Smiley Guy Studios, visionary creators of the award-winning animated comedy Odd Job Jack, have partnered with Nexus Media and pioneered the next generation of integrated TV and web viewing experiences with their new TVOKids show, Pillars of Freedom. A blend of broadcast episodes and extensive online elements, Pillars of Freedom provides kids 10 and under with the power to affect the story while educating them on civic values so they understand the consequences of their choices. All components were produced by Smiley Guy Studios in order to ensure a seamless experience both online and on air.
The Pillars of Freedom story is centred on two curious little dragons, Spirit and Imm, who live in a land that used to enjoy great freedoms – including flying and fire-breathing – which have withered away because they were taken for granted and neglected. By taking the fate of their world into their hands, Spirit and Imm seek to restore freedom to all the dragons in the kingdom and exemplify an activist, hands-on approach to decision-making and affecting change. The focus on teaching the values of democracy is something that the show’s creators are hoping to instill and inspire in viewers.
Pillars of Freedom is a multi-platform production made up of a series of animated television episodes and a website with online games that show the importance of taking part in the democratic process through voting and making choices. Each broadcast episode is a fun-filled, action packed, “choose your own adventure” type of story with an unresolved ending that encourages viewers to vote on what Spirit and Imm should do next. The possible solutions, which involve viewer feedback via the web, are revealed online at tvokids.com and on air.
Results will be presented on The Space, TVOKids’ live afternoon children’s block. Each choice has a consequence, but only one will lead Spirit and Imm to unlock the Pillars of Freedom. Over the course of two weeks, kids will learn how each choice moves the story forward [or not].
At tvokids.com, children have the opportunity to take part in the Pillars of Freedom online community and play the Pillars of Freedom online game. The game takes kids on a journey in which they “play” Spirit and Imm and confront a number of obstacles. At each level of the game they make choices about what to do next and unlock the powers of democracy, learning about choice and civic duty while having fun. The online community also features arcade style games that can be played individually or as part of the larger quest.
Pillars of Freedom will air on TVOKids, Tuesdays and Thursdays starting January 12th, 2010 at 5:25 pm ET. The online community goes live on Monday, January 11th, 2010.