Triggerfish’s Aau’s Song debuts on Disney+

By Content Nigeria reporter
May 26, 2023

Aau’s Song

Animated short Aau’s Song, produced by South Africa-based animation studio Triggerfish, has premiered on Disney+.

Aau’s Song is the final short film in the second volume of the Star Wars: Visions anthology co-directed by Nadia Darries and Daniel Clarke from Cape Town and co-written by Julia Smuts Louw (The Smeds & the Smoos).

It follows a girl who has a calling to sing but is raised by her loving, stern father who wishes her to stay quiet because of the calamitous effect her voice has on the crystals in the nearby mines, the kyber that powers lightsabers.

Nadia said: “We both grew up within five kilometres of Triggerfish but we actually didn’t really know each other before this. We hadn’t spoken and we were a little intimidated by each other. We came from different cultural backgrounds but, funnily enough, when we spoke we wanted to tell the same story.

“The relationships between the characters are all based on our personal experiences: Daniel and his grandfather; me and my father, and my relationship with singing. Even the Jedi in the film is inspired by my cousin, who is a sangoma.

“The voice is just so powerful, when I sing, it is my biggest self-healing practice and it reveals so much to me. Something a lot of our cultures in South Africa share is the use of singing and chanting to connect with each other, the land and spirit. So using the voice as a way to engage with the force was a natural choice for us as South Africans.”

Daniel added: “We feel very grateful and lucky that our vision aligned so neatly, so quickly. We really discovered the characters through discovering each other. There’s something very Star Wars-y about people from different backgrounds coming together with a shared vision and purpose, and forging lifelong relationships by going on an adventure together.”

According to Nadia and Daniel, the characters’ distinctive felt textures were inspired by Ndebele dolls, one of a number of South African-inspired touches which invoked a nostalgic childhood feeling.

Its cast include child actor Mpilo Jantjie, Dineo du Toit, Cynthia Erivo, SAFTA-winner Tumisho Masha and Blood Psalms and Flatland star Faith Baloyi.

Triggerfish Animation Studios is known for its animated films The Snail and The Whale which won Best Special Production at The Annie Awards in 2021, and Seal Team which premiered on Netflix in 2022.