Apple TV+ Bowing Kids’ Series ‘Doug Unplugs’ and ‘Stillwater’ This fall

Apple TV+ will release two new kids’ series, “Doug Unplugs” and “Stillwater,” globally this fall.

“Doug Unplugs,” premiering Nov. 13, is from DreamWorks Animation and based on Dan Yaccarino’s “Doug Unplugged” book series. It follows a young robot named Doug who senses there’s more to life than just the facts. While other robots plug in for their daily download, curious Doug unplugs and journeys into the human world, and with his best friend Emma, experiences its wonders firsthand.

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“Stillwater”

“Stillwater,” premiering Dec. 4, is based on the Scholastic book series “Zen Shorts” by Jon J Muth and is produced by Gaumont and Scholastic Entertainment. It centers on siblings Karl, Addy and Michael, who are typical kids with typical kid challenges — meaning that sometimes even the smallest things can feel insurmountable. Fortunately for these three, they have Stillwater, a wise panda, as their next-door neighbor. Through his example, stories and gentle humor, Stillwater gives the children a deeper understanding of their feelings as well as tools that help them face their own day-to-day challenges.

Also, following it 18 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and win for Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Programming, “Ghostwriter” will have its second season premiere on Apple TV+ Oct. 9, and the second season of “Helpsters” will premiere Oct. 16. Both series hail from the makers of “Sesame Street.”

‘Arthur: The Ultimate Friendship Collection’ Coming to DVD Aug. 11 From PBS

PBS Distribution Aug. 11 will release Arthur: The Ultimate Friendship Collection on DVD.

The three-disc collection features more than 10 hours of friendship-themed Arthur episodes in a 48-episode compilation. In the collection, children will watch as Arthur learns how to work with teams, look out for friends and family, and navigate the everyday situations that Arthur and his friends find themselves in.

Arthur plays on a baseball team, Muffy temporarily stays with her friend, Francine, where she has to share a room (and even eat leftovers), Buster returns home after a long exotic vacation, and Arthur gets nervous their friendship won’t be the same.

Arthur, Francine, and Buster must complete a report on ancient Rome in “Team Trouble.” Will they be able to work together to complete the school assignment? Then, in “D.W., Bossy Boots,” D.W. loves to get her own way. Can she learn how to be nicer to her friends to continue playing with them on the playground?

‘The Swan Princess: A Royal Wedding’ Available to Rent at Redbox and Buy on Digital Aug. 4 From Sony

The animated fairytale The Swan Princess: A Royal Wedding will be available to rent from Redbox and buy on digital Aug. 4 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the tenth installment of the “Swan Princess” series, viewers join Princess Odette, Prince Derek and their royal friends as they set sail for another magical adventure in the enchanted land of Cathay. Princess Odette has been called by the beautiful and kind Princess Mei Li who is planning to marry her one true love, Chen. Upon Odette’s arrival she quickly discovers that everything is not as it should be. And not everyone is who they should be. The evil sorceress Fang has once again cast an evil spell, launching a plan to marry Chen herself. With the wedding quickly approaching, it is up to Mei Li’s loving brother Prince Li along with Princess Odette and the rest of her royal friends to break the curse so the real Princess Mei Li can marry Chen and live happily ever after.

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‘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”).