Lime Tree Lane was Jamaica’s first ‘slice of life’ comedic soap opera, which ran from 1988 until 1997, on what was then the only TV channel in Jamaica, JBC. Lime Tree Lane was hilarious, and it was real. Lime Tree Lane was my childhood. Lime Tree Lane was Jamaica.
I don’t have the words just yet to express how honoured we are that PBCJ is granting to Listenmi the opportunity and awesome challenge of bringing Lime Tree Lane to life again, as an animated series. If it means this much to us, I think it will be just as important for Jamaicans who fondly remember their childhood and wish to share their memories with their children.
Today we sign an agreement granting us the right to create an animated series based on the characters and situations of the original live action show. We dared to dream about the idea of an animated Lime Tree Lane a year ago, and to know we’re now embarking on the journey is amazing. It took a while, but nothing before its time.
Our team spoke with some of the main cast to find out what they thought about the idea, in a meeting set up by PBCJ’s CEO, Keith Campbell. It honestly couldn’t have gone better. The room was light. We all breathed easy. We spoke about why it’s important, and our mission for using animated storytelling for social change. We were aligned. It felt right. “I really like the idea,” Andrea ‘Tiny’ Anderson shared. “When do we get started?” asked Dorothy ‘Miss Zella’ Cunningham.
But we have a way to go before we even start recording because we want to do it right. We want to handle their legacy with care, while we make something that can sit beside any kids show in the world, targeting 7–9 year olds and their parents. I look forward to consulting with them and the show’s writers as we research and learn even more about this 10 year long story, and working with them to give voices to new versions of their characters.
There are still so many unanswered questions and challenges we will soon have to start navigating. Real issues like costs, timing, partnerships required, will people like it and what sizeable enough markets need to be created. We are a startup studio, after all.
We intend to build, measure and learn, as the show’s original producers also did back in 1988. Lime Tree Lane started as a series of 5 minute slice of life sketches. Then it later evolved into a 10 minute show, once it grew an audience. And then when it got super popular, it became a 20 minute production. So in the true spirit of the show, we aim to produce within our means. We also aim to make strong stories.
Today though, I’m just focusing on this small step of signing the agreement as a victory. And hoping to find a community of people who will support in every way this journey to Lime Tree Lane, ‘where life is sometimes sour, but sometimes sweet.’
Ready to start the journey to Lime Tree Lane?
I’m starting a list for persons who want to get involved in producing, financing and marketing this series. These days, content gets made not just by companies but by communities, and it will take a village to make this animation real. Sign up here to contribute and support in any way you choose.