NITV's groundbreaking 13-part series has been making some noise this week after taking home 2018 Logie's 'Most Outstanding Children's Program' award on Sunday night.
This one-of-a-kind animated kid's show encourages children, families, schools and communities to explore Indigenous culture in a positive way and present it as an educational, fun and exciting television show aimed at primary school-aged children.
The adventures that protagonists Little J and his Big Cuz find themselves is not only entertaining for young ones, but also a chance for Indigenous children to see themselves reflected on screen. Little J & Big Cuz play a bit role in promoting self-esteem and confidence in Indigenous children, getting rid of the ‘shame’ factor that a lot of our youth have too often felt.
Little J & Big Cuz has an all-Indigenous writing team, coming from communities right across Australia. The cast of program is also star-studded and includes some of Australia’s most renowned and prominent Indigenous actors including Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell, Ningali Lawford-Wolf, Aaaron Fa’Aoso, Ursula Yovich, Shari Sebbens and Mark Coles Smith just to name a few.
While a kid's cartoon seems fairly straight forward —animation, voice actors etc.— there are a few things about our little commissioned series that make it extra unique.
1. Little J & Big Cuz is Australia's first Indigenous animated children's series
With a predominantly Indigenous characters, cast, writers and crew, Little J & Big Cuz has made Australian television history. Having Indigenous overrepresentation behind the scenes is reflected on screen, filling a gap in the country's media market. For example, many Indigenous children live with and are raised by grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and it is important that this is finally reflected in a children’s series.
2. There are 6 episodes translated into various Aboriginal languages
These languages include:
- palawa kani
An official launch of the palawa kani in-language episode took place in Launceston, Tasmania which local community members attended. This was a particularly special moment for the Indigenous (palawa) people of Tasmania as the palawa kani language has been reconstructed from the different Indigenous dialects within Tasmania after many years.
3. The episode 'Where is Aaron?' has been made into a book
The episode where Little J & Big Cuz's class mascot 'Aaron' goes missing has been published into a children's book (and e-book) and distributed to schools, particularly remote communities, for children to use as a learning resource and to encourage reading and 'school readiness'.
4. Little J & Big Cuz has an interactive website
Continuing the strong focus on education, a corresponding website has been created as for children, parents and teachers offering preschool and primary school-aged resources as a way to engage and embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the early years of education. The website includes a list of all Series One episodes, interactive games and exciting behind the scenes footage.
5. The second series of Little J & Big Cuz is now underway
Exciting news! A second series has been announced and will be returning to NITV in 2019.
(Oh! And it's been the inspiration of cake designers!)
For the entire Series One of Little J & Big Cuz, head to On Demand.
Watch Episode 1 On Demand: