El Daefo was originally a graphic novel published by Cece Bell. It tells her childhood stories and imaginations with her struggle in life after losing most of her hearing ability. She illustrated herself as a bunny and stated in an interview that it’s ironic that bunnies are usually associated with good hearing because of their long ears.
It was originally published on September 2, 2014, containing 248 pages. Now, a movie of the same name is being published on AppleTV+.
El Daefo: An Introduction
The popular El Daefo graphic Novel by Cece Bell has now been made into a motion picture and was released on January 7, 2022, on AppleTv+. It has been adapted from the same name book and follows a young girl called Cece who has lost her hearing. She realizes she can hear the teacher because of the microphone, which makes her popular among her friends, and she realizes this to be a superpower.
This movie takes you through a journey of how this little girl, Cece, views the world. How her little day-to-day work needs a little more extra work, the sympathies that upset her and make her feel less than others, and kids can be very mean and insensitive with their remarks.
She clarified in an interview that she only speaks for her experience and disability and cannot speak for how all deaf people feel because people might tend to generalize them as a group and their general thought process.
The actor who voices Cece in the film, Lexi Finnigan, is also deaf and this was her first go at acting. This was a brilliant move as this gave the character a more genuine voice; instead of getting another kid to act deaf.
About the Author
On December 26, 1970, Cece Ball was born in Richmond, Virginia. She had a normal childhood until she was four and a half when she suffered from meningitis which caused her to lose most of her hearing. So, suddenly it was very hard to cope with this new environment where she couldn’t hear like she used to. As a result, she became agitated and more introverted.
She initially struggled a lot with her disability and refused to learn sign language as she didn’t want to accept the fact that she would never hear again, but with time and encouragement from her friends, especially her best friend, who didn’t care at all about her hearing aid, she started accepting it as a part of her.
She was very fond of superheroes as a child who had these super gadgets that gave them power, and they did all these cool things. Then, she realized even her hearing aid was like one of the gadgets and gave her the superpower to hear! This was the inspiration behind her using her hearing aid as a superpower gadget to give her powers.
She has been illustrating children’s books for 15 years, but El Daefo is her first graphic novel. She wanted to gain more experience before publishing her novel.
Lexi Finigan voices Cece, Cece Bell as narrator, Pamela Adlon as Mom, Jane Lynch as Mrs. Sinklemann, Mirabelle Lee as Becky, Quinn Copeland as Martha, Sabrina Glow as Despicable Ginny, Evan Hoyt Thompson as Dad, Mason Henry a JP.