Disney Interactive and Google teamed up to launch “Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story,” an original animated short film. The film will be available exclusively on Google Play, Google’s online store offering digital movies, books, music, apps, games and more. Based on the popular Disney Parks Vinylmation collectible franchise, “Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story” is a 38 minute stop-motion animated film that tells the story of Blank, an unpainted Vinylmation, on an epic adventure through an original new world to find his lost soulmate.
So let's back track a bit for a second. See these cutie guys right here? (Ahem, maybe they are gals…you decide.)
These are my family’s little collection of Disney Vinylmation characters- the same “race” as Blank and Bow- the untouched, still white figures from Disney’s new short film Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story. I know, I know…they are addictingly cool and cute.
I was so excited to get to watch the whole film with my girls, available now on Google Play. When you have a second, grab your littles and watch this quick trailer:
Your heart will melt watching the whole sweet story of love, creativity and friendship unfold, but my Mama/Artist heart bursts with the themes this sweet short conveys. Who are we? How do we create our identity? Blank and Bow found each other again through perseverance, creativity, and often the resulting mess that can come from free expression and honest observation of who we are trying to become. We often find ourselves through the same channels- working hard, following our passions, and creating something new that defines who we are.
This is all super important to me as a mother. I want my girls to fit the molds they are designed to fit (i.e. they are humans, they are daughters, they are sisters, they will eventually be students, workers and “members of society”), but I want them to push the boundaries of those molds to define what makes them special and show the world how they offer something unique.
Overwhelming is the word that comes to mind when I re-read that blunt summary of a parent’s responsibility to guide their children through that process (and yes I realize it is my opinion that that is what is required of parents). But critical comes to mind too. We HAVE to guide them through that process. It’s important. It’s everything.
Luckily for all of us parents, I think this is done in all of the minuscule ways we interact with our children every moment of every day. The story you read for the 978th time. The game your child insists you act out every waking hour of the day. It’s your refrigerator that is plastered with
scribbles drawings, and your recycling bin full of finger paint masterpieces. It’s the way your daughter arranges the furniture HER WAY in the doll house and the way your son takes apart the lego he and Dad just built to make something different. I think this process unfolds as you build duplo zoos, as you collect the millionth special rock from the creek in your backyard. It comes from the moments you spend deciding how to answer each and every question your new talker dreams up- even the ridiculous ones, a hundred- no TWO hundred times in a row.
Where do you see your child’s story unfolding? Who would they tell you they are right now? (Thought: If your children are able to talk well, have you ever asked them who they are? Who are you Lilly? It’s weird, but try it.)
In light of creativity and carving out your own unique path, I’ve put together a fun project to do with your kids after you watch Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story.
All you need is paper, any kind of art supply (paint, markers, pencils, pens, stamps, stickers- anything), scissors a hole punch and string. Print out this sweet little guy…
(use card stock if you have it) selecting 6 for the “number of copies per page” window on your print screen. Cut them out, then set them aside.
Now for the fun part. Set out all of your materials on your art surface -dining room table at it’s most useful!- and pull out some blank paper. Whatever you have will work. I knew we’d be markering/painting so I went with something a bit heavier. Let your kids do whatever they want with the materials. Sit with them. Create something too. Ask them about their process or let them concentrate quietly. As they ask for new pieces of paper, keep forking them over and letting them express themselves however they want. This might seem silly for younger kids but my little Gracie (she’s 2) has a hellofalot to say when she paints and she’s silent the entire time 😉 But there is meaning behind her choices and she thoughtfully makes decisions about what she is creating. That is the whole point here.
Side note- when your kids see the templates, they might want to just “color them in” (which is what my Lilly wanted to do first). That’s fine too!
When your kids are done with their masterpieces, let them dry if necessary, then flip them to the back. If your kids are old enough, distribute the tracers and let them trace the Vinylmation shape on the back of their papers. Anywhere is fine as long as the whole little guy makes it on the page. When you are finished tracing, cut out each Vinylmation shape and set aside.
Punch a hole in each ear, and thread a string through like this:
Hang on your mantle for a fun reminder of your family’s creative journey together and a conversation piece your kids are sure to be super proud of. Plus, who doesn’t love little mickey shapes floating around their homes?!
Thank you Disney for giving us the opportunity to watch the film on Google Play and for, yet again, surprising me with your creativity and animation expertise. It is a joy seeing the little figurines we love come to life on the screen!
**Guests can download “Blank: A Vinylmation Love Story” for free exclusively on Google Play and can view the film online from their computer, or on their Android phone or tablet, or iPhone and iPad through the Google Play Movies & TV app. (Get the app forAndroid or iOS.) To celebrate the premiere, Google is also inviting fans to share frames from the film with friends and family as digital greeting cards at blankmovie.withgoogle.com. After sharing a frame, guests can unlock a second special film, “Cranes in Love,” created especially for Google users.**
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.