Cassie Byram  Donna: I watched the “Making of TreasureToons” video on your website ( and was fascinated!  Tell me about of your Creative Team. I believe your sons have been involved in the process?

 Cassie: My sons, Jonathan and Benjamin, assisted me in composing and producing the songs. Jonathan composed all of the orchestrations and arrangements. I nabbed him right out of college. Jonathan had graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in composition and when he had just moved back from Chicago to Hollywood I thought, “He is really good and I better grab him before he starts working for somebody else”. I am so proud of him, he did a great job.

 Donna: Was it always your intention for your three sons and your husband work on this?

CassieByramCassie:  I love that you said all “three of your sons” and your husband.  The third young man is actually my youngest son’s best friend, David Varela, and we consider him a “grafted-on son”, of sorts.  We have known David for years and he is the animator for TreasureToons.

David and I worked together on this project for over a year. I would start with the art direction along with some rough sketches and my idea of the concepts for each song.  When I presented the ideas to David, he would take it to another level.  We had so much fun!  We have curly confetti with faces that come alive, adorable animated children and a hilarious bear. Our intention was to keep a “tongue and cheek” fun kind of animation that is a little bit goofy and not taken too seriously.  We are not trying to be Disney, but we are trying to make it delightful and accessible!

 It has been so much fun working with young people, like my sons and David because they just get it.  Besides, it’s their peers who are having the young children that I want to reach!

Donna:  What ages are you trying to reach exactly?

Cassie: From the “lullaby stage” to about six or seven years of age.  One of the unique aspects of the TreasureToons DVD is that the songs we are using are from two albums I have co-written with my son Jonathan titled Lifetime Scripture Songs.  The first CD, Sweet Dreams, is made up of entirely original lullabies, and the second is filled with scripture-based tunes called Wonderfully Made. This is where the bulk of our material for TreasureToons comes from.

 Donna:  When you were making the Wonderfully Made CD did you have the vision of the characters in TreasureToons before you started animating them?

Cassie treasure toons dvdCassie:  I didn’t think about the animation component of TreasureToons until after all of the songs were written and recorded. The ideas for the animation came bit by bit, one at a time. Because the songs were already done, I was able to sit and absorb them again in a whole new way.  It was one of those things where you just meditate. I pictured images that would tell a story for each song, which is a completely different process than writing the song itself. By bathing myself in what we had already created with the music, my imagination was able to do the rest.

At the end of the day we wanted the truth of the scriptures to be the main focus. These songs are designed for parents with young children in order to provide a soundtrack to their lives with the Word of God at the center. Music is an easy way for children to absorb and truly memorize scripture at a very young age. Isn’t it true that what we memorize as a child stays with us for a lifetime?

Donna:  I am reminded of all the things we memorized as a child that was put to music.

Cassie: Exactly. There is nothing that is more proven as a tool for memorization than music and repetition.  When you listen to music that you enjoy you play it over and over again, and this drives home the memorization.  We wanted to produce music that was enjoyable to not only the children, but their parents as well. That way, the tunes could be played with joy-filled repetition. This was the initial concept.

Donna:  You mentioned that you intend for this to be friendly to children, as well as their parents. Tell us more about it being friendly to adults.

Cassie:  The music is absolutely something that I believe adults can listen to over and over again and not feel the need to run out of the room. When I was raising my kids there wasn’t a lot of music that I was able to enjoy along with them. Making the music and animation appealing to adults means you get to spend time with your children instead of relegating them to another room because you can’t stand what they are listening to. And, as an added benefit, the parents are now memorizing scripture too!

That takes me to the “why” of creating all of this, a true confession.  I realized about 12 to 15 years ago, not only did I personally not have enough scripture memorized, but I had not implemented scripture memorization into my children’s lives.  That fact hit me between the eyes and even now breaks me up.  Not having implemented scripture in my children’s lives was not purposeful, I just didn’t want to turn them off to God by making memorizing his word another thing for them to have to do. The last thing I wanted was for them to think, “Gosh! Another thing I have to work on”.  So this led me on a journey of trying to figure out how I could meet this need, solve this problem for other parents and introduce the youngest of children to the word of God in an enjoyable way.

Donna:  How did you pick the scripture for such a young age?  Was it hard to pick ones that would relate to them?

Cassie:  Here is what I did: Lots of Prayer.  After that, I thought, okay Lord, how are you speaking to me?  And that came in two ways.  One, I have this ability somehow to go back into my childhood and remember how I felt and what mattered to me. I guess you would say it was like certain scriptures lit up, things that kids would really enjoy.

For example, Proverbs Chapter 16: v 21-24; “Let my words be like a honeycomb sweet to the soul, strength to my bone.” So I thought, “For helping a child build his character in an enjoyable way, we can have a funny bear that is being chased by bees while he is trying to steal the honey”. But, of course, I also had to stay sensible as a parent and think what do I want my child to learn? I want them to know that God is Amazing.  Somehow He just worked things out and it exploded. I was like “yes” this is right, this is it.

