The Global Search of Education: Director Sebastian Law on Stories From the Past that Inspire Him
This month, audiences can screen Fox Tales: Episode 1, Summer Night on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for Planet Classroom by KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.
Fox Tales: Episode 1, Summer Night is a 2D animated short with interesting and entertaining characters and a unique message about rules and the consequences we face if we break them.
The story follows Snow, a gifted young fox with a magical power to conjure up magic by writing with her tail! When Snow’s parents set rules for Snow and her siblings, Snow tries to find loopholes. Director Sebastian Law also wrote the film. The engaging voice of Snow is portrayed by Tchia Su Ping. Didi, the grey fox who is Snow’s friend, is played by Nadia Ramlee. We learn much about Chinese myths in this humorous, enjoyable tale that will appeal to people of all ages.
The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Director Sebastian Law.
Sebastian, what was your inspiration for the main conflict of children needing to go to sleep instead of staying up all night? Was this something you learned as a child or have struggled about with your own children?
I do not have children myself, but I drew inspiration mainly from my own experience as a child, wondering why I was always led off to bed instead of watching more TV or playing. But of course, having to wake up early for school, you would always lament why you can’t sleep in more.
Is the symbol used to create the sun of any significance to you? How did it originate?
The symbol is based on an ancient Chinese pictograph of the sun. In ancient times, the Chinese drew pictures to communicate, and these pictographs would evolve to be characters of the Chinese language. I only came to realize that the characters I had such hard times trying to write were actual drawings only later in my adult years. As such it sparked a renewed interest in its formation. So it was a kind of reverse engineering. Now I look at a Chinese character, look at how it was constructed, and how each element resembles the thing that inspired it; why and how they are placed together and what meaning, literal or abstract. So, what if you were to write a Chinese character and suddenly it magically transforms into the literal thing? That was the basic inspiration.
What drew you to creating children’s animation? Can you talk a little about the animation approach used in this film?
I’ve always liked to draw since childhood, and animation is for me, drawings coming to life, and that fascinated me. That is why I have loved the media as a child, deriving inspiration and enjoyment from the wide variety of cartoons I consumed over the years. It is why I pursued an education in the arts and later to work in the animation industry.
For Fox Tales, we simply want to create a colorful and yet simple story that is accessible to our audience. We hope we are able to create content from which children can derive not just enjoyment, but that also inspires them positively.
What is the message you want the audience to get from this episode?
Other than the common sense message, like resting early and such, hopefully audiences can think out of the box when it comes to solving a situation. Stories from the past (like Hoyi the archer) will contain inspiration and perhaps a solution. But most of all, I hope they find enjoyment in the characters and story.
Don’t Miss Fox Tales: Episode 1, Summer Night, now screening on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.