How Babble Bop! Is diversifying stories told in and out of the studio

By: Breanna Schnurr

In the hand-clapping, baby-bottom-wiggling, sing-along world of music, dance and preschool play of  NBC Universal’s Babble Bop!, produced by Dark Slope, the main characters, Lily, Hugo, Miguel, Izzie and Sam, discover more about the world while having fun. Tots learn about pets, managing emotions, and many other things in the world around them. And, celebrating diversity is an important part of the world of Babble Bop! 

Some new faces

The production team behind Babble Bop! believes in celebrating diversity and reflecting the world we live in through their characters, including some new additions to the roster for season two.

Atoosa Mohajer, Production Manager for Babble Bop!, shares about the brand-new places and faces joining the cast.

“We expanded the world of our preschoolers from their homes and backyard to include songs and stories about going to daycare! With this new cast, we had the opportunity to showcase a type of family that we hadn’t seen before.” For example,  Leta is a single mother to Ava, and also owns the daycare where Lily, Hugo, Sam, Miguel and Izzy go to school. Leta and Ava are of Indian descent, which Mohajer says was largely inspired by production partners Vishus Productions, who were involved with season one. 

“With the unlimited recourse and knowledge provided by Vishus Productions, we were able to tell authentic stories and showcase genuine depictions of an Indian family,” says Mohajer.

In addition to the show’s new characters, the team has also created a 30-minute compilation for different Holiday celebrations, which includes a new song about the festival of Diwali. “With the help of Vishus Productions, our choreography team was able to research authentic dance numbers to further enhance the storytelling,” says Mohajer.

Other holiday episodes include Cinco De Mayo, composed and performed by Hispanic composer duo Tiffany Joy and Maqui Reyes, Hanukkah and a Lunar New Year Dragon Dance.

Family matters

Family structure is also highlighted through Babble Bop!’s characters. From same-sex parenting, multigenerational living, and single-parent households, the team hopes families also see themselves represented on TV.

“We want to show that not all families look the same, and there are so many wonderful things to celebrate through differences,” says Mohajer. “Anywhere from having a twin brother, to having a mixed-race family, to having Grandma move in, or having two dads or a single mom.”

Team effort

Mohajer says the diversity reflected in the Babble Bop! team is what makes the show feel so genuine. “Having a diverse team of producers, actors, composers, and artists allows us to tell diverse stories in an authentic way. We have a wealth of knowledge and resources of people available to us who can consult on sensitive matters.”

Christine Thompson, Head of Animation Production, mentions how women and BIPOC are leaders of the show. “Key roles at all stages of production are filled by BIPOC and women team members,” says Thompson. “These roles include the Producer, Assistant Director, Production Manager, Assistant Production Manager, Composers, Vocalists, Motion Capture Production Manager, Movement Director, Motion Capture Actors, model, texture and rigging artists, storyboard artist, layout artist, animators, technical staff and our editor.”   

All in all, the importance of diversity inside and outside media should be a common practice across children, teen and adult television. “I strongly believe that everyone needs to see themselves reflected in the media that they consume in an authentic way,” says Mohajer. “We hope that our preschool audience can celebrate diversity through song and dance, the way our cast is depicted throughout the entire show.”

Babble Bop! Season 2 is set to debut on May 4th, exclusively on Peacock.