SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Missouri State University students in the electronic media program have combined talents to create a coming-of-age animated short.

Recoiled follows the lives of two sisters with hair so curly that it has a life of its own, helping them with daily tasks. A lot of times people say ‘my hair has a mind of its own,’ so that’s kind of where I thought well, why don’t we just make hair living, said Recoiled producer Shalom Simmons. 

As the eldest sister grows up, she realizes her curls do not conform to the straight hair she sees in society, so she straightens it. The younger sister sees this, and begins to question her own curls. As the story progresses, both sisters realize their hair makes them unique– finding self-acceptance.

I hope that we will inspire people that don’t necessarily feel like they fit in with their peers, said screenwriter for the film Kersten Schatz. I hope this, in some way, will inspire them to just accept themselves.

A team of over 20 student animators joined forces in August 2018 to bring the passion project to life, with the final rendering expected to launch this May– just in time for the seniors’ graduation.

The process of creative collaboration is so much more valuable to me than just working independently, because you can’t lose steam, said director Claire Grim, who revealed the project has re-shaped her attitudes toward working solo. You can never lose the passion because you’re surrounded by people that have a fiery passion for the same thing.

Recoiled has no speaking in the film, as characters are voiced by instruments instead, as decided by Music Director for the short Branden Huddleston. We decided to do that because it’s a good way to interpret music into a film, and it interprets feeling and emotion.

The film has already received praise locally from MSU students and professors, as well as on a wider scale. Kersten Schatz will travel to Las Vegas in April to accept the Broadcast Education Associate award for Best Student Scriptwriting. 

You can learn more about the film on the Recoiled Facebook