When China’s influential newspaper Southern Weekly invited Creator Ray Lei to present at Think Plus (kind of like the Chinese version of TED Talks), Lei created a six-minute animation called Big Hands Oh Big Hands, Let It Be Bigger And Bigger (above) in lieu of a speech.
Drawn in Lei’s colorful and youthfull animation style, Big Hands follows the story of a little boy with tiny hands, a sort of ugly duckling character in a world of people with big hands whose appendages allow them to do big things. Inspired by the warm and simple animation aesthetic championed by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio in the 80s, this is another of Lei’s works that tugs at the heartstrings in every aspect, from story to animation to sound design. Lei wrote the soundtrack’s lyrics and then he and his partner Li Xingyu taught them to a group of kindergartners and recorded their rendition.
Lei worked closely with his father on this project, who created the title sequences for the last seven of Lei’s projects. Growing up watching his father hand-write typeface on books and publications as a profession, Lei now gets to incorporate the work of a traditional craftsman, lending an air of historical foundation to the end products.
Find out the roots of Ray Lei’s animation style in our profile below.
Images courtesy of Ray Lei