This animated tale about South Africa's lions has a gut-wrenching twist

Spot by Engine for the Born Free Foundation lifts the lid on 'canned' hunting

Published On
Sep 25, 2019

Editor's Pick

A powerful new animated film from the Born Free Foundation aims to uncover the truth about the hunting industry in South Africa, where lions are raised in captivity purely for the purposes of "canned" trophy hunting. 

The film piggybacks on the remake of the "Lion King" this summer. Created by Engine together with animators Zombie Studio and production house Blinkink, it's set to the famous track "Born Free" by Matt Monro. It tells the tale of a lion cub being raised in captivity by a female keeper.

Although captive, the cub is raised in what seems like a loving environment, with tourists posing for selfies by its side, before it grows up and is apparently released into the wild. After spending time on its own, the ending looks as if it's gearing up to to be an emotive reunion with the keeper—but there's a shocking twist to the tale, and the heartwarming animation style makes it all the more hard-hitting in contrast. 

The online ad concludes by informing us that most lions in South Africa are born in captivity and sold to hunters, and encourages the viewer to sign a petition to "end the betrayal."

The film deliberately references stories that viewers might be familiar with, like the famous YouTube video  "Christian the Lion" as well as the tale of Cecil the Lion. It aims to make tourists think twice before handing over money for Instagram selfies with lion cubs, as well as encourage people to sign Born Free Foundation’s petition. According to the foundation, 70 percent of South Africa's lions are  born in captivity and raised for tourists to cuddle and take selfies with, before being sold for "canned" hunting—despite the practice being illegal. 

 

 

Credits

Date
Sep 25, 2019
Client:
Born Free Foundation
Agency:
Engine
Executive Creative Director:
Paul Jordan
Creative Director:
Steve Hawthorne
Creative Director:
Katy Hopkins
Creative:
James Hodson
Creative:
Jason Keet
Agency Producer:
Stefanie Forbes
Account Handling:
Eve Bui
Account Handling:
Tom Butler
Account Handling:
Katie Gould
Planning:
Laura Sammarco
Social:
Gemma Glover
Social:
Jack Cartwright
Production:
BlinkInk Studio
Production:
Zombie Studio
Animation and Visual Effects by:
Zombie Studio
Directed by:
Daniel Salles
Directed by:
Paulo Garcia
Executive Producer:
Bart Yates
Executive Producer:
Natalia Gouvea
Cinematography by:
Lucas Barreto
Sound Design:
Ben Leeves
Sound Design:
Jungle
Musical Intro:
Alex Wilson-Thame
Song: ‘Born Free’ performed by:
Matt Monro licenced by Soho Music
Animation Producer:
Marcio Lovato
Animation Producer:
Antonela Castro
Animation Producer:
Leticia Harumi
CGI Lead:
Yohann da Geb
Storyboard and Animatic by:
Saulo Brito
Lead Modeller:
Mauricio Sampaio
Animation Director:
Bruno Monteiro
Animator:
Bruna Berford
Animator:
Bruno Santos
Animator:
Christian Weckl
Animator:
Conrado Testa
Animator:
Francisco Catão
Animator:
Hannry Pschera
Animator:
Jonathan Edwards
Animator:
Leonardo Felix
Animator:
Leonidas Maciel
Animator:
Marcos Elias
Animator:
Michel Denis Da Silva
Animator:
Rodrigo Dutra
Colorist:
Marcio Pasqualino

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