For the first time in history, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings American Sign Language (ASL) to deaf and hard of hearing children to experience Ice Age: Continental Drift on Blu-ray amid the Christmas season.
On Dec. 6, 160 deaf and hard of hearing children from Marlton School in Los Angeles came to Beverly Center to experience the Ice Age Ice Palace and meet a signing Santa Claus.
“To celebrate the release of Ice Age: Continental Drift with Picture in Picture (PIP) technology featuring American Sign Language, 17 of our Taubman Malls around the country held our first Signing Santa day on Dec. 6,” said Glenda Cole from Taubman Malls. “For the first time ever, hundreds of deaf and hard of hearing children shared their wishes with Santa in their own language.”
Introduced by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Senior Vice President Jennifer Chai Stein, the two deaf actors (Sean Berdy and Amber Zion) appear on screen in the Ice Age film only on Blu-ray in PIP-style as ASL translators.
“We are constantly looking for creative ways to deliver films to a wide audience,” Chai said. “We want families with both hard of hearing and non-hard of hearing members to enjoy the movies together at home.”
Children from the Marlton school were very excited to see the film in ASL on Blu-ray, Marlton School Special Education Assistant Andrea Navarro said. This feature opens a new world for the hearing to learn about ASL and deaf culture. This feature is also good for kids to see ASL at the bottom of the screen.
“I was very impressed with this event which was beyond my expectations. The people were wonderful,” Marlton School 3rd grade teacher Jennifer Burnett said. “The Ice Age Ice Palace was beautifully decorated. I definitely want that Blu-ray in ASL!”
Character Designer Peter de Seve showed drawings of Sid and other Ice Age characters to children on Dec. 6.
According to various comments from Burnett’s 3rd grade class, kids loved Santa Claus, the snow, the cartoons and wanted more snow. Voice of Peaches, actress Keke Palmer, having a deaf cousin, found the PIP feature cool. I’d love to watch this Blu-ray with my cousin who can’t hear, Palmer said—who is only fluent in spelling out the alphabet in ASL.
“This is happening for the first time in history, and I’m honored to be part of that,” ABC Family’s Switched at Birth actor Sean Berdy said. “It’s been a nice and wonderful experience doing this for the first time in the entertainment industry.”
Actress Amber Zion also helped translating the script into ASL.
“It was my first time working with Ice Age: Continental Drift, and we all worked together to translate the script into ASL,” Zion said. “I am excited for this project to happen, because I want the deaf kids to be able to enjoy the movie with their families and for other kids to learn ASL at the same time.”
Berdy added that they both used a telepromoter where they could read the script in front of them, and then translate the script into ASL during the shooting process –which took one day to complete. The process was a challenge because sometimes the telepromoter was moving too quickly so it had to be stopped at times to smooth out the timing, Berdy said.
“I hope to have more opportunities translating scripts into ASL in PIP-style,” Berdy said.
Actor CJ Jones was the “Master of Ceremony” at the Dec. 6 private event who kept the children entertained. It was a great ASL environment for both hearing and deaf people to see and experience film in ASL. It was very inspiring, Jones said.
Ice Age: Continental Drift is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. A perfect gift for the entire family. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UEqeMwSRK4U