CHICAGO, Sept. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Charlie Owens, an Easterseals client with autism, adds "actor" to his growing list of accomplishments. On Oct. 1, Netflix subscribers can tune-in to watch the 11-year-old star in an autism focused episode of the series, Mack & Moxy, a new children's show introducing kids to different causes. It's the first time a child non-actor with autism has been featured in an entertainment program of this capacity.
Twelve of America's leading nonprofits and government organizations partnered with Mack & Moxy for the show's inaugural season. Easterseals, the nation's indispensable resource for family's facing disability, worked alongside the show creators to craft a message of inclusion that's accessible to young children and their parents, alike.
"The purpose behind Mack & Moxy is to help kids gain compassion and understanding within their community," said Brahm Wenger, Creator, Mack & Moxy. "Charlie challenges society's preconceived notions of what's possible for a child with autism—he certainly challenged our own during our time on set. We hope seeing Charlie in this role will prove kids with autism and other disabilities can achieve whatever they want, they just may need some help along the way. And Easterseals is there to do just that."
Charlie was selected through a nationwide search of Easterseals clients. The St. Louis native won Easterseals over with his dreams to be a playwright and director — dreams that came one step closer while filming Mack & Moxy. His character, "Trooper Charlie" is inspired by Charlie himself. Trooper Charlie takes on some behavioral traits and mannerisms often typical of kids with autism.
Charlie is not the episode's only star. Celebrity guests make cameo appearances in each episode to help Mack, a lovable moose-like lummox, and Moxy, a feisty whirlwind of a raccoon/fox-inspired go-getter, on their adventures. Matt Lucas, known for his work in the Alice in Wonderland series, Bridesmaids and a handful of British series, plays the role of the Admirable in Easterseals' episode. Additional celebrities for Season 1 include Keegan-Michael Key, Josh Duhamel, Kal Penn, Dean Norris, Eva LaRue, Rachael Ray, Melissa Fumero and Hank Azaria (who voices "Shelfish Sheldon," Mack and Moxy's misunderstood nemesis).
"Easterseals believes every kid should have every opportunity to achieve their dreams," said Katy Neas, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Easterseals. "We're so proud to work across the country with families like the Owens. Mack and Moxy helps bring home to all families that disability is a natural part of life, and in the end, we're all unique and can contribute to our communities."
Other leading nonprofits and government organizations partnered with Mack & Moxy for season one include: American Heart Association; American Red Cross; Citizen Schools; Feeding America; Safe Kids Worldwide; National Park Foundation; Orange County Sheriff's Department; Playworks; President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition; Save the Children and World Wildlife Fund.
The series has been rolling out on PBS stations this year. Now, to add to the momentum and just in time for National Bullying Prevention Month, Mack & Moxy will be available to families everywhere streaming on Netflix beginning Oct. 1.
For all things Easterseals and Mack & Moxy visit: http://www.easterseals.com/explore-resources/living-with-autism/mack-moxy.html
For nearly 100 years, Easterseals has been the indispensable resources for people and families facing disability. Through the work we do in communities across America, Easterseals is changing the way the world defines and views disability by making profound and positive differences in people's lives every day. Join us as we take on disability together at Easterseals.com.
About Mack & Moxy:
In association with American Public Television and Georgia Public Broadcasting, Award-winning Mack & Moxy was created to teach children life-long lessons of charity and compassion, while celebrating the joy of helping others. In season one Mack & Moxy joined hands with America's leading non-profit organizations to introduce children to important causes like Hunger Awareness, Early Childhood Education, Wildlife Preservation, Emergency Preparedness, Autism inclusion, STEM Education, the Power of Play, National Parks and the Great Outdoors, Seat Belt Safety, Physical Fitness, Eating Healthy and more. Combining state-of-the-art 3D animation, live-action puppets, fun adventures, humor and catchy music, each Mack & Moxy episode is inspired by the kindness of the great humanitarians among us who make this world a better place. Mack & Moxy premieres on Netflix streaming beginning October 1, 2016 and is currently airing on PBS stations nationwide.
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