A MAGICAL world created for a new television show was inspired by walks in Ennis’s Lee’s Road and Ballybeg alongside other places of natural beauty in Clare, the studio behind the show have revealed.
‘The Wee Littles’ preschool series, developed by Ennis-based Magpie Media, is now airing on RTÉjr weekdays and all the episodes are also available on the RTÉ Player.
The series was created and produced by wife and husband team, Christina O’Shea and Clifford Parrott.
This original animation series for pre-school children is about the world of small creatures of the forest floor, under the ‘regular’ humans’ sight.
The world of the story is unique, inspired by County Clare’s flora and fauna, and is inhabited by a friendly family, which creates a very cute, cozy atmosphere.
Christina told The Champion, “The series was inspired from our walks in Lees Road. It’s such a magical place that we knew we wanted to make this The Wee Littles home.
“We took photos of all the fauna and flora in Lee’s Road, Ballybeg and other locations in and around Clare.
“Our design team added the finishing touches to the photos to create the magical world of The Wee Littles.
“Our hope is to encourage our young audiences to get outside as often as they can, to visit our beautiful local forest trails and be aware how important it is for all of us to take care of our green areas.”
The show follows the adventures of a Wee Little family, living, loving, and sharing in great big forest world.
The Wee Littles’ stories are about how they handle being very small in a very big world using their own inventive flair. How do you deal with a housefly in the kitchen when it’s as big as a beagle?
Or how do you keep dry when raindrops are the size of your head? Our young audience will relate to the characters because, like them, they too are very small living in a great big adult world.
The Wee Littles overcome life’s little obstacles by using their imagination, positive support, and always humour. The characters are non-verbal, communicating through squeaks, whistles, and other animal sounds.
The series’ Off-Screen Friend interacts with the characters and is an integral part of the stories, learning and discovering along with the Wee Littles.
The preschool series is for children ages 4 to 6 but the studio say it will be enjoyed by the whole family. The style of the show is created using mixed media, including 2D/3D, and stop motion. The series development was funded by both Screen Ireland and Creative Europe.
“With their support, we were able to explore an innovative animation method we’ve dubbed ‘SimStop’,” said Christina.
“The process keeps the charm of traditional stop motion, maintaining it within today’s tight budgets. The result is a wonderful blend of traditional appeal and a unique look with a contemporary flair.
“Using the stories from The Wee Little TV series, we are developing an interactive experience, where users participate by giving verbal commands to an AI Voice Assistant interface.
“It’s an innovative way of engaging preschool aged story consumers to interact with the Wee Littles brand characters via emerging AI technology.
“It’s non-linear storytelling that empowers the viewer by providing an opportunity to navigate the story line and create a unique experience by exploring options such as where to go next, play a game that advances the story, trigger a sound, and try out a looped story tangent.”
The show is funded by BAI, RTE, Creative Europe, WRAP, and Screen Ireland; and distributed by Toon 2 Tango, Germany.
‘The Wee Littles’ is now airing on RTÉjr weekdays at 8.30am, 12.40pm and 4.25pm and available on the RTÉ Player.