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Crying, laughing, feeling cheerful, or clenching your fists as the suspense builds. When you watch a film you’re there with the film characters and feel what they’re going through. By watching the actors, you can tell the emotions of the characters they are playing. How exactly does it work, though? And what if the main character is invisible?

This Short for Kids makes children understand why they are moved by a film. It’s something they discover by watching the animated film (Otto), in which the lead role is for an invisible boy.

Watch (Otto) (Job, Joris & Marieke, NL 2015)

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Still from (Otto) (Job, Joris & Marieke, NL 2015)
Still from (Otto) (Job, Joris & Marieke, NL 2015)

Assignment 1: questions to ask yourself

What did you think of the film? What did you feel? Otto is invisible. How do you still know Otto’s there, even though you can’t see him? And how do you know how he feels?

1. The people you do see, react to Otto and to how he behaves.
2. Sometimes you get to see the world through Otto's eyes: when he hides, for instance, or when he runs out of the house. Especially when he runs away you can tell Otto is panicking: the picture is shaking.
3. The music in the film is sometimes happy, sometimes sad: it makes it even clearer how the characters, invisible or not, are feeling.

Assignment 2: the act-your-opposite-game

In the film (Otto) you know how the main character is feeling because of how the other characters react to him. This is what you’re going to do in this assignment, too. You’re acting with an invisible opposite. The audience is able to guess how the invisible player must feel through your acting.

Write down 10 emotions on separate cards. For instance: feeling angry, happy, impatient, sleepy, nervous, sad or afraid. Pick a card and read what’s on it, but don’t show it to the others. Now act as if you’re angry, happy, or impatient, just like it says on the card. Does the card have the word ‘sleepy’ on it? You could act as if you’re waking up your invisible opposite. Does it have the word ‘sad’? Then comfort your invisible opposite.

Can the audience guess how your invisible opposite is feeling? You can also swap places from time to time.


Short for Kids is created by Taartrovers and Eye Filmmuseum's educational team.

Film credits

(Otto) (Job, Joris & Marieke, NL 2015)

Film theme

Emotions and acting