Film ID: NEFA 20760 Video of NEFA 20760 Bio and Bones BIO AND BONES 1985 Visitor TabsDescription An educational children’s animation by Sheila Graber about the workings of the human body. The film features a one celled character called Bio as he guides the viewer on the structure of the skeleton. The opening sequence begins with an outline of a human bod which gets larger as the camera zooms in. In the centre of the picture a small singled celled reveals his name as ‘Bio’. The three letters of his name mimic cells growing and multiply, filling the body outline. This sequence shows the skeleton, then muscle structure, respiratory organs, the digestive tract, the heart with the main veins and arteries, the brain and nervous system, and then the outline splits in two to show the reproductive organs. The skeletal outline is shown once again as the title appears. Title: Bio and Bones The skeleton moves left away from the outline causing the remaining body, without its supporting structures, to drop to the floor. The camera zooms in to show a multiple cell structure. In the centre is Bio who seems to take control and bring order to how the cells behave. Soon the cells are dividing and then a picture of a bone is shown, which appears to be very flexible. But Bio takes charge and the bone changes to become stronger. An image of a baby is shown with the bone (the humerus) being displayed in its correct position on the baby’s upper arm. A diagram of the baby’s heart and main veins and artery develops. It shows how blood vessels grow to help feed the developing bone with vital blood and nutrients. Bio helps to show how bone grows and is strengthened. Bio falls asleep, and pulls a cord and switches the ‘light’ off on the left side of the screen. On the right the body outline turns to white on black. The outline of the bone is superimposed onto a picture of the sleeping Bio. The head of the bone changes to a small green skeleton. The skeleton performs some movements to show how it is articulated. It then splits in two and Bio falls onto the feet of the two skeletons who face each other. He awakes to see that the green skeletons on the right of the screen, ‘steal’ the humerus of the outline figure. Bio tries to get their attention, but the skeletons only turn around and wave as they carry the stolen humerus on their shoulders. A cap suddenly appears on Bio’s head in a style which was worn during the American civil war. Bio blows a bugle which brings the skeletons to attention. Bio’s headwear changes again and armed with a cutlass he cries out as if charging into battle. The skeletons meanwhile have dropped the bone. Another change of headgear and Bio is conducting the music soundtrack. We suddenly see one of the green skeletons marshalling other bones into the shape of a foot. Then the other skeleton appears and attaches leg bones to the foot. Bio appears to conduct proceedings in time with the music. Both skeletons climb the leg bone (tibia) to attach the thigh bone (femur). One set of leg bones becomes two and then the pelvis attaches itself to the top of the two femurs. The sacrum is attached to the back of the pelvis. Then the spinal column is attached from the sacrum upwards, the skeletons stacking one vertebrae on top of another. The rib cage flies into position, then the breast bone or sternum. Then the vertebrae which make up the neck appear. Then follow the collar bones and shoulder blades (scapulae). The skeletons stand to attention on each set of arm bones as they extend themselves. When the hands appear the new skeleton picks up its miniature counterparts and puts them on its shoulders. Finally, the skull appears with Bio on top of it still conducting the music soundtrack. Bio floats up into the air loses his headgear and waves to the camera. The new skeleton sits down as though exhausted and Bio reappears on top of the skull. The miniature green skeletons are sitting either side of the skull. Above Bio, a cord, which he pulls and the green skeletons rise and turn into liquid possibly water which filters through the ground. It turns out to be water through rock, which in turn makes some grass grow. A cow eats the grass, and we follow the progress of the nutrition inherent in the grass. Milk is shown flowing from the cow’s udders, which finds its way to the sitting skeleton, which is invigorated by the milk and stands up. A close shows the knee joint and Bio who seems to be in a precarious position. As the knee flexes he is about to be crushed, but suddenly new cells form themselves into cartilage and fluid which helps lubricate and cushion the knee. All the way up the skeleton the joints have acquired soft tissue to help articulation. The skeleton waves to the camera, takes off its skull and demonstrates some nifty football skills with it. It breaks its humerus in the process, and is bandaged and has special steel supports put on his arm to help the break heal. Bio is seen in the middle of the break co-ordinating all the biochemical processes which enable the bone to knit together and heal itself. The bone heals. Bio appears on his own then a skeleton within the outline of a boy begins to walk towards the right of the screen. It transforms into a number animals which also have skeletons, monkeys, apes, a horse, then back to apes and monkeys then a human being again. Next the boy turns into a bird and flies, then turns back into a boy again. He then turns into a dinosaur and then a snake then back to a boy. Another transition with a change to a frog, then back to a boy. A further transition to a seal (?), then a fish. Finally appearing as Bio, who turns into an outline of a baby with an undeveloped skeleton. The baby grows and the skeleton with it. The boy/skeleton waves to the camera. End Credits: ‘Scientific Adviser – Dr. John D Simnett End Credit: Animated and Directed by Sheila Graber End Credit: (C) Sheila Graber Animation 1985 Context From molecule to man: the bare bones of how human bodies work. A fun 1980s animated educational film on human biology and evolution is introduced by a blobby one-celled character called Bio, who orchestrates the building of a human skeleton. This was a pilot episode for a speculative series on how bodies work by South Shields animator Sheila Graber, aimed at television, but it was judged ‘too educational to sell’ at the time. Sheila Graber’s animations were broadcast on the 1970s national children’s television programme, Clapperboard, and the award-winning 12 Days of Christmas was shown on BBC Look North in 1975. She gained an international reputation for the 1981 animations of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories for Nicole Jouve of Interama, the agent for The Magic Roundabout, who began to distribute her animations worldwide in 1977. Once a gifted amateur with improvised rostrum equipment, Sheila Graber went on to win several major awards from the Royal Television Society, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.