TBI Kids Hot Picks: A Horse Named Steve

Producer: Sixteen South & Nelvana | Distributor: Sixteen South Rights | Broadcaster: RTÉ (Ireland) & Treehouse TV (Canada)

Irish animation studio Sixteen South and Canada’s Nelvana co-developed and co-produced this 2D animated series, based on the picture book by author-illustrator Kelly Collier.

Aimed at four- to seven-year-olds, the series follows the titular horse on his mission to be his ‘best self’. Steve is a fine horse, but he thinks he could be finer – he wants to be exceptional.

What he lacks in common sense, Steve more than makes up for in positivity and determination. Never daunted by his failures, Steve wears his heart on his hooves and with the help of his friends shows that being yourself is the most exceptional thing you can be.

“Whether it’s winning the forest relay race, becoming an ‘ever-so-fancy’ unicorn or excelling in the local talent show, Steve throws himself into everything with unbridled enthusiasm and utter self-belief,” says Sixteen South’s chief exec Colin Williams of the series’ comedic equine hero.

“Sometimes life (and Steve’s own actions) get in the way but that’s all part of the ups and downs of growing up,” he continues. “The second we saw the book cover we fell in love with Kelly Collier’s wonderful illustrations. Once we peeked inside the character of Steve came to life and jumped off the page to us,” reveals Williams.

“The humour is wonderfully visual and physical, so we knew immediately it was something we wanted to bring to screen. There’s also an underlying message of learning how to navigate the world in your own unique way which is something we explore in all the stories we tell,” said the exec.

Williams adds that one of the big appeals for young audiences will be Steve’s “curious, happy-go-lucky approach to life” – “He’s so endearing that you can’t help but cheer him on.

“His world view is very much that of a seven-year-old so it is very relatable to the audience and we know kids will adore following him along on his laugh out loud adventures. The show is absolutely beautiful and we know it’s a world that all kids will want to spend a lot of time in with Steve and his friends.”

Williams adds that Sixteen South had been looking to partner with Nelvana and its parent company Corus Entertainment “for years”.

“We want to make the best shows and Nelvana are one of the best,” said Williams.

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