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Internationally acclaimed South African animation to stream these holidays

2023 has been a breakthrough year for South African animation. Your kids no longer need to only watch people who don’t look or sound like them, having adventures elsewhere. 

Here are four great local options to enjoy with your kids these holidays – all produced by South African animation pioneer Triggerfish

KIZAZI MOTO: GENERATION FIRE S1 | Binge now on Disney+

Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire is an action-packed sci-fi anthology that’s up for Best Animated Series: Tweens/Teens at the 2024 Kidscreen Awards.

Half of the 10 shorts are from South Africa. In Mkhuzi: The Spirit Racer, a half-alien, half-Zulu boy must come to terms with his identity to win the 2066 Soweto Super Circuit. Surf Sangoma takes you to Durban in 2050, where two surfers’ friendship is tested by a gang using radioactive octopii to illegally surf the colossal, deadly waves. In First Totem Problems, Sheba is determined to get her digital totem, even if it means breaking into the ancestral world. In Hatima, two South African tribes, one on land and one under the sea, are locked in an endless battle. And in You Give Me Heart, a lowly artist hopes to win Who Wants To Be A God? but could lose his heart in the process. With additional shorts from Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe, this is Africa as you’ve never seen it before. 

Colossal writes, “This visually spellbinding series – bursting with hope, optimism and pride – is one of the best animated shows of the last decade.” 

Recommended for ages 6+.

SUPA TEAM 4 S2 | Stream on Netflix from 21 December 2023

In Supa Team 4, four teens are just trying to survive secondary school when an ex-spy recruits them for her superhero team. Their newest assignment? Saving the world.

Netflix’s first animated series from Africa, Supa Team 4 features a star-studded voice cast. 

It’s a Common Sense Media Selection, with a four-star rating that calls it “a lively, action-packed intro to African-futurism.”

Rated PG, Supa Team 4 is streaming on Netflix, with Season 2 set to land on 21 December 2023. 

AAU’S SONG | Stream now on Disney+

South Africans Nadia Darries and Daniel Clarke co-directed Aau’s Song, the final short film in the Emmy-winning second volume of Lucasfilms’ Star Wars: Visions anthology. 

Aau’s Song follows a girl who has a calling to sing, but is raised by her loving, stern father to stay quiet because of the calamitous effect her voice has on the crystals in the nearby mines – the kyber that powers lightsabers. 

Aau’s Song was ranked as “the best episode” of Star Wars Visions: Volume II by Screenrant, and was described as “gorgeous” by everyone from Empire to Polygon, which called it “a perfect note to end the season on”. 

The characters’ distinctive felt textures are inspired by Ndebele dolls, one of a number of South African-inspired touches. Also listen out for the acclaimed score by local electronic music legend Markus Wormstorm, featuring the Cape Town Youth Choir.  

Recommended for ages 12+. 

KIYA & THE KIMOJA HEROES S1 | On Disney Junior and YouTube

Kiya & the Kimoja Heroes follows the high-action adventures of 7-year-old Kiya, whose crystal headband transforms her dance and martial arts talents into amazing Dance Ninja superpowers. Kiya’s two best friends, Motsie and her stepbrother Jay, have their own crystal-supercharged talents; together they are the Kimoja Heroes.

It’s also a Common Sense Media Selection, with a four-star rating. Recommending it for ages 3+, Common Sense Media calls the show “upbeat, funky and fun”, as well as “entertaining and educational”. As they say, “Viewers are sure to love Kiya and the Kimoja Heroes’ bright animation and lively action scenes. The show does a wonderful job at celebrating diversity and the importance of teamwork. It also packs hugely important and developmentally appropriate social-emotional lessons into the superhero storylines.”

In addition to screening on Disney Junior (DStv Channel 309), full episodes of Kiya & The Kimoja Heroes are now streaming on YouTube, where the series already has over 13 million views. 

Looking for a holiday project for the kids? The free Triggerfish Academy website will talk them through making their first animation!

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