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It’s not surprising that small independent studios are usually the ones that take on projects that are in some ways unique, but not always well known. It’s a matter of history now that smaller companies than Disney Works successfully created many popular animated cartoons and short features that became famous. Computers and graphic design programs enabled easier creation of moving images.

The Hampa Way

Even so, Hampa Studio took it upon itself to design and draw a short, 12 minute, animated movie called Margarita. This award winning short was based on a poem by the famous Nicaraguan poet, Ruben Dario, who was considered the father of ‘Modernism’ and a great influence in Spanish Literature of the 20th century.

Creating Margarita

The adaptation by Hampa used only sound effects and music to accompany the images which were all hand drawn, including the backgrounds. They were able to create a delightful character from one of Dario’s poems, bringing her to life on the screen for everyone to enjoy.

Steps to Success

When deciding to create an animated short movie, Hampa needed to consider a number of steps that needed to be taken for them to decide to go ahead.

  • Decide on a theme and the foundation of the movie
  • Think of the different characters that would appear in the movie
  • Be able to breathe life into those characters. The decision to not use voices meant that Hampa would have to create first class scenes to achieve the same end.
  • Create the backgrounds

The Poem

Rubén Darío’s lіttlе poem wаѕ a ѕеt piece in ѕсhооlѕ a gеnеrаtіоn оr ѕо ago and іѕ ѕtіll a fаvоurіtе of mаnу Lаtіn American rеаdеrѕ. Fоr translators the сhаllеngе іѕ іtѕ charm and ѕіmрlісіtу, аnd thе metrical skill rеԛuіrеd tо convey thаt.

A literal trаnѕlаtіоn іѕ banal, the wоrѕt оf ѕеntіmеntаlіtу. Wе have tо сарturе ѕоmе оf thе nеаtnеѕѕ of thе original, with іtѕ іntеrlасіng of lоng аnd ѕhоrt lines, thе masculine and feminine rhymes.

Margarita, how bеаutіful thе sea is, ѕtіll аnd bluе. 

Thе оrаngе blоѕѕоm in thе breezes drifting through. 

The ѕkуlаrk in іtѕ glоrу has уоur ассеnt tоо

Here, Mаrgаrіtа, іѕ a story mаdе fоr you.

Translating Words into a Movie

Hampa Studio would have had an amazingly hard job to be able to take the Spanish words in a poem, and not only portray these words in an animated movie but make sure that the emotions and visual presence would be understood by people from all over the world, not just Spanish speaking countries.

My Top 10 Likes

The making of the movie was to show appreciation for a great poet and writer in Nicaraguan history. It was also a great showcase for the Studio to go back to an older style of animation creation that seems to have been forgotten with the advent of computer programs that can just about do it all for you. If you were to list at least ten things about this short animation, you might want to consider the following:

  1. The movie remained faithful to the sentiments of the poem and therefore did not lose the purpose of the tone of playfulness that the author originally wanted to portray.
  2. The simplicity of the drawings. Using the hand drawn technique of traditional animators, there was little room for fancy computer adaptation. The decision to do it this way added warmth to the pictures as well as to the overall story. They thought that perhaps adapting the tale into 3D might detract from the simplicity of the actual story.
  3. There was no attempt to make the story any more dramatic or scary or Hollywood-like to gain popularity with the viewing audience. It was a simple story, and the studio maintained that style.
  4. The studio dared to animate a children’s poem. After what seemed an interminable search for the right topic, it was a book brought into the studio by one of the staff, a book she read as a child that captured the imagination of the animators.
  5. The transformation of the story into images. The original concept, when outlined on the storyboard, looked like being a 9-minute Once some other elements were added, the movie length moved out to 17 minutes.
  6. The selection of accompanying music was perfect. The soundtrack in movies is usually created to be able to evoke certain emotions and the music for Margarita did that very well.
  7. It was a nice touch by the story creators to add an aspect to the movie that showed there could be some danger when chasing your dreams. Pirates are always fun!
  8. It was a magical touch that the animation was able to show a clear difference between the worlds of fantasy and reality.
  9. The use of colors, such as the yellows and oranges of sunlight and the use of dark blues that depicted night time. These two distinct styles also indicated that difference between reality (day) and fantasy (night).
  10. The backgrounds are particularly beautiful. It was the right decision to use painted backgrounds as these gave the story some real depth within the animation.

It’s probably worth mentioning that the decision to tell the story using animation only, and no voices, was a brave one. It meant that the animated expressions the artists needed to create for the characters would have to leave you in no doubt as to the emotion being portrayed. It only goes to show that the saying that speech is made up of 10% words and 90% of body language, facial expression, and voice intonation is very true.

Hopefully, visitors to this website will see a greater depth to the movie Margarita than just a simple animation. You are advised to watch the video all the way through and make up your own mind about the quality and the story itself.