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‘Frog And Toad’ Showrunner Discusses ‘Queer’ Undertones In New Children’s Series: ‘You Can’t Deny It’

The Beloved Children’s Book “Frog and Toad” Gets a Queer TV Adaptation

The classic children’s books “Frog and Toad” have been adapted into a TV series, which the creator says has been infused with “queer” undertones. Showrunner Rob Hoegee discussed his aims for the series with The Daily Beast.

A Ground-Level View of Friendship

“It’s almost as if you’re lying on your tummy in your backyard, peering through some blades of grass and looking into a world that’s at ground level,” Hoegee told the outlet of his approach to storytelling. “It’s like a diorama you’d make in grade school, where you’d take a shoebox and cut a hole to make a scene inside. You peer into it, and you see the stacked foreground, midground, background with a richer scenic environment with selective focus, shadow, and light.”

The Kids’ Show Premiered on Apple TV+

The kids’ show premiered on Apple TV+ on April 28. It included content from the late writer and illustrator Arnold Lobel, who created the beloved literary characters in the 1970s. Episodes feature the two best friends and their adventures in “Frog and Toad Are Friends,” “Frog and Toad Together,” “Frog and Toad All Year,” and “Days With Frog and Toad.”

A Queer Perspective

While discussing the show, Hoegee mentioned that a “significant number” of his cast and crew identify as LGBTQ. He talked about making an effort “to make sure that everyone felt that they were being heard and their contribution—their Frog and Toad—lived on in whatever shape that was.”

“What we wanted to do here is create a faithful adaptation of the books,” Hoegee said of the new series. “For people, a lot of readers of a certain age, Frog and Toad as characters seen through a queer lens is hugely important to them. We can’t deny anyone that meaning to them, as far as these characters go. If that’s how you see these characters in the book, it’s fair to say that you will have the opportunity to see a similar viewpoint in the show as well.”

Celebrating Differences

“What Frog and Toad shows us is that there is still the ability to have a deep and meaningful and loving friendship that transcends everything,” Hoegee said. “This is a show that celebrates how two very different characters can still find a common ground and a respect and appreciation and love for each other, that still allows them to have fun together and be inseparable. Our differences shouldn’t divide us, our differences should be the thing that brings us together.”

“There’s an assumption that shows made and written for kids have to be simple in the sense that you’re almost channeling your inner five-year-old,” Hoegee said. “The fact of the matter is, these are made by adults. We are still bringing our own sensibilities and our own baggage and our own experience and our own joys and sadness—all those things get poured into the work we do.”

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