in collaboration with motion designers Marcos Savignano and Jua Braga, with music by Ted Regklis.
“Animations are powerful tools to tell stories with emotion in a simple, effective way,” commented WWF’s Arctic Programme senior communication manager Andrea Norgen. “So, when Nomint told us about this new animation technique using melting ice, we were intrigued. The climate crisis and the devastating effects it has on the Arctic and the rest of the world are not new but this way of communicating the urgency of world leaders to limit global warming within 1.5°C is.”
“This was by far the most taxing project we have ever worked on, both emotionally and technically,” shared Konstantinidis. “Part of the appeal of the concept was that we were going to use the natural melting properties of ice to create a direct metaphor to the Arctic problem. We completely underestimated the fact that once ice starts melting you have no control over it, making it almost impossible to create a stop-motion film of this scale, which famously requires time between each shot. It was especially hard emotionally, as with every melted sculpture and ruined shot, we were being reminded of the devastating issue at hand and how easy it is to underestimate it.”