OKRE Funds: Max & Millie

Max & Millie is an animated TV series for Deaf and hearing pre-schoolers. It received a grant from the OKRE Fund to support its development.

How Entertainment Can Benefit from Working With Researchers...

Produced by Manon Ardisson, Max & Millie focuses on explaining climate and health (both physical and mental) to a young audience. It also teaches gestures and sign language.

It is a unique collaboration between Deaf writer-director Louise Stern and hearing writer-director and animator Sam de Ceccatty, both of whom are parents to young children.

Stern and de Ceccatty wanted to include the latest climate change research in the series. They brought together research, lived experience and professional expertise. They connected with researchers from Climate Psychologists, a climate consulting body, via the OKRE Network, and with Young Audience Consultant Shannon George.

Manon Ardisson stated: “The impact of the research on the pilot episode and the show in general has been very meaningful. Some key changes we made were:

  • Moving the setting from a farm to a plant nursery at the edge of a town, making sure that urban children can also be included in the narrative;
  • Focusing the narrative itself on generating amazement and fun around the natural world, rather than creating too many ‘actions’, or even worries, as this is what we discussed to be the most effective way to engage very young children in climate-related issues”

Their full cooperation with Climate Psychologists and adaption to the concept at pilot stage is a great example of how entertainment can benefit from working with researchers.

Project Summary

Title: Max & Millie
Content: Animated TV series for Deaf and hearing pre-schoolers
Stage for Funding: At pilot stage
Producer: Manon Ardisson

The show is an animated comedy adventure series for Deaf and hearing children aged 2 to 5 years old. Millie (4), an outgoing Deaf preschooler, befriends Max (4), a shy boy whose parents run a plant nursery just outside of town. Together, Max and Millie go on exciting adventures, discovering the wonders of the natural environment, while learning to communicate with each other through gestures and sign language.

Interested in applying for OKRE Funding?

The OKRE Fund supports the development of fresh entertainment that could potentially shift perceptions around mental health, climate change, health, migration and poverty.

An OKRE Funded project must involve creative collaboration. Strong projects will involve creative working with someone from another sector or community i.e. between researchers, people with lived experience of an issue and entertainment professionals.

Apply for the OKRE Fund