Animation can provide a temporary haven for people during stressful and difficult times, allowing us to hit pause on life and find relief from our everyday chaos and anxieties. This animation titled ‘Sultan T. Sloth’ explores this, by focusing on the at times mundane world of an adult through a nostalgic lens, in this case children's literature.  Demonstrating a contrast between adult life and a child's perspective. The aim of this work is to translate the original printed illustrations from the book 'Sultan T. Sloth' by Denise Stacey to the screen through a series of short, animated vignettes.

Drawing on the significant history of stop-motion and traditional 2D illustrated animation techniques, my work investigated how these two opposing methods of animation can be combined through practice-based methodology. Although there have been a variety of different hybrid animation experiments over the years (Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971), (Boxtrolls, 2014), (Iron Giant, 1999), there is a gap throughout animation production that explores stop-motion animation being composited into 2D environments, without the use of 3D props and built set design. The BBC’s TV series of Paddington Bear (Paddington Bear, 1976) used a stop-motion puppet within a 3D space that was made using 2D illustrated paper cut outs and 3D objects. Inspired by this, my own work provided a rich opportunity to experiment with storytelling further, compositing a stop-motion puppet into a full 2D digital environment.

The hybrid approach to this animation allowed me to harness the audience's nostalgia and familiarity with the children's book format and apply this to my own work, promoting increased communication and engagement with narrative, emotions and ideas. Through harnessing this nostalgia, this work provides its adult audience with a haven of comfort and relief from their everyday chaos, through a novel and whimsical aesthetic, and reminds them of the joy and wonder that they as children saw
in the mundane. 

Directed By: Amber Stacey
Written By: Denise Stacey
Animation: Amber Stacey
Music and Sound: Lucca Torres
Narration: Chris Barker
Compositing: Amber Stacey
Video Editing: Amber Stacey
Puppet Fabrication: Amber Stacey
Sultan T. Sloth: Vingettes
Below is a series of experimental vingette's based off the novelty book 'Sultan T. Sloth: One Sloth's Journey through COVID-19' by Denise Stacey, that utilise the hybrid combination of three-dimensional stop-motion and two-dimensional hand drawn animation. Drawing upon a theoretical framework of movement, new materialism and phenomenology, to examine new perspectives towards digital storytelling whilst revitalising these traditional methods of animation.  
The Book
Sultan T. Sloth is a fun and quirky little novelty book, that reflects on one sloth's daily struggles through isolation during COVID-19.

After being at the start of a once in a lifetime journey around Europe for eight weeks which included her wedding, creator Denise was thrown into disarray when COVID-19 hit and she was forced to fly home and stick out two weeks of quarantine. Then the entire world shut down. Sultan T. Sloth came about as a way to pass the time while being stuck at home with nothing but her grumpy thoughts. He has since taken on a life of his own and is now planning global domination through sharing his diary to the world.

To purchase the novelty book, or find out more information please visit: www.sultanthesloth.com  
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