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Making an Animated Fable

Good communication is a key trait of any good designer, and in MYP Design, grade 7 students extended their visual and oral communication skills by making an ‘Animated Fable’ for the grade 3 students at ISUtrecht.The leading inquiry of this unit was how young children might learn from the multimodal aspects of animation rather than reading the story in a book.

By Annabel Kjar, Visual Arts and Design

Grade 7 experimented with various animation techniques before developing their ideas into a cohesive visual narrative. They produced an animated film, complete with sound and lighting that was based upon a fable they had researched. The films were then tested it on their audience. The grade 3 students, in turn, were brutally honest and very particular in giving feedback to the grade 7 students, so they could learn from it!

Below are a number for scenes from The Monkey and the Crocodile, a tale from the Pachatrata, a traditional Indian fable made by Nayana and  Aditi from 7Y. Their animated film is about greed and selflessness. Nayana and Aditi both remember being read these stories and were thrilled to share their own animated version to others, so they may learn from it.

The crocodile and the monkey

At the start, the monkey shares mangoes with the crocodile every day and after some time they become friends. One day the crocodile brings some mangoes (given to him by the monkey) home, to his wife.  The wife tastes the mangoes and she finds them sweet. She thinks: “If these mangoes are so sweet then the monkey’s heart will be sweeter as he eats the mangoes every day”.

She asks her husband to call his friend (the monkey) to dinner, as she wants to eat him. The crocodile knows that his wife wants to eat the heart of his friend (the monkey). The next day he goes to the monkey and invites him for dinner.

The crocodile takes the monkey on his back. On the way to the crocodile’s house the crocodile tells his friend  (the monkey) the truth, (why his wife wanted to invite the monkey to dinner).

The monkey is shocked and wants to save his life so he says to the crocodile: “ O, I forgot my heart in my house, could you please take me back to my house so that I can take my heart and your wife could taste it.” The foolish crocodile takes the monkey back.

When they both reach the monkey’s house, the monkey gets off the crocodile’s back and climbs up the tree and says: “ You fool, why would I want someone to eat my heart, from now onwards you aren’t my friend anymore”.