Matthew A. Cherry’s animated short Hair Love struck an emotional chord with a story about a Black father learning to style his daughter’s hair. The Oscar winning film packs humor, heart, and some truly tear-inducing moments into just a few minutes. Now Stephen, Angela, and Zuri’s sweet story is getting the TV treatment. HBO Max has ordered a 12-episode season of Young Love, which will feature the Young family (and their cat Rocky) as they go about their daily lives.
Sony Pictures Animation
A press release reveals that Young Love will be a comedic yet honest look at two parents navigating their careers, social issues, and family dynamics while raising Zuri. Cherry will lead the series as a showrunner. He’ll team up with The Boondocks animator Carl Jones to give their story an extended life. Cherry expressed his excitement over seeing the story continue on HBO Max.
“I am beyond excited to continue telling the story of Stephen, Angela and Zuri and further explore the family dynamics of a young Black millennial family we established in our short film Hair Love as an animated series. Couldn’t ask for better partners in Sony Pictures Animation and HBO Max in helping us get Young Love out to the world.”
Like everyone with big news, Cherry made his way to Twitter to let everyone know the recent update. In his tweet, he asked Black voice over actors to keep their eyes open for Young Love so they can shoot their shot.
Dear Black voice over actors...#YoungLove, a new animated series which is based on the characters from our Oscar-winning animated short film #HairLove, is now open for business at @hbomax https://t.co/cGPsJhUiuY— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) July 7, 2020
Recently, a couple of white voice actors have stepped away from roles as Black animated characters. So, it’s great to see Cherry clearly state that these roles will be portrayed by Black actors.
It remains to be seen when (and how) voice actors can go for the role. Imagine how awesome it would be to have Reagan Gomez, Aisha Tyler, or the always-loveable Cree Summer as Angela. Or, maybe casting someone like Laya DeLeon Hayes (a.k.a. the voice of Doc McStuffins) to bring Zuri’s voice to life. It would be even better to have at least one of the roles (Stephen, perhaps?) go to a rising actor. That would give them a chance to shine.
Young Love will certainly bring some smiles, joy, and good feelings—all things we can use right now.
Featured Image: Sony Animation Studios