Animators tackle child poverty

BBC Newsround has collaborated with five creative consultancies to create a one-off, special edition documentary that uses animation to highlight different aspects of child poverty in the UK.

The BBC appointed animation and design groups Bold Creative, Blue-Zoo, Slinky Pictures, Trunk and Arthur Cox, to create illustrations for the Wrong Trainers project, which tells the stories of six children faced with poverty. According to series producer Kez Margrie, ‘using animation, the issues can be presented in a way that is accessible and relevant to both a young and broad adult audience’.

The Newsround crew spent six months building relationships with the children from Tower Hamlets in London, rural Somerset, a rehabilitation centre, a council estate in Hull, Scotland and Clapton in London. The team then passed the interviews to the five consultancies to work on the animation.

Bold Creative illustrated the story of one child, using a comic strip. Martin Orton, consultancy managing director, says: ‘We only let the illustrators hear the voices of the children, without seeing their pictures so they couldn’t see what they looked like. We wanted to put something different into it and they had to animate them from how they sounded. The whole programme is to raise awareness of child poverty and this time it crossed over well in raising awareness among adults’.

Slinky Pictures has used photo-montage to tell the story of its child, while Trunk used simple line drawings. Blue Zoo, which handled two interviews, produced a cartoon-style piece for one child and animated characters against 3D backgrounds for the other. Arthur Cox has created an animation entirely framed within a cardboard box.

The Wrong Trainers will air on BBC Newsround on Friday 1 December at 4.45pm.

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