Stuffed Animals

In this hand drawn animation I use a way of coloring in the frames as if they were done by pencil, resulting in a slightly childish look. Because it’s about how having toys like teddy bears as children helps us cope later in life. The school of life explains how.

Finding that inner voice that tells us we are worthwhile can be a struggle sometimes. Growing up with stuffed animals helps you become kinder towards yourself.


Sometimes you can catch important things about human nature in apparent incidentals.

Between the ages of around one and twelve, many children manifest a deep attachment to a stuffed soft object. Often shaped into a bear, a rabbit or – less often – a penguin. The depth of the relationship can be extraordinary. The child sleeps with it, talks to it, cries in front of it. They tell it things it would never tell anyone else. What’s truly remarkable is that the animal looks after its owner. And It addresses the child  in a tone of unusual maturity and kindness. It might urge the child not to worry and to look forward to better times in the future. But the animal’s character is entirely made up. The animal is simpiy something invented, or brought to life by one part of the child, in order to look after the other.

The English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott was the first person to write seriously and with sensitivity about the business of teddy bears. In a paper from the early 1960s, Winnicott described a boy of six – whose parents had been deeply abusive to him – becoming very connected to a small animal his grandmother had given him. Every night, he would have a dialogue with the animal, would hug him close to his chest and shed a few tears into his stained and greying soft fur. It was his most precious possession, for which he would have given up everything else. As the boy summarized the situation to Winnicott: ‘No one else can understand me like bunny can.’

Read the rest of the essay by Alain de Botton here


I made another hand drawn animation for the school of life, about Needy people.