Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

“Jacob Two Two” Animator Gives a Glimpse Behind the Scenes

Jennifer Sherman has supervised as well as animated on productions such as “Jacob Two Two,” “Max and Ruby,” “Yummi-Land,” “Futz” and “Peep and the Big Wide World” for 9 Story Entertainment since March 2003.Since graduating from Sheridan College in 1988, she has been involved in the animation industry in Toronto on many levels. Jennifer has animated on a number of television commercials, televisions series, and also worked on a feature film for companies such as Lightbox Studios, The Animation House, Calibre and Nelvana. The transition from classical animation to digital computer animation was a natural progression for Jennifer in 2002.CP: Looking at your background, it seems that you have covered a multitude of styles in animation. What do you feel is your strongest area and what do you enjoy doing the most?JS: What I feel is my strongest area is character driven scenes. I love it when a character makes you feel the way they feel and have you believe in them. There’s something powerful in a subtle head turn or gesture that makes you forget it’s not real. When I watch really well done animation, I love to get lost in the character and the story.CP: What brought you to 9 Story Entertainment?JS: A colleague of mine recommended I apply for a position as an animator. At the time I had no idea how Flash animation was done but he said, “Animation is animation no matter what the format is, it’s simply a different tool.” True enough.CP: Jacob Two Two is very different from Peep and the Big Wide World, which you also worked on. What steps do you take to capture the magic of Jacob?JS: Jacob is geared to a bit older audience than Peep so this allows us to explore a broader range of issues that older kids deal with. There are so many different personalities in the show that each character brings a familiarity with it. Growing up even today, I’m sure lots of kids have to deal with a group of bullies, an annoying older sibling, geeky friends or a science teacher that’s just plain weird. It’s a show that is rewarding to be able to really act out all these different characters. The voice actors really help drive the characters in this show. As an animator you are given the sound track and a roughly timed storyboard to work with. When the sound track is inspiring the animators, imagination can take over and this can really add to the scene.CP: Please give me an interesting anecdote of something behind the scenes in the Jacob Two Two production.JS: There were times when I was attempting to explain how a scene should play out and I would find myself acting out the line for the animator to “get” what I was meaning. It’s pretty goofy to see a grown woman acting out something Greedy Guts would say and do like sobbing at the thought of having his doughnuts taken away.Jacob’s character is a really nice reminder that it’s okay to mess up and not always be perfect at everything you do. The important thing is that he’s always willing to try. That’s something I believe we can all relate to.CP: In your opinion, how has Jacob Two Two benefited from its affiliation with qubo?JS: It’s great that qubo has been able to take a quality show like Jacob Two Two and bring it to a new and larger audience to experience and enjoy.CP: Is there anything you would like to add?JS: I believe all animators are actors inside with the ability to be anyone or anything they create. The only limitation in animation is your imagination, so stretch those imagination muscles kids and dream big!

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