Maestro: CGI forest animals sing opera on a moonlit night

Maestro: CGI forest animals sing opera on a moonlit night

The Kid Should See This

What happens in the forest at night when humans aren’t around? In Maestro, frogs, turtles, hedgehogs, fish, a deer, and a songbird soloist come together under the direction of a squirrel conductor to sing a piece from Vincenzo Bellini’s opera Norma.

From a Vimeo interview about Maestro with Illogic, the animation collective who directed this Bloom Pictures short film:

“When you work with a realistic universe, the main challenge is to be creative while staying believable. How can the squirrel use the stick to conduct the singers? Can we make him stand on two legs? Aside from these directing issues, basically all the technical aspects were challenging — especially the squirrel’s fur and the bird’s feathers. The last shots were really tricky to manage, with a huge amount of characters, props, and a length of 25 seconds.”

songbird soloist

squirrel conductor

“We spent two weeks listening to opera songs and ended up with this track from the famous Bellini opera Norma called ‘Guerra Guerra,’ which is a war anthem. The track had the epic, explosive vibe we wanted, and a female singer, which was necessary for the bird character. So, if you’re wondering what these animals are singing, they’re basically preparing the revolution!”


Go behind the scenes of Maestro with this making-of video to see how animators created these photorealistic animals, their movements, the environments, lighting, and more:

Next, watch

le Carnival des Animaux


Nodoka Okisawa, winner of the 56th Competition for Young Conductors

, and

a squirrel takes a GoPro up into the tree branches


Plus, more squirrels, frogs, turtles, and some bears in the forest: What goes on when you are not there…

Rion Nakaya