Toto Toto

Ukrainian national public broadcaster Suspilne has confirmed a second season of kids’ series Toto will air this fall, featuring themes and narratives that reflect modern realities in Ukraine in a kid-friendly manner.

“Ukrainian content for children today is of extraordinary importance,” said Suspilne chief editor and kids content producer Victoria Murovana. “Because of the war, our children are torn from ordinary life. Our new cartoons and songs in Ukrainian will explain the things that are happening around them through understandable, familiar visual forms. Parents will be given the opportunity to distract their children in times of anxiety or while in shelter.”

Toto writer/producer Iryna Malamuzh is also a trained psychologist, and she has indicated that other specialists in psychology will be brought in to consult on the screenplays to ensure that the end result is as helpful as possible for young viewers.

“This is a difficult project to create, which touches on ‘adult themes’ and illuminates our shared traumatic experience,” she explained. “Working on such projects is a big responsibility, especially in wartime, so cooperation with specialist psychologists gives us the confidence to consider Toto safe and therapeutic for children’s psyche and resourceful for adults.”

Equally concerned about the professionals who worked on Toto, Malamuzh explained, “I am happy that many families will be supported financially thanks to our project, because now is quite a difficult time for specialists in the animation field.”

Season two of Toto is directed by Iryna’s partner in life and in work, Oleg Malamuzh (The Stolen Princess), and produced with support from Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne, Sweden’s SR Media Development Office, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

Iryna and Oleg have also resumed 2d animation courses at Kyiv’s Projector Creative & Tech Online Institute after they were halted earlier this year. Working hard to keep the Ukrainian industry running despite the conflict, the pair are developing a feature film titled City of Mary, about the survival of two children from Mariupol.

Oleg is also co-directing the feature film Mavka, The Forest Song, a fantasy tale based on Ukrainian folk stories scheduled to premiere in December, and has contributed to a series of short Youtube videos titled Useful for Everyone, intended to provide psychological support and practical tips to Ukrainians during wartime.

The quotes in this piece were translated from Ukrainian into English via Google Translate.