NEW YORK—The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is pleased to announce that The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has nominated Amazon’s Original Special “The Snowy Day,” an animated holiday special based on the children’s classic by Ezra Jack Keats, for five Daytime Emmy® Awards. The nominations are for Outstanding Preschool Children’s Animated Program, Outstanding Directing in a Preschool Animated Program, Outstanding Casting for an Animated Series or Special, Outstanding Music Direction and Composition, and Outstanding Sound Mixing in a Preschool Animated Program.
“The Snowy Day” holiday special was released on Amazon Prime Video on November 25, 2016 and remains available for streaming. The story follows Keats’ iconic character: Peter, an African-American boy who makes an adventure out of walking to his grandmother’s after a heavy snowfall.
The production features an all-star cast. It is narrated by Laurence Fishburne and features Regina King, Angela Bassett and Jamie-Lynn Sigler as voice talent. Peter is voiced by Donielle Hansley. The original title song was written and performed by Boyz II Men.
“Receiving five Daytime Emmy® nominations follows a wonderful collaborative and creative process with Amazon Studios and Karrot Animation in London,” said Deborah Pope, executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “Ezra’s books have been loved throughout the world for over half a century, and we were thrilled to be able to translate this material to the screen for today’s wonderfully diverse audience.”
Jamie Badminton, creative director of Karrot Animation and director of “The Snowy Day,” said: “Diving into Ezra Jack Keats’ body of work provided our team at Karrot with such superb inspiration. We were determined to capture the magic and retain the graphic simplicity and overriding humanity of the book, and ensure that the deep spirit of Brooklyn rang true. I hope that the film encourages young readers to embrace the glorious visual storytelling of Keats’ books with the same enthusiasm, wonder and delight that we did.”
Pope added, “With ‘The Snowy Day,’ Ezra broke the color barrier in mainstream children’s literature over 50 years ago, and now we finally have an animated program based on his work. It’s also groundbreaking—centering on diverse characters and showing ‘regular’ children doing regular things. My partners, Irene Sherman and Ann Austen, and I hope all children, whatever their gender, race or ethnicity, see themselves in Peter’s world.”
Audience response was overwhelmingly positive, Pope said. “Eighty-nine percent of more than 1,300 reviews on Amazon gave the 40-minute special five stars. This demonstrates that even today, in a world of sensory overload, children can be captivated by a lyrical and engaging story about real life, real family and real connection.”
The winners will be announced at the 44th Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy® Awards Gala, which will be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, in Pasadena, California, on Friday, April 28, 2017.
The Hispanic Outlook on Education’s April issue is featuring the 31st Annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winners. Visit www.hispanicoutlook.com to read our latest issue online today!