Hop, a new pre-K cartoon that features characters with disabilities in leading roles, is coming to Max (formally HBO Max). Marc Brown, the creator of the popular kid’s cartoon Arthur, has developed this series around a little frog named Hop who has one leg shorter than the other.

While Arthur did occasionally introduce characters with disabilities, they were never a part of the ensemble cast. With Fred Rogers as his inspiration, Brown wanted to expand the roles these important parts had and offer them the lead roles.

A Partnership With RespectAbility

After the series finale of Arthur last year, Brown was ready for his next chapter: bringing his character Hop to life. Hop, an empathetic and enthusiastic frog, has a group of friends who through adventure and laughter address kid-relatable problems. Some of his friends have disabilities as well, but the disability never defines the characters or what they achieve.

Consulting with RespectAbility, a non-profit fighting stigma while advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, the team behind Hop is portraying many kids who are underrepresented in media. For instance, one of Hop’s friends is Filipa, a very intelligent squirrel who is neuro-divergent, voiced by Charlotte Walker who is herself autistic.

Together with Filipa and the rest of his eclectic friends, Hop will show the pre-K audience that the power of kindness and friendship can be essential tools for navigating life’s challenges. Season 1 is set to release on Max in early 2024.

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