An animated Frog and Toad series has been announced for Apple TV+, meaning our favorite queer amphibians will ascend the pages of children’s books for the small screen. The show will premiere April 28 on Apple TV+ as part of its spring kids and family slate.
Frog and Toad will be based on the Caldecott and Newbery Award-winning children’s books by Arnold Lobel. Originally published between 1970 and 1979, this four-book series has cemented itself as a classic not just for children, but for LGBTQIA+ individuals who identify with the titular pair and their unyielding love for each other.
Lobel was a gay man who died too young of AIDS. (He was only 54.) Although he never publicly spoke about any relationship between queerness and Frog and Toad, he said in a 1977 interview with the children’s-book journal The Lion and the Unicorn, “If I have an unhappy love affair, I have to somehow use all that pain and suffering but turn it into a work for children.”
The Frog and Toad books never explicitly state that the characters are gay, but that doesn’t matter. Whether they are just friends or a devoted couple, their relationship is comforting and admirable because of how readily they celebrate each other’s differences.
Per Apple, this will be the focus of the Frog and Toad animated series. It couldn’t be any other way. Even Frog and Toad Are Doing Their Best [A Parody]: Bedtime Stories for Trying Times by Jennie Egerdie and Ellie Hajdu focuses on the love and kindness shared between the characters. No matter the setting of Frog and Toad’s lives, they’re most content when they’re together.
The Frog and Toad animated series will feature Nat Faxon (Our Flag Means Death) and Kevin Michael Richardson (The Simpsons, Family Guy) as Frog and Toad, respectively. The cast also includes Yvette Nicole Brown, Margaret Cho, Tom Kenny, Aparna Nancherla, Ron Funches, Fortune Feimster, Cole Escol, John Hodgman, Stephen Tobolowsky, Selene Luna, and Betsy Sodaro. Rob Hoegee is the series showrunner and executive producer alongside Adrianne and Adam Lobel and production company Titmouse’s Chris and Shannon Prynoski, Antonio Canobbio, and Ben Kalina.
(featured image: Harper & Row)
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