Emotionally heavy or sensitive subjects are often difficult for people to face. And even when they are faced, there’s still the task of getting people to understand the core message at the heart of the issue. The right voice to present a heavy subject will truly be situational. Sometimes a piece of writing, an interview, or open conversation is the most appropriate means to reach understanding. Alongside these mediums, animation has its place, and sometimes, is the right voice to help people understand some of the more complex topics facing our society today.

Animation provides the opportunity to remove biases and educate people on the subject matter at hand by creating a blank slate, a character in which people can project onto or a theme presented in a new light. With how animation enhances symbolism and emotion, the viewer can project themselves onto the animation and gain new insight, evoking compassion, empathy or perhaps urgency.

Sometimes, confronting people with the reality of a subject is the right thing to do. With problems such as poverty and natural disaster, showing live-action shots will create the sense of urgency needed. But when it comes to topics that are difficult to capture, like mental illness or the dynamics of drug abuse, animation can visually represent these complex realities that an outside observer wouldn’t be able to see. Internal struggles can be shown externally with colour, symbolism and music, giving people the opportunity to understand what is otherwise invisible to them.

As animation can be shared through social media, the message of an animation can also reach people who are struggling themselves, providing them with a place to reach out and connect with those who are in a similar boat. As these subjects can be hard to talk about, animation can be shared with the people close to them, opening a discussion and giving them the resources to understand how they can best support the person affected.

If you would like to learn more about how animation can help people understand emotionally sensitive subjects, please contact us at hello@shootyou.co.uk