Adeela Warley: Great animation can help us imagine a better future

From Pinocchio to Pixar, animation can capture and convey in ways that stay with us – truly ‘moving images’

It’s Highlights of the Year time. I know what you are thinking: how can 2020 offer up much more than the shortest of shortlists?

Well, charity comms professionals have faced up to lockdown, and produced much to celebrate and learn from. As a technique, there is more to animation than meets the eye – but that is what makes it great for getting to the heart of the complex issues and personal stories that charities deal with every day.

From Pinocchio to Pixar, animation can capture and convey, in ways that stay with us, truly moving images.

Two charities to have used the power of animation to connect and move are Pause and Crohns & Colitis.

Pause’s film is a personal story of a woman finding out about healthy relationships and how to take control of her life to break cycles of abuse and trauma. 

Crohns & Colitis’ 'It Takes Guts' won a Charity Film Award for drawing on peoples’ lived experience to start conversations about living with these invisible yet highly disruptive conditions, opening doors to greater understanding and human kindness. 

The animations are rooted in real lives but are done sensitively, in ways that do not expose vulnerable beneficiaries. They help explain often intangible or overlooked issues and bring us close to experiences beyond our own.

Producing expressive, stand-out stories has never been more important. Perhaps one last bit of magic animation can bring is the ability to imagine a future which may not be possible to see right now – a precious boon in tough times.

As the nights draw in, look out for great charity comms, and enjoy all the films the festive season offers.

Adeela Warley is chief executive of CharityComms

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