Milkshake! to support disability representation with preschool series MixMups
Announced in 2020 by UK-based producer- distributor Raydar Media, which has teamed up with stop-frame animation specialist Mackinnon & Saunders to produce the series, MixMups is aimed at increasing the portrayal of disability on screen.
The 52×10’ stop-motion series was created Rebecca Atkinson, founder of the viral #ToyLikeMe campaign that called for more diversity in children’s industries, and is being developed with support from the British Film Institute’s Young Audiences Content Fund.
Aimed at three- to five-year-olds, MixMups features disabled lead characters and is being made by a team with lived experiences of disability, said the producers. The series shines a light on different preschool play styles and the joy of mixing up objects and ideas to create stories.
Centred around three loveable friends named the MixMups, who live in a wheelchair- accessible helter-skelter house in Mixington Valley, each episode sees the friends use their magical wooden spoon and mixing box to ‘mix up the magic’ of play and transport themselves on a host of comical adventures.
Through their young, imaginative minds they embrace a variety of ways to play, entertain each other and embark upon day-to-day problem-solving challenges. Core themes include the joy of individuality, imagination, friendship and flexible thinking.
With the show now entering production, Milkshake! will premiere MixMups in March 2023.
“It’s vital to us that our young audiences and their families see themselves reflected in our storytelling,” said Louise Bucknole, VP of children’s programming at Paramount UK & Ireland.
“It is also our first commission that, from its very genesis, has been entirely inspired and created with the experiences of disabled children in mind. Working with Rebecca and a core production team that has lived experience of disability, we are confident we can bring a level of authenticity, understanding and commitment to the show, unlike any other.”
Atkinson added: “It was my dream to create a compelling show that draws on my own experiences as a disabled person to create lovable characters and stories and really ‘mix’ up what disability representation looks like.
“As a child I loved mixing up potions, food, cake mix, paint, even toys in the bath. I hope MixMups will inspire a generation of preschoolers to reach for the nearest wooden spoon and ‘mix up the magic’ of play too.”
Raydar Media was launched by former Target Entertainment chief Alison Rayson in 2012.