South African director wins global animation prize

South African director wins global animation prize

The film has proven to be a hit with audiences around the world.

The Snail and the Whale

Animation has proven to be a great tool in telling powerful stories and sharing important lessons to kids (and adults) around the world. While it remains an incredibly small sector in the local film space, South African animators are proving to be world class.

This week, ‘The Snail and the Whale’, an animated film directed by Max Lang and South Africa’s Daniel Snaddon, has won the Annie Award for Best Special Production. 

Animated in Cape Town by Triggerfish and produced by Magic Light Pictures, the 27-minute short film follows the amazing journey of a tiny snail who longs to see the world, so he catches a ride on the tail of a huge humpback whale as he sets out on his adventure.

The film is based on the picture book written in 2003 by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler - creators of the modern classic ‘The Gruffalo’. The film was shortlisted for an Oscar and has won eight other international awards at the likes of the British Animation Awards, Cartoons on the Bay, New York International Children’s Film Festival, The Venice TV Awards, and the BANFF Rockie’s Awards. 

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Local viewers can currently watch the film on Showmax and the local team has said that they are incredibly proud of the positive response the film has received around the world. “For The Snail & The Whale to be recognised by the International Animated Film Association is a huge thrill for all of us,” Snaddon says.

He adds: “On behalf of the Triggerfish team, a huge thanks to Magic Light pictures for entrusting us with this very special project, and to Max Lang for his wonderful vision, and partnership in making this film. I’d also personally like to thank the partners at Triggerfish and our world-class team of animation artists. They are an exceptional group and it’s such a privilege to make films with them.”

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The Annie Awards have been presented by the Los Angeles branch of the International Animated Film Association, ASIFA-Hollywood each year since 1972 to recognise excellence in animation. This year’s awards were held as a virtual ceremony on Friday, 16 April.

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