Report – Animation Assemble!

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2022 9:05pm by Cate Zerega


  • Invest in concrete disability training for all people and talent teams to see the rewards.
  • Children need to know there’s a world worth saving.
  • When you invest in children, you invest in the future: don’t trivialise the work of investing in children.

Host Beth Parker began CMC’s panel about animation as a force for good using Andrew Kavanagh’s Kavaleer cartoon ‘Adam Loves Adventure’ as a case study. Andrew reacted to Adam King’s wish to go to space, even though he uses a wheelchair, by asking, ‘Could I make a cartoon about this kid?’ Andrew has since worked with people with a variety of disabilities who wouldn’t have been on his radar if disability hadn’t been an objective from the inception of the ‘Adam Loves Adventure’ process. The show has also expanded Kavaleer’s overall process for accessibility because it can’t stop at just one project.

Marika Makaroff viewed the creation of her Gutsy Animations not as creating a company but as creating a movement that inspires and uplifts. Marika wants her audience to not just engage with her IP but to become a part of it, so from day one on the Indiegogo campaign for Gutsy Animations, Marika has constantly been asking the fans what they want so that they are part of the nature of the productions.

Tom Box embedded accessibility into Blue Zoo’s culture by pursuing B-Corp status. B-Corp audits across all areas to ensure that profit is used ‘for purpose’. The audit process provides effective measures for the company to always be pushing forward on social and environmental issues.

Lucy Murphy with Sky has seen progress in animation by setting high targets and giving producers the resources to achieve them. Lucy has found that the small steps taken to hit Sky’s targets create a cumulative shift in the industry that becomes enormous. Children with a disability don’t want to be ‘othered’ and Sky has incorporated that tenet into their employee training so that their disabled employees are not spotlighted but trained in the usual way.

There was a wide variety of answers to the audience question of how producers should address energy consumption. Answers included:

  • Developing content that encourages more play away from screens.
  • Making real commitment to offset carbon footprints.
  • Using the pandemic lessons of hybrid working to cut employees’ commute.

The issues the panellists anticipate will be most relevant in a few years include:

  • Resilience, so children understand they can come through their trauma.
  • Cultivating a positive mental attitude and growth mindset.
  • Hope.
  • Making space for a child at every level of the production process.

The panel concluded with the Secret Story Draw team explaining their initiative to get underrepresented people into the industry. Sully entered the competition when she saw it on Instagram because she had nothing to lose. She explained how she won a three-month paid internship with Jellyfish Pictures, and she’s now been with them a year, ending the panel on a wonderful note of optimism.

Blog CMC 2022 Event Reports CMC Ebulletin

Cate Zerega

About the author

Cate Zerega

Freelance Production Coordinator

Cate has worked as a nanny, a talent agent, in casting & production. Cate’s resume means she no longer fears anything and has sunblock & headshots always about. She completed an MA in the screen industries in 2018 & works passionately to promoting female filmmakers. Read more