ACTF News
April 29th 2024
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Eddie’s Lil’ Homies inspires local schoolkids

Children at a primary school in inner city Melbourne were delighted to see their neighbourhood brought to life on television at a special screening of the new children’s series Eddie’s Lil’ Homies.

Producer and AFL great Eddie Betts visited Sacred Heart School in Fitzroy and introduced students to Eddie’s Lil’ Homies, the animated TV series inspired by the early readers My Kind and My People, written by Eddie to motivate and inspire literacy and learning.

The neighbourhood around Sacred Heart School inspired the setting in Eddie’s Lil’ Homies. During development, members of the creative team spent time walking the local streets near the Australian Children’s Television Foundation’s offices, having decided that the animation series should have an inner city look and feel. They took inspiration from the area around this particular school, including the Fitzroy housing towers and nearby playground and skate ramp, and Sacred Heart School itself.

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As the children watched two epiodes of the series, they saw their neighbourhood reflected back to them through the animations on screen and were excited to be given the opportunity to discuss it with Eddie at a Q&A after the screening. Eddie told the kids: “We wanted to create a cartoon series that had a lot of diverse characters. A lot of people in this room can see themselves in that cartoon series and can relate to it.”

Eddie was joined at the screening by Executive/Story Producer Mark O’Toole, Producer Anna Scullie and Executive Producer Bernadette O’Mahony.

Mark O’Toole said: “It’s really important for kids to be able to see themselves and their culture and their friends reflected on screen. We all deserve that, we all want to see that.”

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After watching the episode ‘Rock Paper Eddie’, one of the children – Lawrence – was inspired to challenge Eddie to a battle of rock, paper, scissors. Lawrence’s school buddies cheered along as they played, and then joined Eddie in one of the raps from the series.

Sacred Heart School Principal Matthew Shawcross said: “I think it’s made them feel pretty special to think that their little part of the world is featured in a cartoon series. They had a ball – they were rapping along and clapping along.”

During the Q&A, one child asked why there were no teachers or parents in the episodes.

Eddie replied: “We wanted kids like yourselves to find that self-determination, to find that leadership, and work together with your friends to solve a solution. You don’t need teachers around to solve solutions – sometimes you might – but it’s always good to work together, to look after each other and to find a solution together.”

Mr. Shawcross said: “It’s really beneficial for the children to see how young people are able to solve problems amongst themselves without necessarily adult intervention. I think sometimes as adults we probably intervene a little bit too often.”

Eddie’s Lil’ Homies is a 10-part animated series which follows Eddie and his ragtag group of friends on their playground adventures as they navigate the fun and challenges of friendship. It is the first co-commission between Netflix and NITV, with major production investment from the ACTF. It can be viewed on NITV or streamed on SBS on Demand and Netflix.

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