Po, the Kung Fu Panda, got a hero’s welcome and plenty of cuddles from 150 kids who attended an exclusive Blue Light day at Te Papa in December.
The furry mascot was part of DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition sponsored by AA Insurance. The insurer is also a long-term sponsor of Blue Light, the police youth charity, so it made sense to host kids - aged from eight to 18 from the wider Wellington region for the day.
As well as getting their photos taken with Po, the kids had a special preview of the exhibition, followed by a screening of a DreamWorks movie. They also had the chance to chat to the team from Dusk, a local animation agency, to find out how to get into the industry, and the many and varied job opportunities available.
For some, it was a dream come true to find out about possible careers in animation, or to uncover the treasures of Te Papa. For others it was simply the thrill of leaving their home town for the first time and be transported into an animated adventure.
Here’s what a few of the teens had to say:
Jai Rotohiko (15): “This is an opportunity that not many people would be able to see, so it’s really good to be here.”
Tenneile Crump Conchie (15): “I do want to learn more, and grow my knowledge based on animation.”
Tima Ratahi (16): “This is my first time at Te Papa Museum and I’m really looking forward to it so I can check out the new exhibition.”