‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ is a blog focusing on collecting urban stories; these are then reworked into animation, illustration or song. The creators encourage visitors to the blog to leave a recorded message, on their skype address: dttsanimation or telephone: 020 3290 4348, describing a story, experience or thought. You may also simply email your tale to email@example.com. The blurb reads: ‘Life in the city surrounded by strangers can bring about unexpected encounters. We want to hear your stories; from the awkward, alienating or unpleasant to the amusing, bizarre or touching. Call and leave us a message or drop us an email of a thought, experience or story. Our team of artists will pick stories and bring them to life through animation, illustration or song.’
‘The Man Inside Mickey’ is the project’s first episode; a curious and creepy anecdote concerning an unexpectedly charged encounter with a poorly impersonated Mickey Mouse. Retold by an anonymous female voice, the quality of the recording suggests the tone of an answer-phone machine. The animator, Daniela Sherer, adopts a minimal and scrappy 2D digital aesthetic common to graphic tablet sketches. The seemingly naïf style combines a limited colour palette with a pleasing line boil. The unsophisticated, uninhibited drawing style skillfully supplements the sinister nature of the short narrative.
‘The Man Inside Mickey’ is the first and only episode available. A blog post from May 2013 states the project was put on hold while the group focused on their graduate films. Christine Hooper, the producer, has been in-touch to explain they team have taken a ‘strategic pause’ while they apply for funding. The ‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ team is mostly made up from the Royal College of Art’s Animation MA 2013 2013 graduate year. On show in June at the RCA’s animation exhibition was Daniela Sherer’s marvelous nine-minute 2D digital short ‘The Shirley Temple’, an animation where mimesis and storytelling is reduced to the point of abstraction. We wish Daniela, Christine and their collaborators luck in gaining funding to develop the ‘Don’t Talk To Stranger’ project. A few more stories from the public may help spur them on (hint, hint).
If any animators or illustrators are interested in getting involved then please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org