Now this is some good news – HBO Max has ordered a 12-episode season of an all-new, 2D animated series called Young Love, based on the Oscar-winning short film “Hair Love.” The new series was created by Matthew A. Cherry, who will also serve as showrunner alongside Carl Jones. Timing wasn’t announced but the animation will be handled by Sony Pictures Animation.
The original, utterly charming short film followed a young father as he attempts to do his daughter Zuri’s hair for the first time. It’s hilarious and heartfelt and ends on a bittersweet note, with Zuri and her dad visiting her mother, who is in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment (she’s lost all of her hair). It gave the entire short so much more weight and dimensionality and didn’t feel saccharine or manipulative.
According to the release: “The all-new animated series Young Love expands on the family introduced in ‘Hair Love.’ Filled with comedy and heart, Young Love is an honest look into the world of the Young family – including millennial parents Stephen and Angela, their daughter Zuri and her pet cat Rocky – as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues, and multi-generational dynamics all while striving to make a better life for themselves.” The parents have first and last names! The title of the show has a double meaning! This is all very exciting!
“I am beyond excited to continue telling the story of Stephen, Angela and Zuri and further explore the family dynamics of a young Black millennial family we established in our short film Hair Love as an animated series,” Cherry said in a statement. “Couldn’t ask for better partners in Sony Pictures Animation and HBO Max in helping us get Young Love out to the world.”
Hopefully other key collaborators on the original short, like directors Bruce W. Smith (who is busy readying a Proud Family reboot for Disney+) and Everett Downing, Jr. will also return. It’s also worth mentioning that in the original short Issa Rae played the voice of the mother, now named Angela, but it remains to be seen if she’ll return for the full series.
HBO Max has been solidly committed to animation, whether it’s the new “Looney Tunes” shorts, the Adventure Time miniseries, the Studio Ghibli library and a new season of Infinity Train. Young Love couldn’t have found a better home.