I do love a good once upon a time animation every now and again and this fits the bill in more ways than one. A king sees his nation and people prosper. Yet over time, their want of nothing makes his people self-seeking and indolent and their wisdom, power and fame become worth nothing more than something to trade for commodities. The king decides to test them and hopes with all his heart that one will come who can show his people their error. A young boy, arriving at the gleaming capital to sell his fruit, may represent the solution but he has more than a metaphorical rock in the road to overcome.
This delightful animated short was created by students at the Southern Adventist University in the US State of Tennessee. Its making is something of a tale too. It was first started by a group of students in 2007 as a three minute short. As the project grew, all involved soon realised that the project was going to take considerably longer than a single academic year. Students graduated and moved on, other projects demanded time and energy yet slowly but surely the movie edged nearer completion.
So, the end result you see here is the product of five years of commitment and perseverance on the part of professors and students at the university. It was completed at the end of the 2012 academic year (I expect to the relief and jubilation of all involved). The doggedness of student and staff at SAU reflects that of our little hero here too!
Rock in the Road from SVAD Animation on Vimeo.
I hope you will agree that the finished item is a wonderful piece of storytelling which tells a simple but morally substantial tale in a rather lovely way.
Many thanks to Zach Gray, Associate Professor at the School of Visual Art & Design at SAU for giving me the heads up on this. I thoroughly enjoyed it and lift my hat to all involved.