Next, I knew that the Lord wanted me to speak on fear, which I feel like is a constant in our fallen world. I also realized when children are little they have a lot of fears.  We don’t know why, but as early on as lullaby state, babies have nightmares. So I purposely chose scriptures that would reinforce the love of God and the assurance that He is always with us. So for instance, one of our songs, “When I Awake” comes from Psalm 139; “When I awake I am still with you. How precious are your thoughts to me and where can I go from your spirit in the dark, I will hide away but even night shines as day with your light.”  It was important to me to assure the little ones that it may be dark, but God is here. God is always with us and there is no place we can go where he is not going to be.

Donna:  What an amazing impact you can have, and you may never even know it, on both the children and their parents.

Cassie: You hit the nail on the head. Reaching the parents, grandparents, and anyone else in a household watching TreasureToons has always been a part of our original vision.

Donna: And where do you see that vision going from here? What is the future of TreasureToons? Do you plan on creating additional material?

Cassie: Yes! This current DVD is Volume 1 and it is over 55 minutes of entertainment. We are currently in the process of creating a second volume  of the same length.

Donna:  I look forward to watching its creation! So on another note, I feel like it’d be very hard to be a Christian in your industry. Do you feel like it’s harder than in other industries?   One of my friends has a daughter who wants to be in acting but it was hard for my friend to find projects suitable for her daughter to join.

Cassie:  I can totally relate to that.  To be honest, there was one particular incident where I had to pull my son out of the project.  I can’t even explain what that was like.  My son was already in the project and I didn’t know what they were going to have him do.  When I found out, it was the night before the shoot and I had to call and say he was not going to be a part of the project which was a huge thing.

I am not saying that everyone would have made that choice. Right or wrong, it was the right choice for me, my family and what I thought was right for my son.  What I would tell parents is it is challenging.  There is a big difference in the industry now than when I started.  There is a wonderful community of Christians in Hollywood now that are making an incredible impact.

Donna:  I believe I saw on your website that you are speaking to those groups.  I thought that was encouraging.

Cassie: Yes, I am getting the unique opportunity to speak to professionals in Hollywood. Hollywood is filled with wonderful people. The industry is made up of artist-creatives that have so much they feel they have to offer.  The artists are on fire and excited about what they want to give. What some of them don’t realize is that they are beautiful living breathing testimonies of the creativity of God.  Once they get a hold of that thought and realize they are a channel for the maker of all creation, they really light up and their faith can really explode.

But in the meantime, there is still a lot of fear. That fear being that if they turn into somebody who speaks about loving God or praising him openly that they will not get work. And sadly, this is a reality. As a Christian, you are going to lose jobs. You have to be strong, you have to be brave, you have to be courageous just like Joshua Chapter 1 which states, “Do not fear or be discouraged or be dismayed because the Lord your God is with you.”  You have to take courage and know that if God is for you, nothing can be against you.  You move forward and if there is something God doesn’t want for you then you shouldn’t want it either.  However, that is a hard place to get to because we all want what we want, when we want it.

Personally, I want to reach children as early as possible so they can be forming their identity based on what God has to say about them, and not what the world has to say about them. They are also informing themselves with the word. As scripture says, “Out of the mouth speaks the heart…”  As they get older, whether in show business or not, there are all these challenges that start slamming them in the face and they get squeezed by those challenges. What comes out will be what our identity is built on.

Donna:  We see this in people when they get into a crisis, they revert.

Cassie: Right. I like to think of it like a plumber.  A plumber has tools and when he is at your house to fix a leak, he brings those tools with him.  But if the plumber is there and either, a)he forgets his tools, or b)he knows what tool to use, but just can’t remember where to find them, he will be unable to fix the problem. In other words, he is useless.

If we can think of Scripture as a tool in a tool belt, children will be ready to pull out scripture in the middle of a crisis to carry them through.  I am hoping to equip children early on through TreasureToons and our other productions, it is my hope that they will build a rock solid foundation on God’s word, God’s way and God’s love.

One of my favorite quotes comes from George Barna who said, “If we do not do something today, our children will not forgive us tomorrow.” We as parents have a responsibility to raise our children up in the Lord and give them the tools necessary to live a fruitful, spiritual life. If we are not giving our kids the gift of scripture now, we don’t know if they’ll ever get it. So Donna, I’d like to say to your listeners, especially any parents out there, go to and get this DVD for your kids so that we can partner together to equip your children with all the necessary tools early on.

Donna: Cassie, thank you for speaking to me today about TreasureToons, and all your exciting career endeavors.  Purchase the DVD at or to stay in touch with Cassie and follow the future of TreasureToons, you can “like” Cassie Byram on Facebook and follow her on twitter @cassiebyram. Thank you, and God Bless.