Brand new show Kate and Mim-Mim is coming to CBeebies. We caught up with creators and show runners Scott and Julie Stewart to hear about how their own children inspired the show...Can you tell us a bit about Kate and Mim-Mim?
Kate & Mim-Mim is about the special relationship between feisty five-year-old Kate and her toy rabbit and best friend, Mim-Mim.
Every episode begins with Kate, with toy Mim-Mim close by, doing something fun with her mum or dad. From making pancakes to riding a bike to playing in the pond with a pirate ship, every day is like a Saturday in their house. Invariably, the activity stirs Kate’s curiosity, and a question is raised. At this point, Kate picks up Mim-Mim by his paws and twirls him around and they are transported to the fantastical world of Mimiloo, where Mim-Mim is now a larger-than-life playmate and anything can happen, whether it’s finding fallen stars, riding wind flowers or exploring the depths of the Singing Seas.
The characters from Kate and Mim-Mim
So can you tell us what inspired you to make the show – how did you come up with the idea?
Scott and I had a small animation studio in New Jersey from 2008 to 2012, where we produced an Emmy-winning show called Abby’s Flying Fairy School for Sesame Street. We loved the challenge of producing that show and became excited at the prospect of creating our own show concept. So we sat down on our porch with a big pot of coffee and began thinking about fun things that you could build a show around.
We looked at our daughter, Kate, who was two at the time. She was obsessed with her toy bunny and carried him everywhere, just like so many kids. She truly acted as if he were alive. Then we looked at our boys, who were four and six at the time. When they played with each other, they would dive so deeply into their imaginative world that they would forget we were even in the room! This made us wonder where Kate and Mim-Mim would go if Mim-Mim really were alive. So you moved to Vancouver to make the show – how did your children find that experience?
We actually didn’t have to move—but when we were offered the chance, we wanted to do it! We’d been open to moving for several years and when the opportunity came up, we couldn’t resist. Luckily, our kids are resilient and love adventures. They were excited by everything we showed them about Vancouver—it’s a beautiful city where they can go wind surfing and snowboarding in the same day!
We took our time and drove across the country. It took us 17 days and we visited family and friends all over. The kids loved that, and it was a unique opportunity for us to share Nashville and Memphis, the plains of Kansas and the mountains of Colorado. We got to see the Grand Canyon, the desert and the Golden Gate Bridge along the way.
Julie and Scott Stewart
What do you hope that children will learn from the show?
There is so much learning potential in Kate & Mim-Mim. We hope kids—both girls and boys—will see themselves in Kate, and be inspired to emulate her strength of character, her determination, her ability to be anything she wants, her kindness towards her friends and her leadership. Any characters/episodes that we should particularly look out for?
That’s a really good question! Scott and I truly love so many of the episodes! “Small Wonders” is a great episode where Kate feels she’s too small in the real world to help mum and dad. In Mimilloo, after she and Mim-Mim get shrunk down to size of tiny ants, they realise they can still accomplish great things. In “King Tut-N-Bunny”, Kate is challenged with a real world puzzle box, which leads her to Ancient Mimiloo where she is challenged with solving the riddle of an Ancient Mimiloo Sphinx.
The episodes are quite varied—some are full of adventure while others are really clever while others still are really funny. But all of them showcase the special relationship that Kate and Mim-Mim have and they all show Kate as a strong leader. Does (real-life) Kate realise she’s the star of her own show? How does she feel about it?
While real-life Kate knows the show is inspired by her, she’s not really affected by it. But of course she’s very pleased by it. One of the most incredible moments was when we left a binder on the kitchen table with the latest Kate & Mim-Mim logo on it.
We found Kate in the kitchen, her plush Mim-Mim in one hand, her other hand on the logo, and she looked up at us and said, “This is amazing.” She was so awe-struck and breathy, it’s really one of the only times we’ve seen her starry eyed about the whole thing. It was adorable. She’s madly in love with the show. These days we often find her walking around the house singing the theme song. She switches back and forth between the Kate & Mim-Mim theme and “Let it Go” (Frozen) She’s invented some pretty interesting mash-ups…Don't miss Kate and Mim-Mim on CBeebies from Monday 4th August at 5.30pm
Do you have a little one who loves going into their own imaginative world? Join in with the chat on CBeebies Grown-ups; facebook.com/cbeebies and @CBeebiesHQ.