Adventurous Archie sets up home on Western Isles

Archie inherits an island house and croft where he spent many happy summers.

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An exciting new stop-frame animation produced by Skye-based Young Films was launched on BBC iPlayer this week.

Archie, commissioned by CBBC, follows the adventures of a dog who sets off on a life-changing journey to the Outer Hebrides.

This emotional odyssey is set in motion by a letter which brings news of his beloved aunt’s death.

Archie also discovers that he will inherit her island house and croft where he spent many happy summers.

The five-minute film explores themes of loss and legacy, grief and remembrance in a compelling story mixing moments of humour with scenes both poignant and touching.

The film is ostensibly for young children but appeals to all ages and was created and written by Domenica More Gordon, directed by Ainslie Henderson, produced by Christopher Young with animation production from well-known studio MacKinnon and Saunders. The original music is by Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman.

With the film now available on iPlayer, Young Films is looking to create a
long-running series which will chronicle Archie’s adventures in his new life in the Outer Hebrides as he becomes part of the island community.

Producer Christopher said: ‘This is a most exciting departure for Young Films, our first step into the world of animation.

‘Audiences around the world have enjoyed meeting Archie at film festivals and now he has come home to meet his British viewers.

‘The timing for the launch is powerful.  We are all conscious of the terrible impact of Covid-19 globally and none of us expected to be in lockdown one year on.

‘For all of us, not least our children, this film will give us a ray of hope and allow us some emotional release and comfort for those who have experienced loss during this last year.’

Although the film explores loss, writer Domenica does not feel that it is a sad story.

‘This first film about Archie is an homage to my grandparents and to my dear aunt in thanks for all that they gave me.

‘I don’t feel it is ultimately a sad film, as I now know that when someone dear to you dies they become part of you.

‘In my case they inspire and inhabit the creative world that I spend many hours of my life in, and every day I thank them.’

Archie has been shown at festivals across Europe, America and Canada and as far afield as India and Japan.

Archie brought home the Best of The Festival award from the Chicago International Children’s Festival and then won the Best Children’s Film Award eight-14 year-olds at the London International Animation Festival.