Teaching kids about health and fitness isn't always easy, but Australian personal trainer and cartoon creator Tony Findlay has found a way to get kids excited about taking care of their bodies. Dr. Oz talks with Tony about his new animated movie, Body Mechanics, a cartoon about health that is geared for kids and helpful to parents.
A former military fitness instructor and personal trainer, Tony says his career has long focused on helping adults understand health, disease and the way the human body works. A few years ago, Tony says he was approached to educate children about health issues and instantly came up with an idea for a cartoon movie. "Imagine Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings and Star Wars all happening inside your body," Tony says. The idea of using popular movie themes to educate kids about health soon turned into a multimillion-dollar, 60-minute action animation movie titled Body Mechanics.
Tony says he wrote the script for the movie quickly based upon the idea of good versus evil characters fighting inside the body. "Good guys are all the things in your body that are overworked: insulin, antioxidants, how the brain functions," Tony says. "The bad guys are the coalition of harmful disease with things like cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, cortisol and free radicals."
In the movie, Tony says, each of the good guys and bad guys have a distinct personality. "I just tried to get relationships between how good guys would relate and how bad guys would work as a team and had two teams fighting one another," Tony says. The movie comes with an interactive DVD game that Tony says helps parents and teachers stay involved in the learning process after the movie is over.
"I wanted this to be a family property and in doing that, no one is a better role model or leader than the parents," Tony says. By teaching kids at a young age about health, their body and disease, Tony says life can be changed. "If we can learn how our bodies work, our opportunity for functional life is much better," he says.