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?
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!