Welcome to WordWorld

I love motion graphics. I hope that’s obvious. But I also love children’s television—the educational kind, not so much the Spongebob Squarepants kind. As an avid consumer of Oscar the Grouch’s endearing nihilism and Morgan Freeman’s Easy Reader sketches, I’ve long embraced the power of broadcast media coupled with educational intentions. So whenever my two loves—motion graphics and children’s television—collide, it’s an event worth celebrating.

The latest such collision to come to my attention is PBS’ WordWorld. I’m sure we’re all fans of the type-made-literal antics seen in projects like Antoine Bardou-Jacquet’s “The Child” and, more recently, in Brand New School’s “Read the Road” adverts.

WordWorld, which launched in September of 2007, takes the same idea and runs with it, crafting an entire series about “building” words into their physical manifestations. One part phonetics, one part character animation and one part typography, WordWorld is an awesome way to indoctrinate introduce young children to the written word on screen.

While I can’t speak intelligently about the instructional design aspects of the program, I can say that the animation is endlessly inventive and thoroughly entertaining. As with many children’s television shows, WordWorld’s creators come to the table with solid CV’s. Olexa Hewryk, one of WordWorld’s directors and producers, worked on another of my favorite programs, Disney’s The Little Einsteins. Dan Moody, director and co-creator of the series, was behind the quirky MTV animated series, Daria. That’s only the tip of the iceberg.

The actual animation is executed by Crest Animation in India, who are no strangers to series animation. (I guess good ol’ American studios were too pricey?)

Big thanks to my dear friend Victoria Fernandez for introducing me to WordWorld!

About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.

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2 Comments

Marc B.

Uhm ok.

MHR

Honestly, I prefer the old school 2D animation of Sesame’s ‘word world’, or Disney’s early educational, animated films (or even the stuff you and Lu came up with). Although the project’s animation/rendering here is nice, in terms of learning, this seems really cluttered in comparison. Maybe I’m just old…

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