‘PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails’ and ‘Berenstain Bears’ DVDs Available in May From PBS

The DVD titles PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails, with multiple episodes from popular PBS shows, and a third volume of “The Berenstain Bears” are available in May from PBS Distribution.

The 15-episode PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails features episodes from “Arthur,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Molly of Denali” and “Nature Cat,” among others. Kids learn about responsibility, compassion and caring for others with stories on everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and turtles. In “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” Daniel and his classmates release their classroom pet named Ducky after he’s grown too big in “Duckling Goes Home,” and in “Wild Kratts,” Chris and Martin unpack from an adventure, only to discover a wolf pup in their bag in the “Little Howler!” episode. “Winter Champions,” a special bonus episode from “Molly of Denali,” is also included.

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In The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 3 children join Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Sister and Brother for more adventures. When Sister must write about a bear she admires the most for a school project in “The Giddy Grandma,” she quickly learns just how many awards and trophies Grizzly Gran won in her younger years. Then, in “Car Trip,” the cubs are excited about going on a family trip — until they find out the destination isn’t Grizzlyland, but instead a tour of Bear Country’s national parks.

Finally, the cubs are sad when they hear that their friends down the street are moving away in “Moving Day.” Brother and Sister learn about the positive side of moving — new adventures and new friends.

Kids’ Series ‘Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten’ With Arnold Schwarzenegger Coming to Amazon Prime, Alibaba’s Youku

Genius Brands’ children’s animated series “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,” featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, will premiere in spring 2021 on Amazon Prime.

Alibaba Group will also launch the series in China on its video streaming platform for kids Youku.

“With Amazon Prime in the U.S. and Alibaba in China, we are very excited to launch on these two premiere platforms in the two largest territories in the world,” said Genius Brands’ chairman and CEO Andy Heyward in a statement.

“Years ago, Stan Lee and I spoke of such a project, and I’m excited to finally bring great storytelling to kids around the world, which will also promote lessons of health, exercise, fitness and anti-bullying,” said Schwarzenegger in a statement.

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“Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten” is an action-adventure comedy series targeting kids 4-7 and is co-produced by Alibaba Group, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions. In addition to his likeness, Schwarzenegger lends his voice as the lead character in the series. Co-creator of Deadpool, Fabian Nicieza, who has sold more than 100 million comics worldwide, is scripting the series.

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In “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,” five years ago, a tremendous superhero battle blanketed the small town of Greenvale in cosmic radiation. Shortly thereafter, a previously ordinary, diverse group of boys and girls are showing the most unusual superpowers. Their superpowers, however, rather than coming from Kryptonite, or a radioactive spider, come from items in their kindergarten classroom — white glue, wooden blocks, crayons, silly putty, etc. A kindergarten teacher Arnold Armstrong (Schwarzenegger) arrives in Greenvale to train these super-kids. He knows what it is like to control superpowers, because he used to be Captain Courage, the hero whose final battle resulted in the previously unknown powers of the kids. Their new instructor teaches the kids how to become the heroes of tomorrow.

“This is a series of action, comedy, and fun, based on the genius and imagination of the great creative icon, Stan Lee, and with the important lessons of health, exercise, nutrition, and anti-bullying,” according to the Genius press release. “Just as he appeared as a cameo in all of the Marvel movies, Stan himself will be an animated cameo in each episode, with a digitized recreation of his voice as well.”

“We are gathering steam with our latest tentpole series, ‘Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten,’ and are thrilled to have two of the top digital streaming partners worldwide, Amazon and Alibaba, on board as launch partners, reaching a potential global audience of hundreds of millions, as well as the talents of Arnold and the genius that was Stan,” added Heyward. “In an ever-changing children’s media landscape and current viewing patterns of children around the globe, our strategy is to offer this dynamic series where kids predominantly go to find their entertainment now. We know we have a hit on our hands and cannot wait to share it with kids everywhere.”

MovieSpree TVOD Service Bows Sales on Animated Kids’ Series Including ‘Gigantosaurus’

MovieSpree, Mill Creek Entertainment’s transactional VOD service, is offering sales on several animated kids’ series to keep the little ones occupied while they stay at home.

On March 25, MovieSpree launched the complete first season of the animated kids’ series “Gigantosaurus,” on sale for $22.49 — 25% off of the regular price. In the series, young dinosaurs Rocky, Bill, Tiny and Mazu are growing up in the Cretaceous period where life is always an adventure — new volcanoes are popping up all the time, the long-necked brachiosauruses and enormous triceratops roam free, meteor showers light up the night sky, and the big, fierce Gigantosaurus reigns over it all.

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“Liberty’s Kids”

Also on sale are several complete animated series at $2.99, including “Liberty’s Kids” (including all 40 episodes of the edutainment series), “Street Sharks,” “C.O.P.S.,” “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century,” “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” and “Horseland.”

