February 3, 2020
Disney+ Feb. 3 announced it is developing a reboot of reality TV series “The Quest,” now featuring teen participants and adding more worldbuilding interactive elements. The streaming service has also greenlighted the competition series “The Maze,” National Geographic’s “Meet the Chimps,” and an untitled docuseries that follows Pixar’s SparkShorts program as they discover talented new storytellers.
“The Quest,” which originally aired on ABC for 10 episodes in 2014, features a cast of everyday teens who are transported to a fantasy world called Everealm, where they have adventures and compete to be the last “true hero” remaining.
“These projects take people on epic adventures, immerse them in fantastical worlds and shine a light on extraordinary people and creatures, which are all important benchmarks of our Disney+ nonfiction content philosophy,” Agnes Chu, SVP of content at Disney+, said in a statement.
Filmed at a castle outside Vienna, Austria, “The Quest” is a reality competition that takes place in the fantasy world of Everealm. Teen contestants compete in an unfolding drama where they encounter mystical beings and magical encounters that rival their favorite books, games and movies. They will be embedded in a fully immersive, 360-degree world complete with seamless technology, creature design, practical effects and scripted characters who interact dynamically with them. The series is executive produced by Court Five’s Mark Ordesky (“The Lord of the Rings”) and Jane Fleming; Scout Productions’ David Collins, Michael Williams, Rob Eric (“Queer Eye”); and New Media Collective’s Bertram van Munster, Elise Doganieri and Mark Dziak (“The Amazing Race”).
Adventure competition “The Maze” brings five teams consisting of one adult and one teen relative on a journey of mind-bending proportions. Participants will solve riddles and decipher clues that will guide them through European cities and fairytale villages. In each episode, the characters will reveal information to participants pushing them onward and closer to their final destination where all contestants will convene, but only one team will solve the Maze. It is also executive produced by van Munster, Doganieri and Dziak.
National Geographic’s “Meet the Chimps” takes viewers into one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world — Chimp Haven — a 200-acre refuge tucked deep in the forested heart of Louisiana, which is home to more than 300 chimpanzees. This six-part series tracks the ups and downs of this extraordinary group of chimps that are given a second chance at life by a staff whose dedication, compassion and commitment knows no bounds.
Through a seamless blend of natural history and observational-documentary filmmaking, “Meet the Chimps” puts the chimps — the heart and soul of the series — at front and center. A real-life drama with a full emotional range, the series gives unparalleled access to everything happening at Chimp Haven, including food squabbles, alliances, romances, “bromances,” tears, tantrums, high jinx and heartbreaks. “Meet the Chimps” is produced by Blink Films (“Meet the Penguins,” Meet the Orangutans,” and “The Creative Brain”), with Justine Kershaw and Michael Welsh serving as executive producers, and Virginia Quinn as series director.
The untitled Pixar series from Supper Club (“Chef’s Table”) will follow Pixar’s inventive SparkShorts program. By offering a select group of Pixar employees the opportunity to make their own animated short film, the SparkShorts program helps discover and support the next generation of Pixar storytellers. The series will give audiences an exclusive and immersive look at the filmmakers and their films, while exploring the creative philosophy and community that makes Pixar unique. Brian McGinn, Jason Sterman and David Gelb executive produce.