10 Lives - AD Introduction

10 Lives - AD Introduction


This is an audio-described introduction to 10 Lives: a charming 2024 Sky original animated, family comedy directed by Chris Jenkins. Set in England, along a gorgeous stretch of sun-dappled Dorset coastline. Undulating cliffs of white rise from the ocean and lead onto lush green meadows flecked with bright colourful wildflowers full of buzzing bees and pink blossoming apple trees filled with warbling birds.  Pockets of picturesque towns litter the Jurassic coast, one of which accommodates a quintessential Gothic university.  The film’s art style is full of bright colours and dramatic lighting, blending realism and stylisation, with the characters and environments based upon real-world elements, but often exaggerated and simplified to create a distinct, warm, and gentle style, that’s endearing and comforting. The film is aimed at children and is rated U.

The story follows Beckett, a cheeky and chubby cat. Pampered by his doting and kind-hearted human Rose, Beckett takes his comfortable life for granted despite the lucky hand he was dealt, when she rescued him as a destitute and abandoned scraggly kitten. However, when he loses his ninth life, fate steps in to set him on a journey of self-discovery and with the blessing of Heaven’s Gatekeeper, Beckett returns to earth and Rose with a whole new set of lives. As always there is a catch, with each new life seeing him return in a different form...

Beckett (voiced by British comedian Mo Gilligan) is a tubby, round bellied grey cat. His little pink nose and long white whiskers are framed by soft white fur which stops between his eyes and just above his cheeks.  The white fur continues down the underside of his neck and across his large belly, stopping before his bottom. His tale has a white tip, and each little paw is a sock of white, soft fur.  Beckett’s truly defining feature are his eyes.  The left eye is a bright blue, and the right is yellow. His grey fur has faint, slightly darker stripes across his back and on each side of his face and atop his head, he has small, styled spikes that slightly curl up at the ends.  To finish off, he wears a pink collar, with a bumblebee button beneath his chin.  Beckett is confident, yet clueless and saunters around his house and expansive gardens without a care in the world.  His two passions are eating and sleeping, and his one true love is Rose. When he’s not eating, he snuggles down on his prized, green cushion, (embroidered with flowers and an Indian styled elephant) that sits on the windowsill of a large window overlooking the gardens. 

Rose (voiced by Simone Ashley) is Beckett’s owner.  She’s a sweet and gentle university graduate, with a skinny build and soft big green eyes.  Her light brown skin is delicately sprinkled with freckles and her long wavy deep brown hair is almost always worn in a tight studious bun at the back of her head.  She favours long sleeved yellow turtleneck jumpers often beneath a pristine white lab coat and always wears cute daisy flower stud earrings.  She’s hard working and devoted to her research about bees and their population. Because of this, her home is unkept, littered with clothes and boxes of books and research, from the hallway to the kitchen to the living room. Her home isn’t dirty, but it is messy.

Down a dirt road and off the beaten track with rising white coastal cliffs in the near distance, sits Roses’s house, nestled among bulbous green trees and sweeping meadows.  Her thatched cottage has two tall chimneys either end of the sloped roof, and a small, fenced area at the back of the property has another shed-like structure at the end.  Climbing vines snake their way across the brickwork and around the front door, and plush bushes full of wildflowers hug the front of the house, rising to ground floor, sash windows. Thick wooden beams segment the internal walls, line the ceilings, frame each window and doorframe and a large stone fireplace sits proudly in the living room. The floors are paved with large rustic stone tiles and the back room has been turned into a research lab, containing centrifuges, laptops, test tubes, terrariums, and a large blackboard.  From this room, double doors open onto the back garden which is full of terracotta plant pots, bright flowers and several house-shaped bee hives, which Rose tends and uses for her research.

Beckett’s comfortable life is thrown into a self-inflicted spiral, as Larry (voiced by Dylan Llewellyn) Rose’s on-again-off-again ex-boyfriend and research partner turns up to help her and her bee research.  Larry is a kind, but bumbling boffin; his academic acumen juxtaposed against a laid back, geeky and skinny surfer type exterior, with purple and blue spiked hair, long sleaved tops under t-shirts, ripped jeans and thick-rimmed black glasses. He’s clumsy and awkward but well intentioned and sweet.

