Pre-NOI Malcolm X and Redd Foxx’s misadventures to be explored in new comedic cartoon, ‘Little Red’
Kenan Weaver and Darren Williams are set to premiere their new cartoon, Little Red, which follows a pre-Nation of Islam Malcolm Little (Malcolm X) and John Sanford (Redd Foxx) backed by Emmy-winning Titmouse Productions. The title is a nod to the pair’s names during that period of their lives as Little went by Detroit Red and Sandford went by Chicago Red due to the reddish tint of their hair.
Weaver and Williams are setting the cartoon during the Harlem Renaissance. However, taking these two iconic legends and re-imagining adventures and misadventures could land a controversial tone, a risk the creators and those familiar with their work are not taking lightly.
Titmouse CEO Chris Prynoski says of the project: “It definitely crosses your mind that you are dealing with an important person in history…But I trust the vision of Kenan and Darren. I really believe that they have a good handle on the tone.”
Pumkin Escobar, who frequently books Darren Williams at his comedy club in Harlem, says that the work from Williams and Weaver fits into a new generation of comedic risk-takers: “I think you can place [Williams and Weaver] amongst people like Donald Glover, Wyatt Cenac — who got his start writing for The Daily Show — and Robin Thede… Little Red is going to upset somebody. But if you are doing something worthwhile and fearless, somebody is going to be upset.”
Little Red got to Titmouse Productions largely because the two creators believed in their work, sending it out to numerous animation studios and even getting a seal of approval from legendary comedian and activist Dick Gregory. The duo had plans to have Gregory voice some episodes, but unfortunately Gregory died before he could get the chance to record. Even so, their project now has the attention of HBO, Apple, Adult Swim, (Cartoon Network) Netflix, and Fox.