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Kiwi: The little bird who saved the forest

Kiwi: The little bird who saved the forest

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Published by Ivan Cruz
Screenplay of an animated short-film based on a Maori Legend on how the kiwi bird lost his wings.
Screenplay of an animated short-film based on a Maori Legend on how the kiwi bird lost his wings.

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Published by: Ivan Cruz on Jan 13, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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KIWI: THE LITTLE BIRD WHO SAVED THE FORESTWritten byIvan Cruz and Brian JohnsonBased on the Maori legend "How the kiwi lost his wings"
EXT. DARK LUSH GREEN FOREST - DAYThe forest is dimly lit, through the deep green trees appearsTANE MAHUTA, god of the forest. He looks around with pleasureat his domain, the moss, the rocks, the plants of the ground.His gaze travels upward toward his pride and joy, the trees.Tane sees a fallen tree in the distance, he takes a closelook at the fallen tree and then sees bugs crawl out of it,he crushes it with ease.His eyes move around the forest he sees a once majesticKowhaitree wilt before his eyes. The color drains from around him as he sees the treetops, their leaves are dim,their trunks are turning greyish, their limbs don't so muchsway in the breeze as lift weakly, then fall to their sides.Leaves dry and fall off the branches.A swarm-like sound is heard. Tane Mahuta looks closely at theroots and sees they are black, he looks closer and sees theirsurface is moving. He looks even closer and see insects,looking like normal bugs, but with exaggerated, almost evilfeatures. The insects crawl in and over the trees, takingbites, burrowing into the wood, leaving destruction in their wake.Tane Mahuta could not rid of them without destroying the sameroots they feed on. His gigantic totem-like physique hasalways been of great help when it comes to protecting theforest, but not when the threat is attacking from within.He breathes heavily. He turns around and sees the forestroof, the colourthat once covered his domain is being suckeddry by the vicious plague.Tane Mahuta collapses on the ground, his tears flood theforest floor, his pain is palpable in the air. Suddenly thesky is filled with plumage, bright colors of every type. TaneMahuta gestures to the birds, then waves his arm toward thedecaying forest.TANE MAHUTASomething is eating my children, Ineed one of you to come down from the forest roof and save them.Nothing is heard but the sound of the breeze. Tane Mahutaturns to TUI.TANE MAHUTA (CONT’D)(His voice croaked)Tui, will you come down from theforest roof?
Tui steps forward, preening his bright, multi-colored plumagethere is a cockiness to his walk, he is particularly showingof the beautiful pattern around his neck.Tui steps forward then looks at the trees, his eyes followingtheir trunks down to the ground. As his gaze nears the groundthe light dims, until only the faint outlines of theenvironment can be seen and the bugs constantly moving.Suddenly the bugs eyes open and lock with Tui's. Tui hidesbeneath his wings, trembling and shaking his head.TUI (ON-SCREEN TYPOGRAPHY)No... It’s too dark and scary.Nothing is heard but the sound of the breeze. Tane Mahutaturns to PIPIWHARAUROA(Cuckoo), his eyes pleading.TANE MAHUTA(In a desperate manner)Cuckoo, would you?Cuckoo looks down to the forest floor, and up at the lightfiltering through their leaves. Out of the corner of his eyehe sees his wife. He gazes at her, and their half built nest.Cuckoo starts at this idea and scuttles back to his frame ofa nest, nuzzling with his wife.CUCKOO (ON-SCREEN TYPOGRAPHY)No... I want to finish building mynest.Nothing is heard but the sound of the breeze. Tane Mahutaturns to PUKEKO.TANE MAHUTA(In a desperate questioning manner)Pukeko?PUKEKO looks at the trees, much like Tui did. But as his gazefollows the trunks down, he focuses in on a leaf at the baseof one tree. On the tip of the branch a drop of water gathersand falls. Pukeko’s gaze follows the drip as it travels tothe forest floor, the world growing ever darker, it lands with an exaggerated splash the sound echoing. We pull backslightly to reveal a wider view of the forest floor, withdrips and puddles, wet looking ground. Water sounds fill ourears.Pukeko looks back to Tane Mahuta, then looks away, shakinghis head.2.

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