This year’s best African an­i­ma­tion hits YouTube

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Cel­e­brated Cape Town an­i­ma­tion house Trig­ger­fish’s en­dear­ing an­i­ma­tion Belly Flop is now on YouTube for you and your chil­dren to watch for free.

Re­garded as Africa’s best an­i­ma­tion of the year, it was screened at more than 60 in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­vals and won seven awards, in­clud­ing the Africa Movie Academy Award for best African an­i­ma­tion. It was also se­lected for three Os­car-qual­i­fy­ing fes­ti­vals.

The an­i­ma­tion is less than five min­utes long and sees a lit­tle girl called Penny go to a pub­lic swim­ming pool, where she sees a svelte blonde do spec­tac­u­lar swan dives. Un­per­turbed, Penny does her own dives off the board, belly-flop­ping each time. At first, ev­ery­one is amused, but then Penny does a belly flop that saves the day.

The short was di­rec­tor Jeremy Collins’ pas­sion project and was cre­ated dur­ing down time at the stu­dio by Collins and co-di­rec­tor Kelly Dil­lon over the past seven years.

“The char­ac­ter of Penny was in­spired by a girl I au paired for when I was at uni­ver­sity,” says Dil­lon.

“I re­mem­ber when she started tak­ing swim­ming lessons – I ad­mired her per­sis­tence in learn­ing to dive prop­erly, obliv­i­ous that she kept belly-flop­ping.

“This short film has taken seven years to make, so be­ing named Africa’s best an­i­ma­tion re­ally re­in­forces Belly Flop’s mes­sage that per­se­ver­ance does pay off, even­tu­ally.”

Belly Flop is the lat­est suc­cess from Trig­ger­fish, which helped an­i­mate Re­volt­ing Rhymes, Magic Light Pic­ture’s BBC One Christ­mas spe­cial adap­ta­tion of the Roald Dahl clas­sic, which was nom­i­nated for an Os­car and won at the An­nie Awards, Kid­screen Awards and the In­ter­na­tional Emmy Awards this year. Trig­ger­fish is now in pro­duc­tion on its third fea­ture film, Seal Team.

“The process of mak­ing Belly Flop has been a lot like Penny’s day at the pool – a com­bi­na­tion of per­se­ver­ance, hard work and plain good luck,” says Collins.


Penny takes on her dive with full gusto FEAR­LESS

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