Roma Downey’s Entertaining Little Angels
- Tuesday, November 01, 2011
How closely did you work with Little Angels director/writer Phil Lollar on this DVD series?
First of all I should just say that we’re thrilled to get Phil Lollar on board. I’m sure your readers know him from Adventures in Odyssey. He’s a great writer. He brought not just his faith and his talent to our project, but his great sense of humor. You know I knew early on that it’s one thing to have just good intentions with this audience, but if we hadn’t presented it in a package that was fun and funny and compelling and engaging that the kids just wouldn’t watch it. So Phil Lollar was key here in creating the stories and helping to flesh out these ideas for characters and so on. He’s been just heaven sent to us, and we’re just so thrilled to have him.
Do you think that having Alex and Zoe be preschool children will help the preschool children who are watching the DVDs be more engaged with the subject matter they’re learning about?
I think so. And I think also in terms of design, you know. First of all, they’re experiencing. Kids tend to relate to characters, so clearly we have a little boy and a little girl to cover our bases. They’re dealing with all the challenges that any preschooler will have to deal with, and so I think we’ve created very relatable characters for a preschool audience. But I also think in some ways because of the design elements of our Little Angels characters, they’re also cute and appealing. They’re dressed in contemporary clothing. Dina, who’s the angel of learning, carries a little iPad with her which all the kids have really responded to. I think that’s very cute. And you know because of their unique personalities my hope is that every kid watching will have a unique personality [to relate to]. We’ve tried to cover a whole range of types of character in the angel personalities, and I would imagine that kids will identify you know with one more than another. To that end, we’ve set up our Web site, www.littleangels.com and we also have our Little Angels Facebook page. And what we’re starting to do on Facebook is to have a page for each of the angel characters. And I think that as the series takes off and people start to discover it, it will be a fun thing to jump in there and find your favorite little angel. And we’ll continue to update the postings on our Facebook page.
Talk more about the “Life Lessons” segments where you’re on camera after the animated story and you’re sharing with parents how they can take what their children have just learned and expand on it in different ways.
Well, we have 30 minutes of animated content broken into 7 ½ minute segments each—remembering that this is for the three-, four-, five-year-old age group that doesn’t have the longest attention span. So even though it’s a complete story, it’s broken down within each segment. So we thought what a wonderful addition would be maybe for me to create a segment called “Life Lessons with Roma.” And it’s me direct to camera [helping parents in] finding ways to engage imaginatively with your preschooler, finding maybe opportunity throughout your day to see the shapes of things, objects around your house, and to recognize that some of them look like the shapes of letters which is how the little angels choose to teach the ABC's.
They look around the nursery, and they see the corner of a picture frame looks a little bit like a “T” or the tripod for the camera looks like an “A” or the Bible put on its side and when the pages spill open a little bit it looks like a “B” and so on. And so I have fun engaging other ways of doing other games that you can play with your children and also finding ways to deepen the lessons taught. Our little character Zoe has certain fears. She’s afraid of the dark. She’s afraid of the top bunk. And so I also address that in the little life lesson that if your child feels that they have little fears about things, [there are] ways to lovingly reassure them and ways to make them feel safe and so on.
Do these “Life Lessons” segments help Little Angels stand apart from other faith-based educational DVD series?
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