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Middlesbrough's Animex dinosaurs go global

19 November 2009


A film showcasing animated dinosaurs created by Middlesbrough primary school children at our Animex festival is to be used by an international palaeontology society.

The society is to use the film in the USA, as an example of how animation can be used to inspire young people.

The dinosaurs featured in a short film made at Teesside University earlier this year during Animex, our international festival of animation and computer games.

The film features year five (aged nine to ten) children from three Middlesbrough primary schools including Brambles Farm, Breckon Hill and St Pius RC.

Animators from Teesside, Pixar and Blue Sky Studios The workshops culminated in the children creating model dinosaurs and animating their fearsome creatures, supervised by artists and animators from Teesside, Pixar and Blue Sky Studios.

The film was the idea of Stuart Sumida, Professor of Biology at California State University, a regular visitor to Animex.

Professor Sumida has provided advice on the movement and physiology of animals to a range of animated box office hits, including Beauty and The Beast, The Lion King, Scooby Doo and the Oscar-winning Ratatouille.

Chris Williams, a Principal Lecturer in Animation at the University, has been Animex Director since the festival was first launched in 2000. He said: 'The film demonstrates in a very powerful and meaningful way that animation gets kids really interested in dinosaurs.

'This can be translated to almost any discipline if handled correctly and it’s amazing to think something we’re doing here is being highlighted as a model of excellence in the US. Already the film has been a huge success and will hopefully pave the way for collaborative work between ourselves and colleagues over there.'

The film has been shown to the Society of Vertebrae and Palaeontology in Bristol and will be screened soon in the USA, at the prestigious Carnegie Melon Institute.

Next year’s Animex, appropriately, will have a dinosaur theme and will take place from 8 to 12 February 2010. For more details go to the Animex website

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