The Legend of Whales is a 2D animated graduate thesis film. The entire film, including the credits, is 7 minutes 20 seconds long. The duration of the production went from September 2018 to May 2019.
This is a story about the cycle of destiny which takes place in an ancient Viking-inspired fishing village. The main character, Bion, is born with a special connection with the enemy of the village, a species of whale. One day he meets a beluga whale and is immediately drawn to the beautiful creature. After a friendly meeting, they build up a bonded relationship, even though their connection is forbidden by the law of the village. In the end, Bion’s bond is so strong he sacrifices himself to protect his whale friend from being killed by the chief. The boy’s spirit transforms into a whale and accidently causes a flood that destroys the village and drowns the chief, and Bion finally joins the family of whales and returns to where he belongs alongside his friend.
The Legend of Whales is a 2D animation that is produced with multiple software programs, including TVPaint Animation Pro 11, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere. The final output format is 1080P HD with stereophonic track. This thesis is a combination of creativity, techniques, artistic inspiration and a strong personal motivation for storytelling and to challenge myself, putting all the skills I’ve accumulated during my academic studies into this thesis project.
Imaging Arts (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Film and Animation (CAD)
Mari Jaye Blanchard
Xiao, Bingjie, "The Legend of Whales" (2019). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus