This was a fantastic project and another excellent collaboration, bringing in lots of different skill sets from all sorts of places. Justin Horne and myself had a lot of fun thinking about and developing the character style here. We are both big fans and were inspired by Brooklyn illustrator Oliver Jeffers amongst other illustrators in creating Grace’s image. This film arrived with us from Mary’s Meals fully storyboarded and ready to animate. There was and is so much information to get across to our audience and so the challenge lay in keeping people interested. We used typography to help speed up the messages in areas – and I think the music tells the whole story just perfectly. Thank you to Stu Brown and Bruce Cameron for these things!

The following is an excerpt from a press release about the project:

Mary’s Meals and Toad’s Caravan launch animated campaign ‘Saving Grace’

International children’s charity Mary’s Meals has today launched a campaign to promote its work feeding children around the world.

The campaign centres around a film called ‘Saving Grace’, created by design and animation collective Toad’s Caravan.

The charity chose to launch today (20th February) as it is the UN World Day of Social Justice, promoting “poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.”

Saving Grace tells the story of 10-year old orphan Grace, who lives in poverty in Malawi. Grace has to forage and beg for food for her and her siblings, and as a result, can’t go to school.

The four-minute animated film explains how by providing a free meal at school, Mary’s Meals can enable more children to go to school, eat, learn, and break the poverty cycle for future generations.

Mary’s Meals will be promoting the film across its social media channels and online, as well as via email to supporters.

There will be two versions of the film available – one that will be shown and used in the US, and one for Europe.

“We’ve seen the powerful effects that online films, and especially animations, can have for charities and awareness-raising organisations,” said Daniel Adams, head of fundraising, UK and Ireland at Mary’s Meals.

 “Films like those made by the Girl Effect campaign have shown what can be done and inspired us to approach Toad’s Caravan with a brief to create something similarly succinct and engaging to get our message across.

 “We had a tight timescale and a tight budget – as a no-frills charity, 93p in every pound goes on our charitable activities – and Toad’s Caravan really delivered for us. The simple message and animation style convey perfectly what we want to achieve.”

 Joanna Susskind, founder, Toad’s Caravan, added: “Mary’s Meals is a charity that is based on one simple premise – that for many kids, every day means a choice between eating and going to school.

 “Recognising and breaking that vicious cycle is the simple message at the core of everything they do, and creating a film to get that message across was a fantastic challenge. I hope this film will be a really useful tool for Mary’s Meals and support its work for many years to come.”

Mary’s Meals Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marysmeals

Mary’s Meals on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MarysMeals