Art, adventures, and spooky new animations – RTÉ announces new shows for younger viewers this midterm and Halloween
Aisling Bea, Laura Whitmore and Dermot Whelan to lead all-star cast in Will Sliney’s Storytellers
Short film X Marks the Spot starring Clare Dunne also features in line-up for RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player
RTÉ today announced its exciting new and returning shows and series, featuring art, outdoors adventures, new animation, short films, movies, and spooky Halloween specials to keep younger viewers entertained during the midterm break later this month.
Leading the charge, Irish comic book artist Will Sliney and an all-star cast of characters will bring an amazing new art show with a difference to RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player. Airing daily from 25 October at 12.05pm, Will Sliney’s Storytellers is part drawing show and part animated adventure, teaching budding young artists using the most powerful weapon in the world – a pencil. The series will tell the epic tale of a fearless young Viking mapmaker Freya (Laura Whitmore) and the wise cracking floating sentient stone Ogham (Aisling Bea) as they recruit a team of young artists to embark on a time travelling quest to stop the world’s most famous art works from falling into the hands of the Chronicle (Dermot Whelan) and his evil henchmen. The series also features inspirational animated versions of presenter and writer Dawn O’Porter, WWE Superstar wrestler Stephen Farrelly, actress Demi Isaac Oviawe (from The Young Offenders) and actress Suzie Seweify, all of whom voice their own characters.
Will Sliney is an award-winning and best-selling Marvel comics artist and writer. Speaking about the series, which was produced for RTÉ by his company Pioneertown Productions and Dublin company Fastnet Films, he said: ‘Storytellers is a show that I hope will inspire the next generation of young Irish artists, writers, comic book artists and animators. I want to both teach kids how to draw and tell a story, and to emphasise that drawing is a skill not a talent and that there are real careers out there for artists. If a kid from a small fishing village in Cork can become a Marvel comic book artist, anyone can. By the end of it, anyone who watches can have all the tools they need to create their own new characters and new story. The dream for me with this is that in a few years’ time I’ll see Irish people working in the creative industry who hopefully will have been in some way encouraged to create by our show.’
Watch promo here: https://youtu.be/CiKTf6pBoXA
Starting on 23 October on RTÉjr and 25 October on RTÉ2 is A Breath of Fresh Scare, a spooky new series of animated shorts from seven Irish companies: the Halloween origin story in ‘Samhain’; ‘Nana’s Terrifying Zoom Call’; a scarily catchy musical interlude called ‘I Wanna Be A Werewolf’; ‘Ghost Dog’ which tells the heartwarming tale of one girl and her dog who never really leaves her; ’Dagda’s Harp’, which mashes up elements of folklore and modern day inner city life to one hell of a funky soundtrack and narration provided by Jordan Kelly aka Strange Boy, who has just released his debut album to much acclaim; ‘Cliodhna, Queen of the Banshees’; the tale of a little banshee girl trying to fit in at Halloween; and Academy Award shortlisted company And Maps And Plans presents ‘Empty Little People’.
Promo here for A Breath of Fresh Scare: https://youtu.be/4QRAt7ZNaic
X Marks the Spot airing on 25 October on RTÉ2 at 2.55pm tells the story of Sam whose amateur detective skills are put to the test when she suspects Granuaile the Pirate Queen has moved in next door. Directed by Hugh O’Connor (Metal Heart) and starring Clare Dunne (Herself, Kin), Sive and Aisling Doyle, Carl Shaaban (Taken Down, Songs for While I’m Away) and Jade Jordan (Kin, The Virtues), X Marks the Spot is a heartwarming tale about the importance of being yourself, even when you feel the pressure to blend in. With original music by David Kitt, X Marks the Spot is produced by Eithne Fitzsimons of Tailored Films.
Here’s a promo for X Marks the Spot: https://youtu.be/l8Udh_Ojj7Q
Daily on RTÉ2 and RTÉjr from 25 October, Critters TV is back for a new run. Meet the native wild animals of Ireland as you’ve never seen them before – at home, with their feet up, watching nature documentaries on the telly! Featuring stunning live-action documentary footage and hilarious 2D-animated character animation, Critters TV is designed to educate young Irish viewers about the unique natural world on their doorsteps.
Into November, new series Bush Kids, airing from 1 November at 3.50pm, sees bushcraft and survival expert Tom Bán bringing four lucky families out of the comfort of their own homes and away from phone screens, to take them on an adventure into the wild. With each family given a different type of habitat to explore, Tom will teach them a wide range of survival skills, from lighting fires, catching and cooking food, building shelter and learning to battle the elements. From rivers to mountains and meadows to the coast, Bush Kids will showcase the natural beauty of Ireland and the skills required to survive within its sometimes harsh yet unique environment.
Meanwhile, RTÉjr Radio have made sure to turn the lights off and the scares up this Halloween!
Spooky FM – Last Halloween RTÉjr Radio had our airwaves taken over by a zombie and a vampire to share ghoulish tales to scare and delight all the family in the run up to Samhain. Written by Peter Dunne and produced by Liam Geraghty, listen if you dare! Spooky FM series one and series two can be heard via the podcast feed or tune in every Friday night at 7 to get chilled to the bone.
A Way Home As part of the Siamsa Tíre Associate Artist scheme in Tralee, it commissioned Olivia Hope to research Celtic folklore and to develop a new story inspired by the traditions and beliefs associated with Samhain, a time when the light of summer yields to the darkness of winter and imaginations are able to flourish in the shadows. Olivia’s imagination flourished and her story, A Way Home/Slí Abhaile, is the inspiration for this major art exhibition for children. She collaborated with 20 illustrators and artists who have coloured her story with magic and life. The RTÉjr Radio team have made a spellbinding audio version of the original story. Featuring actors young and old from the Tralee area and inviting listeners to join the table this Samhain. Available Halloween week on the RTÉjr Podcast or listen in at 4pm on the 31st October.
Samhain Stories – Master storyteller, Steve Lally returns with a mini series of terrifying tales at 6.30pm each evening until Halloween from Thursday 28th or listen via the RTÉjr Podcast
Fizzwhizzle –Join Lola Panforté, crack ghosthunter and bona fide kid, as she once again ventures into one of the most haunted houses in Ireland to uncover the most ghoulish of music and the ghostly gruesomes that reside within. Halloween at 11am or listen back via the radio page.
Elsewhere, His Dark Materials, the HBO/BBC fantasy drama series with Ruth Wilson, Simone Kirby (soon to be seen on RTÉ’s new drama Hidden Assets) and Andrew Scott, comes to RTÉ One afternoons at 4.35pm from 31 October.
And, movies for younger viewers across midterm week include: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales; Against The Wild -The Great Elephant Adventure; Against The Wild- Survive the Serengeti; Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket; and Ghostbusters 2