The history of animation is almost as old as film. Starting with the innovative stop motion of ‘Steamboat Willie’ (1928) and continuing to enthrall blockbuster audiences to this present day (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, 2018.)

Since 2012, new software and increasingly powerful computers have meant it’s become possible to produce animation more cost effectively. The applications of animation for television commercials and corporate communication became obvious from the outset and businesses clamored to harness the power of animation. This initial enthusiasm for animation was turbo charged during the Covid pandemic during which the ability to film became highly restricted.

Away from the clamor of industry there are other, fascinating ways in which the power of animation could be harnessed. But first, we need to understand more about what animation is and precisely how it works its wonderful magic.

Despite animation forming an intrinsic link to many of our emotions and memories, there has been little psychological research conducted as to why exactly animation has the incredible power it has. For me, the most intriguing application for animation is the possibility of its use within mental health, especially for children and young adults.

If psychotherapy is ‘walking with a client’, offering them ways to reinterpret and re-evaluate their experiences, then animation offers a fascinating new modality through which alternative approaches to living can be explored.

This is the first of a series of short posts aiming to explore the power of animation, especially its growing application within the corporate sphere. I’ll then aim to illustrate how I believe the power of animation can be applied to the treatment of mental health, especially within the cohort of children and young adults.

I strongly feel animation can be a cost-efficient, additional resource at a time when rates of anxiety and its handmaidens (anger, addiction & depression) continue to soar.

Quint Boa, Synima Founder

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