‘Frog And Toad’ Showrunner Discusses ‘Queer’ Undertones In New Children’s Series: ‘You Can’t Deny It’

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The classic children’s books “Frog and Toad” were adapted into a TV series, which the creator says has been infused with “queer” undertones.

Showrunner Rob Hoegee discussed his aims for the series with The Daily Beast.

“It’s almost as if you’re lying on your tummy in your backyard, peering through some blades of grass and looking into a world that’s at ground level,” Hoegee told the outlet of his approach to storytelling. 

“It’s like a diorama you’d make in grade school, where you’d take a shoebox and cut a hole to make a scene inside. You peer into it, and you see the stacked foreground, midground, background with a richer scenic environment with selective focus, shadow, and light.”

The kids’ show premiered on Apple TV+ on April 28. It included content from the late writer and illustrator Arnold Lobel, who created the beloved literary characters in the 1970s. Episodes feature the two best friends and their adventures in “Frog and Toad Are Friends,” “Frog and Toad Together,” “Frog and Toad All Year,” and “Days With Frog and Toad.”

Lobel’s children, Adrianne and Adam Lobel, served as executive producers on the series, the Daily Beast noted. In a 2016 interview with the New Yorker, Adrianne Lobel said the books were “the beginning” of her father “coming out.” Lobel told his family he was gay in 1974. 

While discussing the show, Hoegee mentioned that a “significant number” of his cast and crew identify as LGBTQ. He talked about making an effort “to make sure that everyone felt that they were being heard and their contribution—their Frog and Toad—lived on in whatever shape that was.”

“You can’t deny it,” Hoegee told The Daily Beast. “It is part of the books, it’s part of the legacy.”

“What we wanted to do here is create a faithful adaptation of the books,” Hoegee said of the new series. “For people, a lot of readers of a certain age, Frog and Toad as characters seen through a queer lens is hugely important to them. We can’t deny anyone that meaning to them, as far as these characters go. If that’s how you see these characters in the book, it’s fair to say that you will have the opportunity to see a similar viewpoint in the show as well.”


“What Frog and Toad shows us is that there is still the ability to have a deep and meaningful and loving friendship that transcends everything,” Hoegee said. 

The showrunner talked about how Frog and Toad had very different personalities.

“This is a show that celebrates how two very different characters can still find a common ground and a respect and appreciation and love for each other, that still allows them to have fun together and be inseparable. Our differences shouldn’t divide us, our differences should be the thing that brings us together.”

“There’s an assumption that shows made and written for kids have to be simple in the sense that you’re almost channeling your inner five-year-old,” Hoegee said. “The fact of the matter is, these are made by adults. We are still bringing our own sensibilities and our own baggage and our own experience and our own joys and sadness—all those things get poured into the work we do.” 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Frog And Toad’ Showrunner Discusses ‘Queer’ Undertones In New Children’s Series: ‘You Can’t Deny It’