Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Virtual Pop Star Encourages Fellow Tweens’ Social Awareness on ECD ‘Anni Zola — My Story’

Anni Zola - My StoryCreated as a forum for tweens to voice their ideas for positive social change, “Anni Zola” is a mock pop idol-based online community hosted by its namesake, Anni Zola. The virtual star, whose name means “beautiful earth,” is more than a captivating singer and dancer – she encourages her fellow tweens (she’s 14) to help make the world a better place by sharing her dreams and welcoming theirs on her website. And “she” has just released a CD, Anni Zola — My Story, with a super selection of songs and stories that reflect her social awareness, available on her website and through Amazon.com and other major retailers.

Approximately 32 minutes of song and narration comprise the “My Story” audio that is the CD’s main component. The storyline weaves each track into one coherent performance, as Anni Zola talks about what her life is like on her planet of Orfea, and then in her songs expands on some of the themes she’s expressed (ecology, bereavement).

With age-appropriate language free of innuendo, the recurrent message is “be aware” and “believe you can make a difference.” But there’s a refreshing recognition of human imperfection, and even as Anni Zola encourages her friends (listeners) to “reach for the sky,” she shares her own misgivings about being good enough to live up to others’ expectations and her mother’s reassurance that “you don’t have to be perfect” to make a positive contribution to the world.

The enhanced CD also features a four-minute video of Anni Zola performing one of her songs — a pop-concert treatment with video screens filling the stage behind Anni Zola’s choreographed dancing. And among the extras is an animatics video that shows how a dancer’s real moves were translated into the anime-inspired animation. Wallpapers and calendar also feature the dynamic artwork and vivid color that characterize the product throughout.

On the website that spawned the CD, Anni Zola uses the social networking platforms to share her message through blogs and tweets, and the site’s visitors can likewise interact with her and each other about their volunteer activity and the causes most important to them.

And Anni Zola will choose some of these ideas, causes and volunteer actions to incorporate into the storyline of upcoming webisodes and Facebook game. Submit by Aug. 20 to be considered for the webisodes and game now in production for launch later this summer and fall.

Another current project is Anni Zola’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) Challenge. Deadline is Aug. 30 for kids to submit their creative solution to the wasteful excess of disposable water bottles. Winning designs for a reusable water bottle will win not only recognition on the Anni Zola website for their creators, but will be mass-produced as Anni Zola website exclusive merchandise.

The site launched in January of this year as part of Generation Z, LLC., the brainchild of singer-songwriter-concerned mother Zuriani Zonneveld, who wanted to “empower children throughout the world to speak up and make the world a better place for future generations.”

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