Animation is a fantastic tool to explain things and to tell stories. Recently I’ve come across two animations that I absolutely love…I wish that Reflection Films had created them!
The first is from Drive80, and it focuses on the HB2 law passed by North Carolina’s legislature, denying transgender individuals the right to use government-run bathrooms corresponding to the gender in which they identify.
There are many reasons why I think this animation is so effective. Here are my top three:
1) The script takes an emotionally charged issue head on and breaks it down in such simple and human terms. When I was talking to my 11-year old son about what he thought the video was about, he got it and mentioned that people often are afraid of change and differences, when there really is no reason to feel threatened.
2) The use of shapes instead of stick figures, to me, is brilliant. For one, using shapes visually lends itself so well to demonstrating the fluidity of identity and transition. But, in addition, it is also a meaningful way to demonstrate the point that people want the power to shape themselves into who they want to be and not have labels be imposed upon them by others.
3) The heart at the end was a beautiful way to conclude the piece. It all comes down to recognizing people as people. We all have feelings. We all have goals and dreams. To the extent that we can see that commonality and celebrate it, instead of seeing the world as “us” and “them,” the better off we will be.
The second animation is from an organization called Bristol Ageing Better:
This animation is fantastic on so many levels. First, the humor gets you right from the very beginning. With the text on screen, you anticipate that you are going to be watching clips from interviews with older folks, but instead the use of animated animal characters paired with the voices of the older folks draws you in immediately.
Hearing folks talk about loneliness is not easy. The animation acts as a buffer. It allows you to focus and listen to what the interviewees are saying without feeling the uncomfortable emotions of pity or guilt (if you aren’t checking in on an older loved one enough!).
The message of transitioning from loneliness to feelings of self-efficacy by deciding to become active (e.g., getting exercise, volunteering in one’s community) comes through loud and clear in an entertaining and memorable way.