A compelling element is that the show uses entirely autistic voice talent. “Most of the writers are also autistic, so the stories reflect real experiences,” says Galton. “It is sensitively produced and beautifully animated, and above all, the autistic perspective makes Pablo a really original show that all kids will enjoy.”
Pablo, which is from Belfast’s Paper Owl Films (fka Indee Productions), bowed on CBeebies and RTÉJr last autumn.
Both the BBC and RTÉ were involved from an early stage, while funding body Northern Ireland Screen provided development and production finance. Cake acquired international distribution rights and Ireland’s Kavaleer Productions handled the animation production.
Galton says the show’s creation was a “joyful process” full of “great energy” that gave autistic people “a chance to express their talents in a way they never thought possible”.
The show, which uses a unique animation style, follows a five-year-old boy who uses magic crayons to turn everyday challenges into fun and exciting adventures.
Accompanying the 52x11mins series are six games based on characters from the show, and 20 short films that express the realities of living with autism, eight of which see young children sharing their experiences.
The show: Pablo
The producers: Paper Owl Films, Kavaleer Productions, Northern Ireland Screen
The channel: CBeebies (UK), RTÉJr (Ireland)
The distributor: Cake
The concept: Preschool animation featuring central character with autism