It hasn’t been all that long since mankind learned exactly what the stars are and where they come from. For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors looked up when the sun set and wondered how the evening sky came to be adorned with millions of twinkling lights. From their gazes, countless myths and stories sprung forth to explain the stars’ mysterious origins, many of which we still know as constellations like Aquila, Aries, Pisces, and the great bear Ursa Major. But a different type of light show—one that takes place at the top of our world—is unlike the rest. Known by some as the Northern Lights and others as Aurora Borealis, the Finnish name for that glorious phenomenon of dancing reflections is Revontulet, and the Finns have their own legend of how it came to be. That tale is the basis for the beautiful new short animated film Fox Fires, which tells the story of how Earth’s animals helped the moon fill the night with color.
This moving short comes from Scottish animator Keilidh. Blending 2D and 3D animation together with an elegant animation style and gorgeous score, this was her graduation film from Scotland’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. We’re going to guess she passed.
As for the story itself, it takes its inspiration from the ancient Finnish myth about the Aurora Borealis, which they call Revontulet. That translates to “Fox Fires,” as they believed a magical fox would run across the sky, sweeping the Earth’s snow with his tail, creating the light show that still causes awe and wonder to this day.
And that’s a big reason why this film is so moving. We may now know what the Northern Lights really are, but that doesn’t mean our answers are better than the ones our ancestors came up with long ago when they looked up at the night sky and wondered how it came to be.
Featured Image: Keilidh