How does one make the subject of kidney disease entertaining? That was the challenge when Lori Hartwell approached me about making a short educational film for her non-profit Renal Support Network (RSN), an organization she founded in 1993 to help those with kidney disease manage their care.
Lori wanted to make an animated version of their illustrated booklet "Share Your Spare", where two kidneys, Neff and Nuff, explain how they function, etc. Using the booklet and Suzette Maffi's main character designs as a springboard, I altered the relationship between Neff and Nuff to be comically tempestuous, then added cutaway segments to illustrate some of the informational bits.
The cutaway segments were influenced by a Bell and Howell educational film I saw in Mr. Carll's 6th grade science class when I was 12, called Hemo the Magnificent. Produced by Frank Capra in 1957, it features live action Richard Carlson (Creature from the Black Lagoon) and briefly, Sterling Holloway (Winnie the Pooh!). The animated segments, directed by Bill Hurtz and animated by Seamus Culhane, are a funny and charming precursor to Osmosis Jones and Inside Out.