“S” is for Seasons
Sesame Workshop invited us to submit ideas for the “letter of the day” sequence on Sesame Street’s 51st season. We created a concept for a short in which a different kid shares their thoughts about each season. We avoided simply describing the seasons, opting instead to explore how kids experience them. We proposed a sensory approach to impart the feeling of the season as you’re in it. Sesame Workshop loved the idea so we set to work.
“S” is for Solve
We began by creating a “color script” for each season. This helped us differentiate the look of the seasons and anchor each in hues that would inform the scenes. Meanwhile we began to think abstractly about the forms, finding ways to simplify faces, plants, and even light and shadow to block-like geometries. We also settled on an illustration style that grew out of sponge-painted textures and that glowed with light.
“S” is for Somebodies
We created the characters to bring a sense of wonder and play to each season. Their wardrobes were a big part of letting kids know that there are different outfits for all sorts of occasions. Our voice cast was very young and just as diverse as their onscreen counterparts.
“S" is for Story
Each kid’s moment is personal, an invitation for the audience to join them in sense-filled discovery. We storyboarded the sequence in the early stages and mostly remained true to those initial sketches throughout the project. We wrote the dialogue to evoke the sound and rhythms of kids’ speech.
“S” is for Sound
The music we created was simple and charming, using classical instruments in delicate kid-like ways. Changing with each season, the music captures visual elements like the stillness of night and the falling of autumn leaves. The sound emphasizes atmospheric elements with authentic effects rather than cartoony ones.
“S” is for Shine
Once we finished animation and sound, there was still plenty to do. We suffused each scene in shimmering light. We softened the cheery brightness of the scenes with a mistiness which, like the ambient sound, helped to place the viewer in the environment.
“S” is for Success
The finished video gently conjures the wonder of new discovery. It gives the audience permission to take notice of their senses as they begin to understand the world around them. Sesame Workshop loved “S is for Seasons” and it continues to play on Sesame Street. Plus the spot won a Silver Telly Award for online pieces aimed at children.