Some time ago we came across an article about the rising number of tourists in the Arctic. Fun for the tourists - bad for the environment. We’d read about unscrupulous tourists invading the scientist’s station, leaving unsightly garbage waste and disturbing the Arctic animals. We had an idea! - what happens to the animals, when the tourists are gone?

We imagined a world, where the animals took care of the environment. We imagined four hares who lived in an abandoned polar station and this is where MISHOU started.

Our goal was to set a clear visual distinction between the “human world” and the Arctic nature. To contextualize the environmental impact we chose a combination of miniature sets and hand drawn animation. We decided to depict everything related to the humans as haptic sets. The „materiality“ of the sets contrasts to the clear lines and reduced colors of 2D animation.
We were very happy to work with awesome stop motion professionals like Susanna Jerger who was part of the Berlin model unit for “Isle of Dogs” (Wes Anderson). Susanna created a rich miniature world, using various materials - paper, glass, plastic, wood, fabrics, ready-made miniature objects. She created objects and environments, natural forms and substances, which gave the movie a strong haptic visuality. This evoked a physical character in the 2D drawn animation, so the two separate worlds coexist and are connected.

The biggest challenge for DoP Olaf Aue was the lighting of the miniature sets so they convincingly interact with the drawn animated characters, while still adding rich textured atmosphere. Mishou is his third cooperation with director Milen Vitanov, exploring a variety of animation techniques - 3D, 2D and even 2 1/2 D .

Sound designer Michał Krajczok, experienced in creating rich and complex sounds for animation, created tailor-made sound environments for every character and every object. He gave each scene its own sense of identity and managed perfectly even the less ‘noisy’ snow-atmosphere. You even might sense in the sounddesign the beginning of the friendship between the tiny dog and the hares.

Next we aligned with the award-winning composer Leonard Petersen, who created the music for the lively kitchen jam session. In this scene the animated hares play impromptu on a kitchen ware and they perform quite “bumpy”.
Leonard played and recorded а number of real instruments and kitchenware to create the perfect score, which displays the imperfect but wholehearted jam session by the animals.
Mishou ist the 4th collaboration between director Milen Vitanov and writer Vera Trajanova. They believe filmmaking at it’s core is a collaborative process. Bringing on the right cast and crew and letting them have a say in the creative process is extremely important.