If you haven’t seen the BBC One Christmas short film The Supporting Act yet, you will. The animated short, which illustrates the joy of a shared moment, will run between programmes over the next two weeks.

It launched on Saturday and has already been been viewed 15 million times on Facebook, liked 90,000 times on Twitter and re-tweeted 35,500 times.

The two-minute film follows a 10-year-old girl who practices day in and day out to give the most important dance performance of her life.

Her dad is always with her but he’s busy. And he’s getting even busier as Christmas approaches. He remains distracted up until the moment that really matters, when father and daughter come together in a wonderful moment of ‘oneness’.

The film has broken new ground in the animation techniques it has used. The characters were animated using the traditional British stop-motion technique but the facial expressions were created and mapped on the puppets using CGI. This approach gave the film the human touch and imperfections of stop motion but the emotional richness of CGI.

Heavily involved in the production of the film were Greater Manchester companies MacKinnon & Saunders who created the puppets, and Clockwork Frog Films who designed and built the set.

MacKinnon & Saunders previous credits include Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, and Frankenweenie. Clockwork Frog Films’ credits include Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

In a speech to the 2017 Children’s Global Media Summit at Manchester Central, BBC director-general Tony Hall said: “[The film is] a brilliant marriage of storytelling, creativity, and tech… And, by the way, those characters and their wonderful world were made here in Manchester. We’re really proud of what we do in this city – and with this city.”

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