Rumpus Animation creates underwater short film for Greenpeace with Hollywood stars

Member News  |  15 September 2023

The Bristol-based animation studio teamed up with Greenpeace on a new short film, Sanctuary, to encourage governments around the world to ratify the Global Ocean Treaty.

© Greenpeace

Deep under the Sargasso Sea, a determined flying fish (Jane Fonda) and sassy European eel (Camila Cabello) run a gauntlet of perils in search of clear water, until they are welcomed into a protected sanctuary by a kind whale (Simon Pegg).

Sanctuary premiered on the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, in California in mid-September, and will be used in a social media campaign to motivate supporters to join Greenpeace in urging governments to ratify the Global Ocean Treaty, to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.

The film was beautifully hand drawn in Toon Boom, scenes were roughly timed and keyed out, then each frame coloured and cleaned up. Underwater effects, along with a whole lot of smog and debris, was added in the comp. The end result is a hugely stylised and film, all set to a haunting musical composition.

© Greenpeace/Alex Yallop

We were ambitious with our pitch and pushed our character driven ideas, because it’s what we do best! We never expected the characters to be voiced by such huge actors, who brought lots of energy to their roles and were a joy to animate. Hand drawn animation is, for us, the best way to get the most expressive results and it’s wonderful that we were recognised by such a high profile organisation. We’re really proud of the message behind the animation and the twists and turns of the story.

Stef Bowskill, Creative Producer at Rumpus Animation

It looks incredible, such a beautiful short film which crams so much into a minute and a half. The celeb voices all work perfectly, the animations look stunning, the message at the end feels hard hitting and persuasive without preaching – an awesome creation that I am so excited to see out in the real world. Thanks so much and massive congratulations to all of you at Team Rumpus for creating such a beautiful film.

James Hanson, Head of Communications and Engagement at Protect the Oceans, Greenpeace

Support the petition for this campaign here and watch the full film below.