Have you heard about Ms. Money? She is a zany, accident-prone, enthusiastic teacher (think Ms. Frizzle) who introduces Kindergarten through 5th graders to financial literacy basics with her students Nick and Penny. They have been touring a live show for years around the Boston area complete with a lot of catchy songs. When we were approached by Rockland Trust Bank, where the real Ms. Money works, we were excited to dive into an animated version of the show.
Research & Moodboard
During the scripting process we had the idea for a School Supply Fair as the video scenario. Strong character profiles were a big focus: Penny is very careful with her money, Nick gets distracted by shiny, spinning things, and Ms. Money begins the discussion of needs, wants, spending, saving and sharing.
We started to bring the script to life in the Storyboard phase. Here’s where Nick gets distracted by a super cool rocket ship pen.
To ensure we had the timing down right before diving into animation we added an Animatic stage to the process. This was extra fun since Sam and Josh got to be voiceover actors along with Ms. Money herself! Sam also did the sound effects and had an especially fun time “voicing” the breaking rocket ship pen. Then we replaced Sam and Josh with the real Nick and Penny and were ready for animation. Here’s a sneak peek at our internal animatic!
For the design we had to get the characters just right as well as the world and the objects for sale at the School Supply Fair. We did some research on the YouTube to pinpoint what 5th and 6th graders wear these days (yes, this made us feel old) and saw a lot of oversized t-shirts, pajama pants, leggings and skinny jeans.
Here are some character designs and style frames– see how we snuck in an easter egg of the Planet Nutshell logo?
We added in the full sound design and music and brought Ms. Money’s world to life!
We were also tasked with creating a Spanish version so we translated the script, recorded the new voiceover, re-timed the animation and updated the on-screen text to Spanish. Tada!
While we were at it, we were also asked to translate the songs into Spanish as well and we worked with the incredibly talented Amador Bilingual Voiceovers to deliver these super fun renditions in Spanish. Take a listen!
Can’t get enough Ms. Money? Head on over to her classroom!