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Best Awards: Oat the Goat by Assembly and FCB New Zealand

A lot has been done to reduce bullying among youth in New Zealand, but the issue is as serious ever. However, Assembly and FCB New Zealand’s Oat the Goat might be the first to use an interactive, animated storybook involving sheep, goats, kauri, and more. It was awarded a Interactive Purple Pin and Moving Image Purple Pin at the 2018 Best Awards. 

Interactive Purple Pin and Moving Image Purple Pin

Oat the Goat by Assembly and FCB New Zealand

Creative director: Matt Barnes

Design director: Matt von Trott

Client: Ministry of Education


Intended as a bullying prevention initiative by the Ministry of Education, the web-based story was created for children ages from four to seven years old. It aims to show children the power of kindness, and the importance of making the right decision through a positive interactive experience with parents, whānau, family, teachers or peers.

The titular goat in the story, Oat, and other characters have their own animations. Launched online in May last year during Bullying Free NZ Week, the story can be read and interacted with in te reo Māori and English. As Oat takes his trusty walking stick and begin trekking through stunning native Aotearoa landscapes, he meets a whole host of new friends and a diverse cast of characters, such as a green glow worm and a large, troll-like creature named Amos. But, unfortunately, Oat also runs across a group of bullying sheep. The person reading the story then needs to decide what to do. Will they allow the bullying to continue? Or will they step in and say it’s not OK?

In winning the Interactive and Moving Image Purple Pins, judges had nothing but praise. “A beautifully realised animated storybook that pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved in a web browser,” they said.

“With a strong showing of entries in Moving Image this year the purple pin was potentially a challenging decision. However one piece of work stood out as not only an audio visual achievement but also displayed a level of technical excellence that allowed it to reach the widest possible audience and help spread a worthy message.”


They also said the project is a “masterfully crafted, immersive storytelling that tackles a difficult issue with grace,” adding “It pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved in a web browser.”

With incredible artwork that combined with the animations makes everything look like a moving painting and a soundtrack performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra alongside traditional Māori instruments (taonga pūoro), Oat the Goat may just be the most epic film involving a journey and coming together for a greater cause since Sir Peter Jackson made a certain pair of trilogies about diminutive people with very hairy feet. As one reviewer describes Oat the Goat, it’s “a zillion billion out of 10.”

We agree.

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