Amazon Prime Rolls Out User Profiles

SVOD service Amazon Prime is rolling out user profiles, a feature long present on competing services such as Netflix.

In selected countries, one subscriber account can have up to six user profiles (one default primary profile plus five additional profiles, either adult or kids).

One general and one account for kids appears by default. When adding profiles, users can designate them for kids.

Prime Video will serve up only age-appropriate TV shows and movies (maturity rating 12 and under) to the kids’ profiles. However, all downloads including those from an adult’s profile, will still be available and can be accessed through the kids’ profiles. Search results and search suggestions are also filtered.

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The feature is supported across a range of devices.

‘Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum: Meet Xavier’ Due on DVD and Digital March 17 From PBS

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: Meet Xavier will be released on DVD and digital March 17 from PBS Distribution.

It’s the first DVD release for the new series which follows the adventures of Xavier, his sister Yadina, and their friend Brad as they solve problems that come their way with the help of a “secret museum.” The museum is a portal that sends the friends back in time to meet real-life heroes when they were kids, who help them solve their problems.

“Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” debuted on PBS KIDS in November 2019. The series is based on the children’s book series Ordinary People Change the World by New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos and is designed to teach kids about influential historical figures and living heroes and some of the key experiences that shaped their lives, while emphasizing important social emotional concepts and positive character traits such as courage, resilience, and commitment to setting and accomplishing goals.

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In the three-episode Meet Xavier, Xavier, Yadina and Brad meet Marie Curie in the episode “I Am Marie Curie.” She shows Brad that he should always follow his dreams. In the episode “I Am George Washington Carver,” Xavier learns how important plant life is and why we need to take care of the earth. And in “I Am Charles Dickens,” the writer shows Yadina that she doesn’t need new toys because her imagination can be just as fun.

 

Disney+ Revives ‘The Proud Family’ Animated Series

SVOD service Disney+ has ordered the revival of the animated series “The Proud Family” which premiered 18 years ago on the Disney Channel.

The series “is still beloved for its characters, stories and multilayered humor and for its messages about inclusion and cultural diversity in a smart, modern way,” according to a Disney press release.

The new animated family sitcom “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” is currently in production at Disney Television Animation with creator/executive producer Bruce W. Smith and executive producer Ralph Farquhar, who led the original series, at the helm, reuniting them with Calvin Brown Jr. who is co-executive producer and story editor.

All previous seasons of “The Proud Family” are currently available on Disney+.

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“In our minds, the show never really went away, as we still had tons of stories left to tell,” Smith and Farquhar said in a joint statement. “It’s the perfect time to bring back this show, and we can’t wait to take fans, old and new alike, on this journey with us.”

Picking up the story of its central character Penny Proud, the new series will also include her family: parents Oscar and Trudy, twin siblings BeBe and CeCe, and her grandmother Suga Mama (and Puff!). Also returning are Penny’s crew Dijonay Jones, LaCienega Boulevardez and Zoey Howzer, among others.

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Reprising their voice roles are Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud, Tommy Davidson as Oscar Proud, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Proud, Jo Marie Payton as Suga Mama, Karen Malina White as Dijonay Jones, Soleil Moon Frye as Zoey Howzer and Alisa Reyes as LaCienega Boulevardez. Cedric the Entertainer will also return as Uncle Bobby Proud.

“The show’s humor and relatable stories are as relevant with audiences today as ever,” Agnes Chu, SVP of content at Disney+, said in a statement. “Our audiences have loved rediscovering their favorite episodes of ‘The Proud Family,’ and we’re excited Bruce, Ralph, Calvin, and the returning cast are creating new stories for their new home on Disney+.”

“The genius of the original ‘Proud Family’ series was that, under the guise of a family comedy, it provided a brilliant social commentary on our life and times,” Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, said in a statement. “With this new series, Bruce and Ralph will once again challenge everyone to think differently about the world we share.”

 

HBO Max Inks Deal With Children’s Author Mo Willems

HBO Max has inked an exclusive, multiyear deal with children’s author Mo Willems, an Emmy-Award winning writer, New York Times bestselling author and illustrator.

Willems is HBO Max’s very first artist in residence, according to the SVOD service, launching at $14.99 a month in May.

As part of the two-year deal, HBO Max has acquired streaming rights to Willems’ first live-action special Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime! from Greg Silverman’s media company StampedeVentures, which will produce all additional content under the deal. HBO Max has committed to additional live-action “Storytime” specials, as well as multiple animated specials based on Willems’ children’s books. The first animated special will be based on the New York Times bestseller Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.

“Mo is a special talent with a profound ability to connect with children and families alike,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer of HBO Max and president of TNT, TBS and truTV, said in a statement. “We are so happy Mo and Stampede Ventures chose to partner with us at HBO Max.”

