AWARD-WINNING animation studio Aardman and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Gloucestershire have teamed up again to produce a video which teaches children "a better way of solving their differences".
The new Aardman animation, entitled ‘You For I’, is aimed at primary aged children so they can understand the causes and consequences of their behaviour and that conversations can resolve conflict.
It is the second time the OPCC has collaborated with Aardman in this way, following an earlier film aimed at teaching children about consent.
The world renowned animators, best known for Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Morph and Chicken Run, have created a brand new set of colourful characters who deal with the type of conflict young people come across each day through a process called ‘restorative conversations’.
The OPCC says: "Restorative conversations brings together those at odds with each other. It gives them the chance to meet and speak about the impact of their behaviour, make a positive change and, hopefully, stop them falling-out again."
Aardman director Tim Ruffle, said, “Animation is a great medium to convey the idea of restorative conversations. We tried to make a fun and visually appealing film, whilst suggesting simple actions that a younger audience can try for themselves.”
The OPCC secured funding for the video through the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.
A focus group of experts approved the film ensuring it has the right, age-appropriate message.
A lesson plan was custom-made by teams at Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning to accompany the film, which helps teachers to get the most learning out of it.
Chris Nelson, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Engaging with young people is essential as early intervention teaches good habits, and this is the case with children learning how to express themselves.
"We all experience disagreements, conflict and anger at all stages of life. This animation helps to teach young people that they can respect someone else's views, even if they are different to their own, and that you never need to be violent in order to express yourself.
“This creative campaign will hopefully engage primary children with the colourful, relatable characters. We hope it starts them thinking about how best to communicate and that their actions have consequences on those around them.
"By reinforcing basic values like respect and good communication at a young age I hope that this empowers the next generation to move towards restorative practice and away from violence or threats which is where police get involved.
“We have benefitted from the talented team at Aardman before - they created a video for us on Consent, helping young people to listen to the answer they get, rather than the answer they want to hear.
"This latest video on Restorative Justice yet again demonstrates their commitment to improving the lives of young people, especially in the South West."
‘You For I’ was Directed by Tim Ruffle, whose animation projects include work for Nintendo, Google and Robinsons and produced by Nick Miller.