I recently had the pleasure of being part of the team of artists and pedagogues that brought Disney to China, in the guise of education. Disney English is a new company under the umbrella of Disney Publishing Worldwide, who has teamed up with some smart technology companies, to offer the English language to the children in Shanghai in new and exciting ideas.
D.E. is introducing the Disney Family of stories to children who are experiencing them for the first time. In typical Disney fashion, the English text and speech curriculum is interactive in some very inventive and engaging ways. So far the results are exceeding expectations! D.E. Has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, as well as several other noteworthy publications. There are plans for expansion to several other cities in China, and other countries abroad.
I had the pleasure of dreaming up and creating the visual content for several of the "Interactive Storytellers" as well as interactive activities and general visual interfaces. I was able to play with classic stories ranging from Peter Pan, (as you see a screenshot above) to Pixar's Monsters Inc.. I was a part of the team that thought them up, planned them out , and made them work. In some cases I even did the foley work (sound effects) for the storytellers. From the beautiful introductions through to the final frames of the storyteller, the process was a great experience.
As always with companies like Disney, I was brought on as a contractor and let go when the project was nearing 1st phase completion. However, while I was there I was able to meet and work with some great and talented people. I hope when the time comes for Disney English to expand it's horizons, I will be a part of that ongoing process.