One of the main attractions of this unique and charming concept is its use of actual African animals, offering great appeal for all ages: children as well as parents, siblings and care-givers. This is a great way of selling nature to the whole family.
With much entertainment for children confined to animation, puppets or adults on set, this approach is much like that of an animated production in that dialogue is voiced by talented voice artists. Yet it does not rely on expensive CGI but gives an organic and real feel of authenticity, with greater credibility and far lower costs.
The miniaturization aspect is also popular: the main characters who anchor the series are a family of African field mice, whose world is small and whimsical. Their friends are both small (chameleon, goose, frog, small antelope, and warthog) and large (the Big 5).
Simple and entertaining stories revolve around environmental issues, offering subtle “edutainment” through realistic depiction of animals and their environments while promoting positive values.
This unique “talking animals” concept was initially piloted through a television series and now the producers have mastered the techniques for future production. First produced as Adventures at the Water Hole for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), it won the Creative Excellence Award at US International Film and Video Festival, was a finalist for the top international educational TV prize, the Japan Award, and won several South African National TV Association awards.
Future productions can be rolled out as transmedia and cross-platform for the concept is well suited to smaller screens on tablets and mobile phones. Music is a strong component of the show’s appeal and branding so there is potential for musical downloads, ringtones, etc.