Sunday, April 7, 2024

Animated short film focuses on mental health

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 1, 2023

Photo: Citronella Stories

Citronella Stories will release Bug Therapy, a seven minute animated short film about mental health, via on May 1, 2023. According to a press release the short film will have a limited release in North America online and at select theaters, at no cost, for the month of May, to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month. The film strives to highlight the importance of therapy and mental health. It should be available today at

It features the voices of Phil McGraw, Meghan Trainor, Jay Leno, Sterlin K. Brown, Tom Green, Emily Goglia and Jason Reisig. It is due to have a wide release in June, with plans for a global release this fall, according to a press release received by email.

Bug Therapy was directed by Jason Reisig. It was written and created by Michael Jann and Michele Jourdan, of Citronella Stories, and animated by 88 Pictures. Randy Mills was producer. Eric Bergman was co-producer. Jann and Jourdan were executive producers, along with Jason Reisig, Randy Mills, and 88 Pictures’ Milind D. Shinde.

In Citronella (Trainor), a mosquito who faints at the sight of blood, tries to muster the courage to attend group therapy to overcome her phobia. She learns that “everyone faces mental health struggles.” Stick Bug (Brown) battles depression over never feeling seen, Fly (Leno) is “OCD and germaphobic and can’t stop washing his hands,” Grasshopper (Green) suffers from addiction to coffee, Praying Mantis (Goglia) is narcissistic and delusional and believes she’s God. A Dragonfly couple (Jann and Jourdan) are co-dependent, and Spider (Reisig) tries to overcome his phobia of spiders. Dr. Pill (McGraw) leads the therapy.