I got into animation because I was looking for a way to make an animated series idea I had had while being an at home Mum with a couple of little kids. I was watching programmes like Thomas the Tank Engine, Maisy, Teletubbies and Bob the Builder and thought hey I could come up with a way of putting science concepts into a kids series. I came up with Kit and Kerboot - Kit is a little kid who likes investigating his/her surroundings and has a boot as a comforter. A boot? yeah well I had this old pair of shoes that were starting to split at the seams and started to get a face.... Anyway kids choose all sorts of things to be there go everywhere with them item and Kit chose a boot! In a Calvin and Hobbes type way Kit talks to her boot and the boot - Kerboot replies in a caring fussy grandfatherly way. But Kerboot usually ends up the fall guy when Kit needs a vital piece of equipment in some experiment she conceives.
Anyway one day I saw a small add in the local newspaper calling out for people who wanted to get involved in animation (CADSA at the FTI) and as I had experience in television production and puppets (from previously writing puppet shows) I got in. I did not get to make my Kit and Kerboot idea for almost three years when after working on the Adventures of Duncan Rat and making one episode of Jelly Jym, all as part of CADSA, I finally had the opportunity to use it. I had found people who would realise it for me, Christian Clegg, Shannon Li and Ian Tregonning. I put it in Jelly Jym episode two - Bubbles. It is now an interstitial length... hopefully inside or outside of Jelly Jym it will get more episodes!?
Whatever happens to Kit and Kerboot it was the first in the line of many ideas that relaunched my interest in making TV but now I came at it with new knowledge and passion for early childhood education and entertainment.
Jelly Jym is a half hour show which is a mixture of a presenter and two puppets, little sequences of real kids doing things and short animated stories. The show has a fresh approach to preschool programming. It uses all the tried and tested techniques of songs and activity modeling and stories but it ventures to do something little kids also love doing; investigating and experimenting. Kids that have seen it - love it and watch it time and again and ask for more.
Jelly Jym is a half hour show but second time around I also split it into five lots of five minutes as well as a half hour - so a broadcaster could (and did) show one each day of the week and the half hour on the saturday. (This episode won an Antennae award.) The five minute format also gives a handy internet sized episode. And even each 5 minutes would break down again into smaller packages like the animations, the songs and the explanations.
Science is best done for real by little kids so I want Jelly Jym to be inspirational for the kids, putting ideas of things to try and concept seeds in their head. Jelly Jym also puts science into story, so making it more accessible. Plus I want to provide something for teachers and parents to draw upon to help them do early science with kids. Would you like to see more?