Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


‘The World’s First Māori Speaking Dolls’ hit the big screen


Monday 9 April 2018

Pipi Mā

Pipi Mā ‘The World’s First Māori Speaking Dolls’ hit the big screen in new cartoon

On Wednesday 18 April 2018 at 10.30am hundreds of excited preschoolers will flock with their families to Hoyts Sylvia Park in Auckland to watch the free premiere of the Pipi Mā cartoon. Tickets are being allocated on a first come, first served basis, through EventFinda.

Pipi Mā is famous for becoming the world’s first 100% Māori speaking dolls launched online on 01 November 2016. Pipi Mā creators Kristin Ross and Hōhepa Tuahine’s initial concept for Pipi Mā was to create a full immersion Māori language cartoon for preschoolers, so the premiere is the result of many years of hard work, product research and developing a dedicated following of the cute, cuddly, and language enhancing plush toys.

Tuahine says, “It’s amazing to think that our journey with Pipi Mā all started when we wanted to make a cartoon in te reo. Getting a fully-fledged cartoon off the ground and onto screens takes huge resource, so we created the Pipi Mā toys instead and now just 18 months after launching the dolls, here we are, ready to share the cartoon with Aotearoa, New Zealand, and the world. We have come full circle to the original idea and are showing a premiere of our cartoon in a cinema to our tamariki.”

The pair, who are also parents to three young children and have been finalists and winners for numerous awards including the Rotorua Westpac Business Awards, the Best Design Awards and the New Zealand Innovation Awards, say that normalising and lifting the status of te Reo Māori are the primary drivers behind the Pipi Mā concept.

Ross says, “Pipi Mā dolls have found themselves in homes all over New Zealand, and in fact, all over the world, in places as far reaching as Qatar. For those children to now have the opportunity to see their favourite Pipi Mā doll on the big screen in one of Auckland’s biggest cinemas affirms their relevance and place in the world. It tells them that the Māori language is cool and is deserving of the big screen”.

Disney’s Moana made headlines in late 2016 for being the first Disney movie to be reversioned in te reo Māori and played in cinemas throughout the country.

“We saw and heard the reactions of the children at the premiere for the Māori language version of Disney’s Moana and thought, we need to create this same effect with Pipi Mā,” says Tuahine.

Ross and Tuahine acknowledge the work that has been done in children’s broadcasting long before the launch of the Pipi Mā Premiere: “We are so thankful to the Ian Taylors, the Te Haumihiata Masons, the Pānia Papas, the Leon Blakes and the Tweedie Waititis. If it wasn’t for their unwaivering commitment and work in Māori broadcasting for children, the reality of our own cartoon made by us, for us, would have remained a sheer glimmer of light in the far distance,” says Ross.

Tickets to the premiere can be booked through Eventfinda with a maximum of 5 tickets per person. The Pipi Mā premiere is a free event and Ross and Tuahine say it is the perfect way to kick off the first week of the school holidays with your tamariki. Ross adds, “Get in quick, these tickets will not last, and we can’t wait to hear what all the kids and their whānau think of Pipi Mā on the big screen!”

If you miss out on tickets to the premiere, you can watch the Pipi Mā cartoon at from 9am 23 April 2018.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland