Here is an article written recently about this ground breaking series from Ireland.
Punky - the first ever animated cartoon featuring a lead character with Down Syndrome - is going global with Target Entertainment. Target has pledged to donate half of global sales commissions to support Down Syndrome Education International’s work to improve education for young people with Down syndrome.
Punky is an original animated TV series which tells the stories from the everyday life of Punky, a six-year-old girl, who has Down syndrome. Punky is a happy little girl who loves music, dancing and hugs! She loves playing with her big brother, Con, and jumping around with her dog, Rufus. She enjoys helping around the house with Mum and trying to make Cranky, her grandmother, just a little less cranky. As a child with Down syndrome, Punky lives in the moment. If something isn’t right, if someone has a problem, Punky will set out to fix it. To Punky, the solution is always simple.
The series was created by Lindsay J. Sedgwick, developed and produced by Monster Animation, a Dublin-based, and commissioned by RTÉ Young People’s programmes, with financial assistance from RTÉ, the Irish Film Board, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound and Vision Fund and S481 Film Incentive.
The character of Punky is voiced by Aimee Richardson, who herself has Down syndrome and Down Syndrome Ireland provided support and reviewed material during development and production of the series.
Pat Clarke, the Chief Executive of Down Syndrome Ireland said: “Greater diversity in how people with disabilities are portrayed in the media is really vital and Punky, with her energetic, fun and curious nature, avoids all stereotypes.”
Punky takes a fresh approach at illuminating one of the key concepts underlying children’s television schedules today, the acceptance of diversity in society. Through their extensive research and development, the creator and writers have a produced a series of stories that are entirely true to life, engaging and full of elements that are very attractive to children. Punky is a light-hearted, fun and exciting series at the heart of which lies an exceptional child.
The global rights to sell Punky were recently acquired by Target Entertainment – a leading rights management businesses, based in the UK. Target has pledged to donate half of global sales commissions to support DSE’s work to improve education for young people with Down syndrome.
CEO of Target Alison Rayson, revealed why the series is so special to her saying “When I first saw Punky I felt an immediate connection to her because of my own son Jack who also has Down syndrome and is three and a half. I have been thinking for some time about how Target could become involved in an animated show with a lead character that had Down syndrome and it seems like fate that a colleague one day last year asked me if I had heard about Monster’s new show Punky.”
Frank Buckley, CEO of Down Syndrome Education International, “Punky is a delightful and pioneering series that explores the world through the eyes of a young girl with Down syndrome. Quirky, imaginative and engaging, Punky encourages us to see every child as an individual. We are delighted to be associated with the global release of the series and thrilled with Target Entertainment’s support for better education for children with Down syndrome.