BOISE, ID — Idaho elementary, middle, and high school students collaborated with 24 schools in ten states to create this movie called "The Wondergrove Wizard of Oz." It premiered on Sunday at the Egyptian Theater in Boise.
Terry Thoren, the CEO of Wonder Media & executive producer of the film, says this is the first feature-length animated movie produced by students. Thoren is also known for his work on the movie "Rugrats" and the "Wild Thornberrys."
"We all love cartoons, so the ability to come to school and actually make a cartoon and then the ability to make a movie based on the most popular movie of all time, that's unheard of," said Thoren.
With help from the "Story Maker" program, students were in charge of the animation, backgrounds, acting, and sound design.
"We're teaching kids to write because if you want to get a job in the business, you have to learn to write. You have to learn punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, a beginning, a middle, and an end," said Thoren.
The kids also sang songs live to accompany the movie in real-time. One of the young performers says she has always loved the "Wizard of Oz," which inspired her to try out.
"I love watching the Wizard of Oz, and my favorite part was when she got stuck in the tornado, and she wound up in Munchkin Land," said Emilee Stradley, Wilder student.
Thoren says this is a proud moment for him.
"It was as meaningful to me today to be here at the Egyptian in Boise to see this experience as it was to be on Hollywood Boulevard at Grauman's Chinese when we premiered the rugrats movie. The same level of goosebumps, the same amount of pride," said Thoren.