There are very few references to religion within “Tuttle “The Twins,” a new cartoon by the studio behind the hit Jesus series “The Chosen,” which tells the story of time-traveling siblings who adopt free-market principles.
But the first episode of the kids’ show, which debuted Tuesday night, does make mention of God as the “origin of all laws” when 11-year olds Ethan and Emily Tuttle pay a visit to Frederic Bastiat through their Cuban grandmother’s time-traveling wheelchair.
Daniel Harmon showrunner of the Angel Studios-distributed animated show, stated that this is by design in a show which aims to reach beyond the White conservative bubble in which most Christian children’s programming languishes and big studios make a profit.
“I want to reach other parents who love freedom and want their children to be free-market minded,” Mr. Harmon said to The Washington Times. These principles don’t apply to all religions, but there’s not much we see about the Golden Rule, personal freedom, and entrepreneurship in public school or mainstream entertainment .”
“I find the show to be pro-freedom and that appeals regardless of whether people believe in God’s rights,” Mr. Harmon stated.
He said he hopes the 12-episode first season, distributed biweekly on Tuesdays via the studio’s Angel App, will launch “a long game” for the franchise as the only animated show that teaches children about economics.
“Our goal is to reach 100 million kids over the next 10 years and help them fall in love with the characters. We want kids to choose us as an alternative to Netflix, Disney+ and other apps,” Mr. Harmon said.
His brother Jeffrey Harmon, cofounder and chief content officer at Angel Studios, added that the upstart crowdfunding company embraced the project because it filled “a clear hole in the market” for quality animated entertainment to teach free-market values to kids whose families “aren’t being served by woke executives in Hollywood.”
“The show focuses on preaching values rather than attacking ideologies of others,” he stated. “With ‘Tuttle Twins’,’ we want our children and their parents to learn about the economic principles which made this country the most peaceful and prosperous society the world has ever known .”
Launched a year ago, the “Tuttle Twins” campaign became the world’s largest crowdfunded kids’ media project at that time, raising nearly $3.7 million from more than 8,000 investors.
The show adapts the popular series of books called “The Tuttle Twins”, which have sold over 3 million copies. The series includes 12 titles for children, as well as three books for toddlers and six books to be read by teenagers.
Author Connor Boyack is the co-executive producers of the animated series. He said that sales of his books “exploded” during the pandemic, expanding the franchise to a podcast, card game, and curriculum. Angel Studios was able to take over the reins.
” Our show is not an attempt to evangelize a religion but a set political and economic values about liberty,” Mr. Boyack stated. As the author, these messages are complementary. However, I believe people of no faith or little faith will be able to connect .”
The author, who was inspired by his children’s personalities, expressed satisfaction at the show’s writers’ decision to add fantasy elements such as time travel and “interdimensional sillyness that involves the children as intergalactic Pirates,” which is a departure from reality-based books.
” The books are both educational and entertaining. Mr. Boyack stated that the cartoon transforms the format to make it more entertaining and educational.
Founder and president of the free-market-oriented Libertas Institute in Utah, he said he wrote the first book for kids aged five to 11 in 2014 as a way of teaching personal responsibility to his young children. Elijah Stanfield was a coworker who he recruited as his illustrator.
” I am a full-time freedom fighter who advocates for smaller government and wanted to be able talk to a five year-old about the principles and rights of free markets, property rights, and other principles,” Mr. Boyack stated. I don’t know the religion of those who buy them, however our audience is clearly independent .”
Homeschooling households account for half his book sales, and public schools families for the majority of the rest.
Pastor Lucas Miles is a faith-based movie producer who has been familiar with the books. He said that the “Tuttle Twins’ animation was “really well done” on par with Disney.
“Animated series from major studios tends to push rebellion, LGBTQ agendas and shows like “Blue’s Clues” and other watered down versions of critical race theory. Miles said. Miles said.
Mr. Miles, pastor at the nondenominational Nfluence church in South Bend, Indiana said that many families have used the books.
” I see the Tuttle Twins’ resources as helping to give a stronger foundation for kids at an earlier stage in natural law, free market and capitalism and helping expose the socialism being forced down children’s throats in public school education.” Mr. Miles said.
He said that these fallacies include believing that socialism can be incorporated with Christianity. This belief is becoming more popular among the Christian left.
” People often say that Jesus was a socialist. But Jesus taught self-regulation and generosity, and he did not teach it in a government-mandated manner. Miles said. Miles said.
Tim Winter is the president of the nonpartisan Parents Television and Media Council, which advocates for family-friendly media programs. He said that the show could be a counterweight to “a growing number of animated shows that target children and include some pretty interesting stuff .”
“Animated programming tends in one direction. “The Tuttle Twins” offers some balance and is urgently needed.” Mr. Winter stated. A family-friendly cartoon with high production values and a slight lean to the right of center is more noticeable because there’s not enough clean content of this quality .”
Matthew Faraci (a Jewish co-executive producer) said that the new cartoon “rejects the prevailing narrative” that Hollywood feeds kids .”
” This show might inspire other creators,” Mr. Faraci stated. To push back, you need to have a thousand ‘Tuttle Twins shows, and not one .”
Mr. Harmon, the director, said that although the show takes part of its inspiration from VeggieTales, it will be more grounded in the realities of history.
The kids visit Gandhi in episode 2 to learn more about his tradition and nonviolence. They will also visit other historical figures like Harriett Tubman or Rosa Parks in future episodes.
“It doesn’t matter what your race is, your religion, it’s all about the principles of freedom and how they apply to economics,” Mr. Harmon said. “We will create some context around socialism and show the principle of what it means in the real world. We encourage parents and children to view the shows together, and then discuss them .”
Angel Studios is giving the biweekly episodes away for free on its clean-content app, without any ads and based on a pay-it-forward model similar to “The Chosen,” where viewers can offer to pay the company $15 to expand the show’s reach to 10 more people.