This animation was created for for Playhouse Disney.
We were given the incredible opportunity to choose from a range of stories Playhouse Disney had commissioned, and asked to bring them to life however we chose.
Lester the Lion immediately caught my attention and I quickly spent the evening after reading the story, creating his head using my vast collection of left-over fabric and wool.
After making Lester's head, I photographed it and created the rest of his body and the background scene in photoshop for the initial style frame. The original plan was to bring Lester and his friends to life in After Effects. However, with the help and encouragement from a brilliant team, we decided to get the needles and scissors out and shoot everything in camera.
Taking influence from 70s children's shows like Paddington and the Magic Roundabout, we set about creating Lester's world so the hand-crafted aspect of the piece was part of its character and integral to the animation's charm. Keen to show the human element behind the animation's creation, we wanted to produce something which really retained its handmade charm whilst being friendly enough to engage to the young audience.
So, many wire armitures, piles of fabric, stacks of paper hills and lots of glue later, we ended up with this animation which we're all incredibly proud of.
We shot the animation at 12 frames per second, over 3 weeks. Luckily the characters suffered no broken legs or other mishaps (and the set endured no clumsy knocks from me either)!
Designed & Directed by Maggie Rogers at Fred & Eric
Story written by Lisa Akhurst
Stop-frame animation and After Effects post by Susie Jones
Produced by Jamie Pigram
Model Makers: Maggie Rogers, Susie Jones and Natasha Craig
Set Construction: Tom Ashton-Booth
Initial Lighting Set-up: Andrew Meredith
DOP: Susie Jones
Sound Design: Playhouse Disney