Disney’s ‘Moana’ Hour of Code Tutorial

Disney invited students in the UK & around the world to learn the basics of coding.

In 2016, Disney launched “Moana: Wayfinding with Code,” a free online tutorial that offered an introduction to the basics of computer science, featuring characters from the Disney animated film, Moana. In conjunction with the launch of “Moana: Wayfinding with Code,” Disney also announced activations across the UK & rest of the world that invited millions of students to learn the basics of coding. Created in close collaboration with Code.org, the “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorial was made available in the UK and in more than 180 other countries and in 23 languages, including Samoan Polynesian, giving an opportunity for all children to learn the basics of coding.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s storytellers and with this tutorial we’re working to introduce them to the technological skills they will need to bring their stories to life,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI). “By bringing together Code.org and Disney filmmakers, we’ve created a program that we hope will inspire kids all over the world to try coding for themselves.”

Previously, Disney has hosted Hour of Code tutorials featuring characters from Disney’s Frozen and from Star Wars. In total, almost 40 million students have participated in these tutorials to learn the basics of coding.

“We’ve found that kids are much more likely to try computer science if it contains topics they are interested in, like their favorite Disney stories and characters,” said Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org. “Our work with Disney has helped Hour of Code reach record numbers, inspiring millions of children of all ages to try coding and pursue an education in computer science.”

Disney Hour of Code Events:
Disney worked with leading organisations to host events in the UK and other parts of the world in an effort to reach millions of parents and students during CS Education Week (5-11 December) to introduce kids to coding. These events included:

Apple Stores:
All 39 Apple stores in the UK hosted block-based coding for young coders workshops featuring “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorials during their Hour of Code session from 5-11 December. These events also happened globally in over 400 Apple Stores.

Code.org featured “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorial on its site educating thousands of teachers and community leaders about how to use the Disney tutorial in their lessons.

Disney Network:
Disney promoted “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorial across its global channels in an effort to reach millions of families.

Moana: Wayfinding with Code Tutorial:
The story of the “Moana: Wayfinding with Code” tutorial is centered around Moana and Maui as they sail through unknown territory across the ocean. As students followed Moana and Maui’s travels, they learned basic coding commands that helped steer the boat. Along the way,students were introduced to conditionals, sequences and loops while they mastered the art of navigation. When Moana and Maui were suddenly attacked by the Kakamora–coconut-clad warriors, they had to use their coding skills to dodge their pirate projectiles and penetrate their defenses.

“The artistry and innovative technology used to create “Disney’s Moana” is rooted in the types of skills that kids will develop by learning the basics of computer science,” said Osnat Shurer, producer of Disney’s Moana. “We hope that Moana’s fierce determination and sense of adventure encourages children to try this tutorial and learn the skills they need to become future filmmakers and storytellers.

“Disney’s Hour of Code used a visual programming language with “blocks” that kids simply dragged and dropped to write code. This visual programming language is a fun and easily understandable way to teach basic coding skills. This type of visual programming lays the foundation for text-based programming.”