Glendyn Ivin’s Penguin Bloom, the adaptation of Bradley Trevor Greive and Cameron Bloom’s novel starring Naomi Watts, Andrew Lincoln and Jacki Weaver.
The drama was produced by Emma Cooper, Watts and Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea, Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky.
Released worldwide in January 2021 in cinemas and on Netflix (selected territories).
The film is a perfect combination of live action, puppeteering and CG working in unison to achieve the ideal performance for every scene.
Our work included highly detailed feather and grooming for a number of CG magpies – the ‘Penguin’ in the title of the film – as it moves from infant, adolescent to adult.
Scripted by Shaun Grant and Harry Cripps, the film follows Watts as Sam Bloom, a young Sydney woman who broke her back after a railing snapped and fell head-first six metres onto a concrete floor while holidaying with her family in Thailand in 2013.
After being diagnosed as a paraplegic, she slipped into depression and hopelessness until her son Noah found a frail, injured magpie chick. By caring for the little bird, which the family named Penguin for her black and white plumage, she regained her strength and confidence.
Lincoln is Cameron Bloom, Sam’s husband and Weaver is her mother Jan. Newcomers Griffin Murray-Johnston, Felix Cameron and Abe Clifford-Barr, who were discovered in a nationwide search by casting directors Kirsty McGregor and Stevie Ray, play the Bloom’s children.