MDeC and Disney Channel collaborate through Stitch-inspired workshops

By AMRITA VALECHA | 12 January, 2010 - 16:00

MDeC and Disney Channels Southeast Asia are partnering to organize a nationwide animation workshop designed to encourage and inspire the next generation of Malaysian animators.

The workshop dates are as follows: January 11-16, Perak, February 1-5, Pahang, March 1-5, Sabah
April 5-9, Kuala Lumpur and May 24-28, Johor.

Talking to Animation Xpress Asia Pacific about the partnership with MDeC, Laura E. Wendt, Vice President and Managing Director of Disney Channels Southeast Asia shared, "Disney Channel has always been spearheading different animation and production initiatives in various countries, working with local partners and organizations to be able to identify talent, spur the animation industry and create a holistic ecosystem to drive content production forward. For Malaysia, the partner to work with was an obvious choice and after meeting with MDeC, we felt it was a good step to start from schools to hone talents and creativity from a young age.

She further added, "This animation program marks the first time Disney Channel is jointly organizing a workshop of this nature and scope in Malaysia and we can't begin to express our excitement about our undertaking this initiative in collaboration with MDeC. We're especially pleased that the inspiration for this series of workshops is on our animated character 'Stitch' who, as Disney's most beloved animated alien epitomizes endless wonder, boundless energy and overflowing creativity - attributes we are looking to enhance and inspire in our workshop participants,"

Saifol Bahri Mohamad Shamlan, Vice President of the Industry Development Division of MDeC shared, "The workshop will give Malaysian students the opportunity to learn about 2D animation, learn the basic techniques needed to create an animated clip and create their own animation clips. It's a great opportunity for our students to show off their innate creativity."

The workshops which will take place from January to June 2010 is targeted at Upper Primary and Lower Secondary students aged 10 to 14 years old. There will be one workshop each in Selangor, Pahang, Sabah, Perak, Johor and Kuala Lumpur with participants from 10 schools per workshop. Each school will be represented by a team of one teacher and two to three students.

The 10 shortlisted teams will be given a 120-page "Stitch Animation Starter Pack" which will include coursework materials and background information on the story of Stitch arriving in a new land and meeting new friends. This will be the springboard for their animated stories. The teams will then be tasked to create their own animated "Alien Encounter" inspired by the story of "Stitch."

The group from each workshop that wins best clip will converge in Kuala Lumpur in July for an animation MASTERCLASS where they will get a rare opportunity to work with renowned local animators and a Disney animator to refine their winning entries before all the clips are broadcast on ASTRO. The animators will also select the most creative animated clip and the team who created the winning clip wins a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland for their own Stitch encounter.

Talking about the expectations of the workshops and the about the Malaysian animation industry Laura concluded, "We expect to see the creative works of children and teens in Malaysia! This is something that is important to us at Disney Channel; that children begin to explore their boundaries and learn to see that the world is not limited but can be expanded with imagination.

We are beginning to see more creative content from this region, including Malaysia. In fact, we have also been purchasing animated content from local developers in Malaysia such as Bola Kampung, Upin & Ipin and Geng The Adventure Begins."