Keeping the faith with Morrie

Project Synopsis:

Keeping the Faith With Morrie is a documentary film about the life of Morrie Turner and his iconic multi-ethnic cartoon strip, Wee Pals. With the help of an animated narrator, Nipper, one of Turners most beloved characters, viewers get a glimpse of Turners’ struggles and triumphs in his quest to become a professional cartoonist in an industry that excluded people of color. 

Frustrated with the racist caricatures of cartoons like mush mouth and Amos and Andy, Turner created a comic strip to counter the images that were being popularized.  It was the Civil Rights Movement and the death of Martin Luther King that gave Wee Pals its first newspaper syndication.  The Wee Pals comic strip brought a clear eyed but humorous depiction of race through the eyes of multi-cultural children. Turner’s story is part of a larger American narrative – the story of an ever-expanding, multi-racial nation grappling with free expression and identity in the most fundamental medium—the comic strip pages. As, Morrie approaches 90 years old and begins to retire his comic strip to his grandson, Nathan, Wee Pals will take on a new voice and significance while continuing to illustrate American culture’s outliers. in 2015, Wee Pals will celebrate 50 years as a comic strip.

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