Within the space of one month, WTTW/11 has announced a second locally-produced children’s series that’s scheduled to air nationally on PBS, starting Nov. 25.
“Nature Cat,” a multiplatform, animated half-hour series that follows the adventures of “Fred,” a yellow house cat, was created by Highland Park-based Spiffy Pictures‘ brothers David Rudman and Adam Rudman to encourage kids ages 3-8 to explore nature.
Fred is not based on a real cat, however. “We don’t own a cat,” says Adam Rudman. “We just thought that a house cat would be a great, funny character for a wannabe nature explorer because they never leave the house.”
When Fred’s family leaves for work, though, and with help from his animal friends, he embarks on outdoor adventures full of nature investigations.
“Many of today’s children are growing up with less of a connection to nature,” notes David Rudman. “So we set out to create a very funny, action-adventure series that will inspire kids to get outside, starting in their own backyards and parks, and explore.”
Each “Nature Cat” episode will feature two 11-minute stories. Inbetween will be live action outdoor nature and outdoor science scenes shot throughout Chicago.
“Most people don’t know that Chicago has more green spaces than any other US city,” David Rudman says.
While the local production crew will be announced later, Toronto-based 9 Story Media Group will animate the series and Massachusetts-based digital creative agency CloudKid will develop a series of games, hands-on activities and parent resources based on “Nature Cat.”
Principal funding came from CPS and the Van Eekeren family, founders of Land O’Frost.
Last month, Dreaming Tree’s “Moochie Kalala Detectives Club” joined WTTW’s 12 hours of daily children’s programming as the only Chicago-produced show.