First I wanted to thank David Shovlin for helping me make this short.  He's an amazing animator and without him, I couldn't have brought Maxwell to life.  It was really fun to make this with him.

You can see his work on his blog: David Shovlin. 

I've always imagined Maxwell to be an animated character.  When I started to make a book trailer, I took a few scenes from the book and started to animate them in After Effects but it wasn't working. There wasn't enough time to tell the story and the animation was flat.  I wanted to make something that was exciting that would do Maxwell justice.  Books and animation are different mediums with different strengths and weaknesses.  

I stopped what I was doing and left frustrated.

I get a lot of my inspiration from children.  When hanging out at a friend's house, I saw his nephew do some kung-fu moves.  I asked, where did he learn that from?  

"Tree-Fu Tom"

That's when it struck me.  Maxwell needed to be animated.  He needed to be doing Ninja moves.  I wouldn't make a book trailer, I would make a short film starring Maxwell!  I knew if I did it right, the kids would be copying Maxwell's Ninja moves.   

At a school visit, I showed the short film to 60 kindergartners.  Watch their response! 

Kindergarteners response to the "Ninja" short film.