Attila The Hen – Animated Film
A two-part unit of films / programmes. A drawn animation adaptation of the novel by Paddy Mounter. `Attila and some of her scrawny sisters hatch a cunning plan to escape from the terrible conditions of the battery farm. Unfortunately they find that life outside in a mismanaged and abused countryside is not what they expected. The rigid system of the pecking order falls apart, forcing Attila to lead the way through one incident after another. As their journey unfolds, the band of hens eventually unite. Through their courage and new-found sisterhood they finally take control of their destiny.’
Some people would say that ‘Attila the Hen’ is an allegory, a story that operates at two levels, telling us about chickens on the one hand but also about how badly we treat animals and our environment.
‘Attila the Hen’ is also an example of anthropomorphism – a word that describes giving human characteristics to animals. It is what everyone does when they talk to their pets, and it is very common in stories and films. Any film or story where an animal talks is anthropomorphic. The 1995 film, ‘Babe’, is an excellent example where a piglet brought up by a sheepdog saves a farm, and the ‘Lassie’ films are earlier examples.
Illustrated by Alan Rossiter, his drawings were scanned, coloured and formatted ready to deliver to the team of animators. The animation would come back to the studio where it was also cleaned up and coloured, before being composited, and graded with Discreet Flint. Visual effects, editing, titles and credits bed were also created in Flint. Attila was 5 months in the making.
Client: Visionsound / Channel 4 Learning / S4C Wales