New Sask.-made kids cartoon aims to answer age-old question, 'why?'

Kids can now learn about the world while watching a new cartoon that was made in Saskatchewan.

'They're curious about the world around them'

Creator Adrian Dean, from Regina, says part of his inspiration came from his two-year-old daughter Liv. (Submitted by Adrian Dean)

Kids can now learn about the world while watching a new cartoon made in Saskatchewan.

Why am I? premiered on City TV this week. The animated show features Lily, a bison, and Otis, an otter, two animal explorers who love to answer the question, "Why?"

Creator Adrian Dean, from Regina, said he was inspired by his own two-year-old daughter, Liv, and other children. 

"Kids around the world all have one thing in common, they're all curious about themselves, they're curious about the world around them and they really want to know why, " said Dean. "Why is the sky blue? Why am I tall?

"I want to focus on that 'why' question because I think there's a lot of potential for adventure."

Why Am I? airs on CityTV during kids programming. (CityTV/Submitted by Adrian Dean)

Dean worked a separate full time job while animating the show on evenings and weekends at home. It took him and his small crew about a year and a half to put together. 

Everyone involved is Canadian and most are from Saskatchewan, something Dean said he is proud of. 

"Everyone involved was able to bring something special to it," he said.

"In the end we were able to create a very special project that I'm really proud of with a really small crew and we were able to do it in a place where there isn't a lot of production going on and I think it kind of speaks to the people involved."

The show is meant for children aged three to six. Dean said it will teach kids different types of animals and basic biology, but also has a deeper meaning.

Dawn Bird, co-producer and voice of Lily, said she hopes the kids who watch will be inspired to be proud of who they are. 

"It's meant to teach children to accept the differences in themselves and appreciate them so that they know that they're unique and special in their own way," Bird said. 

Bird, who is 46, said taking on the role was a fun throwback to her childhood. The voice acting allowed her to move around and be silly while experimenting with characters.

Bird, who also lives in Regina, said she hopes parents watching will get something from the show as well. 

"So many people lose touch with their their childhood traits and it's sad to see that they've let them go and when they tap into that they actually start to relax and enjoy life a little more," she said. 

The cast and crew of the show are all Canadian, and most are from Regina. Pictured: Dawn Bird as Lily the Bison (l) and Jason Bryant as Otis the Otter (r). (Submitted by Adrian Dean)

Both Dean and Bird said they were happy to produce the project in Saskatchewan, and encourage others to be creative. 

"We have to do everything that we can to keep this industry alive and to hopefully add to it and watch it grow and expand," said Bird.

You can watch Why am I? on City Kids TV or online at CityTV Saskatchewan.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.