The good book, a blackbird, a spiralled sun, a bloodied feather, and a leaping figure, transforming into an onion to avoid the slings and arrows of the day. These are some of the images, expressed in black and blue, brick red and butter yellow, in a stark woodcut style, that form the opening sequence of The Good Lord Bird, Ethan Hawke’s spitfire series for Showtime.
Based on the novel of the same name by James McBride, the show follows Henry Shackleford (Joshua Caleb Johnson), an enslaved boy, and John Browne (Hawke), an abolitionist, as they travel together with Browne’s “gunfighters of the gospel” in the years just before the American Civil War.
The animation for the opener was created by studio King and Country and features the uplifting hymn “Come on Children, Let’s Sing” by gospel singer and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson. Spurred forward by Jackson’s invigorating contralto, the titles paint a picture of brutal and bare country, spare living, and historical myth. Jackson once said, “I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free.” An apt choice for a series with emancipation in its heart.
* Winner of the 2021 Outstanding Main Title Design Emmy
See all of the nominated sequences of 2021 here.
Main Title Sequence Created by: King and Country, LLC
Executive Producer: Jerry Torgerson
Creative Director: Efrain Montañez
Art Director:Eduardo Guisandes
Animators: Abigail Fairfax, Josh Lewis, Eduardo Guisandes
Producer: Ryan Lowrie
Title Theme: "Come on Children, Let's Sing" by Mahalia Jackson
EP/Creative Director: Padraig McKinley
EP: Olga Hamlet
Producers: Alex Espinoza, Adan Orozco
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