The new series regulars will be voiced by autistic actors Chuck Smith, 10, and Elliott Garcia, 9, in the US and UK respectively, the company said.
Garcia, who hails from Reading, England, expressed her joy at winning the role, adding that she was “really excited and happy” to have an autistic character in her beloved animated series.
“He (Bruno) is funny and smart and has a very relaxed personality. He can be really overwhelmed, he can get anxious and he uses comedy to get through situations,” Garcia said of the character. Told.
In the 2017 report, Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 2% of adults in the United States have autism.
Mattel developed the Bruno character with the help of autistic writers and organizations in the United States and Europe, including the Autism Self-Advocacy Network and the Autism Society of the United Kingdom.
Christopher Keenan, Senior VP President and Executive Producer at Mattel, said the move “organically embraces a global audience that deserves to be celebrated for its underrated children’s programming.” I’m here.
He added that “care and thought” went into creating an accurate fictional representation of a child with autism.
Mattel said Bruno’s features include a lantern that indicates his emotional state and an ear defender that can expel steam if he is sensitive to loud noises. “He also knows where all the tracks on Sodor lead, and he likes schedules and routines.”
Garcia said he could sympathize with Bruno’s ear defender.
Tom Purser of the National Autism Society hailed Bruno’s introduction as “a real moment in autism.”
“There are 160,000 school-age children with autism in the UK, and they want to see their stories told, so everyone should see an autistic character on the screen. is very important,” he said.
“It’s also important for non-autistic children to gain insight and understanding of what it’s like to be autistic.”
Zoe Gross, advocacy director for the Autism Self-Advocacy Network, hopes Bruno “provides viewers with meaningful examples of inclusion in everyday life.”
Season 26 of Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go will premiere on September 12th in the US and September 21st in the UK.