Jason Donovan on Boj!

For the past year we have been privileged to work with such a lovely down-to-earth performer. Jason was perfectly cast to play the role of Pops – a warm, friendly, musical Aussie dad – just like himself! The perfect neighbour for the Giggly Park community!

Boj - Jason & Pops

Jason came on board for the pilot in 2011, when he recorded the theme tune. Since then he has visited our recording studio in Lewes, Sussex on a regular basis to record several episodes at a time.

Mick Cooke (composer), Jason Donovan, Claire Underwood (creator/ director) & David Hodgson (producer)

Mick Cooke (composer), Jason Donovan, Claire Underwood (creator/ director) & David Hodgson (producer) recording the pilot in 2011

 

Here are a few words that Jason had to say about working on Boj…

What attracted you to the project?

I think it was appealing to come into a show like Boj because it’s good writing with great songs, great stories and quirky ideas that relate to not just kids but their parents. I find that when I’m watching TV with my daughter Molly that it should be a shared experience. It’s a pleasure to be involved in such a well-crafted project.

Have you done any animation before?

I’ve done a number of voiceovers in my time but not so much animation. I’m interested in performing and I think interpreting characters has as much value to kids and pre-school as it does to film goers in their twenties, thirties and forties. It’s about exploring your art really and about exploring characters and developing yourself.

Pops and Mimi

You have children yourself, did that influence your decision to take on the role?

Yes, obviously having kids is not the sole purpose of why I chose to do it but certainly having younger children makes you understand what makes them happy. I’m sure when Molly is watching TV and this comes on, I’m going to feel proud to have been part of it.

Can you tell us a little bit more about Pops the character you play?

Well, he’s an Australian and I’m an Australian. He’s a Dad like me. And he plays a lot of music, which is like me too! As a good Aussie dad Pops is very close to my heart and I’m looking forward to that special time before my daughter Molly heads off to school when we’ll enjoy watching Boj together.

Boj and Pops

What, for you, is the best thing about the series?

Well the songs just really stood out to me because that’s the thing that I’ve lived and breathed the most. You know I think there is something special there. The whole process is something that as performers we love being part of the growth of something.

Boj, Pops and Mimi

Tell me more about the music? Did you enjoy the songs and the music in the show?

The music is written by Mick Cooke from Belle and Sebastian and that is one of the reasons why I have enjoyed the process so much. He’s so cleverly delivered some great songs there that I think are going to relate to all ages.

Your character can play the ukulele, what are your ukulele skills like?

I can play guitar badly. I can play a few chords but I’m not really a guitarist but certainly if I require it I can get by.

How did you arrive at the voice for your character, Pops?

Well that’s a character choice. I think there was a requirement to bring a lot of energy to the dialogue. I really wanted to bring in the enthusiasm of the character and the relationship with his son.

Pops and Boj

Did you watch animation as a child? Do you remember your first pre-school shows you watched back in Australia?

I loved animation but I was sort of brought up on that first wave out of the 1970s. A lot of American based cartoons like Wacky Races and Looney Tunes.

How do you think animations have changed since you were a child?

Computers have changed the landscape of how we can produce things but I think the message is always the same. I think the basic principles haven’t really changed, you need good scripts, good ideas, a good team of people. Or in this case great songs too!

As well as playing the part of Pops in the show, Jason has also narrated our series of three Appbooks for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch. The award winning Boj – Musical Mayhem, Boj – The Collector and Boj – Hoppy Birthday are now available on iTunes. Find out more about the Boj Appbooks >