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Raydar detects Mackinnon & Saunders series

Rebecca Atkinson’s The MixMups

UK producer-distributor Raydar Media has teamed with stop-frame animation specialist Mackinnon & Saunders to produce a preschool series aimed at increasing the portrayal of disability on screen.

The MixMups has been created by Rebecca Atkinson, founder of the viral #ToyLikeMe campaign, who felt that there was a need for more visibility of disability on TV.

The series, which celebrates friendship, fun and fancy dress, is being developed with support from the BFI’s Young Audience Content Fund.

Its characters are transported from their helter-skelter home, through a magic portal, to embark upon costume-filled, problem-solving adventures that address the day-to-day experiences of children living with and without disability.

“In MixMups, I wanted to create an innovative show and brand, bursting with fun, magic and play, which would bring disability representation into the mainstream in a way which has never been done before,” said Atkinson.

Raydar Media’s Alison Rayson added: “Debbie Macdonald, who is also co-writer on MixMups, brought Raydar into the team and I feel very blessed that she did.

“Having a son with Down syndrome, I know first-hand that MixMups is the opposite of a ‘tick box’ series. It is a character-driven, funny show that everyone will be able to enjoy. We wanted to show that all children play differently and that this is something to embrace. MixMups encapsulates the joy of individuality and demonstrates that there is always another way to play.”

Mackinnon & Saunders’ credits include work on preschool brands such as The Twirlywoos, Postman Pat SDS and Raa Raa the Noisy Lion. The company will produce the show from its Manchester-based studio and workshop facilities.

Studio co-founder Peter Saunders said: “MixMups is, first and foremost, a fun-filled, entertaining show about these three lovable, highly authentic and highly individual kids through whom audiences around the world can experience all the comedy ups and downs of preschoolers at play, but in this wonderful, magical world that Rebecca has created. It truly is a show for everyone.”

Licensing expert Valerie Fry is on board as part of the Raydar Media team to oversee the development of a global consumer products programme in tandem with the television rights team.

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