For the past several years, animator Chance Raspberry has been hard at work bringing to life a strange kid of his very own. This isn’t just any strange kid though, he’s special. You see, Little Billy is the first ever cartoon for kids and adults with learning difficulties or disabilities. Set in the 1980s, the 2D animated series centers around Little Billy Harper—a “golden-hearted, 4-year-old boy who possesses his very own, (fictitious) brand of neurological condition [which grants him] inhuman amounts of energy…all the time!” Naturally, Billy’s condition finds him in some far out situations and much of the series will show how “his family and friends are affected and blessed by his quirky way of thinking and living.” According to Raspberry:
Little Billy is an outrageous, heartfelt gem for all ages that reflects my own childhood growing up with Tourette Syndrome. Not only does the Little Billy series mark a return to the heart, depth, and morale of classic TV, but its star, Billy Harper, is the first official poster-child, mascot, and brand for all Special Needs! I hope you enjoy the [pilot’s] small taste of how [this series] aims to nostalgia-bomb every heart on earth!
While the pilot may not fit the “traditional model” (i.e. a complete episode), Raspberry explains the method behind his approach:
In creating the pilot, I not only honed and pushed all my skills to their limit, but was actually able to invent some techniques and processes along the way. As a result, the quality standard for Little Billy actually rose…but so did the animation production time (despite time saved by technology.)
This means a much nicer product is in store (as you will see in the pilot) but it’s going to take a lot more time and numbers to create. Believe me, no one wants to see and deliver a finished episode more than me…but it has to be done right. It has to be all it can be!