A Whale's Tale

A Whale's Tale is a project I Art and Animation Directed at Blue Zoo for Cartoon Network and the Hope Works Project in association with World Children's Day.

Hope Works is a project to create a series of short films that address worry in children about the current state of the world. In our story a whale helps its fellow sea creatures when a net gets caught on its tail, whilst a young girl seeks help in cleaning up the ocean. 

Additonal tasks I did: Story, Thumbnailing storyboards, all designs - character and environment, texturing, compositing, editing and creating the environments. 

We pitched for this project alongside four other animation studios. Cartoon Network had included an image of my short film "Via" in their brief document and they didn't realise we had made it. When we told them it was our work they seemed really excited, and that, alongside our pitch images and story, won us the project.

2minute30seconds of animation created in 2 months, inclusive of designs, meant we had to think of ways to make the production work. We chose a blocky, almost low-poly design for the characters to allow simple modelling & rigging so that the multitude of characters could be created in time. We used a 2.5D technique - 3D modelled characters and props with 2D environments.

Full Credits:

Animation studio: Blue Zoo

Artwork & Direction: Izzy Burton
Creative Producer: Lizzie Hicks
Producer: Damian Hook
Modelling: Emilie Browne, Pietro Licini & Jacopo Piccini
Lighting & rendering: Holly Bensley
Rigging: Leo Blackmur & Vasil Shotarov
Compositing: Izzy Burton, Nicholas Canticus & Joe Kinch
Animation: Mark Spokes, Dane Winn & Dagmara Ziemianska
Story Consultant: Ben Steer

Sound Design: James Clark & Clearcut Sound
Music Composition: Will Featherby, Kamal Kamruddin, Ben McAvoy, Sam McAvoy, Pete Yelland-Brown & WMP
Voice Over Artist: Tim Dann
Music Supervisor: Joseph Cullen & Cavendish Music


Written and directed by Robin Celebi & Giovanna Utichi
Original story by Giovanna Utichi
Executive Producer Richard Kinning
Producer Emma Healing