The Independent Children’s Monitor (ICM) was set up to monitor and report on the performance of agencies that have care and custody of children and young people in New Zealand.
ICM initially required an animation to help explain to children, young people, and caregivers what they do, and why they may want to speak to children about their experiences of being in the state care system.
The challenge was to create a set of characters and world that would appeal to the main audience aged 10 – 16 years, along with their caregivers and whānau. The material also needed to be re-mixable for use in other contexts.
Workshops with tamariki and rangatahi indicated that a superheroes concept would appeal. The team started by researching all forms of media targeted at young people across social media, TV, movies, streaming, and examples of content from other care systems. The characters needed to show multiple children of different ethnicity and age to reflect the statistics, with uplifting, bright colours.
The content also needed to contain Te Ao Māori & Pasifika elements, so for authenticity we sourced visual references using Creative Commons licensed assets from the Digital New Zealand archives. A Te Reo version of the script was also developed for bi-cultural publishing, with on-screen subtitles to increase comprehension and accessibility.
The animation text and scenes were remixed into an A3 Comic poster, with the characters delivered as a set for use on website, in presentations and reports. A set of emojis for use in interviews with young people was also created to help them communicated and convey emotions non verbally.