180LA and UNICEF are releasing Unfairy Tales – animated film series to promote the global initiative #actofhumanity

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Children’s stories feature imaginative places with fantastical characters. While these worlds of wonder can bring delight to young audiences, there are some stories never meant for children. That’s the message in UNICEF’s “Unfairy Tales,” an animated film series that chronicles the true stories of Syrian child refugees and the horrors behind why they fled.

The series launches UNICEF’s #actofhumanity global initiative to help frame positive perceptions towards the tens of millions of children and young people on the move globally.

Malak and the Boat tells seven-year-old Malak’s harrowing story of his journey across the Mediterranean Sea in a leaky boat seeking shelter from the Syrian conflict. A second film, Ivine and Pillow, tells of Ivine, a 14-year old girl in Syria who lives through bombings that kill family members while she manages to settle at a refugee camp in Germany only to face new challenges. Finally the third of the series, Mustafa Goes for a Walk, takes viewers along Mustafa’s journey as he escapes Syria in fear of being killed, leaving his friends behind. Even his toys, that give him some semblance of home, do not make it along with him.

Everybody seems to know what’s happening in Syria. But, do they know what’s happening to Malak, Ivine, Mustafa and the other eight million children affected by the war? (…) We needed to tell these stories and make everyone rethink it.

Eduardo Marques,

Executive Creative Director 180LA

180LA Executive Creative Director Rafael Rizuto:

Whereas the first short film ‘Malak and the Boat’ introduced UNICEF’s ‘Unfairy Tales’ series to the world in a very whimsical fashion ‘Ivine and Pillow’ brings it to another level. The film pictures it with more heartbreaking details about what it’s really like to be a child in that situation, showing once again that some stories were never meant for children.

The campaign was conceived and creative directed by ad agency 180LA. The films were produced with help from animation houses Consulado, House of Colors, Bubba’s Chop Shop and Gilles+Cecilie Studio, along with Media Monks, which is producing the interactive e-book.

Client: UNICEF

Campaign: “Unfairy Tales”

Ad Agency: 180LA

  • William Gelner, Chief Creative Officer
  • Michael Allen, Chief Executive Officer
  • Stephen Larkin, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Rafael Rizuto, Executive Creative Officer
  • Eduardo Marques, Executive Creative Officer
  • Dave Cuccinello, Creative Director
  • David Povill, Creative Director
  • Tamara Brown, Associate Account Director
  • Meredithe Woodward, Account Manager
  • Andy White, Social Media Director
  • Michael Allen, Account Planning Director
  • Natasha Wellesley, Director of Integrated Production
  • ​Jason Lau, Art and Content Producer​
  • Meagan Phillips, Associate PR Director
  • Loretta Zolliecoffer, Director of Business Affairs
  • Florian Bodet, Irene Luevano, Bethlehem Herhane, Translators

Melvin Editorial

  • Dave Groseclose, Editor
  • Brian Scharwath, Post Production Manager

Film: “Malak and the Boat”

  • Animation House: House of Colors

Film: “Ivine and Pillow”

  • Animation House: Consulado

“Mustafa Goes For a Walk”

  • Animation House: Bubba’s Chop Shop, Gilles + Cecilie Studio

“Unfairy Tales” Interactive Book

  • Production: Media Monks