Cirkus’ astonishing animal-wrangling act for WWF

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Auckland animation savants Cirkus have created a new animation for the World Wildlife Fund’s Freshwater drive for clean global water.

“Water is the source of life,” says Cirkus producer Marko Klijn, writing in the company’s email newsletter.

“It’s what makes Earth unique in the known universe. It’s also a resource under threat. Just 3% of water on the planet is fresh water and only about 1% is readily available for human use, making it precious.

“The one-two punch of global population growth and climate change means we must be innovative and committed when it comes to water management and conservation.

“WWF is working to protect fresh water ecosystems and improve water access, efficiency, and allocation for people and the environment – an essential component of saving most of WWF’s priority places and species, and reducing the impact of humanity’s water footprint.

“All animation departments at the Bigtop were asked to push the envelope to bring this spectacle and the animals to life.”

With the above in mind, Human Cannonball Romain Borrel came up with this simple but poignant storyline of an elephant and giraffe fighting over a bottle of water in the African heat.

Klijn said: “In true Cirkus spirit, the animals contort themselves and each other to get a drink, though there is no clear winner. Then again, with your support they might just be helped!

“All animation departments at the Bigtop were asked to push the envelope to bring this spectacle and the animals to life.

“A special thank you goes out to Wildlight Safari’s Dean Fitzpatrick who filmed the background plates at Namibia’s Pelican Point – home of the desert elephant, the oldest desert and the second driest place in the world!

“We would also like to give a BIG shout out to Takapuna-based recording studio The Sound Room for the film’s sound design and music.

“So please show your appreciation for this film and its cause, and donate to WWF today!”


Director: Human Cannonball Romain Borrel
Modelling & Texturing: Humanfly Mahesh Dammoju, Wrestler James Turbull, Jonathan Paccou and Fredrick Ueberle
Rigging: Richard Maegaki and Shuo (Tim) Liu
Particle Animation: Daredevil Chris Lyne, Juggler Chris Greet
Animation: Jester Joon Yeok Soon, Shuo (Tim) Liu, Karl Davis
Lighting and Rendering; Wrestler James Turnbull and Daredevil Chris Lyne
Producer: Marko Klijn
Account Management: Meta Bindinga
Sound Design: Marshall Smith and Tom Fox at The Sound Room.
Live action background plates: Patricia Ko and Dean Fitzpatrick of Wildlight Safaris.
WWF: Richard Lee, Communications manager for WWF’s global Freshwater Practice

Bonnie Chia, Head of Brand at WWF International

About Cirkus
Cirkus is a well-established and award winning animation house, fortunate enough to enlist an experienced troupe of animation directors. True to our name we believe in mixing up styles and teams to keep our output fresh and varied. Our artists use a diverse range of techniques, helping to create the most exciting and entertaining images. We provide concept storytelling, modeling, character animation, environment, live action shoots, graphic design and visual effects.

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