Recently I spoke with Downey about her role as Executive Producer of Little Angels and why she feels this new series—which she wishes had been available when her own kids were younger—can be a great supplement for parents who desire to teach their children biblical truths and life skills in a fun way.

Where did the concept for Little Angels come from? Was it inspired by your previous work on Touched by an Angel?

Well, you know my work on Touched by an Angel was such a privilege for me to be playing the angel Monica. I got to be the messenger. The message, of course, each week was central to every episode and was that God loves you. And I thought, “Wouldn’t it be marvelous to have a project that was able to bring that same message this time to our preschool audience?” So it’s an animated preschool DVD series called Little Angels. And it’s been designed exclusively for this preschool child to teach them practical learning skills: ABC’s, 123’s, and so on. And it introduces them to spiritual and moral principles of the Bible. I’ve designed it in a way to engage parents to teach their kids timeless Christian values. And it’s fun, and it’s funny, and it’s colorful and they have great music. We have great characters. It’s compelling. It’s good storytelling.

[In each episode] we have a set of friends: Alex and Zoe. They’re just four years of age, and on the ceiling of their nursery there’s painted a mural with eight little angel characters on them. When the mom and dad aren’t around, the little angels come to life and they fly down and they act as teachers and guides and counselors for the children. And each of the angel characters has a really distinct and cute and funny personality, and they each have a sort of special gift that they bring.

And one of those angels is the angel of creativity and his name is Uriel. And he always shows up with a canvas and a paint brush. And what this does, it allows the device where we’re able to have our children time-travel because Uriel paints a picture and the kids, as if in a dream, go with the angel into the picture and they end up back in the time of the Bible. And so, for example, one of our stories is that the boy cannot tie his shoelaces. He wants to just put on his Velcro shoes. He thinks that would be much easier and the angels encourage him not to quit. They say if you just quit and everybody did that, nothing would ever happen. Consider Genesis 6:9-22 . . . if Noah had just quit. And then the little boy looks puzzled. “Who’s Noah?” And so Uriel, the artist angel, paints a picture of the Ark and the angels take the children into the picture and now they’re back in the time of the Bible with Noah himself who’s hammering away at the Ark. And Noah explains to them that there is many a time he wants to quit ‘cause there isn’t a rain cloud in the sky and all of his neighbors are making fun of him and ridiculing him and saying how stupid he was. And he knew he had to stick to it because first of all God himself told him to do it, and he trusted God.

And next thing you know the rain comes in and, of course, the children get to see that Noah was able to save all the animals two by two. And as the flood rises the little waves take the kids back through the picture back into the floor of the nursery, and the angels say to the kids, “Do you see? If Noah had quit, the animals wouldn’t be saved.” And the little boy says, “I get it.” And he picks up his shoe, and he puts it on and he starts trying to tie his shoelace. And so they’ve learned a couple of things. They’ve learned the story of Noah. And you and I both know that in this age group kids are so impressionable. Stories learned at this age will resonate with them their whole life.

I’m very enthusiastic, as you can tell. I’ve been working on this for about 18 months, and I’m so excited ‘cause we’re just bringing it out into the Christian market and we’re going exclusively into [the Christian marketplace] through February with two DVDs: Little Angels ABC’s and Little Angels Animals. We also have CDs, some fantastic music, and in February we go wider. We’re going to Walmart, and we’ll be introducing at that time a couple of books that Ideals are publishing for us. And we’ll be adding a third DVD to the collection and that will be Little Angels 123’s.