The Mice & The Bakers
‘The power of pulling together’ – The Mice & The Bakers
5 October 2020 – 9 January 2021
‘The Mice & the Baker’ short animated film was the result of the Creative Scotland-funded education project ‘Little Animation Studio’. Over a period of 9 months, Little Animation Studio used adapted digital technologies to support primary school children from Harmeny School (Balerno) to create their first fully animated short film.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the children and their teachers were keen to continue the project and ‘animate on’. They were guided through the whole production process – from scriptwriting to character creation, voice recording to animation – through video and animation-based teaching materials and online, interactive tasks, with accompanying teachers’ notes and FaceTime and email support.
Right from the start of the project, the children’s digital literacy and their ability to adapt quickly to new technology was impressive, for example, when they themselves led on a trial voice recording session. They enjoyed the online videos and were surprisingly relaxed interacting with the project facilitators via FaceTime during sessions, even when they had actually not yet met face-to-face. Working online has allowed the teachers and project artists to work at the children’s pace, completing smaller sections for the animation over multiple days in the week, and receiving the material the children created for their film via email over several days, rather than working in more pressured time slots once a week.
Little Animation Studio stands as a tribute to the power of pulling together in difficult times. With the children’s, their teachers’ and the project artists’ combined efforts and ingenuity, creatively and organisationally, they created something together that is meaningful and beautiful to them – even when lockdown was quite tough for all of us.
‘Kindness is like a boomerang, it always returns’ (from the Mice and the Baker’s short film).
Project leads: Animator Simon Bishopp (showmanmedia.co.uk) and Dr Katja Frimberger (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow)
‘Little Animation Studio’ Website: http://showmanmedia.co.uk/little-animation-studio/