Skip to content

Your browser is no longer supported. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Self-taught animator wins Douglas Adams competition

Eleanor Stokes, a self-taught animator from Eugene, Oregon has won the Douglas Adams Animation Competition. She will receive an iPad supplied by Launchpad and a Don’t Panic Towel.

Judges Stephen Fry, Bob Stein (SocialBook, Inc), Ranjit Dhaliwal (The Guardian) and Merlin Nation and Chris Angelkov (Atyp) chose the winning animation from entries to the one-off Douglas Adams Animation Competiton hosted by The Literary Platform.

The international competition, which saw entries from the UK, the US, Australia and Finland, invited creatives to produce an animation to illustrate a rare and prophetic audio recording of Douglas Adams talking in 1993 about the Evolution of the Book.

Bob Stein said of Eleanor’s winning animation:

“Eleanor displays an uncanny ability to channel Douglas’ sensibility and aesthetics. It’s droll but not one bit precious and there are no extraneous bits. I love this piece and think Douglas would have also.”

The Winner and Runners Up were announced today at a Towel Day party in London. Runners Up receive a copy of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – both a Tor UK edition and a special Folio Society edition and a copy of The Animators Survival Kit (Faber).

Three animators were given Runner Up prizes :

  • Andy Little (UK) “An inspired choice of music, great storyboarding and sense of absurd British humour gives Little’s film charm.” Ranjit Dhaliwal
  • Mike Belgrave (UK) “This piece is (intentionally) off the charts absurd. It’s not exactly Douglas’ sense of humor but he surely would have appreciated the witty intelligence behind it.” Bob Stein
  • Gavin Edwards (UK) “Gavin has skilfully combined endearing character design and graphic elements into a strong and coherent aesthetic to successfully convey the narrative. He uses a good combination of 2D & 3D animation techniques which keeps the film interesting throughout.” ATYP Animation

Johanna Aulen, who received the most votes online from the public, also received a ‘People’s Choice and flying all the way from Finland Commendation’ runners up prize.

In the short recording, kindly donated to The Literary Platform by Bob Stein, Douglas Adams charts the evolution of the book from the ‘hardware problems’ of writing on rocks, to scrolls, to the bound book and finally the silicon chip.

About the winner – Eleanor Stokes (US):

Eleanor Stokes is a self-taught animator. One day while playing with her camera it occurred to her that though she couldn’t draw and a traditional animation career was out of her reach, she could put a bunch of photographs together and make inanimate objects move across the screen. She documents her journey through the frustrations of teaching herself this art on her blog:

See her winning entry here.

About the Runners Up:

Runner Up: Mike Belgrave (UK)

Mike Belgrave is a stand up comedian, animator, Outsider Music musicologist and Music Video Director Extraordinaire.  While currently being the exact age to the answer to the ultimate question, Mike was over the moon to animate a Douglas Adams recording due to the LSD-esque effect the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had on his brain as a child.

Runner Up: Gavin Edwards (UK)

Gavin Edwards has been a designer and illustrator for most of his life and has recently taken up animation and motion graphics. Having been a big fan of Douglas Adams’ writings since he was a child he jumped at the chance to take part in this competition and interpret the genius’ words.

Runner Up: Andy Little (UK)

Andy Little has just completed his second year at Cambridge School of Art, studying illustration and animation. With every animation he creates he likes to experiment and try something different. For the competition he mish-mashed different styles that worked well together.

Johanna Aulen:

Johanna Aulen has always drawn. She became a Master of Arts a few years ago. During and after her studies she worked as a teacher and illustrated and animated professionally. She is currently finishing a traditional animated short (10 minutes) about pilots and planning a film about rare owls next.

Back to Archive