A new cartoon created in Ireland is set to feature the first ever Down Syndrome character. The new series will be aimed at pre-school children and is set to be broadcast by RTE’s Young People’s Programming in the New Year.
Gerard O’Rourke from Monster animation says that the main character Punky is a playful six year old girl who lives with her family but she is slightly different to other children. O'Rourke told the Evening heard that judging from their research this is the first ever series where the main character has Down Syndrome.
"It was unique and scary to deal with the subject matter on a mainstream cartoon. Down Syndrome Ireland provided a great bedrock and they were completely behind the idea of us doing the show," he said.
He added: "We wanted it to be shown among mainstream cartoons. It's not like a special show being shown at a special time. It'll be shown in amongst Dora the Explorer and Peppa Pig."
Punky helps her family with daily encounters, she's with her mam who goes to the chemist one day because she's not feeling well. And the pharmacist tells her you need to go home and have some peace and quiet.
"So Punky sets about soundproofing the house to make it quiet, and she stops sounds like her Gran boiling the kettle or her brother's iPod," said O’Rourke.
International TV companies from the United States, UK and Australia have all expressed an interest in broadcasting the show. Monster Animation is currently starting the 5th of 20 episodes for the series.