Circus Toys

Adela Hurtado's first short brings her father's old tin circus toys to life through traditional 2D animation and live action filmmaking.

  • Adela Hurtado
  • Adela Hurtado
  • Adela Hurtado
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Student, Other
  • Runtime:
    28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 19, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Adela Hurtado

Adela is a human rights and public interest lawyer, photographer, and animator. As a photographer, Adela has done projects in China, New York, and, most recently in the city of Trujillo, Peru, her family’s hometown. “The Colors of Trujillo” began in 2018 as a tribute to the city and focuses on its streets and especially its old, almost forgotten buildings that are still standing. “The Colors of Trujillo” has been exhibited in New York, featured online, and has an upcoming photobook in the works. While it has always been a deep love of hers since childhood, she entered the world of animation with the hopes to contribute to the art form of which she can’t get enough. Adela finally making her move into the industry by studying animation and film at night during law school. Adela mainly focuses on traditional 2D animation and studies it at the School of Visual Arts, participates in national animation groups, organizes legal workshops for filmmakers, and works on live-action film sets in different roles. She released her first animated short, “Circus Toys” in late 2019. In fall 2020, Adela will attend Peking University in Beijing as a Yenching Scholar to study law and animation, combining her interests. Adela continues to work on her many projects, and she can’t wait to see where she goes next!

You can see her projects at or follow her on Instagram at

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Director Statement

It’s been a long road to “Circus Toys.” A human rights lawyer by training with a lifelong interest in animation, I wasn’t sure where I fit in the animation world. I slowly made my way, by taking animation and photography classes at night during law school, joining animation groups, and beginning to animate at home.

One day I was given the opportunity to show some of my work to a small party. I wasn’t sure what to show, as I hadn’t made a traditional short or anything very long. I realized though that all of my animations recently were inspired from my father’s old circus toys.

My father would bring home old toys of his. A clown here, an elephant there, usually from some different part of the world. They were also usually broken and unable to move smoothly as they used to. Over the course of a few months I started animating them, because I have always loved the colors and the atmosphere of circuses and amusement parks. I love visiting them whenever I get the chance. I also wanted to help the toys out a bit, help them move.

I connected the old toys and their 2D animated selves together and from this came “Circus Toys.” It is my first short of hopefully many to come.