A second series of Indigenous animation Little J and Big Cuz is now in pre-production.
13 episodes by Ned Lander Media, Media World and Blue Rocket will be delivered to NITV and ABC Kids in 2019 for broadcast and catch up online.
The second series will see the return of a diverse, Indigenous writing team and stellar voice talents including Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell, Ningali Lawford, Aaron Fa’oaso, Ursula Yovich and Shari Sebbens.
Miranda Tapsell, who voices ‘Little J’ in the series, said she’s excited that a second series has been announced.
“I had a wonderful time making the first series of Little J and Big Cuz… It’s really important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids to see themselves reflected on screens, in positive and complex characters. I wish we had Little J and Big Cuz when I was growing up,” she said.
Little J and Big Cuz – Series 1 was the first Indigenous animated program broadcast on Australian television.
In a column for the Herald Sun, Arts Centre Melbourne creative producer Mary Harvey said Little J was ‘’one of the best cartoons on Australian TV” and “a great show for young people to learn about Indigenous culture, community and country.”
Data from NITV has shown that Little J dominated the audience share for 5-9 year olds in its time slots. Last month, Little J was announced as a “Most Outstanding Children’s Series” finalist for the 2018 TV Week Logie Awards. The year before, Little J received the SAE ATOM Award for Best Children’s Television Program.
Outside Australia, the series has also resonated with audiences worldwide.
Little J and Big Cuz originally made its US debut in 2017, screening at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
Shortly afterwards, First Nations Experience (FNX), a voice and broadcast outlet for Native American and World Indigenous communities, acquired the series. FNX broadcasts in 20 states to an estimated audience of over 43 million viewers.
Since that time, USA’s Global Eagle has also acquired episodes for QANTAS’ in-flight entertainment service.
Animation director Tony Thorne said it is “tremendously exciting” to build upon series 1’s success.
“We are thrilled to extend [Little J’s] world. [The series] has proven to have really broad appeal,” he said.
Series 2 is produced by Ned Lander Media, Media World and Blue Rocket, commissioned by NITV in association with the ABC. The series is financed with support from Screen Australia, Screen Tasmania, Film Victoria, ACER and the ACTF.
The Australian Children’s Television Foundation distributes Little J and Big Cuz worldwide.