Poll: Vote for your favourite cartoon mouse as King’s Lynn animator’s new creation becomes YouTube hit
PUBLISHED: 11:04 17 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:47 17 February 2017
His creation is a labour of love which has been five years in the making as he carefully crafted his clay models by hand.
But animator Ian Harding now hopes his painstaking hours of hard work and exceptional attention to detail will mean his animated character will take over the mantle of famous TV mice from the likes of Danger Mouse and Mickey Mouse.
Mr Harding began working on episodes of Zey the Mouse, a stop motion animation about a family of mice living in the countryside, in 2012.
Every summer he posts a new episode on his YouTube channel after taking nine to 10 months to make everything by hand using Fimo modelling clay in his home studio in King’s Lynn.
He then voices the lead role of Zey the Mouse himself, with family and friends chipping in to voice the roles of other characters.
He is currently working on the fourth episode of the show, for which he has created a model of Westminster Underground station which spans over two metres.
Zey takes a trip to London for Clara Cat’s birthday, joined by companions Fernando Fox and Leo Lion.
They encounter trouble on the train with a thief whom they try to catch, and later meet Mr Scotty the dog who works in the Houses of Parliament.
Previous episodes Flying a Kite, The Prize Hat and A Trip to the Seaside, have been viewed over 7,000 times.
“I love animals and expressing myself through art,” Mr Harding said. “It’s great to be able to show my work on the internet. Zey the Mouse has become quite popular - people want to see it and tell me they enjoy watching it. It has inspired people to make their own.
“I have met a lot of animators from the Norwich Forum exhibition in 2015 and from all over the world. We all support each other and swap ideas.
“It has been amazing.”
The film-maker has been working on animations for seven years and draws inspiration from classic children’s TV series Huxley Pig and Paddington Bear.
Mr Harding’s first film was made in 2010 in honour of No. 73, a children’s TV show broadcast live on ITV on Saturday mornings, starring the likes of Sandi Toksvig, Neil Buchanan and Andrea Arnold.
Episodes of Zey the Mouse can be found on his YouTube page.