A fairy tale is surrealist storytelling. Fantastical narratives unlock imagination and offer solutions to our everyday lives through the absurd. In “You Can’t Play With Us” you meet a dinosaur inventor, encounter rapping unicorns, and witness a marshmallow avalanche. Despite a feeling of “far, far away,” the emotion in the film feels surprisingly close. A tale of bullying and a search for acceptance offer a uplifting moral nestled in an unconventional story.

Using recycled materials and novel techniques, we transform cardboard and old clothes into our ‘fractured’ fairy tale world. To achieve our puppets’ movements, we are proud to have created our own technique of puppetry using a combination of carefully placed rods and magnets. As the second film in a series of narrative shorts, “You Can’t Play With Us” continues to define and evolve this refreshingly analogue new approach to live-action puppetry.

As filmmakers, we set out to create an intentionally handmade contrast to the highly digital world of children’s programming. Intending more than a moral outcome to a common challenge, we hope to encourage kids of all ages to access the problem-solving power of their own imaginations. As Roald Dahl said, “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”




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