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By Sam Bradley, Journalist

July 24, 2023 | 3 min read

The 60-second animation explores the positive benefits of its content for kids.

It’s a fear as old as the cathode ray tube: children who spend too long in front of the TV will end up with ‘square eyes’.

According to a nationwide survey commissioned by BBC Children’s and Education, almost 80% of parents think their kids have been using TV, iPads, phones or computers more than before the pandemic. And 67% are worried about what they’re watching.

To dispel that concern, the BBC has released a charming animated film emphasizing that what counts is the quality of the content on a screen, not the quantity of hours spent with it.

stop motion still

‘The Square Eyed Boy’ is a 60-second stop-motion film made for BBC Creative by animation studio Blinkink and Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared director Sam Gainsborough which follows a diminutive hero who’s found himself with square eyes.

The spot explores how his friends, and the people around him, shun the boy because they assume he’s been watching too much trash telly. But, the story shows him using BBC Bitesize, nature documentaries, sports and arts content that encourages him to explore the world away from a screen.

In the narrator’s words: “Maybe you don’t get square eyes, but can actually become well-rounded.”

The film is the first element of a new campaign which will also roll out across out-of-home and social to continue the debate.


BBC Creative

Director: Justin Bairamian

Head of planning: Mike Lean

Head of production: James Wood

Executive creative director: Rasmus Smith Bech

Creative directors: Mark Slack, Becca Pottinger

Creative: Shannon Cripps

Creative: Beth Wood

Senior producer: Rachel Roberts

Project manager: Phoebe Brewer

Senior planner: Kris Jalowiecki

Production manager: Polly Georgieva

Production coordinator: Hannah Stothard

Researcher: Edward Hobson

Senior designers: Walter Hutton, Veronica Law, Darren Wagstaff

Motion designers: Charlotte Temple, Sin Yee Hau


Director: Jane Callingham

Head of marketing: Sarah Owen

Marketing managers: Leanne Johnson, Helen Alder

Marketing executive: Nicola Martindale

Media portfolio lead: Emma Lucas

Campaign planner: Sam Hartford


Director: Sam Gainsborough

Producer: Rebecca Little

Head of production: Alex Halley

Executive producer: Bart Yates

Production manager: Molly Turner

Director of photography: Ronnie McQuillan

Gaffer: Aldo Camilleri

Paint on glass animators: Renee Zhan, Marta Szymanska

Stop motion animators: Andy Biddle, Tobias Fouracre

Head of model making: Sam Holland

Art director: Gordon Allen

VFX supervisor & lead compositor: Stephen McNally

Creative BBC Stop Motion

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