Mencap – You Being You

The Royal Mencap Society commissioned Kong Studio to produce an animation to help teach people with learning disabilities about Sexuality, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Acceptance.

With guidance from Gender Intelligence UK, Kong Studio created an animated explainer video, but with a twist. Done in the style of a mix and match flip book, they show the many ways how people can explore and express their gender identity and sexuality. All supported by voice talents of Ellen Goodey.

The visual device is a vibrant way of showing numerous character combinations and illustrates how we all are all unique.

Tom Baker, Co-founder said of the project –

“Mencap’s “You Being You” film was a brilliant project to work on despite the subject matter being a bit of a minefield. 

How do you explain the many parameters of gender, gender expression, sexual orientation in 3 minutes to people with learning disabilities? How do you do it in a way that is inclusive to the wider LGBT+ community, but also keep it engaging – and if possible, fun? With multiple writes and re-writes, multiple design revisions, multiple artists and animators involved, lockdown gave us the chance (and time) to distil the film’s message into something truly cohesive.

We couldn’t be happier with the final result, and special thanks to Ellen – her V.O. is amazing!“

Bill Elliott, Kong Co-Founder adds –

“Kong was awarded the project on the day our studio doors shut, and the country slid into a COVID lockdown. With all the uncertainty and worry regarding the future, whether it be our families, our business or the world as a whole; it was a real ray of light to commit to a project that was positive, informative and above all, fun.

Despite the trials of setting up remotely, we had the privilege of working with an exceptional crew under unique circumstances. Whether it be online script meetings whilst placating my youngest son with bananas, to building a friendly and productive relationship with our Mencap client Rachel, whom we’ve yet to meet in person!

We got to create a strong new style with a message we believe in. Kong can’t ask for any more.”

Understanding Your Gender & Sexuality

The biggest gauge of the film’s success and effectiveness has to be the feedback received from people with learning disabilities.

Richard says –

“The video is very accessible and useful. The pictures is very useful and it’s good guide to see what is a difference sexuality and identity also to me that helps person with a learning disability to not be ashamed. The title is very good, ‘You Being You’, because explains about yourself and being honest about your own sexuality or identity. And finally to me video helps someone celebrate who they are as a person.”

– “The messages were clear and loved the animation. I saw ways I express my gender in the video”

The Royal Mencap Society is the UK’s leading voice of learning disability. Their primary mission being to transform society’s attitudes towards those with learning disabilities, while improving their own and their family’s quality of life.

“You Being You” will be launched across Mencap’s social media channels and supported with both online and offline learning materials.

CREDITS:

Directed by Kong Studio

Script by Danny Robins

Voiced by Ellen Goodey

Character Designs by Matt Partridge

Animation by Tom Baker, Ed Smith & Robert Findlay

Composited by Neil Jack

Sound Design by Rory Hunter, Fonic

Music – ‘Lightburst’ by Kharmea

Produced by Emma Burch