Award-winning Belfast-based animation studio Sixteen South and youngsters’ content material chief Nelvana introduced an settlement to possibility, co-develop and co-produce a brand new 2D animated collection, A Horse Named Steve, based mostly on the vastly fashionable debut image guide by Toronto author-illustrator Kelly Collier. The 52×11 collection will function humorous storylines whereas illustrating the significance of friendship, teamwork, and appreciating one’s true self.
The story of the endearingly self-absorbed horse, “A Horse Named Steve” was launched in 2017 by Canadian unbiased kids’s writer Youngsters Can Press, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this yr. Illustrated in energetic black-and-white art work interwoven with humorous commentary, the guide and its follow-up, “Workforce Steve,” comply with the exploits of Steve, a good-natured, moderately obtuse horse who thinks he’s abnormal however needs to be distinctive.
“We knew as quickly as we noticed the quilt of ‘A Horse Named Steve’ that Steve was an ideal addition to Sixteen South’s steady,” stated Sixteen South’s Inventive Director, Colin Williams. “Kelly’s offbeat humor and quirky illustration type sealed the deal, aligning so properly with the sort of tales we wish to convey to life, so we moved rapidly to possibility the rights from Youngsters Can Press.”
Nelvana Studios VP Athena Georgaklis added, “Steve’s larger-than-life antics and slapstick comedy have delighted each kids and adults alike. We’re excited to not solely develop one more revered Youngsters Can Press guide franchise into an animated collection however are additionally desperate to collaborate with Colin and the Sixteen South group to co-develop and co-produce a collection that efficiently captures Kelly’s distinctive tone and illustration type on display.”
“As we have a good time our fiftieth Anniversary, we’ve been reminded of how vital the wide selection of partnerships we’ve fostered over time are to the success of our enterprise,” commented Youngsters Can Press President and Writer Lisa Lyons Johnston. “Growing these sorts of partnerships—with Sixteen South and, after all, with our colleagues at Nelvana—helps to broaden the attain of our creators’ books and places their characters and tales in entrance of kids and households wherever they might be. We’re at all times looking out for tales that can enchantment to creators of different kids’s leisure media, as Kelly’s work clearly has.”
Just lately the Vooks animated digital e-book of “A Horse Named Steve,” narrated by actor/comic Rainn Wilson, helped earn the American firm a 2023 Bologna Ragazzi Crossmedia Award nomination within the inaugural Digital Library class. The awards are a part of the Bologna Kids’s E-book Truthful, a premier international kids’s publishing occasion held yearly in Bologna, Italy.
“It’s superb to see how far Steve has come,” stated Collier, “Notably as a result of he began out as a bit doodle, I made to fill an empty image body! I can’t wait to see Steve strutting round on TV screens, having discovered the proper house with Sixteen South and Nelvana.”
Supply: Sixteen South
Debbie Diamond Sarto is information editor at Animation World Community.