Animation: Music And Clowns


A moving short by Alex Widdowson using a range of animation styles to tell an unflinching story of what life is like for someone with a profound learning disability: in this case, his brother, Jamie – born with Down Syndrome and a passion for music and clowns.

Enjoy a breath of fresh air – witty and utterly devoid of self pity.


6 thoughts on “Animation: Music And Clowns

  1. Slightly Bemused

    Deep breaths, Janet, and it will all be over quickly.

    Or close your eyes and click wildly in the hopes of something better!

    Edit: I should add that I also have a brother with Down’s Syndrome who loves music. I am not poking fun at that, or the topic.

      1. Slightly Bemused

        Janet, who currently wishes for some large artillery, is known to dislike the band indicated in the first pic. I was meaning that when it comes up in the animation it is literally a blink of an eye.

        The animation is great, and does remind me of my brother. While he is non-verbal, he is very much aware of what is going on, and has the wickedest sense of humour. But the bit where the dad says that when he is upset, his son comes to comfort him. I have seen exactly the same with by brother to my Dad and other members of the family.

          1. Slightly Bemused

            No worries.

            Next time I will word it better to avoid the very understandable confusion Tony had.

            I really enjoyed this, but in a bittersweet kind of way. I can see my own parents in it, but less of the confusion for them.
            Early hospital doctors told my mother that “Down’s” (as he called them) had no feelings or emotions, did not feel pain, and could be trained like a dog. We had a wonderful doctor when I was very young who had been a vet.
            When told this by my upset mother he apparently laughed and said something to the effect that he had met many dogs much more intelligent than many humans. Treat him exactly like she treated the rest of us. he said, and teach him – do not train him.

            He was also used to dealing with non-verbal patients from his vet days, and so was wonderful with my little brother. He also taught my mother, who taught us, how to see the signs of the pain he ‘could not feel’.

            She also once told me, though, that of all our family he was the only one who had never disappointed them. Never was sure how to take that.

            That final concern, though, about when they are no longer able to look after him. We are having the same discussions now with our Dad (sadly, my Mum passed a number of years back), and it is his biggest concern. But we are there, and will be for him.

          2. Janet, dreams of big guns

            your brother sounds like he lucked out with your family, I also have a special needs child in my family, she’s actually in hospital right now, we were told she wouldn’t live, would never talk , well let me tell you she can sing, ride horses and tells you straight up like it is ,
            so I find your story very moving.

Comments are closed.