Kids media Spiffy Pictures wins top innovation award

SPIFFY PICTURES, Deefield-based creators and producers of children’s media, won the Opening Minds Innovation Award that honors individuals and organizations throughout the nation whose innovations advance the field of early childhood education.

The award was presented Jan. 27 at a private reception at the Sheraton Grand Chicago on E. North Water St., during the Opening Minds Early Childhood Education, Child Care, School Age Conference and Expo.

“Spiffy Pictures is honored to be recognized among the world-class recipients of Opening Minds Innovation Awards,” says David Rudman who co-founded Spiffy Pictures with his brother Adam Rudman, in 2003.

“Spiffy Pictures captures a feeling and translates it in a relevant story that blends our history and present day,” comments Gail Conway, Opening Minds CEO.

“The beloved characters and storylines of Spiffy Pictures characters change the animation narrative and inspire the imaginations of a new generation of learners growing up in the digital age. The program inspires, teaches and encourages children to look beyond the screen at the natural wonders of the world.”

Spiffy Pictures’ current hit animated series, “Nature Cat,” for 3 to 8-year olds, is co-produced by WTTW, airs daily on Ch. 11 and is part of national “PBS Kids.” The Nature Cat character is voiced by Taran Killam. Nature Cat’s buddies and fellow adventures are Hal the Dog, Daisy the Bunny and Squeeks the Mouse.

The series follows Fred, a house cat with dreams of exploring outside. In each episode, once his family leaves for the day, Fred transforms into Nature Cat, “backyard explorer extraordinaire.”

The show, animated by a team of 44, has a cast of 13 and the 2015 first season consisted of 40 episodes.

States WTTW/11 President/CEO Dan Schmidt: “Our mission is to offer our audiences content that is engaging, inspiring, and educational, and ‘Nature Cat’ resoundingly meets all three of these criteria.”

Last year, “Nature Cat” received award nominations from three major TV organizations: The Daytime Emmys® for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program; the Television Critics Association for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming and a Common Sense Media Seal for TV, recognizing the series for providing families an exceptional media experience.

See a “Nature Cat” episode here.