What is it about?

In this article, we explore a stop-motion animation movie created by six young children (4-5 year olds) and their teacher. In the article, we explore what charaterizes the relationship between the visual and auditive modes in the animation movie. A central characteristic of an animated movie is the combination of different modes, e.g. moving images, voice, music, text; all of which are equally important in conveying the narrative. The findings indicate that the relationship between the modes is characterized by layers that partially interact; sometimes they do and sometimes they do not. The moving images form the basis, while the voiceover and background music to a small extent deepen or nuance the visual mode. During the production, the different modes were added as layers; first the children and the teacher created the animation sequences, then they recorded the voiceover, and finally they added the background music. However, when the modes are added as layers, it is difficult to create an interplay in which all modes interact and communicate a coherent and whole message throughout the entire movie, especially when involving a group of young children as creators. In the article we question whether the sequential design of the digital apps used in the production of the movie may have contributed to this partial interaction between the modes.

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Why is it important?

Our search for previous studies shows that there is a need for more knowledge about stop-motion animation movies created together with young children; including studies that explore the final product – the animation movie. We also want to highlight the importance for teachers and researchers to acknowledge young children's multimodal creation. To be able to understand the multimodal ensemble in animations created by the children, it is important to recognise and acknowledge the choices made by the children during the process.


Based on the children's own reflections during the process in this study, it is clear that they have many and rich experiences with multimodal texts — which they take with them into the creation process.

Marianne Undheim
Universitetet i Stavanger

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: In Pursuit of a Multimodal Ensemble in a Stop-motion Animation Movie Created by Six Young Children, Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy, December 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/23644583-bja10035.
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