From Novel to Animation

We Have Always Lived in the Castle


For the project, I created an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel, We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962), into a short poetic animation. The project followed the characteristics of Gothic literature as well as the style of Gothic artists through its pastiche.

Narrated by the main character of the story, Merricat, with the aim to capture the emotionally intense and mysterious events of the story. My hope was to stay faithful to Shirley Jackson’s intentions with her novel.

Two cover versions of the novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962)


I created the Concept Art and Backgrounds on Adobe Illustrator.  Just as Tim Burton’s animated films that embody Gothicism throughout the use of visuals, setting and color scheme. Where he successfully combined the Victorian era, along with many other influences to create a new postmodern aesthetic. I gained inspiration and drew the character Merricat with big circle eyes, a long neck, and used a monochrome color palette. However, my intention with pastiche is to not achieve an exact reproduction, instead, it is to gather inspiration from each text and merge them together with my own style to create an extended version of the original text.


animated poetry