The Hunchback and the Swan

A classic tale of friendship and belonging — narrated by UK’s Storytelling Laureate Taffy Thomas, MBE.

The Hunchback has no friends in the village, but his friends are the animals of the forest. When he suddenly disappears, it’s up to the Weasel, the Rabbit, the Badger, the Fox, the Robin and the Wren to save the day. They will definitely need help — and perhaps even some magic!

The story was adapted from a popular folk tale under the same title told by Taffy Thomas. It features in three books written by Taffy and published by The History Press. You can read more about the process I went through to create this film in my article, ‘The challenges of adapting a folk tale’, featured on the publisher’s website. It’s been a wonderful learning journey for me, I got to explore not only new areas of directing, but also of design, animation and even composing!

‘The Hunchback and the Swan’ was created using mixed techniques: paper cut-outs, collagraphy, pixilation and 2D digital animation. A core group in the production team was made up of UWE Animation students, and the entire process was mentored by Peter Lord, Creative Director at Aardman. A big thank you goes to the staff at UWE and Aardman for providing access to facilities, as well as support in abundance.


Directed & produced by: Dotty Kultys

Adapted by: Dotty Kultys

From the tales told by: Taffy Thomas

Narrator: Taffy Thomas

Composer: Dotty Kultys

Sound designers: Dotty Kultys, Callum Aitken

Lead animator: Tasha Howe

VFX artist: Dotty Kultys

Production mentor: Peter Lord

Production manager: Laura-Beth Cowley


From the telling of: Taffy Thomas

As gifted by: Sharon Aviv

Character designer: Beatriz Pinto

Title & background designer: Dotty Kultys

Animators: Tasha Howe, Dotty Kultys

Performer: Taffy Thomas

Lighting/camera: Nat Sale

Camera assistant: Adam Cook


From the telling of: Taffy Thomas

As gifted by: Duncan Williamson

Character & background designer: Dotty Kultys

Animators: Tasha Howe, Sam Card-Hall, Dotty Kultys

Whistle artist: Joey Hawks

Additional animation: Ben Sullivan, Ja Mie Tey, Jacob Screen, Oscar Burgess, Tim Johnson, Michail Gkialas Fikaris