Fans got a first look at upcoming 2D animated feature JG and the BC Kids today, with a musical teaser offering a sneak peek at the heartwarming story of a young Black boy and his magical dreadlock-rocking mentor. Actor Will Smith shared the teaser to his social media yesterday, fueling buzz for the new story conceptualized by his former co-star Janet Hubert. The movie is being co-produced by global animation major Toonz Media Group, Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment and Hubert’s Elijah Rock Productions.
You can watch the teaser on Vimeo here.
Based on Hubert’s book A Sneaker Feature, JG and the BC Kids was born out of the compelling need to create a children’s animation property that broke stereotypes and represented characters from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The story brings street smart and book smart kids together to create ‘life smart’ kids, as superhero JG and her band of darling dinosaurs mentor and encourage children to believe in themselves. The movie features two Black central characters: a school boy and a young science whiz who is trapped inside a fractal world.
Herself an African American mom, Daytime Digital Emmy nominee Hubert says when her son was born, she struggled to find toys, accessories and even story narratives that he could relate to. In a world where her son’s identity was starkly under-represented, Hubert wanted to create something to inspire him, and millions of other kids like him.
“It is time for change and I decided to be and make the change that I seek. I am so proud of this production and our grassroots team who joined me on this journey of creating JG and the BC Kids,” said Hubert.
Written by Hubert and Yvette Kaplan, the movie will complement its vibrant 2D animation with hip, poignant and positive music from Emmy-winning composer Wendell Hanes. Actors Raven Goodwin (voice of JG), Cheryl Alexander, Ezra Knight, Jasmine Hanes, Blaze Berdahl, Ahmad Maksoud and Joey Taranto lend voice to the main characters while Hubert herself voices the narrator and several other characters. Hubert is an established voice actress who has been the voice of many commercials, including for BAYER. The movie is directed by Ron Myrick, Indra Narayan Datta and Antony Leo.
“What an incredible journey to be an executive producer of this movie, as this story will inspire millions of children around the world that in spite of the challenges they may face, if they believe in themselves and the beauty of their imagination … they can win,” said Malone.
Targeted at five- to nine-year olds, JG and the BC Kids is slated to be released in March/April of 2022. The pre-production work of the project has been completed at Toonz’s Ireland-based Emmy Award-winning studio Telegael. The movie will be marketed worldwide by Toonz Entertainment, a subsidiary of Toonz Media Group, led by Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Bruno Zarka.
“This is a project that really resonates with the times that we live in. For the Toonz team, we feel extremely honored and proud to be part of this path-breaking feature film. I am very happy with how the movie is shaping up. Kudos to Janet and the entire team. I am sure that JG and the BC Kids will create a lot of excitement among the audience as well as in the industry,” said Toonz Media Group CEO P. Jayakumar.