Our newest animated short is a delightful story about the joy of sharing memories with family. Through the Rauch Brothers' unique animation and the art direction of Bill Wray ("Mad," "Ren & Stimpy"), "Miss Devine" transports you to a small African-American community in Florida during the 1950s.
Cousins James Ransom and Cherie Johnson reminisce about their childhood visits to their grandparents, where Miss Lizzie Devine -- their neighbor, Sunday School teacher and "the only woman who had more power than our grandmother" -- loomed large. Each story James tells makes Cherie add one more, and on and on, taking us deep into the world of childhood, with too-tight braids, gifts of rotten fruit, and the agony of being embarrassed in front of friends. As the cousins get caught up in the fun of remembering their childhood and Miss Devine's fearsome ways, their joy becomes infectious.
Go ahead: take James and Cherie's example and sit down with a loved one to capture your family stories. Granted, there are plenty of harder stories to tell -- sad memories and hard times are universal -- and those are important stories, too. But it's summer, and there's a beautiful breeze in the air, and the time feels right for remembering the people in our lives who made us feel, who cared about us enough to look after us and to make us care about them right back.
Who is your Miss Devine? Grab a recorder, an iPhone or a pen and paper, then sit down and talk. You'll be glad you did.