Final project for Jim Rugg's Story Visual class, SVA MFA in Visual Narrative, Fall 2015.
In this animation of “Telling Stories Wrong”, Ella Romero has brought to life a short story by Gianni Rodari that she has loved since childhood. Rodari is widely considered by literary historians to be Italy’s foremost twentieth century children’s author, and received the Hans Christian Andersen medal in 1970. As a child Romero came across this story blindly in a children’s literature anthology received from her mother, hidden among the works of more popular writers like Shel Silverstein and Astrid Lindgren. She immediately earmarked it as a favorite because it was clever, unexpected and amused her greatly. Even as an adult, having read it hundreds of times over the years, it still makes her smile, and the endearing banter between mischievous grandfather and indignant granddaughter seemed obvious material for an animation.
In a very short amount of time, Rodari establishes an engaging, delightfully surprising story around a story, with two strong main characters (about whom we know nothing) experiencing a well-known fairytale anew, together. By illustrating and animating it, especially as only her third animation attempt ever, Romero was thrilled to tackle reinterpreting this tale in yet another new way, with her unique interpretations. Giving the anonymous grandfather and granddaughter life in this way, though they were lively enough on the page, opened up numerous opportunities to supplement their funny telling with some (hopefully) equally funny showing. “Telling Stories Wrong” appears in a larger Rodari story collection called Telephone Tales.
Many thanks to Katherine Sulenski and Ryan Wright for being disembodied voices.