“Well…whoever said you could only become a star?”
– The Moon
I think about the aurora borealis on a daily basis. You only need to say the word ‘aurora…’ and my ears prick up like those of the fox in the beautiful short animation Fox Fires by Keilidh Bradley, a Scottish animator and visual development artist. She created the film as her graduation project from Scotland’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.
Inspired by the Finnish tale of how the aurora borealis came into being, Fox Fires is an exquisite combination of 3D and 2D animation. It’s accompanied by a gorgeous score that I could easily have on repeat for weeks. In Bradley’s film, the moon comes down from the sky and asks for the help of Earth’s animals to light up the darkness of night-time…
In Finnish, the aurora borealis (or northern lights) are known as Revontulet which translates to Fox Fires. In Finnish culture, it’s believed the mystical lights are created by a fox racing across the land, sweeping the earth’s snow with his tail as he goes and igniting the night sky as his fur scratches the trees. Legend says that if anyone were to catch the fire fox (tulikettu) they would be rich beyond their wildest imaginings.
This little animation enchanted me almost to the point of tears, and it’s enchanted many more folk besides, as it’s now had over one million views on YouTube. It’s also been shared by the Embassy of Finland in the US and the official Twitter account of Sweden. I have to share with you some of the comments from You Tube…they’re too good not to. I wholeheartedly agree with Faniaqua on the ‘too many chills to handle.’