AnimAction, Inc.

The BOX! Animation Production Studio

The BOX! Animation Production Studio

To collaborate with this provider, contact:

Clifford Cohen
Executive Director

22287 Mulholland Highway Number 99
Calabasas, CA 91302






Web Address:

This provider also has programs for students in Programs for Students


AnimAction was created with a single purpose in mind - to give young people the opportunity to experience the spirit of collaboration, develop new skills, and exercise the ability to make their own creative choices through the art of animation. The language of animation is universal. It speaks to all ages and transcends cultural barriers. It is a powerful means of communication. AnimAction programs incorporate media literacy, critical thinking skills, research and inquiry, teamwork, and the joy students get out of making connections across subject areas. For twenty three years, AnimAction has provided hundreds of professional development and workshop programs to students and teachers throughout the United States and around the world.

Program Objectives

Teachers are actively engaged in hands-on animation projects focused on skills development enabling them to guide students in the creation of original animation projects in the classroom The BOX! PD provides teachers rich multi-faceted artistic experiences and a structure that models the animation process. The step-by-step approach engages teachers in the determination of content, pre-production and story development, through the animation process, to the final presentation to an audience, all while they are learning the principles and techniques of animation. Teachers adopt, and can adapt, these models to use in the classroom to implement the program with their students.

Teachers develop applications and strategies using animation as a tool for integrated and cross-curricular learning through teamwork and cooperative problem solving The BOX! PD models student projects, and facilitates teacher planning for classroom implementation. The PD encourages deep engagement with content through a collaborative process of research, discovery, development, production and presentation. As teachers develop animation skills, they are able to identify content for student projects. Following assessment of their completed animations, teachers collaborate to identify challenges and develop strategies for using animation in their classroom.

Teachers broaden their knowledge of the arts and strengthen classroom applications by experiencing the creative process and lesson sequencing of animation projects The BOX! PD enables teachers to turn a classroom into a self-managed animation studio. Aligned with VAPA standards, the PD breaks down the animation process into steps, enabling participants to make and evaluate content and design choices during the project. The BOX! demystifies animation production opening channels for teachers to bring this magical medium to students. They engage creatively with technology to develop a thorough understanding of media literacy central to 21st century learning.

Our goal is to prepare teachers with the basic knowledge, skills and confidence they need to create animation projects with their students. The training is designed to simplify the animation process enabling any participant to create and produce a project using the tools provided with the The BOX! tool kit. An AnimAction Trainer works with groups of classroom teachers through a hands-on workshop using The BOX! tool kit, introducing animation production through a tried and proven intensive workshop structure. The BOX! promotes media literacy, critical thinking skills, research and inquiry through the teamwork and creative learning of animation.


The BOX! PD is most often run as a 1- or 2-day program at a school site, but is adaptable to school schedule and education goals. Led by an AnimAction Trainer, the PD models the instruction of an animation project, builds participants skills in the visual and media arts and provides time for instructional connections. Highly encouraged is an additional in-class follow-up session in which the artist will provide coaching while the teacher leads a project with students. AnimAction provides all equipment for the PD. The BOX! PD starts at $900/2 teachers if Districts contract for a series of schools. The BOX! PD in-class follow-up is $300/2hr session.


Led by experienced AnimAction Trainers, sessions are designed to provide teachers with valuable artistic experiences as they develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to use animation effectively as part of student learning. Prior to the PD, teachers and an AnimAction Trainer target arts education goals and curricular content to be the focus of the PD session. During the PD, as teachers work with content, they brainstorm other content areas for class projects. Aligned with state arts standards, the session structure models the scaffolding teachers will use to deliver the program in class. At the end of the PD, teachers review their projects, identify challenges and develop strategies for classroom implementation. By the end of the session, teachers have the tools to lead students through the creative process of developing original animations. Pre- and post-surveys assess teacher knowledge and understanding of material and are used to adapt and improve The BOX! program.

Participants' Experience

The BOX! Professional Development is a hands-on active learning experience for teachers that models implementation of an animation project in the classroom. Beginning with pre-production and story development, teachers participate in the animation process, learning the principles and techniques of animation. Working with an AnimAction Trainer, teachers learn how to prepare and translate stories for animation and develop animation skills while also developing instructional strategies for fostering the teamwork and creative cooperation integral to the project. The BOX! PD has been designed to simplify the animation process allowing “newcomers” to be successful.

Classroom Relevancy

AnimAction’s approach is rooted in 2D visual arts and provides fundamentals in animation that prepare students for 21st Century jobs. The BOX! PD provides teachers with the skills and knowledge to lead their students through the sequential process of creating original animations. Aligned to VAPA, the animation skills can be used to make cross-curricular connections, support specific units of study or examine and address class interests or social concerns. AnimAction has prepared The BOX! Tool Kit to support teachers in integrating animation projects into their instructional strategies. The toolkit includes animation tools, supplies, instructional materials, easy to use PC/MAC based software and free technical support. Schools would then just need a computer, video camera and camera stand for student projects. The BOX! tool kit is prepared based on class size: $299 (10 students) - $599(40 students) + CA Tax, S&H is $20.


In The BOX! Professional Development, teachers experience the hands-on sequential process of making animations based on curriculum concepts, social messages or original ideas. From pre-production and story development, to application of animation techniques and effects, to sharing completed original animations with an audience, teachers explore the art of animation and develop skills to lead projects for students.

Classroom Management

The BOX! PD models a lesson structure and classroom management strategies teachers can use to lead students through animation projects. The BOX! curriculum has been developed to promote animation as a cooperative art form. The group structure of lessons enables teachers to encourage independent decision-making by and within each group allowing for team building and cooperative learning. Students work together to determine and develop content, create the artwork and produce their original animation.

Differentiated Instruction

The art of animation offers teachers the flexibility to differentiate instruction based on learning levels, curriculum focus and education goals. During The BOX! PD, an AnimAction Trainer works with teachers to develop strategies to structure lessons based on identified priorities. In the optional classroom follow-up session, the Trainer coaches the teacher as s/he leads an animation session and then offers feedback on how projects can be adapted based on student need. In addition, the team structure creates an environment in which students grow and develop at their own pace because they can take interest in and excel at particular tasks during the project.

Lesson Planning and Unit Design

Animation can be used to explore content across the curriculum while enabling teachers to address their arts integration goals. In pre-session planning, teachers identify target content areas, which students may explore through animation. Over the course of the session, teachers begin to develop strategies for integration of selected content into the animation process. In the optional classroom follow-up session, the Trainer coaches the teacher as s/he leads an animation session and offers feedback on how curriculum content can be integrated into projects.


The BOX! Professional Development program, along with The BOX! tool kit enables teachers to turn their classroom into a working animation studio. AnimAction developed a process that employs a low tech efficient and realistic approach, but effective nevertheless. Teachers learn hands-on how to utilize technology tools integral to creating animation. This applied use of both hardware and software gives teachers and students the opportunity to develop technology skills while creating original animations to reflect classroom learning.