Why don't we have high hopes?

Why don't we have high hopes?

That Carolyn Giardina

The Academy Award-nominated animated short The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, based on the illustrated book of the same name by British artist Charlie Mackesy, was not initially planned as a work of to be published or as a film.

It all started as a series of drawings in early 2018, which he posted on his Instagram account (today with 1.7 million followers), featuring the 4 main characters and their thoughts on kindness, hope, friendship and courage.

For example, in one Instagram drawing the boy asks, "What's the bravest thing you've ever said?" The horse replies: "Help!" Mackesy started posting more of his drawings and was moved by the response he was getting. "Everyone was discussing their feelings, what was difficult and what they were hoping for," the director told THR.

This led to the publication of the book in 2019, followed by production of the animated short that began in early 2020 during the pandemic lockdown. Mackesy and PeterBaynton were directors (and producers). But Matthew Freud, CaraSpeller and Bad Robott's JJ Abrams and Hannah Minghella also served as such.

The short film depicts the boy and the unlikely friendship that develops as the four come together to share their thoughts, and as the boy searches for his home. At one point the moth asks the boy what he would like to be when he grows up. The boy answers: "Polite".

The animation team worked remotely due to Covid-19, with a common goal: to create a look that best reflected the drawings in the book, which were done in ink and watercolor. "We wanted to make those drawings move, but at the same time keep the spirit of the fluidity of the ink and the line and the varying thickness of the lines," says Mackesy.

Sipas tij pjesa më e vështirë, ishte zhvillimi i personazheve, sidomos i djalit. “Në libër, ai nuk kishte një strukturë të dallueshme të fytyrës. Ishte gjithmonë paksa i errët. Prandaj ai udhëtim zgjati shumë. Unë bëra shumë studime mbi portretin e tij. Pas studimit të portretit të një djali, e hodha të në letër një mëngjes dhe të gjithë më thanë “Ky është!”.

Por Mackesy e pranon se druhej se mos ishte shumë përshkrues. “Më pëlqente ideja që ai ishte paksa i errët, në mënyrë që njerëzit të mund ta projektonin veten apo që ai mund të ishte kushdo. Por e dija që duhet të jemi shumë më specifik dhe të themi:”Ky është djali, ja si duket. Këto janë emocionet dhe ndaj do të lidhemi me të!”-thotë ai.

The project became more important as people became more isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic. "At one point my inbox had 50,000 e-mails (in response to his drawings and book), and many of them were very painful.

Many of them were telling me the truth of their lives with Covid-19, be it schools, hospitals or individuals. It was very exciting when I read them" - remembers Mackesy. It was his wish that when the film was released, it would evoke some of the feelings described in the story, such as hope or the realization that it's normal to ask for help.

"I hoped that when the film was over, people would feel touched, hopeful and more connected to each other. And feel less alone and more comfortable with themselves. Why not have high hopes?".

Originally published on bota.al