Little J & Big Cuz in Kriol – world premiere!

Crowd at Ngukurr School for premiere of Little J & Big Cuz in Kriol
As the sun set, the crowd gathered at Ngukurr School for a first look at Little J & Big Cuz in Kriol

If you’ve never seen a cartoon in Kriol before, that’s all about to change! Ngukurr School and Meigim Kriol Strongbala have just teamed up to present a “world premiere” screening of Little J & Big Cuz in Kriol. And it was a smash hit! After months of work to translate, record and produce two brand new episodes of the award-winning cartoon, the special sunset screening was held on December 8 at Ngukurr School with about 100 kids and adults treated to the special viewing – as well as free popcorn!

At the event, two brand new episodes of Little J & Big Cuz were shown and, for the first time ever, the episodes were all in Kriol! To create the two episodes, a working group of students from Ngukurr School first spent months translating scripts of two new episodes – “River Adventure” and “Serpent’s Eye” – which are part of the 3rd season of Little J & Big Cuz. Then in September, producers from Savage Films in Melbourne came to Ngukurr, found the local cast and recorded the audio. After a few more months of production, the Kriol episodes were ready to be seen! The Ngukurr “world premiere” was a special event as the episodes are part of the third season and yet to be released – even in English – with the new season of the award-winning cartoon premiering on NITV on Friday December 17 at 7:30pm.

Kriol cast of Little J & Big Cuz at the premiere in Ngukurr
The Kriol cast of Little J & Big Cuz at Ngukurr’s “world premiere”

Almost all the local cast from Ngukurr attended the premiere, each receiving certificates and copies of the episodes. And at Ngukurr School, the cartoons have been on high rotation ever since. Angelina Joshua plays Big Cuz in the Kriol episodes and previously featured in the award-winning online interactive SBS documentary My Grandmother’s Lingo. She was thrilled with the end result, “Imin gudeswan! Ai bin leigi det matj” [It was awesome! I really liked it].

Angelina Joshua plays Big Cuz in the Kriol episodes
Angelina Joshua plays Big Cuz in the Kriol episodes

Angelina also commented on how much the kids enjoyed it and that they liked hearing their own language and way of talking:

Dei bin reken im dijmawan en dei bin gudbinji dumaji dei bin irri Ropa Kriol – hau alabat tok.

[They thought it was excellent and they were happy because they heard Roper Kriol – how they speak it.]

The cartoons are the fruits of a collaboration between Meigim Kriol Strongbala, Ngukurr School and the makers of Little J & Big Cuz and will be publicly available in 2022, streaming on SBS on Demand and ABC iView. The producers of Little J & Big Cuz were thrilled to hear about the community reception of the episodes.

Ngukurr School students enjoying Little J & Big Cuz in Kriol
Ngukurr School students enjoying popcorn and Kriol cartoons

“It is really heartwarming to see the community turning out and enjoying themselves and the thrills and spills of Little J & Big Cuz” said program producer Ned Lander, while line producer Liz O’Dea was full of praise for both the premiere and the project as a whole, saying how great it was to see Little J & Big Cuz shown in “the best way – in language, outdoors, and with real popcorn”.

She thanked Meigim Kriol Strongbala for “taking this opportunity so very, very far”, commenting on “what a wonderful job [they’ve] done to make this project such a multi-tiered opportunity and asset for the community”.

Season 3 of Little J & Big Cuz premieres on NITV on December 17, 2021 with episodes in Kriol and other languages released later in 2022, streamed on SBS on Demand and ABC iView.

Listen to Meigim Kriol Strongbala’s Greg Dickson discuss the project on ABC Darwin Radio:

 

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