The Breadwinner Shows the Powerful Storytelling Impact of Animation

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November 16, 2017
Technicolor Toronto provided full picture post and sound on film that illustrates the power of animation to convey hard-to-tell but important-to-know stories.
The Breadwinner Shows the Powerful Storytelling Impact of Animation
  • "Technicolor did an amazing job on post production…and with everything in their capable hands, I had little to worry about,” said director Nora Twomey.
  • The Breadwinner premiered to glowing reviews at TIFF and won both the Grand Prize and Audience Award at the inaugural Animation Is Film Festival.

The Breadwinner is an inspiring animated adaption of Deborah Ellis’ acclaimed young-adult novel about Paravana, a young girl in Afghanistan who steps up – by disguising herself as a boy – to provide for her family after the Taliban raids her home and arrests her father. For Technicolor Toronto, it was an opportunity to tell an important story working with Nora Twomey of Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, and Toronto’s Aircraft Pictures.

"Technicolor did an amazing job on The Breadwinner's post production. With everything from picture grade and Foley to sound mix and deliveries in their capable hands, I had little to worry about,” said Twomey of her feature solo directing debut. “Talks began early in production between our compositors and Technicolor to troubleshoot as much as possible and make sure everything ran smoothly when we hit those crucial stages. They ensured The Breadwinner reached its potential, greatly enhancing the experience for our audience.”

The film is a mix of two different types of animation, with line drawn animation representing the real world and a stylized cutout animation for the story world scenes, all woven into an unforgettable story.  Technicolor Toronto Colorist Brett Trider set distinctive looks for both types of animation created by the studio, helping to distinguish between the story world and the real world narrative of Paravana. “Working with Nora on The Breadwinner was a real pleasure,” exclaimed Trider. “Having the film premiere to such great reviews at TIFF was a testament to her vision and the great team she had working on the film.”

That team also included Sound Re-recording Mixers Frank Morrone and J.R. Fountain, who added to the film’s overall personality by using regional flavors and the sound mix to enhance the inspiring score and create an authentic overall experience. “This was a great film to mix,” said Morrone. “The production value of all the source elements brought to the stage gave us a lot of choices to create a sonic landscape that portrays the dangers that women face every day under Taliban rule. The sound design by J.R. Fountain and score that Jeff and Michael Danna wrote were beautifully done. They gave us a large pallet to bring the animation to life with sound.”

In addition to its success at TIFF, The Breadwinner was the Grand Prize Winner at the inaugural Animation Is Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where it also took home the Audience Award. Executive producer Angelina Jolie introduced the film for its U.S. premiere, calling it “so exquisitely done and very important.”

Watch the official trailer and see why “stories remain in our hearts, even when all else is gone.”