It seems like one of the biggest challenges faced by scientists (biologists, ecologists and wildlife conservationists alike) is tackling the question of how to get people to care? Everywhere you look today there is a cause worthy of the fight, but with so much going on and going wrong, the fallback option is to allow yourself to be completely desensitized to everything. But if I have to constantly harp on one thing, it is that climate change is real and the natural world is seeing its devastating effects rampantly, whether it is snow in Texas or rains in February in India or dare I say, a worldwide pandemic. Another thing that is disappearing before our eyes is our wildlife that we share the earth with and whose existence is tied to the delicate balance of the environment we live and thrive in. Thankfully, one benefit of technological advancement is that scientists are using every medium they can to raise awareness and teach people about the wonderful world of wildlife.
David Attenborough even took to social media in an effort to connect with the young people aka inheritors of the earth and bring their attention to how everything is connected in the natural world and what can be done to save it. Watch his documentary, Our Planet and also the brilliantly made, My Octopus Teacher to really experience wonderment and awe about our wild friends, but for now, the purpose of this article is to list out animated films based on wildlife (see, I wasn’t kidding about the different mediums) instead of the usual documentary films. Nice way to celebrate World Wildlife Day 2021, what say you?
1. The Economics Of Evolution: The Perfect Pigeon by Studio PSK
Could there be a connection between homing pigeons and the commodification of biological information? Sounds like a spy movie, right? Well, you live and you learn.
2. Dance by Tisha Deb Pillai
This is an easy snackable watch on the cyclical dance that happens year in and year out as the seasons shift—a reminder that there is beauty in the small stuff.
3. Jane Goodall’s Instinct by The Experiementers | Blank On Blank
This animation of the start of Jane Goodall’s love affair with animals is heartwarming and beautiful. In her own words, she admitted, “Animals were my passion from even before I could speak apparently.”
4. Dream for Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
This poignant animation tells the story of 4 different animals facing extinction with the background score of the stunning song, I Dreamed A Dream from Les Misérables.
5. See Animals by Scott Wenner
For Earth Day 2019, Scott Wenner directed and animated with a virtual reality-esque video where you can see animals interact in their natural habitat.
6. Hudson Geese by Bernardo Britto
Bernardo Britto humanises the story of a Canadian goose and simply explains human-animal conflict. It’s heartbreaking, but a must-watch all the same and keep a box of tissues at hand.
7. Wade by Upamanyu Bhattacharya and Kalp Sanghvi
This animated short film on the dangers of climate change through a very hard-hitting story of a family in Kolkata whose life is ravaged by floods as sea levels rise in the Sunderbans.
The great thing about these animated films aside from the use of another medium to convey a story is that although they are short, sweet and snackable, they pack a punch in terms of the messages they are choosing to drive home. So please do watch all of them and let us know which one hit closest to home for you. Also, if you have any suggestions for short animations like this, do let us know too!
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