I do not have any prior stop motion animation experience. I do however enjoy watching stop motion series, I find them very interesting, the composition, the design, the narrative that goes behind it are usually very compelling.
I was particularly intrigued by this animation, Mary & Max. The animation not only had good storyline, but it tells a story of real life mental health issues like depression, anxiety problem and a few more. Putting all these facts and presenting them in an animation is a challenge because it is hard to relay a story that focus on sensitive topics.
For our animation (we work in a group of three), since it is our first time creating it, we wanted to explore and enjoy the process. We focussed mainly on three aspects for our storyline. How it started, what happened in between and how it ended. I had a few elephant mockups I created previously and I thought it would be a good idea to utilise them for our first exercise.
My first rendition of the story using the elephants is very different from our final. The storyline was about an elephant who goes out in the jungle and chance upon a cocoon who was going through final stages of metamorphosis. The elephant witnessed the cocoon transform into a butterfly and it flew away majestically. The elephant was awed by this act of nature and wanted to fly too. He requested a group of caterpillars to wrap him in a cocoon so that he too could go through the process. The caterpillars agreed and he went through it and everything transpired with the elephant and his wings.
We thought about the story and came to a general consensus that it may be too hard for us to execute. We resulted into a simpler story which would not take a toll on us. Our final story revolves around two deconstructed elephants that came together in a piece and started to have a play with hide and seek. Their joy had a tragic end where an otter came up and took them away as hostages. You may find the final here.