The Fixies and Kikoriki release new animated films about forest fires
Starting on 25 April, viewers of the popular animated series about the Fixies and Kikoriki will be able to enjoy some brand-new episodes of the series. These special features will tell children about wildfires and about how to behave in emergencies. Aeroplane Productions and Petersburg Animation Studio created the cartoons as part of a new project, joining Greenpeace Russia, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Russian Forest Management Agency, the Russian Aerial Forest Protection Service, and regional groups of volunteer forest fire fighters.
The goal of the project is to prevent wildfires, which have become a true calamity for Russia in recent years. In nine out of ten cases, the fire has human, rather than natural, causes. Sometimes it is intentional arson, and sometimes the result of carelessness and irresponsible behaviour. For that reason, the central goal is to change people’s behaviour, teaching them to act correctly and conscientiously from a young age.
The Kikoriki started a new series of films called ‘The ABCs of Protecting the Forest’, the first one of which is ‘The Feat’. In the first episode, Krash and Chiko learn that it’s vital to call the firefighters in time if you see a fire in a grassy or wooded area. Pin and Barry arrive just in time to put out a small grass fire and save the whole big forest.
The cartoon released by The Fixies is called ‘Fixie Advice: Forest Fires’. It is part of a Fixie Lesson, an educational show, in which Simka, Nolik, and the other protagonists talk about where fires come from, how to stay safe from them, and even how young viewers can help adults prevent disaster. The animated film is intended for use in schools in lessons on Safe Life Behaviours and the natural environment.
Viewers who had donated funds to help create the animated series through the Planeta.ru crowdfunding platform and on thewebsite of Russia’s Greenpeace branch were the first to see the new animated films in a special online screening.
The well-known artist and musician Aleksei Kortnev took part in the project. Both animation studios were glad to provide the rights to use their characters. But creating animated films is a complex and expensive process. Donations were collected specifically for production costs: to pay animators, script writers, and directors for their work.
‘We are delighted that we were able to cooperate,’ says Grigory Kuksin, director of Greenpeace Russia’s fire-fighting project director. ‘This is important not only so that kids today can learn how to behave properly in the woods from an early age. It’s very important that, through their donations, their parents contributed to creating this animated film. That gives us hope that people’s behaviour will change, and that the current situation with regard to fires in our country will change. The situation is dire. You can tell just by watching the news and seeing reports of entire villages and settlements burning up.’
‘We value greatly the fact that our joint efforts are doing some good for the whole Earth,’ says Riki Group Executive Producer Yulia Osetinskaya. ‘We believe that the Kikoriki protagonists will help to influence children, and they, in turn, will influence their parents, bringing the importance of behaving safely in the forest to their attention. We hope that thanks to these animated films, people will come to have a good understanding of how to prevent a fire, and if disaster does strike, they will know what instructions to follow. We are glad to be cooperating with Greenpeace, and we hope that our work will resonate with people living in our country and abroad, because this kind of knowledge is vital, always, for everyone.’
‘Our colleagues from Greenpeace amaze us with their professionalism and dedication. They consulted with us on creating the animated films, at times even when they were traveling for work, fighting difficult fires,’ notes Yulia Sofronova, general director of the Aeroplane production company. ‘That sort of connection with reality, with lived experience, is priceless! It inspired us to completely dedicate ourselves to this work. I’d very much like for our animated films, as has happened with other topics, to change the tide of public thinking. If there are fewer fires in Russia a year or two from now, then we will know that our work has not been in vain.’
As part of the project, each studio is creating three episodes: ‘The ABCs of Protecting the Forest’ for Kikoriki, and the remaining parts of the Fixie Lesson for The Fixies, which will be shown either together or as independent films.