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“We are so lucky to be able to work with the multi-talented Mo Willems, whose work is authentic, inspiring and truly impactful,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original non-fiction and kids programming at HBO Max, said in a statement.

“HBO Max is the perfect home for me to work on fun and experimental ways to bring my book characters and theater work to the screen because we share the goal of creating exciting shows and series that bring families together,” Willems said in a statement. “My focus is making stuff that amuses, entertains and sparks creative play after the screen is powered down. Having the creative teams of HBO Max and Stampede Ventures with me means that we’ll get to create meaningful work and have fun doing it. We’re so excited we even created a new logo for the occasion. Banana!”

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Previously announced and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime!, shot over the summer at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., is a live-action family comedy special featuring Willems and the “Story Time All-Stars,” a group of celebrities, comedians and actors, performing live readings and sketch comedy inspired by Willems’ work, as well as musical guests. Celebrity guests include Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”), Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community’) and Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”).

 

‘Mister Rogers and Making Mistakes’ Collection Due on DVD and Digital Dec. 3 From PBS

PBS Distribution will release Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers and Making Mistakes on DVD and digital Dec. 3.

The 30-episode collection includes segments where Mister Rogers helps children understand that everyone make mistakes from time to time. Never afraid to tackle tough subjects, he speaks openly about the topics children silently wonder and worry about, but adults often struggled to discuss. World famous pianist Andre Watts performs for Mister Rogers in the collection, and together they talk about practicing and learning from mistakes.

A biopic on Fred Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, is currently in theaters.

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HBO Max Orders New ‘Adventure Time’ Kids Series

WarnerMedia’s upcoming SVOD service HBO Max is reviving the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning animated series “Adventure Time.”

The service, which launches in spring 2020, has greenlighted four new one-hour specials titled “Adventure Time: Distant Lands” that will premiere exclusively on HBO Max, with the first two set to debut on the streamer in 2020.

These four new specials will continue the “Adventure Time” stories that introduced unlikely heroes Finn and Jake, best buds who traversed the mystical Land of Ooo and encountered its colorful inhabitants.

“The enchanted world of ‘Adventure Time’ has mesmerized viewers and critics alike as Finn and Jake right wrongs and battle evil,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max, in a statement. “The addition of these specials to the HBO Max kids and family programming lineup is sure to make kids everywhere say ‘Slam-bam-in-a-can!’”

The first two specials, “BMO” and “Obsidian,” are set to premiere on the streamer in 2020 followed by “Wizard City” and “Together Again.” “BMO” follows the lovable little robot as there’s a deadly space emergency in the farthest reaches of the galaxy. “Obsidian” features Marceline and Princess Bubblegum as they journey to the imposing, beautiful Glass Kingdom — and deep into their tumultuous past — to prevent an earthshaking catastrophe. “Wizard City” follows Peppermint Butler, starting over at the beginning, as just another inexperienced Wizard School student as mysterious events at the campus cast suspicion on him and his checkered past. “Together Again” brings Finn and Jake together to rediscover their brotherly bond and embark on the most important adventure of their lives.

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“’Adventure Time’ was a groundbreaking series and a creative playground for so many talented creative artists,” said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer, Cartoon Network Studios. “Producing ‘Adventure Time: Distant Lands’ for HBO Max will allow our studio to explore this beloved world in an all-new format.”

Created by Pendleton Ward and executive produced by Adam Muto, “Adventure Time” garnered numerous entertainment awards. “Adventure Time: Distant Lands” is produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

Netflix Orders Animated Preschool Series ‘Ghee Happy’

Netflix has greenlighted a new animated preschool series, “Ghee Happy,” from Academy Award- and Annie Award-nominated director-animator-illustrator Sanjay Patel.

It’s a playful reimagining of the Hindu deities as little kids discovering their powers in a deity daycare called Ghee Happy.

Patel is best known for his work on numerous Pixar films, such as Monsters Inc., Ratatouille, Cars, Toy Story 2 and The Incredibles 1 & 2. He directed the short animated film Sanjay’s Super Team, inspired by his own childhood, which was nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 88th Academy Awards and for Best Animated Short Subject at the 43rd Annie Awards.

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“For the past 25 years I’ve been working in kids and family entertainment without having kids of my own. Having finally become a parent, I’m so excited and lucky to be able to create a preschool series that introduces the great pantheon of Hindu Deities, not just into a beautiful and colorful series that is truly entertaining and original to my kiddos, but to families around the world,” said Patel in a statement.

“Sanjay’s art is vibrant, magical, and — above all else — incredibly happy! He has introduced his culture to his own kids through this show and now – thanks to the power of Netflix — kids and families everywhere will get to share in these inspiring and accessible stories,” said Dominique Bazay, director of kids & family at Netflix, in a statement.