Brush DJ plays two minutes of your music while you brush. It’s designed to encourage fun and healthy brushing habits and is NHS-approved. The app became the focus of a behavioural change project in Greater Manchester. I was brought onto the project to collaborate with the app’s creator, Ben Underwood, and dentists at the University of Manchester to produce an animated resource for children’s centres to improve early years dental health.
To begin, we reviewed feedback from children’s centre workers on Brush DJ’s original toothbrushing guides, which I had created several years previously. With this ground-level information on what would not work in an early years setting, I worked with the dentists to develop a script and mood board for our new resource. Before deciding on the specific characters, I created a rough animatic using stick figures to focus on the writing and timing. With that locked, we collaborated to design the cast of human characters (and a cat!) we’d see in each shot.
The animation was primarily created using cel animation, with storyboards and animatics made in Toon Boom Storyboard Pro. The rough and cleanup passes were done in Adobe Animate and then composited in After Effects. It was voiced by Luci Fish.
Following its trial in Oldham, the animation was released online as a guide for parents and carers. It became part of an e-learning package to help non-dental health professionals working with children.