‘Hair Love’ Phenomenon Levels Up Into ‘Young Love’ Animated TV Series

The “Hair Love” universe is expanding.

Matthew A. Cherry, creator of the beloved animated short that celebrates Black hair, has created a new animated television series, “Young Love,” that picks up where the family-friendly short ended.

The series trailer was released on Sept.13, 2023, revealing the characters’ debut on the small screen. Its first season will consist of 12 episodes, with the first four debuting Sept. 21, 2023.

“Hair Love” received much acclaim upon its release in 2019; its depiction of a Black father doing his daughter’s hair before visiting her mother in the hospital won the hearts of viewers. It went on to earn an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

“Young Love,” premiering on streaming platform Max, presents the same family from the Oscar-winning short as they go about their everyday lives in Chicago, Cherry’s hometown. Issa Rae and Kid Cudi lend their voices as the parents of Zuri, the protagonist, NBC News reported.

This new story takes place two months after the short film leaves off, with “Insecure” star and creator Rae playing Angela Young, a natural hair stylist and vlogger. Cudi plays music producer Stephen Love, Zuri’s father and Young’s partner. The starring role of Zuri is voiced by Brooke Monroe Conaway, a young actress from Baltimore.

Cherry spoke to news outlets about the purpose of his new project and how it highlights modern-day Black families.

“The thing I think is really unique about our show is that it’s centered around Black millennial parents,” he said. “Typically, in animated shows, the parents are more boomer, more established in their careers, and the idea of exploring millennial parents was cool because they haven’t really achieved their dreams yet. They’re still working toward their goals, but they want to be present in their kid’s life.”

Additional cast members include Loretta Devine and Harry Lennix as the parents of Angela Young, bringing an intergenerational conversation to viewers.

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