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Meet the Women Behind: The Smeds and The Smoos
December 5, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PST
Join us for an insightful exploration into the creative minds behind “The Smeds and The Smoos,” as we celebrate the women who have played a pivotal role in shaping this whimsical universe. In this panel discussion, we’ll delve into the unique perspectives, inspirations, and collaborative efforts that have brought these endearing characters to life.
- Samantha Cutler, Director
- Annike Pienaar, Animation Supervisor
- Shannan Taylor, Art Director
Samantha Cutler, Director
Samantha Cutler is a self-taught character modeller and animator from South Africa. Since 2014 Samantha has worked on all of Magic Light’s adaptations of books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and served as an animation and modelling lead on The Snail and the Whale, which was recently nominated for three BAFTA Young People and Children’s awards including best animation. Using her love of ballet Samantha has choreographed dances for Khumba, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and most recently Supeworm. Samantha brings a tremendous amount of heart to her work and has a robust eye for appeal and character. In her spare time, she sculpts and dances which drives her passion for exploring movement.
Annike is a South African animator, animation supervisor and VR enthusiast. With ten years of animation experience working at Bugbox, Triggerfish, Illumination, Blue Zoo and Sunrise, her favourite projects include Revolting Rhymes, Sing 2 and the latest BBC Christmas special, The Smeds and the Smoos where she stepped into the role of animation supervisor. Annike currently resides in Vancouver BC, happily animating at Sony Pictures Imageworks on an upcoming animated feature and she wants everyone to know that the weather here is not as bad as people keep saying.
With just over 20 years experience in the Film & Television industry, Shannan started her career through a solid foundation with a degree in Fine Arts. She landed her first job in a Film Post Production company based on her drawing skills. Here, she gained experience in concept art, storyboarding, 2d traditional animation & 3d character animation. In her own time she polished her animation skills and graduated from Animation Mentor. Later in her career she took a study break & completed the advanced course in Nuke Compositing in London. Her skillset allowed her to move into Art Direction for various Film & Television production companies, finally leading up to an exciting involvement in wonderful children’s entertainment such as ‘The Smeds & The Smoos’ and, soon to air on Christmas day, ‘Tabby McTat’.
About The Smeds and The Smoos
On a faraway planet, two aliens, Janet and Bill, meet in the Wurpular Wood and become
friends. The families, the red Smeds and the blue Smoos, are dismayed at the match.
“Never, never play with a Smed!” exclaims Grandmother Smoo, while Janet’s Grandfather
Smed says the Smoos are “a beastly bunch!”.
Grandmother and Grandfather have to learn to overcome their differences though, when
Janet and Bill run off in Grandfather’s red rocket. The Smeds and The Smoos travel through
space together on their search for Janet and Bill. As the two families are starting to lose
hope and head back to their home planet, they spot the runaway pair down below in the
Wurpular Wood. But they’re in for a surprise when Bill and Janet announce their tiny baby
Smoo-Smed, who is purple from head to toe.