Have you seen The Incredibles? Or Toy Story? Or Disney’s Little Mermaid? They’re gorgeous aren’t they? They have incredible animation and the universal nature of the themes are just captivating. But you know what? They would be nothing without the story. Sure, the songs are nice and the characters are really appealing, but the thing that certainly separates Disney/Pixar from many other animation houses and films is their obsession with story.  

The business world can learn a lot from these experts when it comes to conveying messages with impact and connection. 


Using a strong story as the backbone to an animation.  


Wouldn’t it be great if the stories we heard as adults in boardrooms and offices, we spend so much of our time in, had the same joy, detail, creativity and appeal as Paddington, The Wizard of Oz, or Alice in Wonderland? 

So why did the passing of information become so, well, dull? When did we replace the story of a journey ahead with an excel spreadsheet? Or tales of success with a generic email? Perhaps the digital age has a part to play here, in anonymising the human and the emotion behind story. But that shouldn’t mean that we should do without it.  

“Stories are data with soul”

Brené Brown

This is one of our favourite quotes. So when we are creating an animation, we hold story at the very centre. The aim of our animations is always to inform, often to connect to the audience on an emotive level and to encourage understanding.

And like all the best stories we make our animations to be shared. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to us to hook the key messages to a story or a metaphor that people can understand, recognise and get behind. The trick is finding that story that will work for you and your ultimate goal. And that is the tricky part, but it doesn’t have to be.   


Story Types to use in animations


We first begin by helping you to identify what kind of story are you trying to tell. There are only 7 basic plots, according to Christopher Booker in his book Why we tell stories.   

  1. Overcoming the monster 
  2. Rags to riches
  3. The quest
  4. Voyage and return 
  5. Rebirth
  6. Comedy 
  7. Tragedy 

Interested in more detail on the story types you can use?

Most of us in the world of work would only really be focused on telling stories 1- 5 to our workforce. If you are looking to tell 6 or 7, well, perhaps you are more suited to a career at the RSC…  

Once you have identified what kind of story it is you are trying to tell, we stand a much better chance of being able to create an animation that will have the desired impact and make a richer, more personal connection with its viewer.

So next time you are asked to consider the narrative or you want people to really ‘get’ the message you are trying to convey, don’t respond with an email or an excel spreadsheet. Think what it would look like as a story, as an animation.

Want some help bringing your message to life? Drop Danielle a line on danielle@purplemonster.co.uk or call the Monster team on +44 (0) 1926 311347