Nick Christensen, 12, said his father learned about the program from friends.
"It's really creative. You can do a lot of different stuff," Nick said.
And what does Jordan Vaylon, 11, like about the class?
"Everything!" he said, adding that if he were not at the art center, he would probably "be home, playing video games or maybe doing my homework."
Working with another girl on creatures she called "piranha people," Ayla Davidson, also 11, said the animation was a way of "expressing myself."
Gary Keroglyan, one of the CalArts students who help instruct the middle-schoolers at the Eagle Rock site, said he loves teaching them.
"It's amazing to see them pull off something really hard, like walk cycles and bouncing balls," more basic versions of the same techniques he is learning in his animation classes at CalArts, Keroglyan said. He rattled off some things his young charges have mastered: storytelling, story poses, drawing and understanding how different shapes work in animation movement.
"It's a blast," CalArts video arts teacher Chris Peters said of the young students he works with in Eagle Rock. "These kids are so much fun, and we're consistently amazed at the work they can do."
Information about the media arts program is available through the Cultural Affairs Department, (213) 473-8434 or 473-8521. Enrollment for the fall sessions begins in late summer.