In the grand tradition of animated movies that make adults weep like little babies comes a new short from Aardman Animations, the studio behind Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep, and Wallace & Gromit. Turtle Journey, a blend of stop-motion and CGI, begins with a turtle family on a lighthearted underwater road trip, as documented by one of three kids. But the lighthearted voyage is soon deterred by the effects of oil spills, deep-sea drilling, and other interference by unseen human beings—and the worst is waiting for the family at home. If you’re wondering how sad a two-minute video about such goofy-looking turtles can possibly be, watch for yourself above, and remember: You were warned.
Turtle Journey was created in collaboration with Greenpeace to raise awareness about turtles on the brink of extinction and to advocate for the United Nations to create and protect ocean sanctuaries as part of the Global Ocean Treaty, which is still being negotiated. Olivia Colman, David Harbour, Jim Carter, Ahir Shah, Bella Ramsey, and Helen Mirren lend their voices to the video, which was directed by Gavin Strange. Mirren issued a statement about her participation voicing the family’s grandmother:
During my lifetime, I’ve seen nature being destroyed on an unimaginable scale by human activity. I’m saddened that our generation will leave to future generations a damaged planet, which has already lost so much of the biodiversity that makes it special. However, we have a chance to do something now and leave a legacy of properly protected oceans to all the people who come after us. We can’t bring back what we’ve already lost, but we can protect what we still have. I hope this film will help to make more people realise the ocean is worth protecting, and inspires us to act before it’s too late.
That’s powerful stuff, though still somehow not as powerful as just two words: “Where’s mummy?”