Sugar Freed is a 2D digitally animated short film about a little girl named Molly, who gets fed up with her mother, a dentist, and ends up in a candy world ruled by evil gummy bears. Sugar Freed’s message evolved over time from a simple warning against sugar, to a child gaining an understanding of why her mother’s lessons are necessary, stemming from parts of my own childhood. The purpose of this film was to see if I could find the right balance between time management and quality control to produce an animated short that was well over four-minutes long, had a full narrative that showcased all the animation techniques I had learned, retained the high quality standards that I had applied in past films, yet would be fully finished by the end of the academic year. It was also important that this film would be met with mostly positive criticisms at screenings. Molly storms out of her mother’s office after being denied ice cream and finds her lollipop is sugar free. Outside, she catches sight of a giant, walking gummy bear, beckoning her to follow. She finds a packet of magic rock candy, and after eating it, finds herself in a vast world made of candy and sweets. At the encouragement of the land’s gummy bears, she winds her way through the land eating everything in sight. Eventually, after winding her way through the distant chocolate mountains, Molly discovers the true nature of this land, finding a factory of captured children, the bears harvesting their rotten teeth for candy coated fuel, and then must find a way to escape with the help of the dental tools her mother gave to her.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Animation (Cinematography); Computer animation--Technique; Mother and child--Drama; Sugar--Drama
Film and Animation (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Film and Animation (CAD)
Gaygen, Sarah, "Sugar Freed" (2022). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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