August 16, 2020

Cartoon review: "16 Hudson"

A look at the Canadian animated series "16 Hudson."

Cartoon review: "16 Hudson"

“16 Hudson” is an animated series of shorts that debuted in 2018. The show’s set in an apartment building in an unnamed big city. (The show’s title references the building’s address.)

“16 Hudson” is a Canadian animated series produced by Big Bad Boo Studios, the same studio behind Hulu’s “The Bravest Knight.” The show airs on several Canadian provincial public broadcasters: Knowledge Network in British Columbia, and TVOntario in Ontario. (The latter gave the rest of the world several popular kids’ shows, including “Paw Patrol.”)  The show also airs on Radio-Canada (Canada’s French language counterpart of CBC), dubbed in French. Episodes are also available online for Canadian YouTube users (via TVOntario’s page).

Stateside, “16 Hudson” is available on Amazon Prime Video for Prime subscribers.

Summary

"16 Hudson" cast
The main cast of “16 Hudson.” L to R: Luc, Lili, Kensington, Sam, and Amala. (Big Bad Boo Studios)

The show stars a group of grade-schoolers, their families, and neighbors, who all live at 16 Hudson. Most of the episodes are “slice of life,” with the kids trying to do various tasks: participate in a spelling bee; do Father’s Day activities; help neighbors; and so on.

The show’s creators take pride in featuring a diverse cast. Most of the cast are people of color; there’s also a pair of same-sex parents.

The main stars of the show include:

  • Lili, a seven year old girl who enjoys painting and reading. She lives with her mother, father, younger sister Lola, and pet cat (Kensington). Lili’s of Persian descent, and as such, her family enjoys holidays such as the Persian New Year.
  • Luc, a four year old boy who’s the youngest of the gang. Born in Haiti, Luc lives with his adoptive Dads, Paul and Bayani. (The latter runs a bakery that seems located in or near 16 Hudson.) Luc’s an energetic and excitable kid.
  • Amala, an eight year old girl who’s interested in gardening. Her mother’s Indian, while her father’s white.
  • Sam, a seven year old boy who lives with his mother, father, older sister, and pet poodle. Sam enjoys having fun, though can be a bit self-aggrandizing or competitive. Sam’s of Chinese descent.

The “16 Hudson” shorts are apparently popular enough that Big Bad Boo Studios produced a spin-off series starring Lili and Lola, with their friends putting in a few appearances.

Highlights

  • Normalizing same-sex parents for the show’s young viewers. One episode centers around Luc and his Dads celebrating the day Luc was adopted, with Lili going overboard on planning festivities. Another episode shows Luc cleaning up in wins during Father’s Day field day activities (both Dads seem pretty athletic).
  • The fact there’s main characters who’re Indian and Iranian descent, which isn’t often seen in North American animation.
  • An episode where Sam misses a spelling bee he was self-boisterous about, due to getting distracted (though it was partly in the name of helping Lili).
  • A new series of shorts have been produced to educate viewers about what to do during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Sam hits on the idea of checking in on the building’s elderly neighbors while wearing a chicken suit (of all things).

Opening credits

Here’s the opening credits for “16 Hudson.”

As a bonus, here’s the opening credits for “Lili and Lola””s spin-off.

Paul, Luc, and Bayani, from "16 Hudson." (Big Bad Boo Studios)

Tags: Media16 HudsonAsian peopleBlack peopleCanadaIndiansIraniansKnowledge NetworkLGBTQTVOntariocartoon review