Fred is a housecat with pretensions to be an intrepid explorer, finding out anything and everything about nature and the outside world. That is why Nature Cat will appeal to kids and, by association, buyers, says 9 Story Media Group managing director Natalie Osborne.
“Kids still love the outdoors, but there is maybe not as much opportunity for them to explore it nowadays,” she says. “Like Fred, there is a little bit of trepidation about being an explorer extraordinaire, but they want to try and that’s why kids can relate to the show.”
In his attempts to find out more about the outside world, Fred is joined by a cast of animal friends including Hal the Dog, Daisy the Rabbit and Squeeks the Mouse (the most fearless of the bunch). Like Fred, who is voiced by Taran Killam, several of the other animals are brought to life by Saturday Night Live stars such as Kate McKinnon and Bobby Moynihan.
Canada-based 9 Story, which recently bought Irish studio Brown Bag Films, is launching the show internationally at MIPJr with two complete episodes. It launches on PBS Kids at the end of November.
David and Adam Rudman’s Spiffy Pictures is on production duty on the toon, which has a look that harks back to some classic shows, says Osborne. “It’s 2D animation and a throwback to a classic style, which is really refreshing. It’s a fun action-adventure that inspires kids to go outside and explore their own backyard, parks and nature,” she says.
The show: Nature Cat
The producers: Spiffy Pictures, WTTW Chicago, 9 Story Media Group
The distributor: 9 Story Media Group
The broadcaster: PBS Kids (US)
The concept: 80x11mins series following Fred, a house cat who wants to be an intrepid explorer of nature