Professor Craven (voiced by Bill Nighy) is a faculty advisor at the university and cosy’s up to Rose and her research, but beneath his practised smile, ulterior motives are at play.  He’s an older white man, with a slim build, a long face with a large, hooked nose, tight lips and has soft blue eyes behind round, brass-rimmed glasses. His short grey hair is swept back, he has a tiny dimple at the end of his chin, and he wears a red turtleneck jumper beneath a dark wool blazer.  Craven plots and schemes with twin brothers Cameron and Kirk (both voiced by Zayn Malik who also provides a few original songs for the film).  The burly but blathering brothers have tattooed arms and wear checkered lumberjack shirts.  Each goon has a beard and moustache, and one always wears a red beanie.  Craven works at a gothic style university, which sits right on a small stretch of sandy beach where the cliffs recede into the surf. The campus neighbours a tiny village, full of quaint houses and small meandering streets.  His office at the university is panelled with dark wood and lined with shelves full of neatly arranged leatherbound books and in the centre of the bookshelf, sits a large illuminated fishtank.  

After Beckett accidentally expends his final life, he ends up riding an elegant elevator to the 9th floor - “DMV for Reincarnation” - where he meets Grace, Heaven’s Gatekeeper (voiced by Sophie Okonedo) who is also the 10 Lives Animal shelter worker.  Grace is a black woman, with coils of frizzy dark hair, pulled back into a fluffy bun.  She wears gold, armless glasses which sit on the bridge of her nose and have wings either side.  At times the wings flutter gently, allowing the spectacles to fly around on their own accord.  Perfect white clouds dissipate revealing a heavenly waiting room with smooth marbled surfaces accentuated by gold trim.  Sitting on one of the chairs, is an old white cat, knitting an impossibly long scarf as she waits patiently for her ticket to be called.  Beckett swindles his way ahead of her and works his charm before Grace grants him 9 new lives, but to his alarm they are not what Beckett had in mind. 

The first form Beckett returns as is a badger with a long, white striped face, white belly, black arms, and a smoky coloured back. With every animal form he takes, the only feature that remains the same are Beckett’s eyes, one blue and one yellow. 
His second form is that of a rat with a long pink fleshy tale, wide round ears, a pink round nose, pink fleshy paws, grey fur with a slightly whiter tummy, and a single large flat tooth that sticks out beneath his top lip. 
His third form is a brown-yellow cockroach, with long antenna that sweep backward along his body.
Next Beckett transforms into a pudgy parrot.  His tummy is perfect white, which fades into a band of yellow feathers before a bright blue set of feathers lines his back and wings.  His blue eye matches the blue feathers, and his yellow one matches the yellow.  Several thin feathers curl up and out from the back of his head and black strips of tiny feathers line his cheeks and around his eyes. Where the yellow meets the blue above his eyes, there’s a tiny patch of vibrant green feathers that blend the two colours together.
Next Beckett returns as a small, stocky dog, with soft yet thick ginger fur around his back and head, white fur inside his ears, around his face, his paws and his belly and he has a large black nose.  Beckett then turns into a little round goldfish with a white belly, shimmering orange scales and a large dorsal fin.
With his seventh life, Beckett returns as a handsome stallion with a chestnut-coloured coat.  He has a black mane and tail and a stripe of white from his forehead to his nose.   His belly hangs a little low and is rather round, carried by thin legs with light, creamy coloured hooves.  As a much larger animal, Beckett’s coloured eyes are very noticeable.
Beckett’s second to last form is that of a bee.  Soft yellow fur surrounds his abdomen which is punctuated by stripes of black.  His delicate wings are see-through, segmented by a network of tiny black veins.

Finally, on his last life, Beckett returns to his original cat form and fights for everything he has as the story reaches its dramatic conclusion.

This audio introduction was written and narrated by Davide Arbisi, who also provides the Audio Description soundtrack to the film.  10 Lives is showing on Sky Cinema Premiere from 5th April 2024.