ANNECY – Reaching out to a young generation of global toon talent, Cartoon Network is launching across Europe, the Middle East and Africa the Cartoon Network Imagination Studios, an online destination to inspire and celebrate the imagination and creativity of kids, with Cartoon Network star creators teaching them the basics of animation.
Select countries across the region will also offer children aged 6-12 the chance to enter original creations –whether new character drawings, storyboards or animations – to the Cartoon Network Imagination Studios Awards, and be in with a chance of seeing their creations brought to life on air, on Cartoon Network.
Launching across Europe, Middle East and Africa in the coming months, Cartoon Network Imagination Studios will provide a sneak-peek behind the scenes of the “real” Cartoon Network Studios, giving kids a unique insight into the making of their favorite cartoons. Cartoon Network artists and creators such as Ben Bocquelet (“The Amazing World of Gumball”), Rebecca Sugar (“Steven Universe”) will provide tips and guidance on how to create their own characters, animate and tell stories. The Cartoon Networks Imagination Studios will also feature drawing, coloring, storyboarding, music, special effects, voiceover, movement and animation.
“We often receive fan art and story ideas inspired by our shows, so we wanted to create a destination to encourage and facilitate all the amazing creativity stored in the minds of our young audiences,” said Patricia Hidalgo, SVP & chief content and creative officer, kids, Turner Broadcasting System EMEA.
She added: “Cartoon Network Imagination Studios is a place where kids can learn, gain inspiration, have fun and, ultimately, be themselves; it promotes the value of being different and, in turn, creating something unique. That’s the essence of the Cartoon Network brand and the very reason we’re here at Annecy seeking out those with the most original ideas and creations.”
In the U.K., Cartoon Network Imagination Studios will launch in early July. The Cartoon Network Imagination Studios Awards open for entries from Sept 1. The U.K. competition will feature a specially-created “teacher toolkit”, allowing primary schools to get involved as part of their lessons, in alignment with the U.K. national curriculum and focused on the theme of “friendship.”
The British Film Institute (BFI) will host a special Funday event on Oct. 28 at the BFI Southbank and will take part in judging the competition entries.
“Animation is a hugely important part of the U.K. film sector and we applaud Cartoon Network for helping young and aspiring animators,” said Justin Johnson, BFI young audience programmer.
The launch of Cartoon Network Imagination Studios marks another occasion where the network is leveraging its affinity with young audiences. It follows the roll-out of the CN Buddy Network campaign (“Be a Buddy, Not a Bully”) in November 2014.