Animation: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch

This is a film made in a workshop run by Quirky Pictures for the BBC Children in Need at the Downsview Special School in the U.K. It’s just insanely beautiful. These kids are learning to be free with various artistic modes and they have made something that is mysterious, magical and wonderful. They are 9 – 12 years old and they make all their paper cutouts, puppets, and props. They storyboard and watercolor and narrate. They have their own little movie studio going into operation. These workshops must be something to see because these results are something very rare. I think the BBC should put together a television show and get all these things on the air.

Animation: Fred the Button Finds a Friend

Quirky Pictures conducted a workshop for children who animate at the Oxley Park Primary School in the United Kingdom. This one is the story of a button who sets out looking for a friend and finds himself on many adventures. The kids have done beautiful drawings and their voice work gives the whole thing the kind of gentle wit that only clever kids can invent.

Animation: The Scared Ladybird

Ok, do these kids have any idea how good this work is? I think they probably do, because they are a total crack-up. ‘People say I’m spotty, but I say I’m dotty.’ Lots of laughs and excellent dialog from these kids who are going to turn their school (Oxley Park Primary School) into an animation studio very quickly. This is the result of another animation camp from Quirky Pictures.

Animation: The Magic Fish

Shaun Clark and Kim Noce at Mew Lab made The Magic Fish for broadcast on a BBC television show for children. It’s an Italian folk tale about a couple who have very little but get some assistance from an ancient chestnut tree and a magic fish. The animation is full of mixed media painting, paper, and photographs.  My favorite part is the ocean with the little boat near the end.

Russian Animation: Goodnight Children

This is the opening and closing animation for a children’s television show in Russia. It was made by Yuri Norstein who works primarily with pieces of painted paper that he moves to create stop-motion animations unlike any others in the world. This is a beautiful piece that captures the storybook imagination perfectly. It looks damned close to being 3-dimensional. But don’t be fooled – Pixar can’t do this. Only Norstein can. He does it with his fingers. Incredible and brilliant and exquisite.