The Legend of the Sky Kingdom
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The Legend of the Sky Kingdom is a 2003 animated feature film from Zimbabwe - the country's and Africa's first. It was based on a children's book of the same name by Phil Cunningham, who was also the film's producer. It premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in October 2003.
Three orphans escape from the Underground City ruled by the Evil Emperor and search for the Sky Kingdom while facing many challenges along the way.
The film was animated using stop motion animation. The puppets and all of the sets were built from pieces of junk that the filmmakers found - a necessity of the low budget as well as an artistic choice inspired by Africa's folk artists, who often turn things that others have thrown away into works of art. The filmmakers call this animation style "junkmation".
The filmmakers also spent two years custom-building a motion camera out of bicycle parts because they did not have the money to buy a professional one.