Kilkenny-based animation studio Distillery Films announced the commission by Irish kids’ pubcaster RTÉjr for Sullivan Sails. The 26 x 7′ series for children aged 3-5 sets out to encourage a love of adventure, exploration and imagination in young audiences, while introducing them to incredible facts about geography, the environment and international cultures.
Sullivan is fascinated by maps and aspires to grow up to be a cartographer and explorer. Every day, he opens up his Atlas and dreams up new places to travel to. He is usually accompanied by his imaginary friend Benji — a talking fox, and a former world-famous Navy Admiral. Benji is an old-style explorer and expert navigator — so his skills and experience come in handy when helping the animals and friends they meet along the way.
Learning about the world they live in is a key part of what Sullivan Sails teaches its young audience. The series also focuses on their social and emotional development, helping them understand the challenges they may encounter as they grow up. Themes include learning to be resourceful, creating boundaries, developing empathy, understanding figures of speech and learning to be responsible for the planet.
“The audience for Sullivan Sails are starting or have just started school, and are surrounded by new adventures, experiences, risks, challenges and potential,” explains Jonathan Clarke, founder of Distillery Films. “We want to reassure and guide our audience through this new world, and encourage them to be brave, inventive, confident and positive about the future. It’s also important to foster an awareness about the environment and global cultures at an early age. With Sullivan Sails, our goal is to use storytelling to achieve this.”
Suzanne Kelly, Head of Children’s and Young People’s Content at RTÉ, adds, “I am very excited to welcome Sullivan Sails to our preschool slate of programming. With its unique visual style and engaging storytelling, I am very confident that this series will become a firm favorite with our younger audiences. We here at RTÉjr are always on the lookout for programming that will spark imagination and curiosity, Sullivan Sails is such a series and we cannot wait to travel the world with Sullivan and Benji!”
Distillery Films is an animation production company specialising in developing original ideas for global audiences. With a background in international co-production, it offers a wide spectrum of services to clients seeking to produce animation in Ireland. Behind everything it does, it endeavors to have a positive impact on the audience that it serves.