- Posted by info 17 Aug
As part of a wider Bottle Island Outreach Programme, LoveLove Films recently held workshops for children under eight years old, where they were able to watch the 11’ pilot episode named Crab City, and engage in further, educational and entertaining activities.
Bottle Island TV Series is a 2D/3D mixed-media edutainment preschool adventure series that encourages young children to care for their planet by reinforcing themes such as conservation, preservation and the issues surrounding plastic pollution. The series follows a group of quirky friends, as they work together to try and save the island from the rubbish that washes up on their shore. Through their eco-adventures, the characters discover the wonders and perils of the world around them. Some of these engaging and quirky characters include Socket, a curious and inquisitive robot who often gets into trouble thanks to his haphazard nature, Nurdle, Socket’s best friend and a fast learner who uses her STEM knowledge to help solve situations quickly, and Prof Z, the reclusive genius who creates wacky machines to try and fix any environmental issues that arise.
To promote World Environment Day on June 5th, LoveLove Films collaborated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) to produce an animated short film using characters from the Bottle Island TV series, which you can watch below.
Head of the United Nations – UN Environment Erik Solheim states:
‘We can’t reach out to them (children) with scientific reports. Bottle Island is a great way to help them understand environmental challenges, to realise that solutions are in our hands … and to have fun with a bunch of rather crazy characters on a peculiar little island!’
Director of UN Environment Europe Office Jan Dusik sais:
‘By raising awareness on what children and others can do to beat plastic pollution in a fun and inspiring way, the Bottle Island spot you produced captured exactly what World Environment Day is all about. We were truly impressed by the professional animation and delighted that is quickly drew the attention of viewers across the world. It has already become one of the most popular videos of all time in our Youtube channel, with over 150,000 views, and has also been highly successful on other social media. We look forward to working together on the series further to reach out to even more young citizens.’
The Bottle Island workshops began with us showing the children the Bottle Island pilot episode Crab City in which Socket and Nurdle come across ‘Crab City’, where all the hermit crabs on Bottle Island live. The crabs are using plastic items as shells because that’s all they can find. Shocked by the crabs’ living conditions, they set out to help. They ask Prof Z to make a machine that will help the crabs’ situation, but it keeps malfunctioning.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the episode, which then led into an animated discussion on who was their favourite character and what rubbish items they saw on Bottle Island. After this, the 25 children in attendance practised differentiating between recyclable goods, and those that needed to be disposed of in general waste. This particular activity is pertinent, as we’ve produced more plastic in the last ten years than we did in the whole of the last century1, so being able to ensure that what can be reduced, reused and recycled, actually is, are key steps to tackling plastic pollution. Also, imparting this knowledge onto the youngest generation is incredibly important, as they’ll be the ones feeling the full force of the devastating effects of our current environmental issues.
After this, the children were given a semblance of free reign (they were all under eight after all) to choose what kind of practical and creative activity they wanted to create from the Bottle Island activity pack. Some decided to complete puzzles, word searches and colour in characters, whilst many built their very own versions of characters from Bottle Island, such as Socket, the Two Rons, Nurdle and Pinch the crab, out of recycled materials that the school group gave us from their recycling – all of these activities can be found within the Bottle Island activity pack. Additionally, it was not just pre-existing characters that they made, the children also invented new characters for Bottle Island, that they played, gobbling up recyclable materials and generally solving issues like Prof Z’s machines are designed to do.
Bottle Island / LoveLove Films’ Managing Director and Producer Georgina Hurcombe, said of the Bottle Island Community Outreach Programme:
“It was great to see our first workshop go so well – the children all loved the pilot episode. It’s always a bit nerve-racking when we show large groups of children content but they all sat and laughed at the key parts. We did do extensive research and testing before creating the pilot so it’s great to see that this research paid off! In addition, it was so lovely to see the children learning through viewing as well as doing. As an organization we plan to run numerous workshops but in the future I hope that this resource can be sent out or downloaded by schools and community groups that work with young people. It’s really encouraging to see children enjoy the characters and most importantly understand the fun storylines about reducing, reusing, recycling and caring for our planet. I particularly loved when they designed their own characters to work with the existing Bottle Island characters!”
The recycling used during the workshop was the schools own, so the children’s efforts in sorting it out weren’t for nothing, and they were also taught the importance of recycling their creations after they had finished playing with them, in order to continue on the good practice that they learnt during the workshop. They all were extremely proud of their creations and excitedly took their activity packs and creations to show parents/guardians.
Throughout the workshop, all of those present had great fun, with the 25 children particularly enjoying the variety of interesting and entertaining activities planned, whilst concurrently taking in the messages and themes that are present in the edutainment adventure series. This aspect of our Bottle Island outreach programme is especially significant to us, as we believe that children should be also be inspired through the medium of play, not just through watching online or broadcasted video content, as, according to the LEGO Foundation, children should learn primarily through play until the age of eight1.
Overall, the children displayed a remarkably quick intake of knowledge, as by the end of the workshop, they could confidently sort out different types of recycling and general waste, and were far more aware of the environmental issues that are currently plaguing our planet and even invented their own solutions via there drawings and creations.
A key part of our outreach programme are the aforementioned Bottle Island activity packs, which, produced in association with the Fine Family Foundation and the Dorset Wildlife Trust, showcase the themes of the show through a different medium, further reinforcing the critical messages contained within.
Using characters from the series, LoveLove Films also recently produced a short, educational animation with the United Nations for World Environment Day 2018, highlighting the importance of combating plastic pollution for children, and the everyday ways in which they can stop plastic pollution around the world. Read our Case Study to find out more.
One of our goals for the Bottle Island project, is for it to have a dedicated website that’ll contain interactive content for children, and downloadable resources for organisations, such as schools and community centres, so that they can present and run the workshops, and other educational outreach content, themselves, and any support with these matters would be greatly appreciated.
Currently the producers of Bottle Island are seeking broadcast partners and investors.
1 The Guardian