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Star Forest Brings Sophistication To Children’s Content


By Jennifer Reynolds, Senior Editor

Great visions often spring from the most unexpected places. Sometimes, it takes nothing more than a car ride and the observation of a young boy to spark a new project. In the right hands, that project can transcend what has come before it and bring the world something familiar but in a new and refreshing way.

Like other mothers during the pandemic, Genevieve LeDoux sought ways to entertain her two young sons. They took car rides through the countryside, listening to music and enjoying the beauty that Georgia has to offer.

It was on one of these car rides that LeDoux’s six-year-old asked a simple but profound question: “Why isn’t there any music just for me?”

“My youngest was into toddler music, but my six-year-old wanted nothing to do with that. To him, it was already baby music,” LeDoux said. 

She set out to find music that he would like, music that encompassed things that interested him such as video games, exploring the backyard, or outer space. There were very few examples of what she was looking for, and those she was able to find did not appeal to him. 

Seeing a need, she contacted a composer and set to work. What emerged was a music album for children that spoke about topics that interested them in a way that was sophisticated and polished. Star Forest was born and like all newborns, it grew quickly. 

LeDoux’s next step was to figure out how to deliver the music to kids. Again, her son was the impetus for her inspiration. He announced one day that he was attending a concert that evening. He and his friends were meeting for a virtual show in the game Roblox. 

After joining them, LeDoux created a virtual band built of rich characters with preferences and backgrounds. Vocalist and keytarist Fawny Jean Velvette – Fawn to her friends – loves snacks, sneezes when she smells stardust (but loves it anyway) and has a first edition of The Gnome King of Oz, which is her favorite thing. Other band members include Sleuth Marbles and Rocktapus Blueblood VII, a percussionist who is missing a tentacle – which we’re not supposed to talk about. 

At first glance, it may seem like just another entertainment outlet for children, but Star Forest transcends expectations and delivers something beautiful that speaks to the hearts of children and adults alike by tackling real issues with sensitivity and an inclusive spirit.  

Sensing she was onto something good, LeDoux teamed up with illustrator Dusty Higgins, calling him “one of the beating hearts of Star Forest” who helped design the characters and the world. 

She also brought on Austin Baur who was instrumental to shaping the vision of Star Forest and whose multi-focused background in the industry allowed him to help her build out the rest of their creative team. 

Dead Hand Design was hired to create the company website and branding, but “their exceptional work led them to become producers and an integral part of the world-building team,”  said LeDoux.

The project expanded to include illustrations and storytelling. LeDoux wanted to make sure that the stories told through Star Forest were authentic to the experiences kids have in today’s complex world.

“We want to address things they’re dealing with without oversimplifying it or sugar coating it,” she said.

She credits her team and their working style for their ability to create stories that are “self-healing. We all are telling stories that we experienced as kids.” 

LeDoux and team take a playful, almost childlike approach to work. This was an attitude that she wanted to cultivate early on. She calls them “kids in a sandbox”, and they have the freedom not only to try new things, but to get them wrong – then try again in a new way.

“Our approach to building Star Forest has been anything but traditional. We adopted a holacratic system, where roles can be fluid and everyone can take leadership when they have a strong idea,” LeDoux said.

This fluidity has allowed them to discover talents they did not know they had and to create a wealth of never before seen content including content designed specifically for YouTube.

“I’m bringing it straight to where the kids are, and I think YouTube is the perfect place because kids are in control and if they discover it, it will feel like it’s their own thing,” LeDoux said. 

The team plans an official launch for this year’s DragonCon which is held in Atlanta every Labor Day weekend. In addition to the YouTube content, they will launch fully produced, high-quality animated music videos, a podcast, and a  game.

But music remains the core element of Star Forest. Composer Andrew Morgan Smith and LeDoux collaborated to create a second album, “drawing from the real-life experiences of our own kids and the creativity of our fully cast band. The lines between the actors, musicians and their characters are wonderfully blurred, adding a layer of authenticity that we hope resonates deeply,” LeDoux said. 

It is a wealth of content, rich in stories and images designed to be relatable to children. For LeDoux, her goal for the project is simple and clear: to help children feel like they matter. 

“Ultimately, my vision of success is profoundly personal and community-centric: if even one child finds themselves lost in Star Forest, seeing a reflection of themselves in its characters and considering it a second home—a safe, supportive, and song-filled haven—then we’ve achieved something truly magical.,” she said. 


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