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Film info

Title: Bob
Running time: 3 min.
Director: Jacob Frey & Harry Fast
Country of origin: Germany, 2009
Language: no dialogue
Suggested age group: 11-14 years


A hamster picking up a glimpse of a female companion is willing to do anything to win her heart - even chasing her around the world. But a big surprise is awaiting him...

Main themes

Gender expectations
Following instinct
Coming out / outing


In BOB the concept of chasing one another through various environments turns out to be nothing but a trick of the eye. The camera angle makes it look as if the landscapes on posters in a travel agency are the real location of the action. This deceptive viewpoint can be a starting point for various exercises:

Exercise 1: Backgrounds

Some well known exercises might be an entertaining start in exploring backgrounds and perspectives. For the first exercise you need to be able to project pictures on a big screen or wall using either a computer and projector, slides or an overhead projector.

Using slides showing 5 different landscapes:

Exercise 2: Perspective I

In this film perspective is used to deceive the audience. Have the students watch the film again and identify

Exercise 3: Perspective II

We all know those holiday pictures in which a certain perspective creates a funny effect (like a tourist in front, acting as if he is pushing over the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the background, or a man leaning his arm on top of the Eiffel tower).

Changing the perspective can offer you a completely different view on a situation, as in the famous example where a close up appears to show a man aggressively pushing a woman over the pavement. However, from a distance we see the man is pushing the woman because a heavy object is falling from a window and might crush her.

Can the students come up with similar settings for such pictures in which a broader perspective changes the interpretation of the image? Try to emphasise the duality in emotions (crying in pain -> crying from happiness; shouting fearfully -> shouting from excitement etc).

Choose the best ideas and let the students use a camera to capture those images.

Exercise 4: Imagine ... Animation or feature?

Everything is possible in an animated film. Even the craziest ideas can be visualized on screen. But what about a feature film, in which actors have to depict certain situations?

What could or could not be done if BOB were to be remade as a feature film? (other than the fact that you would need to replace hamsters by humans)?

Exercise 5: Recognizing sexes

In our first encounter with Bob we clearly identify 'him' as a female. Later on we clearly recognise 'him' as a male.

What makes us recognise a person’s gender?
Why do we – as opposed to the hamster in the film – seldom make mistakes?
Do we know we don’t make mistakes?
Try to compare Bob’s performance in the beginning and at the end of the movie. How do the characters differ?
What are the differences in body language, carriage, attitude, physical appearance? (Pay attention to physical details such as chest, chin, eyes,…).

Can you identify the moment when the film maker is transforming the female into a male? How does he do that?

How do we usually recognise the sex of people that we meet so easily?
Even at a very young age, children draw boys and girls differently. How do they do that?


Draw a page with several ‘eggs’ at the top of the page in a row next to each other: faces with no further attributes. Distribute some pages of eggs amongst the pupils.

Discussion: There are biological reasons why our minds rarely make mistakes in recognising other people’s sex. Can the students find out why our minds are organised that way?

Were some students ever mistaken for a member of the other sex? Were some boys ever mistaken for girls or vice versa? How do they feel about that? Is it the same for the boys as for the girls? Is a tomboy (girl) more easily accepted than an effeminate boy?




Landscapes for exercise 1










Trompe l’oeil pictures for exercise 3

© Jongleur100,


© Anamorphosis,


© Davidparfitt,