Written, directed and produced by Abbie Stephens—whose previous animation we featured hereMisery Guts tells the story of a young girl with curly brown hair and a turned up nose who finds herself so engulfed in misery that the ground literally begins to swallow her whole.

The rhyming narration of this adorable short film is reminiscent of a modern-day children’s book. Despite the ongoing efforts of her doting enthusiastic parents, the disgruntled moody child remains resilient for “when she was distressed out of control, she would sink through the ground as if down a hole”.

Subscribing to traditional children story conventions however, the film ends happily for Miss Misery Guts. Reaching depths of despair over her daughter’s perpetual gloom, the child’s mother eventually loses hope. It is then in her time of solitude, that a “deflated balloon that mirrors her own frown” gives Miss Misery Guts a sense of cheer. Through the connection that ensues between the two, the feelings of misery are alleviated in a charming fable of friendship.

Abbie Stephens is a director and animator based in East London. As well as producing clever short films, Stephens has worked with the likes of MTV, Nike, Playstation, Tiger and Levis.