“The initial ideas for Carnival of the Animals came out of a week long development process with Yaron Lifschitz and Libby McDonnell in Berlin in Dec 2013. I flew back to London with an imagined world inside my head and spent the following six months finding ways to bring that world to life.
I wanted to re-create the feeling I had as a child when I’d read a book and there was the sense that it might just be possible to slip into that imagined world and discover that it was real. This idea, this possibility was how I imagined the world of the Carnival of the Animals, almost as though one slipped into an alternate reality where elephants can dance, frogs ride uni-cycles, gravity is defied, where the magic of the circus is the most important part of life and the entire world can be carried in a small suitcase.
The inspiration for the visual style of the animations in Carnival of the Animals came from a collection of images from 1960’s design magazines which used found materials to create cut-out collages. I wanted the animation to have a quality of moving through the pages of a children’s book but it became much more than that. When the banners unfurl from their suitcases, the stage is set and an adventure begins. There is a whole world of wonder to discover and explore, with journeys from the bottom of the ocean to outer space and a parade of animals who entertain, terrify and delight audiences of all ages.
The animation imagines the world where the adventure happens and Circa’s extraordinary performers bring that world to life.
Carnival of the Animals was an opportunity for me to live my dream of running away with the circus, and for a short while I existed in that crazy adventurous world where everything was possible and the magic of the circus became my reality.”
– Michaela French, Video Designer, Carnival of the Animals