Quentin Blake discusses how he illustrated the ending for Dennis, The Boy in the Dress, in a short animation

11 July 2018

Quentin Blake has revealed how he illustrated the joyous finale for the book The Boy in the Dress written by David Walliams, in a short animation released by Christie’s.

The story follows Dennis, the eponymous boy in the dress, who is expelled from school for wearing girls’ clothing, and his football team encourage him to be true to himself – ultimately winning the match. The book was released in 2008 and Blake speaks about the process of capturing the final moments of the story.

In the short video, we hear Blake explain the climax of the story when the boys of the football team run onto a pitch wearing dresses. He says, “they’re running onto the field and they know they’re going to win. So it’s one of those interesting moments where you want the gestures”.

“Of course it’s nice because the dresses are good to draw because you get a lot of movement and activity in with it. It’s nice having them going away into the distance. I hope there’s the right number for the team”.

Freddie Leyden who worked with Blake on the animation, says, “He is such a huge part of my childhood it was a massive pleasure to meet him, and sit at his side as he described this drawing_”Dennis and the Football Team_ which he suggested, seemed a good fit for a little animation. He was just as twinkly and charming as one would imagine in person. His use of a light box and going over his own lines again was the inspiration for the technique I used to animate it. I wanted it to be as true to his line as possible so I traced it like a thousand times. It’s all done by hand with scanned in drawings. I had actually never intended to make the arms move in the middle of the animation. This was Quentin’s suggestion".

The short is part of Christie’s live auction, which is showcasing an exhibition of Quentin Blake’s alternate versions from many of his most famous works over the last 40 years. The proceeds of the online and live auction will go to charity and online auctions will be accepted for the next two days here

You can see the short below.

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Kieran Yates

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