Animation Director & Writer

I had the distinct privilege of working with some of the towering figures of deaf culture, Ben Bahan and CJ Jones, in the development of this award-winning series featuring a modern re-telling of classic fairytales in American Sign Language.


Intro Sequence

Designed and Directed by Norland Téllez

Setting the mood for an opening into the world of ASL and classic storytelling combined, the initial sequence features Ben Bahan as the Master of Ceremonies for Once Upon a Sign.


The Magic Mirror

Winner of the 2015 San Diego International Kids' Film Festival.

This is my proudest achievement in the entire series. Winner for best educational film, the Magic Mirror is the most original story of the entire series with a profound message about the true source of self-esteem and creativity.


ASL Poem

Designed and Directed by Norland Téllez

The peak of this story is to be found here in this animated sequence, the ASL poem come to life, where I personally animated the 2D elements found within it using ToonBoom.

Poem Storyboards

I designed the visual effects and animation in this piece to highlight the visual character of American Sign Language.

Writer and Director

Once Upon a Sign Series

Educational Entertainment for Deaf and Hearing Audiences


The New Stone Soup, Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, Magic Mirror, and the Three Little Pigs were the initial wave of the entire series involving a re-telling of classic fairytales in American Sign Language.

Another Highlight of the Series

The New Three Little Pigs

Written and Directed by Norland Téllez


Weaving contemporary life with the classic fairytale, The New Three Little Pigs reflects a dimension of our social reality in America which is otherwise difficult to talk about.

What critics are saying about

The New Three Little Pigs


Morgan B

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11.

This is cute and adorable movie that almost everybody will love. It is perfect for little kids because they will learn a lot. It's also great for older kids because it has a modern twist on a fairy tale. I think they will really enjoy it and relate to it as well. It is really funny how they play on words when they are playing with video games and stuff. It is really funny and made me laugh.



The Dove Foundation

On the New Three Little Pigs

The wonderful actors and colorful animation make learning American Sign Language fun for everyone. This episode tells of the beloved story of “The Three Little Pigs.” Most people are familiar with the tale of the terrible wolf, who tries to destroy the homes of three little pigs. This modern-day version also encourages kids to do more than just play video games and be inside. It also teaches families to work together.


Parents, if your child loves fairy tales and you want them to see another side of life as they know it, please have them watch The New Three Little Pigs by DawnSign Press! Their Once Upon a Sign series brings fairy tales to life using American Sign Language as a major mode of communication. The actors act and sign ASL while the dialogue is voiced in the background.