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Finger Trap, The — Julia McLean, 2008

A husband has prepared a romantic, surprise - an anniversary present for his wife. He has laid out flowers and champagne and puts music on, waiting for her return. To pass the time he starts to play around with a mystery object in a box – a finger trap. We have no idea what the seemingly innocent “finger trap” involves but it soon becomes clear that this fun diversion has very serious consequences…

Classroom Activities

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  • This short film has no dialogue – does it need any? Why / why not?
  • When do we realise that the finger trap is not as innocent as we had at first thought? What scene reveals the truth of the situation?
  • We can interpret the “finger trap” as symbolic – what could it be symbolic of?
  • How would you describe the relationship the couple have? They’re not young – is there age important? What does this tell us?
  • How is humour used in the film? How successful is it in communicating the message of the film?


  • Do we sympathise with the man as he waits? How do we react as the situation unfolds? Who do we sympathise with at the end? Why?
  • Consider the work of Roald Dahl – can you find any similar stories with a sense of danger and destruction behind something seemingly innocent?



  • Write the conversation the man and woman might have at the end of this film.
  • Has something relatively innocent ever ended seriously for you? Write an account of how something simple and innocent had more serious consequences.


  • A finger trap is a classic little gadget – like fidget spinners. Draw the design for a new kind of fun diversion toy.


  • What addictions/compulsions are there and what serious consequences and potentially dangerous outcomes do they have?
  • Where can people go if they need help with a serious addiction or compulsion?

Clip Details

Year of Production 2008
Genre Comedy, Stop-Motion
Curriculum Areas Expressive Arts, Modern Languages, Literacy and English
Director Julia McLean
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content 3D Animation, Fiction, Colour, Sound, No Dialogue
Themes Relationships, Identity / Self
Clip Length 04:31
Clip Length 04:31
Age Group P1-P4, P5-P7, S1-S3