Max has greenlit an all-new animated series Hop, from Arthur creator Marc Brown – last year’s Arthur finale followed a 25-year run of the show based on Brown’s children’s book of the same name. Based on another of Brown’s children’s book – “Hop” – the new series is produced by Epic Story Media and animated by Loomi Animation. Arthur alums Peter K. Hirsch and Tolon Brown are on board to bring the book’s illustrations to life.
Epic has engaged RespectAbility – the nonprofit advocacy organization fighting stigma and advancing opportunity for people with disabilities – to consult on the series.
Hop follows an eclectic group of besties whose comedic adventures teach preschoolers about embracing their own uniqueness. Led by Hop, an enthusiastic, empathetic frog with one leg shorter than the other, he and his quirky friends address kid-relatable problems with a healthy dose of laughter, silliness, and adventure.
Set in the aspirational community of Fair Village, every episode is grounded in emotional reality but soars into the world of fantasy, populated by dragons, trolls, talking banjos, and magic crayons. With a balance of humor and heart, our heroes go on fun escapades to discover they can overcome obstacles with perseverance, creativity, and teamwork. Together, they show us the power of friendship and kindness as they navigate the mud puddles of life.
“Even before Arthur ended, I was nurturing a new project about a little frog named Hop for a younger audience,” said Brown. “As Hop’s world grew in my imagination, I drew inspiration from the great work my friend Fred Rogers had done. With Arthur, we occasionally introduced characters with disabilities, but they never became part of the ensemble cast in any meaningful way. But the characters in Hop reflect many kids who are underrepresented in the media. Some of our characters have disabilities, but they never define who they are or what they can achieve. Kids are kids, and each one is unique and filled with potential. And kids love to have fun, that’s what Hop is all about!”
Ken Faier of Epic Story Media added, “We’re extremely proud of our work and collaboration with industry experts on representing characters in an inclusive way. It is an honor to have developed Hop with Marc, Peter, and Tolon, who know how to engage not only today’s youth but parents looking for quality content. We believe ‘Hop’ will have longevity in the marketplace for many years to come.”
Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang, said, “Marc is a legend in children’s programming, having created one of the most iconic television shows that has garnered almost every honor imaginable. Hop exudes everything families love about Arthur, but with a fresh cast of modern characters that authentically represent the sundry of little eyes watching TV.”
The show’s voice cast features David Connolly as Hop, an outgoing six-year-old frog with one leg shorter than the other, whose superpower is empathy. The Broadway actor and disability advocate is a recipient of the Premier of Ontario’s Award of Excellence in Applied Arts and happens to be a double below-knee amputee. He is the first amputee to have performed on Broadway.
Joining Connolly is Moneesha “Misha” Bakshi as Penny, Hop’s slightly older sibling; Charlotte Walker ass Filipa; Jake Shannon as Benny; and Makeda Bromfield as Alfred.