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About Sickkids
About SickKids

November 3, 2011

Getting animated at SickKids

Little boy making Playdoh figurines
Gurjas Samra at the clay station

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) visited SickKids on Oct. 27 to bring its Get Animated! workshop to kids spending time at the hospital. The already whimsical Bear Theatre was transformed into the hub of all things animation, with a clay animation station and a flipbook table. Two other tables had all the gear needed to create the animation magic.

Gurjas Samra was the first patient to arrive and he headed for the clay station. Soon, he was busy creating a figure with big eyes, a green face and spiky hair. “I’m making a belt to put around him,” he announced to the crowd gathered around him. It took some patience but pretty soon the belt was on and Gurjas was done.

Gurjas then went to the technical table to bring his clay model to life. The backdrop was a scene from Private Eyes, a new 3D film from the NFB, where the main character is blind but feels like a superhero because he can see in unconventional ways. Gurjas was taught how to move the figure so that the NFB crew could take a series of images. Those images were then put together and, after a few minutes, Gurjas’ film was finished and played before an audience.

“The workshop was amazing for the patients. It was a wonderful distraction from the hospital that encouraged kids to leave their units and hospital rooms and have a new experience,” says Caron Irwin, Entertainment & Donation Co-ordinator for Child Life. “Kids were so proud of their completed mini cartoons. It is wonderful to empower kids in hospital and provide them an opportunity to master a new skill.”

By Kemisha Newman