Research- Hidden Meaning Animations

At our meeting today Lorna introduced us to this little short called ‘The Present.‘ The premise of the animation is that of a child who receives a puppy from his Mum. The dog itself has a lame leg, and so the boy ignores it. By the end of the short, the boy warms to the animal, and it is revealed that he too has a lame limb. We really liked the idea of a hidden message in our work- something that would start normal, even comical, but end on a lower, more serious tone.

2016-02-24.pngBoth with lame limbs. (Vimeo, 2016).


The Present was based on the above comic by Fabio Coala. (, 2016).

On a similar theme of animations- Hollie shared this lovely short raising awareness for the Orca whales. The short starts with a calming background- the black and white colours, soft lighting and gentle movements give a lovely peaceful setting. A the short draws to an end, it takes a sharp turn. The mother whale is captured in a fishing net, the baby now on its own.

The Last Memory sets a sadder tone. (Vimeo, 2014).

Cassie had brought in a few books to have a look at too- suicide bunnies was an amazing one. She pointed out that in the book itself, the bunnies aren’t always apparent. Scenes like the toast picture where the only thing on show are the rabbit’s ears.

bunyThe rabbit isn’t always seen. (Riley, n.d.).

We started to talk about what we could imply in our own video. When having a little look on some of the second year blogs, I found this video known as ‘Butter- Fingers‘ by J-Scott. The animation demonstrates various things that happen that the phrase is said with- like dropping knives on the floor, dropping a doughnut so the icing smears on the floor.

2016-02-24 (5)

2016-02-24 (4)

Stills from Butter Fingers. (Vimeo, 2014).

We realised there were a lot of different things that could be used for our hidden meaning; idioms/ sayings or a more moral issue.


According to the Oxford dictionary, Idioms are group of words in a fixed order that have a particularmeaning that is different from the meanings of each word on itsown:To “have bitten off more than you can chew” is an idiom that means you have triedto do something which is too difficult for you. (Hornby, Cowie and Lewis, 1974).


Like butter-fingers, we use these on a daily basis, without even realising.


This animation by Ringling College of Art and Design shows a variety of these idioms or sayings in the one story. In this case, however, comedy seems to be the main aspect.(YouTube, 2016).

Serious Note/Progression 

The other type of art is the use of a more moral issue (much like that used in Present). In the performance art piece “Bad Things Could Happen” the plot shows how every day tasks can result in a more morbid ending.

The teeth makes my hands tingle a little-ew. (YouTube, 2016).

In fact, the whole ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared’ franchise have a very morbid meaning to child like settings.

Teddy Has An Operation is one of my favourite strange videos- It shows the fixing of a teddy for a new child to love. Notice how both this video and the above are on white backdrops? A similar look that we want to follow.  (YouTube, 2016).

And of course a mention to the famous ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared’ is necessary. (YouTube, 2016).

Cassie also showed me this little animation for the Iron Bru brand. It acts in a more comically morbid way. The plot begins happy, the ‘Farmer’ leading  a herd of very Disney animals to their death at a butcher shop. At the time ASA received 204 complaints, many stating the ad would be scary for children.

Iron Bru Advertisement. (YouTube, 2016).



Vimeo, (2016). The Present. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016]., (2016). Perfection. You are not like the others…  by Fábio Coala (via Comic Strips Koala). [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].

Riley, A. (n.d.). The book of bunny suicides.

Vimeo, (2014). Butter Fingers. [online] Available at:[Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].

Hornby, A., Cowie, A. and Lewis, J. (1974). Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary of current English. London: Oxford University Press.

Vimeo, (2014). THE LAST MEMORY (short film). [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].

YouTube, (2016). Confessions of an Idiom Animated comedy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016]YouTube, (2016). Bad Things That Could Happen. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].

YouTube, (2016). IRN BRU evil butcher.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb. 2016].


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