Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Here Comes Mavo! Artist credit: Yiqiao Wang

“This is exactly why we have created “Mavo!”, not only to deliver powerful authentic and culturally relevant programming for deaf children who have been vastly left out of this educational experience, but also to revolutionize the future of storytelling and animation.”

Gallaudet University’s Motion Light Lab and Pigmental Studios announced today they are launching “Here Comes Mavo!”, the first animated children’s television series featuring a Deaf lead character and 3D avatars who use sign language. This ground-breaking series is designed to advance Deaf-led storytelling, increase diversity and engagement in entertainment, and make sign language in animation a prolific worldwide reality.

Gallaudet and Pigmental have created “Here Comes Mavo!” to be the definitive destination for both deaf and hearing children to learn and use sign language while being educated in socio-emotional concepts and, as importantly, entertained. With plans in discussion for global distribution and the inclusion of different sign languages, “Here Comes Mavo!” will feature 52 eleven-minute episodes including “Embarrassed,” “Confused” and “Curious”, all centered on the magical land of the Baobab Universe. It is here, in her hometown, where Mavo, a curious eight-year-old Deaf girl, stumbles into the roots of a tree, learning how to cope with her emotions and finding ways to communicate her feelings with the other characters in this adventurous world.

“Mavo!” was created to address the lack of aspirational Deaf and signing characters in children’s media. The series has four primary goals: increase appreciation and awareness of Deaf cultures, Deaf communities, the Deaf experience and Deaf ways of being; introduce viewers to signed language; encourage viewers to use and value visual communication; and support viewers’ social-emotional learning (SEL). In addition to allowing deaf children to see themselves authentically and positively represented in powerful roles in media, “Mavo!” also supports hearing children to explore and grow their knowledge about different languages and cultures.

Customized Motion Capture Technology Creates 3D Avatars Who Are Fluent in Sign Language

One of the distinguishing elements at the center of “Here Comes Mavo!” is a customized motion capture technology solution developed by Gallaudet University’s Motion Light Lab. This state-of-the-art motion capture technology – a multi-camera system with faceware technology — has been specifically designed to capture the unique essence and nuances of sign language, including finger and body movements and facial expressions, and to depict the complexity of movement, flow, and grammatical structures of sign language. The 3D signing characters in Mavo’s world are the first-ever avatars in a dedicated children’s series to be fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).

The lead character in “Here Comes Mavo!” was inspired by …….


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