Meet the Milwaukee family who inspired Oscar-winning animated film, 'Hair Love'

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It’s this adorable video of DJ Hines and his daughter Chloe that caught everyone’s attention.

The Milwaukee native was trying to put his three-year-old daughter’s hair into a ponytail for the very first time.

“I’m like ‘I have to do something to her hair,'" DJ Hines said. "I can’t go out like this. So I’m like, ‘I got this."

But after 20 minutes of hard work, Hines, his son and brother all learned that Chloe’s hair has a mind of its own.

He sent the clip to America’s Funniest Home Videos. Eventually, it caught the eye of director Matthew Cherry who wanted to create “Hair Love,” a short, animated film based off Hines’ video.

“He reached out, sent me a message and told me that he was inspired to do the story," Hines said.

The nearly seven-minute short is about a black father facing his fears, and doing his precocious daughter’s natural hair because mom is away.

“I think sometimes when people see things that are different it can be intimidating," Hines said. “I’ve always encouraged her that although her hair may be longer and bigger and crazier than other girls her age, it’s beautiful, it’s uniquely her and it’s a gift.”

This bathroom video was almost four years ago. Chloe is now seven years old.

When asked how she feels about her hair, this was her response.

“I feel happy and I just feel happy," Chloe said.

She describes it as big and crazy, just like the little girl in the animated film.

“My favorite part was when she took off her bonnet. Her hair went poof," she added.

“Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver won the 2020 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.

Hines said he’s honored to be connected to a project that highlights the African American family bond in such an endearing way.

“Sometimes as black men we’re raised to have this strong exterior and only deal with raising our boys to be tough, to be strong and all of those things are great," he said. "But there is a sensitive side that I’ve learned to connect to through my daughters.”

After the Oscar win, Hines said so many people called him thinking he won an Oscar too.

He did not, but still called the entire experience humbling.

Hair Love was also made into a children’s book, by Matthew Cherry.

It is a New York Times Bestseller.

Share this article:
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?