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Trish Wheatley heads outside the Royal Festival Hall to join the crowd gathered to watch Joel Simon's Macopolis. / 7 September 2012

People gathered in a pedestrianised area staring up at a projection on a big wall

People watching Macropolis projected out the Royal Festival Hall

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Evenings at the Southbank Centre are amazing, full of atmosphere and vibrancy. The place has been buzzing with crowds of people as they enjoy the last warmth of summer. As the light fades and night falls a story plays out, projected onto the wall of the Royal Festival Hall, stopping people in their tracks.

An enchanting animation, Macropolis, is the story of two toys who are factory rejects because they have acquired impairments in the making process. They escape from the factory, become friends, helping each other to find their way in the big city.

A cat with the missing eye acquires an eye patch and dog with missing leg innovatively using a golf tee for a prosthetic limb. In finding out where the toyshop is, seeing their perfectly formed brothers and sisters in nice neat packaging in the window, they break in and climb up to stand on the display shelf.  The next day a little boy in a pirate’s outfit sees them in the window and insists on buying those two.

It is a heart-warming story that plays on the innocence of youth and stereotypes within society. It also reflects how families have got behind the Paralympics and how children are being inspired by the athletes. Macropolis perhaps amplifies how - for this summer at least - there has been an acceptance of disabled people as an integral part of society, than ever before.

Above all, it is an excellently produced animation with captivating storytelling and a wonderfully fitting soundtrack. Macropolis is one of the Unlimited Festival’s highlights suitable for all the family.
The work is on show at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, until 9 September