HBO Max has ordered a 12-episode, 2d-animated season of Young Love, which is based on the characters in the short film from Matthew A. Cherry and Sony Pictures Animation (image at top). The film focuses on an African-American dad’s struggle to do his daughter’s hair while her mother is in hospital. The new show is described as follows:
Filled with comedy and heart, Young Love is an honest look into the world of the Young family — including millennial parents Stephen and Angela, their daughter Zuri, and her pet cat Rocky — as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues, and multi-generational dynamics all while striving to make a better life for themselves.
Cherry, the series’s creator, will serve as showrunner alongside writer-producer Carl Jones (The Boondocks, Black Dynamite). The executive producers are Blue Key Entertainment’s Monica A. Young along with Lion Forge Animation’s David Steward II and Carl Reed, all of whom were involved with Hair Love.
Launched on Kickstarter in 2017, Hair Love received record-breaking donations for an animated short and was eventually acquired by Sony Pictures Animation. Cherry, whose background is in live action, co-directed with animation industry veterans Everett Downing Jr. and Bruce W. Smith. The film was shown in theaters before The Angry Birds Movie 2, and won the Oscar for best animated short this year.
The original short was almost dialogue-free. It seems that will change — unsurprisingly — for the series. On Twitter, Cherry wrote, “Dear black voiceover actors, Young Love … is now open for business.” Recent weeks have seen intense debate about the opportunities facing black actors in animation.
Dear Black voice over actors…#YoungLove, a new animated series which is based on the characters from our Oscar-winning animated short film #HairLove, is now open for business at @hbomax https://t.co/cGPsJhUiuY
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) July 7, 2020
In a statement, Cherry said, “I am beyond excited to continue telling the story of Stephen, Angela, and Zuri and further explore the family dynamics of a young black millennial family we established in our short film Hair Love as an animated series. Couldn’t ask for better partners in Sony Pictures Animation and HBO Max in helping us get Young Love out to the world.”
Watch Hair Love below: