Dear Alice: A Short Animated Film About Motivation


Author: Emili Ema Sedlar

Looking back at the history of animation in the last decade, it is easy to notice how many artists from across the world have created sentimental stories that deal with human rights and advocacy, where through visual imagery and simple music, artists are trying to get the basic message across not only through the story-line, but through the character’s facial expressions and emotions, which have to be carefully crafted. Let’s take for example, one of last years most searched short animated film „In a heartbeat“, where the artists behind it, Beth David and Esteban Bravo have easily made people cry,because they were able to illustrate what it means to be a young LGBT person in a surrounding that does not talk about it.

Just days after the video went viral on the Internet, YouTubbers have immediately posted reaction videos of young children, elderly persons and even some that have had a negative view of LGBT rights. Some results have been amazing to witness, where many were touched and able to have a constructive conversation with them about the importance of connecting human rights and animation with the goal of educating young people.

In the upcoming years, it is safe to say how there are many young artists out there trying to create and establish stories that will signify what it means to be a storyteller who understands the meaning of friendship, heroism, love, family and conflict within a specific context.

One of these upcoming artists is Matt Cerini, a recent School of Visual Arts graduate who released a short 3D animated film called Dear Alice, a story that discovers the importance of motivating young people into becoming artists. Cerini reveals what this story means to him and to other parents. „This story is actually based on a true story in which I was that young boy and I had the opportunity to meet a young girl drawing me from across the bus on the way home from high school. That moment was one of the most important moments of my life because it was the moment that inspired me to pursue art and my career in the film and CG animation industry“, realized Cerini and explained how even though he didn’t plan to make this film about the little girl Alice, he was excited to see how the story started to shape its own form and send a strong message to people out there that wish to pursue their dreams.

„I saw the reactions of viewers and quickly realized it was a happy accident that I was able to tell this story, and that I could now push it in hopes of furthering female empowerment. I hope that for any young girls out there who may see this film, that it helps to push them to work hard, believe in themselves, and know that they can achieve anything they set their mind to. And I hope they know that there are many people out there that are rooting for them too“, illustrated Cerini.

After the film was released, Cerini was astonished of the reactions and how many parents out there felt proud of having young artists make films that deal with topics that are easily ignored today. „I had people telling me they planned to show it to their young daughters to inspire them, others saying it struck a chord with them and that they could relate to a time very much like this in their own lives. That was what I wanted most, to be honest, was to pull at the heartstrings of someone out there and make them feel something important“, said Cerini.

Cerini is aware of how crucial it is to show the true layers of female characters in animated films and believes that as there are more animated films that show different layers of feminism today, more artists will be motivated and inspired to learn more about this topic, giving out their own ideas and sharing their own stories too. „Honestly, every-time I see a film with a female lead, especially with a powerful character arc, it just hits something in me that makes me love and remember the film even more. I’ve always put being a loving and kind person towards everyone first, and honestly nothing upsets me more than people that discriminate or treat anyone else as lesser when it comes to gender, race, religion, or anything“, remembered Cerini.

From the Author: 

Hi there lovely people! 

My name is Emili Ema Sedlar and I am a journalist from Croatia. It is such an honor to be volunteering for Women’s Rights News and bringing out new ideas about today’s issues in society. I am a college student, majoring in journalism and communications. In the past few years, I have been an activist in the fields of education, HIV, immigrants’ rights and women’s rights, focusing mostly on stories that are unique and different. I have published my journalistic works on many Croatian news sites and for over a year, I’ve been a writer for Positive Women’s Network-USA.