by Stephen Johnson
Our family has always enjoyed watching a good animation movie like Shrek or How to Train Your Dragon. When I saw the studio responsible for those movies, Dreamworks, was the focus of an exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History, I knew we had to go.
The day we visited, the museum was having a special red-carpet event to celebrate the opening of the exhibit. There were a number of movie-themed activities. Our son, David, started with making his own animated short on reel film. He was even able to see his creation as a friendly instructor from Algonquin College loaded up the final product on a reel-to-reel projector. Seeing the old projector brought back memories of my Grade 4 science class and our teacher having a hard time loading the film. Luckily, David’s film turned out great. Perhaps he has a future in animation.
We then moved on to the photo display booth where we were able to dress up like movie stars. After having our photo taken, David discovered the gingerbread cookie decorating station. We all loved decorating and especially eating the gingerbread cookies!
All of these activities made us want to check out the Dreamworks Animation exhibit. The exhibition really does give a person a behind-the-scenes look at how animation movies are made. There are plenty of interactive displays that will keep all ages engaged. It was fascinating to see the amount of work that goes into making an animated film. Concept drawings, models and original artwork are all part of the exhibition. David’s favorite was a computerized drawing program where you could make your own animation. We had gone from reel film to cutting edge computerized animation all in two hours!
The DreamWorks Animation exhibition will be going on until April 8. Check out the museum website as there will be many special events centred around the exhibition.