If you’ve ever thought the squirrels in the Company’s Gardens acted a little queer, it’s probably because they are.
They might have been Neil and Artel, two gay squirrels with their own internet show called Squeer, South Africa’s very first gay animated adult series.
The duo lives in the Gardens (in a tree), and are business partners and housemates.
Joining them is a duif called Papa Pigeon who’s into kinky sex, and a Cape Malay transgender squirrel called Cashiefa Cupido.
It’s a lekker lag cartoon, and series creator Wendy Spikes hopes the joke won’t be on them.
She says: “Squeers is inspired by a comic strip by Roberto Milan, previously published in the South African lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex (LGBTI) newspaper, The Pink Tongue.”
But the characters underwent a transformation when they went from print to animation.
Neil is voiced by American Chris Smith, who is also the Joker from the Lego Batman movie.
Wendy says: “Think Ryan Gosling with a great laugh. He’s a modern guy and quite the love magnet and this includes the lady squirrels AND pigeons who mostly swing both ways anyway.”
Director and character designer Matt Torode hopes Neil and Artel find a home with everyone, not just gay mense.
“I would say our main aim was to create a comedy that was based on the trials and tribulations of two strong funny characters that just happen to be gay. I think animals are a great way to poke fun at the oddities within our society.”
Johannesburg-based scriptwriter Lebogang Mogashoa says he drew inspiration for storylines from his own life.
In the trailer, available on YouTube, one of the squirrels goes to pee and thinks he’s dying when he sees red in the loo, but it turns out he just forgot he’d eaten beetroot.
Creators are hopeful their seven-minute long episodes will be popular enough to make it onto TV.