Today, world-famous Māori speaking dolls Pipi Mā have hit the big screen with a new cartoon series. More than one hundred kids and parents attended a free premiere in Auckland.
The premiere at Hoyts Sylvia Park was sold out with long queues eager to see the cartoon series.
Stephanie Fong, a mother who turned up with her son says, “This is awesome because we've come to a Pākehā theatre where the Māori language is being heard and everything comes across in a Māori context”.
Kohanga Reo teachers like Whāea Amiria dressed up in a rainbow tutu for the occasion.
Amiria Waipouri from Te Kupenga Kohanga Reo says, “We love Pipi Mā. Now we're able to watch Māori content on a mainstream platform”.
The creators of the famous dolls, Kristin Ross and her partner Hōhepa Tuahine, came up with the concept after watching Disney's film Moana.
Kristin Ross says, “The second series is coming, so once we've gotten over this then the second series will be our focus. We thank Te Māngai Pāho for supporting us”.
Their seven-year daughter Hinehui Tuahine plays the lead role in the cartoon.
Hinehui Tuahine says, “I play Pipi. She loves to play the poi”.
The second series of Pipi Mā will also be released at the end of the year.