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Top 6: July 29th 2020

Born Free Foundation: Creature Discomforts: Life in Lockdown

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Top 6: July 29th 2020
Born Free Foundation has launched a new film to highlight the plight of wild animals in captivity across the world through reflections on the global Coronavirus lockdown. 'Creature Discomforts: Life in Lockdown' plays on the much-loved Creature Comforts construct and uses real interviews of peoples’ experiences of temporary lockdown to tell the stories of wild animals forced to live under lock and key. Created by four times Academy Award winning animation studio Aardman - creators of Creature Comforts, Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run - and London creative agency ENGINE, the film draws a parallel between the struggles faced by humans during lockdown and the impoverished lives of wild animals in captivity. Across the globe, millions of wild animals are held in zoos, aquariums, dolphinaria, circuses and as pets. But all wild animals in captivity live a life of compromise. They have no option in how to pass the time, no choice of what they eat and when, no change of scenery and little in the way of entertainment. Exercise may be restricted to the confines of four walls, and many animals are separated from their families or social companions. This will sound all too familiar to many of us in recent times, but for captive wild animals this is forever. Like humans, when in captivity, many wild animals can experience feelings of anxiety, loneliness and depression and there is often a deterioration in both their physical and mental health. Captive wild animals can develop unnatural, repetitive behaviours called ‘zoochosis’, such as excessive pacing, swaying, and even self-mutilation. The unique circumstances of a lockdown led to the idea to highlight the way in which animals in captivity live most, if not all, of their lives in equally unnatural conditions, and to encourage audiences to reflect on this issue with renewed empathy. The film, directed by Academy Award and BAFTA nominated director Peter Peake, uses interviews from people across the UK that were recorded during the peak of lockdown. To ensure that the accounts were honest, participants were unaware of the true purpose of the project until after their interviews were finished. Characters were then designed to match the voices, and the backgrounds designed to reflect the harsh conditions in which captive wild animals are forced to live. The 2D animation was conceived and created entirely under lockdown conditions, with all meetings, production and animation carried out remotely.
Credits Other credits

Agency Assistant Producer: Henry Davies

Account Handling: Owen Keating, Tom Butler

Social: Gemma Glover, Jack Cartwright

Character Design: Peter Peake

Animator: Jane Davies

Background design: James Grant

Sound Design: Ben Leeves at Jungle

Compositor: Paule Quinton

Colourist: Paule Quinton

PR: Aisha Jefferson, Marie Larner and Olenka Lawrenson at ENGINE

Client: Matt Smithers, Head of marketing and fundraising, Born Free

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