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WATCH: Aardman and Greenpeace’s ‘Turtle Journey’ Highlights Oceans’ Plight

Through humorous storytelling and CGI/stop-motion animation mix, short conveys the urgent message of climate change, pollution, oil drilling and overfishing perils. 

Pioneering U.K. animation studio, Aardman, and the environmental organization, Greenpeace, have launched a powerful new animated film, highlighting the plight of the world’s oceans. Turtle Journey, directed by Aardman’s Gavin Strange, tells the heartbreaking story of a turtle family heading home through an ocean that is under increasing pressure from climate change, plastic pollution, oil drilling and overfishing.

Aardman used its skills in storytelling, humor and creativity to communicate Greenpeace’s urgent message with a mix of CGI and stop-motion animation. Physical puppets were created to portray the turtle family, while the underwater environments are detailed in CGI.  

“I wanted to tell a personal yet universal story of family, loss and hope to best connect with audiences around the world,” commented Strange. “It was an absolute dream to work with such a talented crew of animators, artists and creators here at Aardman, manipulating clay and pixels to make such a nuanced and delicate piece of animation. Brought to life by a stellar cast of world-class voice talent, topped off by a simply sublime score from Arthur Jeffe’s “Penguin Cafe,” I am immensely proud of what we’ve all made together.”

Characters in the film are voiced by Academy Award-winning actors, Olivia Colman and Helen Mirren, along with Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones), David Harbour (Stranger Things), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey) and comedian Ahir Shah.

“We felt that Aardman’s global popularity and distinctive blend of humor and emotion could help us to reach new audiences with a strong but simple message - our oceans are in crisis and we must act now to protect them,” explained Greenpeace UK head of oceans, Will McCallum. “Six out of seven sea turtle species are threatened with extinction. Governments have an opportunity to take bold action at the United Nations this year when they meet to agree on a new Global Ocean Treaty. A strong treaty would pave the way for a global network of fully protected ocean sanctuaries, placing 30% of the world’s oceans off-limits to exploitation by humans and giving marine species such as turtles a chance to recover and thrive.”

“I’m thrilled to have worked on this heartbreaking film with Greenpeace and Aardman – it’s so important,” added Colman. “Our oceans face so many threats, some I wasn’t even aware of before this, and sadly the story of this turtle family trying to get home in a damaged and changing ocean is a reality for so many marine creatures that are having their habitats destroyed by human activities. I hope this film inspires more people to take action to protect our oceans.”

“During my lifetime, I’ve seen nature being destroyed on an unimaginable scale by human activity,” Mirren noted. “I’m saddened that our generation will leave to future generations a damaged planet, which has already lost so much of the biodiversity that makes it special. However, we have a chance to do something now and leave a legacy of properly protected oceans to all the people who come after us. We can’t bring back what we’ve already lost, but we can protect what we still have. I hope this film will help to make more people realize the ocean is worth protecting and inspires us to act before it’s too late.”

Source: Aardman