An illustrative and literary feast for your eyes

We’re loving this stop motion and motion graphics mash-up by Wellington-based “ideas company” Storybox. Commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage to help launch New Zealand's involvement as Guest of Honour at the prestigious 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, the video beautifully brings to life 11 classic quotes from Kiwi authors. 

It took the folks at Storybox just three weeks to complete their artistic endeavour, the result of which was screened in Frankfurt last month to an audience of over 100 worldwide press. 

“We wanted to take the essence of each quote and give it a simple yet elegant visual metaphor,” said Storybox director Robert Appierdo. 

That desire for a “simple yet elegant visual metaphor” has resulted in a video that beautifully illustrates the words of Katherine Mansfield, Patricia Grace, Michael King, Selina Tusitala, Witi Ihimaera, Margaret Mahy, Hone Tuwhare, Hirini Melbourne, Bill Manhire and traditional Maori whakatautki. 

Chosen by Witi Ihimaera, the quotes were structured to emulate the welcome onto a Marae. 

Guest of Honour project director Tanea Heke said the response to the video’s screening was “incredible”, with requests coming in from German media to screen the animation elsewhere. 

“It says a lot about our creativity and the success of our literature internationally.” 

Pretty much one of the biggest book and media trade fairs in the world, the Frankfurt Book Fair hosts around 7,500 exhibitors from over 110 countries, with close to 300,000 visitors making an appearance each year. Kiwi publishers have been making an appearance at the event for over ten years now. 

The Guest of Honour country showcases its culture in a year-long programme throughout Germany, culminating in the Frankfurt Book Fair. Throughout the next 12 months, New Zealand will exhibit its premier arts, creative industries and stories to new audiences and businesses. 


* Director: Robert Appierdo

* Producer: Mark Westerby

* Stop Motion: Paul Neason /

* Illustrations: Matt Gleeson

* Motion: Toby Donald, Simon Burgin

* Music: Rhian Sheehan

* Sound Design: Andy Hummel  

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