More than 15 million acres of Australia is burning—an area already seven times larger than the full extent of the 2018 California wildfires. It’s difficult to express the scope of the devastation. Twenty-four people have died, as have more than a billion mammals, birds and reptiles—many burned to death.
Volunteer firefighters continue to combat more than 100 fires, and the Australian military has been mobilized, too. But while onlookers can donate to wildlife relief and the Red Cross, it’s difficult to know how else to help. So Australian director Darcy Prendergast made a movie. "Overcome with helplessness, the only real way I could process the #australianbushfires was through the creation of a short animated film," he tweeted.
The animated film depicts not just the fires and the destruction they leave behind, but also the frustrations of Australians who feel ignored by their government. “It’s not just the humans, our animals fry. While you cold hearted arsonists continue to thrive,” says the narrator, a young boy. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his center-right Liberal Party have long downplayed the threat of climate change. Last month, as the wildfires began to burn, Morrison took a vacation to Hawaii.
Prendergast, founder of Melbourne production company Oh Yeah Wow and the son of a zookeeper, animated the film himself, working for seven or eight weeks straight to finish.