WALLACE AND GROMIT CREATORS TEAM UP WITH SAVE THE CHILDREN FOR SHORT FILM TO MARK ONE YEAR OF WAR IN UKRAINE
BRISTOL, 22 February 2023 - To mark the one year anniversary of the war in Ukraine, Academy Award®-winning animation studio Aardman - creators of films such as Wallace and Gromit - and international children’s charity Save the Children have released a short film to highlight the experience of refugee children around the world.
Inspired by the real-life experiences of children with whom Save the Children works, “Home” focuses on how child refugees feel and what it’s like to be separated from friends, family, and school in a new and unfamiliar setting. It also celebrates the possibilities for children to welcome new refugee friends and learn about different cultures.
Although prompted by the outbreak of war in Ukraine, this four-minute animation aims to support the many millions of children who have been forced to leave their homes because of violence in countries including Ukraine, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria.
A poignant tale of displacement, loss, friendship and tolerance, the film reflects the stories of many refugee children, such as Siraj*, 11, who left Syria for Italy and remarked: “When we arrived, I was sad, I was leaving all my friends, my family and my cousins. The language here is different”.
Another Syrian refugee Noura*, 12, explained: “We are refugees, but we are proud. We haven’t ended up here because we wanted to, but because we had to. If you have a refugee near you, I think you should try to welcome them”.
Created by Director Peter Peake, “Home” will be screened in primary schools across Britain alongside its general release. The short film follows a small orange circle arriving at a new school in an entirely purple world inhabited by triangular purple characters. The orange circle immediately feels out of place, struggling with the language and strange new food. But, through a blossoming friendship with a fellow pupil, the circle begins to feel welcome and accepted. As that happens, little bursts of orange start to appear in the purple surroundings, elevating the landscape to a richer, warmer, and more diverse environment. The film then shows different characters of all shapes and hues, transforming it into a thriving and vibrant world full of energy and colour.
Peter Lord, co-founder and Creative Director at Aardman, said:
“Animation is an amazing medium for expressing ideas that would otherwise be difficult to communicate. At Aardman we believed that we had the expertise to help tell these stories in a way that would be sensitive, accessible, and relatable for children all around the world. It was also vital that the film we created would share the right messages, address a genuine need, and help as many children as possible. We approached Save the Children to help us with these aspects, and to keep us on the right track and we were absolutely delighted with the collaboration.”
As is the case in several of Aardman’s most beloved productions – from “Shaun the Sheep” to “Morph” – the story is told without using dialogue so its message is accessible to children and adults of all ages, everywhere.
The film’s director Peter Peake said:
“Our film was created as a specific response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, but it aims to help all children displaced from their homes due to war, famine and persecution. Working with Save the Children, we learnt what difficulties children face when trying to settle in a new country. Ultimately, we hope the film encourages children everywhere to empathize with some of their peers who might be going through that experience and to know the impact they can have by making someone feel welcome”
Alison Griffin, Head of Conflict & Humanitarian Campaigns from Save the Children, added:
“Many refugee children who’ve found a new, safer home, still carry the physical and emotional scars of war, or face daily setbacks simply because of who they are or where they’ve come from. That’s why it’s so important for refugee children to get the welcome – and the childhood – they deserve. We hope this beautiful short film will inspire people to reach out to child refugees, welcome them, and help them feel somewhere like ‘home’ again.”
All over the world, children's lives are at risk as conflicts persist. For almost every single second of the war in Ukraine, a child has become a refugee. Save the Children’s Emergency Fund allows them to respond to disasters around the world immediately. Donations to support this vital work can be made here.
For more information, please contact James Douglas at Riot Communications on 020 3174 0118 or email@example.com
Michael Reading at Save the Children on +44 0203 7630393 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
Aardman is an employee-owned company, based in Bristol (UK) and co-founded in 1976 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton. An independent, multi-Academy Award® and BAFTA® award winning studio, it produces feature films, series, advertising, games and interactive entertainment. Current animated productions include the feature length sequel “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget” and a brand new Wallace & Gromit film for 2024. A Wallace & Gromit VR adventure game, ‘The Grand Getaway’, for Meta Quest is also in development.
About Save the Children
Save the Children exists to help every child get the chance of a future they deserve. In about 120 countries, we help children stay safe, healthy, and learning – finding new ways to reach children who need us most. Save the Children works with communities, organisations, governments, local charities, and experts to build resilience in people and communities so they can cope with and recover from challenges. And we do it in a way that creates new solutions to the problems that have perpetually held communities back. By doing so, we transform children’s futures by making sure there’s a future for them to shape