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Mobile — Verena Fels, 2010

In this adorable animation, a cow stranded alone on one side of a child's mobile tries to find ways to join the animals on the other side.

A lone Cow hangs by herself on one side of a child’s mobile. Although the weight of the cow balances the others on the opposite side, she feels lonely. When kindly Mouse invites Cow over, chaos ensues. Can they find a balance?

Classroom Activities

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Critical

  • Describe the music and speech used in the film. Does the language cause a barrier in telling the story? How can we tell? How can the viewer understand what the animals are feeling, how do they express their emotions?
  • Why does the music stop at 00:49 seconds? Investigate the use of music as an introduction to different films: what genres of music are they? What do they tell us about the film?
  • The music is reintroduced at 02:10, how does it change and why? What does it do for the viewer? Can music tell a story? Can you give other examples of where you have seen/heard this?
  • How is camera and editing used to establish Cow’s isolation?
  • Why does the camera pan up/down/across at the start? In what order do we discover things? When does the viewer know for sure it is a baby’s mobile? Were there earlier hints?
  • There are a variety of shots taken: get pupils to put screenshots of clips into groupings of close-up/medium/long shots. Do these different ‘shots’ convey a certain message?

Cultural

  • Watch the first 47 seconds: how does Cow feel? How do we know? How would you feel if you were Cow? Use Emotion Works to support.
  • Equality and equity: discover the difference and discuss which is more important.
  • Choose from Cow, Dog or Mouse: describe their personalities and actions – do they make good or bad choices? Listen to the outcomes of each decision.
  • Inclusion is another main theme. Look at the actions of the different characters. Use pictures to group them into those willing for Cow to move and those not. What effect will this have on Cow?
  • At 01:40-01:44 Cow shows us she is ready to try: what does she do? Make short clips/photos displaying how you show you’re ready to take on a challenge.

Creative

WRITE

  • Write the story from the perspective of one of the animals on the mobile.
  • Write a persuasive essay from the point-of-view of Cow, persuading the other animals to let her join the other side of the mobile.

FILMMAKING

  • If you could change the music of the film, what would you pick? Create a new movie using the same music or same clip but adding your own music.

DRAW

  • Summarise what the film is about and turn this into a storyboard.

MAKE

  • Design and create a baby mobile.

STEM

  • Introduce the idea of balance using scales - small scale or larger (seesaw). Balance a variety of animals in the form of stuffed teddies.
  • What happens when Cow moves? Discuss the chaos and mayhem of his movement then investigate spin, speed and balance versus different weights.

RESEARCH

  • Investigate baby mobiles – what are they for? What are the best colours for a baby? Why?

Clip Details

Year of Production 2010
Genre Comedy, Animation
Curriculum Areas Health and Wellbeing, Modern Languages, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education
Director Verena Fels
Country of Origin Germany
Medium / Content 3D Animation, Fiction, Colour, Sound, No Dialogue
Themes Feelings, Relationships, Culture / Society, Identity / Self, Communication, `
Clip Length 06:29
Clip Length 06:29
Age Group P1-P4, P5-P7, S1-S3