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Aardman’s new stop-motion short is just devastating

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The studio behind Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run teamed up with Greenpeace

Aardman Animations has always had a knack for compressing complicated emotions into short amounts of time and the movements of small clay figures — the original Wallace & Gromit trilogy are roller coasters of feeling. Now the company is back at it again with Turtle Journey.

Made in collaboration with Greenpeace, the short film, done in Aardman’s trademark stop-motion animation and directed by Gavin Strange, follows a family of turtles as they make their way home. One of the turtle children captures their journey on video, tracking their progress through traffic that’s made increasingly severe by deep-sea drilling, pollution, and oil spills. When they finally reach home, they find their neighborhood deserted, and catastrophe is not far behind.

A mix of Cloverfield and Pixar’s Up, the short ends by stressing that six out of seven sea turtle species face extinction, and that sanctuaries are vital to keeping our ocean wildlife safe. It also invites viewers to sign a petition to U.S. State Department Director of Ocean and Polar Affairs Evan Bloom, telling him to agree to a Global Ocean Treaty at the UN when it convenes on March 23.

Not compelled to join the cause? Just watch the short and see how you feel afterward.