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Paper Owl Films, the production company behind the award winning series Pablo, has announced the launch of its latest show, Happy the Hoglet.
The first 26 x 7’ episodes of Happy the Hoglet will air on littleBe, ITVX and RTÉjr on 14th November 2022.
Happy is a grumpy, smelly hedgehog who has fleas. If he can make a friend, so can we all!
Happy and his Sunny River friends reflect the emotional ups, downs – and everything in between – of the preschool audience. And these guys have plenty of feelings to go around.
From feeling excited to feeling ‘hangry’, or feeling like you just need a quiet minute, Happy the Hoglet models emotional resilience for pre-schoolers. It aims to build inner strength by tackling big feelings and growing positive ones.
Kindness and empowerment are at the heart of the show, visible in Happy’s relationships and the wider world around him.
The show inspires its young audience to look after each other, get outside and work with nature.
In Happy’s world of the Sunny River Community Garden, big feelings are as natural as the carrots growing in the veg patch.
This is a world built on loving energy that nurtures all creatures. All living things here coexist in perfect balance. Well, mostly. Some of the time… we just need to grow into it.
The production was supported by the Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) which is managed by the BFI and financed by the UK Government, and supported the creation of distinctive, quality content for young audiences.
Dr Sam Wass, child psychologist and expert on The Secret Life of Four/Five/Six-Year-Olds, comments: “It’s very common for a young child to experience complex and difficult emotions without actually understanding what it is that they are feeling. It’s not something that we teach them at school! There’s a lot of new research suggesting that children’s ability to understand how they are feeling and communicate it is an essential first step in learning to manage their emotions. Which is why watching Happy can play a vital role in children’s development. Through simple, beautiful and easy-to-follow stories, it teaches children what difficult emotions are, and how to cope. Every child experiences difficult emotions sometimes – so it’s something that every child should sit down and watch!”.
Grainne McGuinness, Creative Director at Paper Owl Films comments: “It’s very common for a young child to experience a range of emotions without actually understanding what it is that they are feeling. It’s not something that we teach them at school! There’s a lot of new research suggesting that children’s ability to understand how they are feeling and communicate it is an essential first step in learning to manage their emotions. Which is why watching Happy can play a vital role in children’s development. Through simple, beautiful and easy-to-follow stories, it teaches children what joyful and difficult emotions are, and that all feelings will pass. Every child experiences the emotional rollercoaster – so it’s something that every child should sit down and watch!”.
Darren Nartey, ITV Acquisitions Manager: Films and Kids, comments: “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing Happy The Hoglet to our audience. It’s a fantastic show with an important message, and will be a welcome addition to the IittleBe family.”
Robin Gladman, Head of Acquisitions at Aardman, comments: “Happy the Hoglet is a wonderfully entertaining series for kids, and truly unique in its agenda to help pre-schoolers understand the wide mix of emotions they are feeling. The Paper Owl team is the very best at taking such important and often overlooked subject matters and delivering these in an enlightening and fun way for children. We are very proud to be partners with Paper Owl and to be bringing Happy to audiences worldwide.”
Jackie Edwards, Head of Fund, at the YACF comments, “We all need more Happy in our lives, especially when it comes in the form of a little hoglet. Happy might have fleas, he might be a bit smelly and grumpy, but he is going to show us how to navigate life and its little challenges, and have some fun and laughs along the way. The Young Audience Content Fund were so pleased to support this beautiful, helpful and very ‘happy’ show – it offers fun, optimism and positivity to the very youngest viewers and will help everyone find their Happy.”
Richard Williams, Chief Executive at Northern Ireland Screen, comments: “We are very proud to support this engaging project from Paper Owl Films. Young viewers will enjoy watching Happy the Hoglet’s adventures at Sunny River Community whilst learning about how to tackle their emotions. We believe this animation has an important message for young viewers and we’re confident it will go down well with audiences across the UK and Ireland.”
Suzanne Kelly, Head of Children’s & Young People’s Content RTÉ, comments: “Everyone, not just pre-schoolers, feels prickly and out of sorts from time to time. A helping hand to recognise and understand why we are feeling this way is always welcome. Happy the Hoglet and his wonderful bunch of friends will ensure that no matter how grumpy, sad or cross we are, we can work through it together. I am really excited to introduce the RTÉjr audience, including all the mums and dads, to Happy the Hoglet, as everyone could do with some Happy right now!”