We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.

Sorry – due to licensing restrictions,
this clip can't be viewed outside New Zealand.

Thankfully most of NZ On Screen's content
can be viewed from anywhere: browse and enjoy!

We're sorry, but something went wrong

Please try reloading the page

We're sorry, but your browser is unable to play this video content.

If this continues please try upgrading your browser or contact us for assistance.

We're sorry, but this video is currently unavailable on mobile.

Hero image for Poppy


Short Film (Full Length) – 2009

Parental Guidance

In short film Poppy, two Kiwi soldiers discover a baby in a muddy World War l trench. For one it will mean redemption amidst the hell of war. Inspired by real life events experienced by the great-grandfather of scriptwriter David Coyle, Poppy marked another computer-animated collaboration between director James Cunningham (Infection) and producer Paul Swadel. CGI is used to evoke a bleak Western Front landscape, on which the (motion-captured) human drama unfolds. Cunningham spent 4500+ hours making the film. It won acclaim at computer graphics conference Siggraph, and invites to the Telluride and South by Southwest festivals.

I think the medium of CGI has a lot more potential beyond just animations for kids and visual effects pyrotechnics. When partnered with strong stories and great acting it opens up possibilities in telling stories that might otherwise be too difficult or not possible at all.
– Director James Cunningham on why he chose to make Poppy using CGI

Key Cast & Crew

Generic Profile image for David Coyle

David Coyle

Writer, Original Story

Profile image for Dave Whitehead

Dave Whitehead

Composer, Sound Design

Profile image for Paul Glover

Paul Glover

As: Jack

Profile image for Matthew Sunderland

Matthew Sunderland

As: Paddy

Profile image for Paul Swadel

Paul Swadel


Profile image for James Cunningham

James Cunningham

Director, CG Supervisor

See all 25 credits

Produced by



Made in association with the Short Film Fund of the NZ Film Commission

More from The World War I Collection...

Thumbnail image for WWI Remembered

WWI Remembered

This specially designed light and sound installation...

Thumbnail image for Great War Stories

Great War Stories

Great War Stories is a series of 35...

Thumbnail image for Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story

Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story

This documentary tells the stories of the New Zealand...

Thumbnail image for Poppy


In short film Poppy, two Kiwi soldiers...

Thumbnail image for Journey to Arras

Journey to Arras

This documentary unearths the story of the soldiers in...

Thumbnail image for Field Punishment No. 1

Field Punishment No. 1

This telefeature follows the gruelling journey...

Thumbnail image for 1990 Commonwealth Games promo - Join Together

1990 Commonwealth Games promo - Join Together

This epic Lee Tamahori-directed promo for the 1990...

Thumbnail image for Children of Gallipoli

Children of Gallipoli

Children of Gallipoli offered viewers another...

Thumbnail image for The Years Back - 1, The Twentieth Century (Episode One)

The Years Back - 1, The Twentieth Century (Episode One)

Made for television, this 13-part National Film Unit...

Thumbnail image for The Berry Boys

The Berry Boys

The Berry Boys combines animation, historical...

Thumbnail image for The Civic Reception of Lieutenant John Grant VC

The Civic Reception of Lieutenant John Grant VC

This is a silent film record of the civic reception of...

Thumbnail image for When We Go to War - First Episode (excerpt)

When We Go to War - First Episode (excerpt)

This miniseries is built around the fortunes of the...

Thumbnail image for Chunuk Bair

Chunuk Bair

Feature film Chunuk Bair dramatises an...

Thumbnail image for War News - The Gallipoli Evacuation (excerpt)

War News - The Gallipoli Evacuation (excerpt)

What if soldiers on the front line of one of New...

Thumbnail image for French Connection

French Connection

In the northern French town of Le Quesnoy, the names...

Thumbnail image for Grandfather's Footsteps

Grandfather's Footsteps

In 1916 Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence 'Curly' Blyth,...

Thumbnail image for 25 April

25 April

The first animated feature made and originated in New...

Thumbnail image for The Forgotten General

The Forgotten General

Director Karl Zohrab’s docudrama makes the case...

Thumbnail image for Saving Face

Saving Face

The trenches of World War I represented warfare on a...

Thumbnail image for Foreign Fields

Foreign Fields

Invited to compete in short film contest Tropfest NZ...

Thumbnail image for Our Oldest Soldier

Our Oldest Soldier

Lawrence 'Curly' Blyth volunteered for World War 1...

Thumbnail image for Our Lost War

Our Lost War

In this documentary, Outrageous Fortune...

Thumbnail image for Gallipoli


Made by Turkish director Tolga Örnek,...

Thumbnail image for Our People Our Century - Families at War

Our People Our Century - Families at War

New Zealand is a nation that has been scarred by...

Thumbnail image for Pioneer Women - Ettie Rout

Pioneer Women - Ettie Rout

The Feltex-winning series Pioneer Women...

Thumbnail image for Falls the Shadow

Falls the Shadow

In this documentary, artist Helen Pollock discusses...

Thumbnail image for Pictorial Parade No. 96 - The New Army

Pictorial Parade No. 96 - The New Army

An edition of the Pictorial Parade...