(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) The Tuttle Twins—a popular series of conservative, libertarian and free-market-oriented children’s books—is ready to hit the screen in the form of a cartoon.
The series, written by Libertas Institute President Connor Boyack, follows preteen twins Ethan and Emily as they learn about freedom, government and economics.
The goal of the 11-book series is to put big, complicated concepts such as “what are individual rights?” in simple, didactic terms for young kids.
The books also come with activity workbooks and discussion questions for parents to help review the ideas presented.
The first episode is scheduled to premiere at 8 p.m. Thursday via live-stream on platforms including the Angel App, YouTube and on the Tuttle Twins TV page of Facebook.
In the cartoon, Ethan and Emily travel through time with their quirky grandma to learn more about these important ideas from historical figures such as Ben Franklin and Adam Smith.
Boyack spoke with Headline USA via e-mail to explain how the books have been transformed into a cartoon. An edited transcript follows:
HUSA: What inspired you to take this concept to the screen?
Boyack: After the rising success of the book series, we wanted to develop a cartoon based off of the books but didn’t have the know-how or capacity to do it. We spent a couple years poking at the project, unable to get it to go anywhere.
Then our friends at the Harmon Brothers, a marketing agency, pitched the idea of doing it with us. Their kids read the Tuttle Twins books, and they’re fans of what we’re doing. Plus their sister company, Angel Studios, has been wanting to help develop and distribute additional engaging and quality content after the success of The Chosen series, so the Tuttle Twins cartoon idea was a natural fit. We found the right team to work with and were able to move the project forward.
HUSA: The show is being hosted by Angel Studios—is it a crowdfunded show?
Boyack: The Tuttle Twins TV Show became the world’s largest crowdfunded kids media project. We raised nearly $5 million from thousands of investors, with some investments as small as $100. Many of the investors said they didn’t even care about making a return on their investment—they simply wanted to help create the cartoon and will it into existence with us. That was a very heartening message to see such strong support from the community for this project.
HUSA: From brainstorming to premiere time, how long has this show been in production?
Boyack: We’ve been working on the project for about two years now, from concept and early discussions, to fundraising, to production. Animation is a very time-intensive task so there are now multiple episodes all in production at various stages, and each one will be released at different times as they reach completion.
HUSA: What aspirations do you have for the series?
Boyack: Our goal is to reach 100 million kids in the next decade with this cartoon, and to help accomplish that goal we’re hoping that the cartoon is successful enough to generate ongoing revenue that will allow us to produce many, many future seasons of the show. If the audience loves it—as I anticipate they will—we’ll need their help to keep the engine pushing forward.
As the author of the book series the cartoon is based on, I’m particularly hopeful that kids who first learn about the Tuttle Twins through the show will be intrigued by the ideas and want to get the books so they can learn about the concepts of freedom in even more depth than what they get in the cartoons. We’re really trying to help educate entire families about these time-tested principles, so we accomplish that through the cartoon, our books, curriculum, a game we created, our podcast, and much more to come!