The award-winning national animation series “Irmão do Jorel” combines surrealist humour, real memories and nostalgia to present the daily life of an 8-year-old boy who lives in the shadow of older brotherthe popular Jorel, at the end of the 1980s. In an exclusive interview with CRESCER, Zé Brandão, executive producer of the series, tells how the story came about and how the cartoon helped him to strengthen family ties, mainly with their daughter, Clara, 4 years old. Check out!
Jorel’s brother makes a presentation in the living room while being applauded by his brother, Nico, grandmothers Gigi and Juju and father, Edson — Photo: Disclosure
GROW: Many of Jorel’s Brother stories are inspired by real memories of the team. How is this process?
Ze Brandao: Jorel’s Brother begins with series creator Juliano Enrico making a reference to his own family in the characters. He does have a brother called Jorel, a name chosen by his father as a tribute to Superman’s father, Jor-El, played by Marlon Brando in the 1978 film. So it’s an autobiographical series at its genesis. Over time, Irmão do Jorel ceased to bring only Juliano’s experiences and became part of everyone who participates in the production, incorporating our memories and those of our friends and family. The result is a character family which resembles that of all Brazilians.
C.: What positive does the family of Irmão do Jorel bring to the parents?
ZB.: They charge themselves a lot in the sense of: “Am I a good father or a good mother?”, “Am I spoiling my son?”. By illustrating a typically Brazilian family, the series shows that fathers and mothers also make mistakes and can be funny and clumsy, and that’s okay. Everyone has someone in the family who is affectionate like Grandma Juju, acidic like Grandma Gigi, dreamy like Seu Edson…
C.: Do you remember any character or fiction film that made you rethink fatherhood?
ZB.: I really like an Australian animated series for kids called Bluey (Disney+). It shows the daily life of a family of dogs in which the father plays with his daughters, allows himself to be a little crazy, silly and, sometimes, seems even more irresponsible than they are. All this in a loving and affectionate way. I realized that as parents we are always so concerned about what the child will eat, when it will to have a bathhow will be polite, that we forget how to play🇧🇷 I think I was taking paternity way too seriously, and missing the fun part.
C.: What is the importance of cartoon for you and your daughter?
ZB.: When I was little, I liked to draw and he always said he wanted to work with it. A friend, who wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, asked: “And if there is a war, will you draw? What is this for?”. During the pandemic, I had no doubt about the importance of what we do. The audiovisual was medicine, company and distraction in confinement. Culture was fundamental for the whole society and for my family. At home, we played, drew, watched some things together. Having that moment of sitting close to her, to relax and talking about what we were watching was essential for us to go through the pandemic more lightly.
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“By illustrating a typically Brazilian family, ‘Irmão do Jorel’ shows that parents also make mistakes”, says Zé Brandão
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