Set in a futuristic rendition of the City of Ife, Moremi is based on a famous Nigerian tale about a legendary Yoruba queen.
To produce Moremi, a story with such profound cultural significance, was something we didn’t take lightly. In every detail, we drew from Nigeria’s rich art and design heritage to create a look that is culturally specific, but also fresh and unique in its own right.
We wanted to make the visual language a rich tapestry that added depth to the narrative and paid homage to the origins of this unique Yoruba myth.
Nigerian architecture, design, sculpture and printmaking all made their mark on the final film, as did the unique landscapes of Ife.
When it came to integrating 3D characters into 2D backgrounds, we aimed to go beyond beautiful aesthetics. Patterns from Yoruba printmaking appear throughout the film’s backgrounds, and the sculpture techniques from this distinct area play a part in adding depth to the design language of this cinematic short film.
The story is told through the curious eyes of Luo, a boy made of stone and trapped in the spirit realm of the gods.
Luo's existence is constantly under threat by the fearsome spirit giants, in search of souls to consume. His bleak existence is upended one day with the arrival of a stranger who teleports him away from danger and into the real world Ife.
However, danger follows and we embark on a quest of discovery alongside Luo, that reveals who this stranger is and what drove them to save this little boy.
"A 2D animated short film appears within the film as an expositional interlude before the final act".
At the midway point we created a story within a story, which presented us with a chance to change styles and create a fully 2D short film within the film. Luo learns an important piece of his history through a story told by Moremi. In this sequence we enter Luo’s mindseye as he interprets what she tells him.
The sequence is a nod to traditional printmaking techniques and serves as a palette cleanser and informational interlude, before the final act takes place.
The movement of the Spirit Giants was inspired by Yoruba Egungun masquerades.
The Spirit Giants gave us room to play with rhythmic movements, inspired by Egungun Dancers, upon which they are based.
We kept Luo and Moremi's performances subtle and restrained, using plenty of reference to observe and exaggerate the characters' mannerisms.
"In collaboration with Director Shofela Coker, Moremi allowed us lean into our own definitive production style- something we have been honing over the past decade".
Our style as a studio has emerged over time and to date Moremi is the best example of this. We plan on pushing this style in further productions most notably our first full length feature ISAURA.
Being part of the Disney+ Anthology Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, a watershed moment in African animation, has been an honour as a studio and we believe it’s just a glimpse of what animation studios in Africa have to offer.