Responses by Mother
Background: The purpose of the one minute thirty-second spot ‘Rang-Tan: The Story of Dirty Palm Oil’ was to put pressure on large companies to stop using palm oil that destroys the rainforest by 2020. The target audience for the project was anyone that can help, from adults who can donate and sign our petition to the next generation of activists that will be fighting for our future.
Reasoning: Distilling an issue as complex as palm oil into a simple story that even children would understand would ensure that no one was left confused about the issue. From early talks with Greenpeace, we knew that our audience was becoming desensitized to hard facts and shock tactics. So, we created a piece of emotional content to make people care about an issue that’s currently far from their minds.
Challenges: Ensuring two different animation styles would work together for this spot. For the first and last sections of the spot, we wanted to create a warm, safe 2-D color environment. For the middle section, which takes us back in time, we wanted to depict a cold, brutal 3-D black and white world to reflect the reality and magnitude of the situation for orangutans.
Favorite details: Even after reading and watching the spot numerous times, the twist in the story is the best part. It is most impactful the moment the rhyming couplets flip on their head, combined with the sudden shift in animation style, as well as the shift in actress Emma Thompson’s tone in her voiceover.
Visual influences: Salon Alpin’s previous projects were the biggest influence, which is why we wanted to work with the group. We also were influenced by the world that we’re all familiar with, that makes us feel safe and comfortable.
Specific demands: Animation timing is often rigid. The slightly rough, hand-drawn style of the first and last section had to add a lot of magic and nostalgia. Luckily, wherever we wanted to make any key tweaks, Passion Animation Studios and Salon Alpin were always happy to help.
Anything new: We learned a lot more about destructive palm oil and the everyday products it’s in. The fact that we lose 25 orangutans a day is haunting and heartbreaking. From a production perspective, we learned how much time and hard work it takes to create a purely bespoke, hand-drawn animation when done frame-by-frame.