Cats Protection unveils tear-jerking Christmas animation featuring Holly Willoughby and created by multi-award-winning Aardman Studios
Cats Protection has joined forces with Academy Award®-winning animators Aardman Studios and TV presenter Holly Willoughby for its Christmas campaign “Casper’s Magical Journey”, inspired by the true story of a young boy and his missing cat.
The beautiful three-minute animation launched on the 25 November)on social media, with shorter versions airing on TV during December.
Five-year-old white cat Casper went missing from his home in Plymouth in 2017, much to the distress of owner Anna Day and her 12-year-old son Daniel.
Three years later, Casper turned up 55 miles away at Cats Protection’s Cornwall Adoption Centre near Truro and, thanks to his microchip, was able to be reunited with his overjoyed family.
Anna said: “We were all heartbroken when Casper didn’t come back, particularly Daniel. We never expected to see him again after such a long time, so it was miraculous to get him back home.
“The whole family is so excited that Casper’s story is being immortalised in this way – and hopefully it will encourage more cat owners to consider getting their pets microchipped.”
Holly Willoughby, who provided the voiceover for mum Anna, said: “Casper and Daniel’s story is so lovely and, as a cat owner, it really struck a chord with me. It was a pleasure to be involved with such a wonderful project.”
Aardman Director Lucy Izzard was delighted to help share Casper’s story: “Such an epic true life story – going missing for three years and being found 55 miles from home – gave us so much scope to build an animated story. The hardest part was keeping it short as there was so much we wanted to do with it! It’s not often we get to bring ‘real world’ narratives to life at Aardman, so we really relished this unique opportunity and were particularly excited to add a bit of Christmas magic into the mix!”
According to Cats Protection’s CATS report 2020*, over a quarter (26%) of owned cats in the UK are not chipped. The charity is actively campaigning to change this by making it a legal requirement for cats to be microchipped, as it is for dogs.
To watch the animation, visit www.cats.org.uk/christmas