Assembly and FCB New Zealand

Oat The Goat

Oat the Goat is the “beautiful Kiwi animated story every child needs to watch”.

That sounds suspiciously like click bait – but it’s true.

Aimed at 4-7-year olds, Oti te Nanekoti is a charming story, drawn in an illustrative children’s book style, built for the Ministry of Education and launched online during Bullying-Free Week.

The interactive animation tells the story of Oat’s journey to the top of a mountain and the friends made along the way. To get a little bit technical, it utilises, and I quote, “…a pretty large-scale use of WebGL, 12 minutes of narrative animation, spread through 11 scenes, with a voice-over narration track (in two different languages, synced to captions), a sound effects layer, and an orchestral score performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra”.

Although apparently simple, it’s a rich composition of scenery, textures and animation, with some scenes featuring eight animated characters at once.

Assembly sent Oat into the world, using mostly unlit materials with a colour texture applied to them, from lowland forest, across tussock and tundra, into cave and canyon and up to the top of a snowy mountain.

It’s soft and ambient, visually appealing, but as is often the case, the charm and empathy are generated through character development and narrative.

In this case, the attention paid to the development of Oat, Amos, the green glow-worm and their antagonists-turned-accomplices strikes just the right tone, showing kids the effects of their actions in group situations and encouraging parents to engage in conversations about what Oat is experiencing during his big adventure.