This Studio Ghibli-inspired ad encourages Australians to donate data to kids

You better believe it’s adorable.

Australian telecommunications company Optus recently released a beautifully wholesome ad that encourages people to share their data allowances with children. Bear Meets Eagle on Fire (BMEF), an Australian creative studio, worked with Danish animation house Sun Creature to create the heart-warming ad.

It’s Nice That reports the users of the My Optus app have been able to donate their data to children since December 2019. The new ad pays homage to the style of Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic Studio Ghibli films to breathe fresh life into the initiative, now that youngsters across Australia are stuck at home.

A gorgeous tip of the hat — “We knew what we didn’t want,” Micah Walker, co-founder of BMEF, told It’s Nice That. “We didn’t want it to feel cliche Australian, so no kangaroos or wombats. Same with the landscape.” To create this otherworldly locale, both BMEF and Sun Creature wanted to walk the line between paying tribute to Miyazaki’s work and directly ripping it off.

The look of the creatures and humans brings a few Ghibli characters to mind, but they ultimately feel different enough to stand apart. The humorous storyline shows an anonymous stranger helping out a child, much like the Donate Your Data initiative that aims to provide internet access to the 1.1 million Australian youths living in poverty.

Of course, Optus could also just get rid of data caps and / or give kids free access instead of getting paying customers to do the company's charity work for it and giving only some of them a little extra data. But, hey, setting aside the detail that data caps are practically arbitrary, the video is damn cute.