Famous animator visits Morgan, Army dad peeks in on Skype


Film animator James Baxter cheered the fifth-grade class at Morgan Elementary School in Clemmons on Wednesday. (Credit: BRUCE CHAPMAN/JOURNAL)

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CLEMMONS, N.C. — Sometimes you have to do what’s in your heart, not what everyone thinks you should do.

It was true for a young cartoon Viking who came upon a dragon in distress, and it’s true for the rising sixth-graders leaving Morgan Elementary School this week, DreamWorks animator James Baxter said Wednesday.

Baxter played a clip from “How to Train Your Dragon,” a film that he worked on, during a keynote speech Wednesday to Morgan fifth-graders and their parents.

The audience included one parent sitting far away and hours ahead in Kuwait, where he is stationed with his unit in the N.C. National Guard.

Through the magic of online video chatting, Staff Sgt. Chris Conley watched as Baxter — who traveled from Los Angeles to speak at the school because a student asked him to — showed movie clips and related animation to life, telling children that “everybody has gifts, (but) some gifts are hard to see.”

This article was written by Travis Fain and originally published by The Winston-Salem Journal. Click here to read the full story.

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