NASA and Disney Invite Kids to Explore Space With Wall-E
WASHINGTON -- An animated robot and his spacefaring companion are leading a campaign by NASA and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures to promote interest among schoolchildren in science and technology.
NASA and Disney have signed a Space Act Agreement for a series of educational and public outreach activities related to Disney-Pixar’s new movie, WALL-E, opening in theaters nationwide on June 27, 2008.
This collaboration highlights the similarities between the movie’s storyline and NASA’s real-life work in robot technology, propulsion systems and astrophysics. Disney-Pixar’s WALL-E is set 700 years in the future. The film’s main character is the only rover-robot left on Earth. He meets a new robot named Eve, and together they take a journey through the universe.
“Great ideas for future exploration of the universe start with the imagination,” said Robert Hopkins, chief of strategic communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We hope that with the help of our new robot friend WALL-E, NASA can encourage young people to learn about science and technology and become the explorers of tomorrow.”
Disney has designed a 30-second public service announcement featuring WALL-E for NASA’s television channels and Web site. The video is designed to draw students to NASA’s Web site to explore the agency’s missions. The WALL-E character also will be featured on NASA’s Kids’ Club page. In addition, Disney has designed a “movie surfer vignette” about WALL-E that touches on science and technology that drives NASA’s programs, which began airing on the Disney Channel in June.
For the World Premiere of WALL-E, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will be showcasing some of the latest in rover and lander technology, highlighting the recent Phoenix mission, as well as the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is currently scheduled for launch in the fall of 2009. Starting June 27 and running through August 27, the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood will host a special NASA space exploration display, including imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope, which can be enjoyed by all guests coming to see WALL-E there.
Commenting on the collaboration, Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group, said, “All of us at Disney are delighted to be working with NASA in their educational and public outreach efforts to teach schoolchildren about space exploration, robot technology, and the universe they live in. WALL-E is one of the most lovable and entertaining characters that Pixar ever has created, and he is the perfect spokes-robot for this program. Disney-Pixar’s WALL-E takes moviegoers on a thrilling and imaginative journey into outer space, and now the film’s title character will be able to stimulate imaginations further through these efforts.”
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