Mr Chicken Goes to Mars

Mr Chicken goes to Mars. It's a big day.

  • Katrina Mathers
    The Gallant Captain
  • Leigh Hobbs
  • Leigh Hobbs
    Old Tom
  • Katrina Mathers
    Nullarbor, Amissa Anima, The Gallant Captain
  • Leigh Hobbs
  • Aaron Gietman
    Motion Designer
  • Mark D'Angelo
    Sound Design
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Genres:
    kids, space, adventure, music
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 11, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    No Dialogue
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Katrina Mathers, Leigh Hobbs

KATRINA MATHERS is an Australian AACTA-winning filmmaker; her 20+ shorts have screened at leading international film festivals such as Annecy, Stuttgart, Clermont Ferrand, TIFF, Sitges and SIGGRAPH, and won over 50 awards, including at Melbourne, Sydney, Flickerfest, St Kilda and Adelaide film festivals locally; and internationally at Aspen Shortsfest, Bradford Animation, Palm Springs Shortsfest and many others. She’s been a Tropfest finalist director with The Referees; wrote the winning screenplay, No Mail for Project Greenlight Aust, Series II and was a director for the Ch10 sketch comedy series The Wedge. Two animations Katrina produced were Academy® accredited - The Gallant Captain which she directed with Graeme Base, and Nullarbor which was released as Highly Commended in the 2012 Oscar® Nominated Shorts Collection and has almost 8 million YouTube views. Katrina co-founded The Lampshade Collective animation and VFX studio (2007-2013) overseeing production on TVCs, ghosting jobs and shorts. Currently she runs Cherry Hands Media, a multimedia company and works part-time with Monash University. She’s been a judge and guest speaker for film festivals and panels, and has also had a long career as a professional actor.

LEIGH HOBBS is an Australian artist and author, best known in Australia and the UK for his children’s books which feature his characters Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Mr Chicken, Mr Badger, Fiona the Pig and the Freaks in 4F. His primary publisher is Allen & Unwin.

In 2002, Horrible Harriet was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Awards, as was his book Old Tom’s Holiday in 2003. He was shortlisted again in 2010 for the Prime Minister’s Awards for his picture book Mr Chicken Goes to Paris. A highly successful animated TV series, based on Leigh’s Old Tom series of books has been screened on free-to-air television networks in Australia and across Europe. Leigh was also the Australian Children's Laureate in 2016 and 2017.

The National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, the State Libraries of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia all hold extensive collections of Leigh’s artwork.

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Director Statement

Mr Chicken Goes to Mars was inspired as Leigh was writing and illustrating his newest children's book of the same name. Katrina had been working with Leigh, creating and managing some social media and PR. During lockdown, they made a web series together, called 'That's Me' where Leigh talks about each of his characters and shows kids how he draws them. They made the series available to teachers and kids for free with a series of suggested activities to help with home-schooling. Through the process of making these little films, Katrina encouraged Leigh to create some animated GIFs... and that led pretty quickly to the idea of making a little film together. Mr Chicken Goes to Mars began really as an excuse for Leigh to learn some animation skills, so he could bring his own characters to life beyond the page. They secured some modest funding thanks to a Creative Victoria grant, and over the second half of 2023, they've produced this little film. The interiors are all hand-painted and scanned, then the Leigh's animated characters have been comped into shot, with some additional elements added, like twinkling stars, moving backgrounds and camera shake. Sound design and mix is by Melbourne composer Mark D'Angelo, from The Backlot Studios.