The series is already gaining rave reviews from its RTE airing and winning plaudits with children and parents globally for its inclusive, progressive and upbeat take on the life of a regular little girl… who just happens to have Down Syndrome.
Like any other six year old Punky is just a fun-loving little girl who lives with her mum, big brother Con, Cranky, her grandmother and her pet dog Rufus and makes sense of the world in her own way.
Reviews to date predict that Punky is certain to win an army of international fans… not because of her super cute hairstyle or her mischeviousness, but because of her lionhearted humanity to all regardless of age or ability.
Gerard O’ Rourke, Punky’s producer talks about his passion for the project and why he chose Target as global distributor: “We wanted this series to sitÂ in the middle of any pre-school block anywhere in the world and let viewers discover that Punky is a great child but also happens to have a disability, they see the character not the disability. Punky is not a Down Syndrome person, but a person with Down Syndrome. If we can pass this message to our next generation through Punky then we have created a very worthwile TV series.
“Target EntertainmentÂ and in particular Alison Rayson fully understand how important a series like this can be and we know they will communicate this message to all broadcast mediums worldwide.”
Alison Rayson, Target’s CEO reveals why the series is so special to her: “When I first saw Punky I felt an immediate connection to her because of my own son Jack who also has Down Syndrome and is 3 and a half. Â I have been thinking for some time about how Target could become involved in an animated show with a lead character that had Down Syndrome and it seems like fate that a colleague one day last year asked me if I had heard about Monster’s new show Punky.
“Down Syndrome is a much misunderstood genetic condition that affects around 5.8 millionÂ people worldwide today.Â It is not an illness nor is it something that one suffers with… like anyone without the condition children with Down Syndrome have more in common with their parents than they do with other children with Down Syndrome.Â Children with Down Syndrome globally now have healthy fulfilling lives in most countries integrated in mainstream schools and achieving incredible results.Â There are still countries however where a child with Down Syndrome or any disability is marginalized and mistreated and that’s just not acceptable.Â Our imperative with Punky then is not just a commercial one for Target, but also a Charitable one.Â We will be donating half of our sales commissions to Down Syndrome Education International which pioneer inclusion at schools for all children with Down Syndrome. We want Punky to become a global ambassador for Down Syndrome and for all children with learning difficulties worldwide, breaking down old fashioned and negative stereotypes and championing the joy of individuality.”