RESEARCH: Our most important task was finding an animation style that would deliver such a sensitive topic in a tasteful manner. Not only that, but the character designs needed to feel as diverse as possible so that kids of any gender and skin colour could relate.
CHARACTER DESIGN: After a few iterations, we ended up choosing a shape-based, sketchy, colourful design for all the characters and the backgrounds.
SCRIPT: Working alongside Spurgeons, we wrote 6 different stories, each tackling the critical moments a family goes through when one of the parents is imprisoned. We also sent the script over to both adult and child actors, to record voiceovers for the animations.
STORYBOARD: Once we had all the stories mapped out, it was time to figure out the visuals. We mapped out each story with pen and paper to match the script and laid everything out. This gave everyone a strong idea of how each story will play out without having to commit too much time to each idea. This is the optimum time to make any changes to the story.
6 SECOND SAMPLE: We then picked a few seconds from the storyboard to fully animate so that everyone can see exactly how the final animations will look like. This is a proof of concept, and once the concept was signed off, we started animating from the beginning to end.
FIRST AND FINAL CUT: Once we had the script, storyboard, voiceover and 6 second sample signed off, we animated a fist cut of all 6 stories. We then discussed each one, and wrote down all feedback which was actioned in the final cuts, aka the finished animations.
He / him; yellow. Creative jack-of-all-trades, Matt is "dangerously knowledgeable" in almost every facet of marketing. His favourite field is branding, and he loves developing inspiring, daring brand identities for organisations who are ready to do something different. But he's equally talented at front end web development and developing digital strategies. He's also the front man and guitarist in local parody heavy metal outfit Evil Scarecrow, plus a huge fan of music, eating in nice restaurants, and going on holiday.
She / her. Iulia is Rusty Monkey’s animation, illustration and 3D expert. Responsible for making everything beautiful, she also dabbles in graphic design and UX design. Among her credits is an animated music video for local parody heavy metal band Evil Scarecrow. A talented artist, she showcases her work on her Instagram channel. She usually spends most of her time in some random corner of the house with a drawing tablet and a pen, scribbling away. Cat obsessed. Professional house plant killer. Autumn lover. Maker of things.
Research and style direction
6 second sample
Spurgeons Children’s Charity (Spurgeons) is one of the UK’s leading children’s charities, supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged children and their families for 150 years. Their mission is to improve the lives of families and children who are struggling to cope and to give every child the opportunity of a hope-filled life.
Creating educational content that both children and parents can absorb in an engaging and easy-to-digest way about a very sensitive topic - imprisonment.
We opted for creating a series of animations with lovable and relatable characters to guide the audience through the process, to help create a space in which children felt safe to ask questions about their families, and understand what is going on in their lives a bit better.
Our creative guild, led by our animator, Iulia; and copy writer, Mel.
Working with Spurgeons was so incredibly rewarding, we love working with charities because it helps us to feel like we're doing something good in the world. Their mission and values are very closely aligned with our own, and the project was such fun for our designers and animators. We got to get our pencils and paper out!
The animated stories ended up being reassuring and informative, putting the emphasis on the wellbeing of children.
Get in touch to find out how animation can help you explain your product or service to your audience.
Subscribe to our newsletter for unique content, marketing insights and good times.