Johnny Depp is currently a long way from the billion-dollar blockbusters he made in his prime. After having his reputation sullied by allegations of domestic violence and losing a high-profile libel case, he’s currently keeping a comparatively lower show business profile. Right now, he’s effectively blacklisted in Hollywood due to the inevitable controversy that comes with casting him — which many be why his most recent project is voicing an animated puffin.
First announced last year, Puffins is a mobile-first short-form animated show about the adventures of some cute birds who work as the servant of a grumpy walrus. Depp plays Johnny Puff, who seems to be some kind of eccentric puffin leader.
The show is produced by Italian studio Iervolino Entertainment, though is being made in Serbia. And that’s how Depp ended up hobnobbing with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić on a promotional trip:
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Vučić has been president since 2017 and has drawn his own controversy. He was Minister for Information under Slobodan Milošević and has attracted condemnation for his comments after the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre, saying a few days later, “For every Serb killed, we will kill 100 Muslims.”
He is also known for his support of war criminals, including Ratko Mladić, who was convicted of crimes against humanity and genocide.
At least Puffins sounds wholesome. The show bills itself as promoting gender and race equality with environmental messaging, promising to use “absurd gags” in service of themes resonating in contemporary society.
Puffins is available on Amazon Prime in various territories, so if you want to hear Johnny Depp as a heroic sea bird for yourself, check there.