Animation: Introduction

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Program Components

  1. This instructional guide
  2. Four student activity masters in English and Spanish
  3. A four-color wall poster for classroom display
  4. A response card for teacher comments

Target Audience

This program has been designed for students in secondary school English, language arts, visual arts, and communications courses.

Program Objectives

  1. To enhance student interest in and knowledge about the motion picture development and production process
  2. To encourage students to use critical thinking as they learn how animators work
  3. To engage students in an exploration of film as an art form and a medium of communication
  4. To help students become more visually literate

The first Academy Awards were handed out on May 16, 1929, not long after the advent of “talkies.” By 1930, enthusiasm for the ceremonies was so great that a Los Angeles radio station did a live, one-hour broadcast, and the Awards have enjoyed broadcast coverage ever since.

The number and types of awards have grown and changed over the years to keep up with the development of the motion picture industry. Awards of Merit—Oscars®—are presented in each (or in subdivisions) of the following categories: acting, animation, art direction, cinematography, costume design, directing, documentary film, film editing, foreign language film, make-up, music, best picture, short film, sound, visual effects and writing. In an age when awards shows seem as common as nightly news programs, the Academy Awards are unique because the judges—the approximately 6,000 Academy members—are the top filmmakers from around the world. The question, “Who gets the Oscar?” is decided by a true jury of peers.

The awards process provides a wonderful opportunity to teach your students about the many craft areas and the many communications techniques that play a part in creating a motion picture. Filmmaking is by nature a collaborative process, with each creative area supporting and being supported by the others. Because our space is limited, this kit focuses on just one of those areas—animation.

Selecting Films For Student Viewing

Students may select the films they wish to view for the following activities, or you may wish to suggest films that are appropriate.

The following animated feature films have wonAcademy Awards, are available on DVD and may beappropriate for your students: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Fantasia (1941), Who Framed Roger Rabbit(1988), Toy Story (1995), Shrek (2001), Spirited Away (2002), Finding Nemo (2003),Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of theWere-Rabbit (2005), Happy Feet (2006), WALL-E (2008), and Up (2009).

Other animated features that have been nominated for Academy Awards and are available on DVD include: Beauty and the Beast (1991), Ice Age (2002), Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Lilo & Stitch (2002), Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), Treasure Planet (2002), The Triplets of Belleville (2003), Howl's Moving Castle (2005), Persepolis (2007), Bolt (2008), Coraline (2009), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), and The Secret of Kells (2009).

Academy Award-nominated and winning short films available on DVD include:Walking (1969), The Crunch Bird (1971), Closed Mondays (1974), The Street (1976), The Sand Castle (1977), Crac (1981), Luxo Jr. (1986), The Man Who Planted Trees (1987), Creature Comforts (1990), A Close Shave (1995), La Maison en Petits Cubes (2008), and Logorama (2009).

Additional animated films that may be suitable for your students including the features: Alice in Wonderland (1951), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Nightmare before Christmas (1993), Princess Mononoke (1997),The Iron Giant (1999),Chicken Run (2000), and Waltz with Bashir (2008);and the short films Neighbours (1952), Pas de Deux (1968),Mindscape (1976), Guard Dog (2004), and Oktapodi (2008).

Animation: Creating Movement Frame by Frame

PDF Downloads

Complete Animation Activities Guide (PDF)

Activity 1: The Origins of Animation
English Spanish

Activity 2: Drawing Movement
English Spanish

Activity 3: Imagining Action
English Spanish

Activity 4: Learning from the Best
English Spanish

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