Brooklyn couple is shopping around an animated series inspired by the viral video
You can’t keep these kids off TV.
The adorable duo who went viral in March for crashing their dad’s BBC interview are now starring in their own cartoon series.
A Brooklyn couple has drawn from the hilarious incident where 4-year-old Marion and 8-month-old James barged in on political science professor Robert Kelly’s live, on-air Skype session. Their Hans House Productions company premiered “The Adventures of Mina and Jack” on their site and on YouTube on April 17, which follows a spunky, bespectacled young girl and her walker-bound baby brother who can’t help getting into trouble – and on the news.
“I watched the video a hundred times, and it got to the point where I was like, I need to do something with this,” writer Lauren Martin, 26, told Moneyish. She co-created “Mina and Jack” with her tech sales boyfriend Jarryd-Lee Mandy, 31, in Williamsburg. “We wrote up the script, found an animation team and ran with it.”
Martin and Mandy invested $5,000 to hire the RAXO animation studio, which has worked with BBC, the Discovery Channel and Viacom, and they tapped child actress Lila Sage to voice Mina, the main character based on Marion.
“This is it. We put everything into this. I cashed out bonds,” said Martin, who hopes to score a network TV contract with BBC Kids or Nick Jr. “We’re hedging our bets. But we wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t think it would get picked up. We really believe in this.”
And so does Kelly, who gave Martin and Mandy his blessing to create a cartoon based off his kids.
“I thought it was so cute. My wife and I both laughed. They made me look suitably dorky,” he said in the press release. He also tweeted out a link to the first episode.
People keep asking me about our children – thank u for ur kindness – so for the many who follow me bc of them, you might enjoy this video https://t.co/jviUupSENx
— Robert E Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly) April 24, 2017
“He said yes we could run with this, which is such a big deal. He has been so supportive,” said Martin, who revealed Kelly will also be an advisor moving forward, and has offered to share more stories about his family. “He’s actually coming to the U.S. soon to meet with us,” she said.
The first episode took almost five weeks to make, and they’re expecting the second to take another 10. “It will take a long time until we get the funding, or a network picks us up, and then we can get a whole team working on it,” said Martin.
The premiere three-minute clip, which has been viewed more than 62,000 times on YouTube, sees Mina and Jack joining their dad, a U.N. employee, in catching a gold thief in North Africa. Future episodes will run between eight and 12 minutes, and feature the kids crashing major events and press conferences around the world.
“Marion, the way she walked into that room [during the BBC interview], will forever stay with me. Marion could probably be talking to Prince George, and he would just be another kid to her,” said Martin. “Children are so adventurous. They are so fearless. And that idea could grow out into so many adventures.”
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