Movie magic

MARQUETTE – The U.P. Children’s Museum’s new program WOW Animation kicked off it’s first class, giving children and teens a chance to learn about stop motion movies.

The first class was held April 22 for seven kids in the young age group, which ranges from 6 to 9 years old. After three weeks, Masha Kakhova, WOW Animation program coordinator, said it’s been going well.

“The kids are having fun and even when I ask them if they want to take a break they just want to keep going,” she said.

In the first class the children got an introduction to what stop motion animation is and were showed a couple of short animation cartoons to give them a clue as to what animation is. For the second class the children had to bring in an idea for a character and give them a story.

Lily Dixon, 9, of Marquette came up with the Glitter Monster who came from planet Sparkles.

“She was covered in sparkles and was colored rainbow with one eye,” Dixon said. “She was Mike’s – from “Monster’s University” – sister.”

Dixon said she heard about the class from Kakhova’s daughter, who is her friend, so she thought it would be fun to try.

“I think it’s a lot of fun,” Dixon said. “I like drawing everything. I often do it in the car before the class and sometimes at school.”

She said she was most excited to learn how to make a movie using stop motion animation and loves all the ideas they give her to start making her own cartoons.

“Kids should join because you get to make up a bunch of characters and then all the people in your group will help you make it a lot more fun,” Dixon said.

In the second class the children got to vote on what characters they liked the best and will be making movies based on those characters. They also talked about what makes a good character and story.

“I’ve been giving them assignments to do outside of the class,” Kakhova said. “Right now we are just trying to focus on the details of the stories and the backgrounds.”

She said one of the best parts about working with the kids is that they have a lot of imagination and every group of kids is different.

“It’s fun with them because the imagination is endless and they are also flexible with their ideas,” Kakhova said. “We expect them to be kids and be a little wild and overboard, but they’re fun.”

This summer WOW Animation is offering five different week-long camps for children ranging from 8 to 14 years old. Classes include claymation, brickfilming and pixilation. Each class is $135 per student, which includes materials and equipment, and runs from 2-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on the summer camps visit www.upchildrensmuseum.com/wow-animation.

“During the school year there are a lot of other activities going on and the kids might not have the time to take a class like this then, so the summer camps give them a chance to try something different,” Kakhova said.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.