Show by Derry based ‘Dog Ears’ to gain global audience

Saturday Club, made by Derry based children's medai company Dog Ears, is to be launched globally on the streaming app Hopster in April.
Saturday Club, made by Derry based children's medai company Dog Ears, is to be launched globally on the streaming app Hopster in April.

A new show created a by Derry based Children’s media company, is to be launched next month.

‘Saturday Club’ was created by Dog Ears and will be available to a global audience on the children’s streaming app ‘Hopster.’

Caleb Callan and Jaida Joseph who voice the characters of Tian and Suzie in Saturday Club.

Caleb Callan and Jaida Joseph who voice the characters of Tian and Suzie in Saturday Club.

The show, which is aimed at a pre-school audience, is based around the premise of empathy.

John McDaid, creative director at Dog Ears, said that the show has been a year in the making which is a ‘blink of an eye’ in the world of animation.

“We’ve been fascinated with idea of empathy as the basis for a show. As parents, and creators of content for children, we decided to base the premise of ‘Saturday Club’ around empathy.

“The show is all about the magical ability to feel what other people feel - and the power it has to change how children see the world and understand themselves in the process.”

Sally McDaid who provides the voice for a character in Saturday Club.

Sally McDaid who provides the voice for a character in Saturday Club.

In each episode the four character - Tian, an inquisitive and creative 7 years old who is a real people person, Jo, who always looking to the find the fun in everything, Suzy, a serious minded and logical child, and Jamie, who is a dreamer.

“They get together in their den and talk about all the things that have made an impression on their lives that week. Through play we leap into their imaginations as they imagine being a princess or a grumpy neighbour or a footballer and put themselves into someone else’s shoes.”

Six episodes have been made so far and Dog Ears hope that a full series will follow.

John said the feedback from ‘Hopster,’ who are co-creators and co-producers, has been amazing.

James McFaul and Caleb Callan who provide voices for the characters in Saturday Club.

James McFaul and Caleb Callan who provide voices for the characters in Saturday Club.

“Hopster is a young company we like the way they work and think. Everything they do has a real ethical base and as parents you want to put things out that you’re happy for other people’s children to watch.

“They are over the moon with ‘Saturday Club’ and are really excited about it. This is going to be flagship show for them, they are creating a website and setting up an app for it as well.”

Four local children voice the characters.

Jaida Joseph, who plays Suzy and Caleb Callan, who plays Tian, are really excited about the show going live.

Ten-years-old Jaida was chosen for the part after attending auditions with a friend. She never had any acting experience before, but now has aspirations to be come an actress.

“I was overwhelmed because I didn’t think I would get the part,” she said.

“Suzy is just like me. She is energetic and she knows that she can defend herself no matter what. I really like my character.”

Both children said their friends didn’t believe that they were going to provide voices for a cartoon, but now think it’s really exciting.

Caleb, who is a first year at Lumen Christi College, auditioned for a part after his mum saw a casting call on social media.

“We sent an audio file of me saying the lines and then I got a call back. I saw all six episodes of the show for the first time this week and I thought it was amazing.”

Caleb is also interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and would also consider getting involved in animation in the future.