Mr. John Daniel

After the soldiers killed little gorilla’s mom in Gabon, he was brought to England and started a new life with humans.

Mr. John Daniel is based on a true story. It is an animated short film project about the human cruelty to animals and a voice against it. A boy is watching a gorilla exhibition in the Museum of Natural History in New York. London, 1918. Major Rupert buys a gorilla in the shop. The animal came to the UK from Gabon, where his mother was shot by French soldiers. Major Rupert names him Mr John Daniel and gifts him to his sister Alyce. She takes care for Mr John and treats him like a baby boy. She teaches him how to make his bed, to dine at the table, to play football with local kids. He is even allowed to drink cider in the pub. He loves to eat roses and watch the shoemaker at work. After three years he is too big for Alyce. She is unable take care for him any longer. Alyce decides to send him to an animal refuge in Florida. Unfortunately, she is tricked, and Mr John ends up in a circus in Madison Square Garden. As his health deteriorates, the circus director decides to call Alyce. However, she arrives in New York too late. Mr John dies of pneumonia and ends up on the museum display.

Director’s statement
Mr. John Daniel based on a true story. It is a project for an animated short film about the humans cruelty to animals and voice against it. Our little brothers, endlessly trustful and obedient, often betrayed and used by people just for their joy and entertainment. 
The film is planned to be made in 2D/3D technique, mixing hand drawn pencil drawings with computer animation. The story will confronts not only two worlds and two eras: XXI century New York and early XX century Britain and the US. It is also build from two different visual styles: a modern colorful world and old black and white memories from the past century. The second one is influenced by Lotte Reiniger’s silhouette-style animated films with black intertitles just like from the silent films. Mr. John Daniel won’t have dialogues, but is planned to be accompanied with soft music, preferably with jazz to emphasize the era even more.

Director and Scriptwriter
Kinga Syrek

Country of production


Target audience


Animation Technique

2D / 3D hybrid

Production company

Studio Filmów Rysunkowych

CEE Animation is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and co-funded by state funds and foundations and professional organisations from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

More info