Apple TV+ Orders Preschool Series ‘Sago Mini Friends’

Apple TV+ has ordered “Sago Mini Friends,” a new preschool animated series.

Produced by Spin Master Entertainment (“Paw Patrol”) and animated by Brown Bag Films (”Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Blue’s Clues & You!” and “Wild Kratts”), the series is based on the characters and designs featured in the Sago Mini World app, developed by Sago Mini.

The “Sago Mini Friends” series is a nod to gratitude, featuring Harvey the floppy-eared dog and his best friends Jinja the cat, Jack the rabbit and Robin the bird. The four friends play, explore, imagine and celebrate daily in their joyful town of Sagoville. In each episode, Harvey and all his friends express their true thankfulness for all things, big and small, through optimism, kindness, preschool-friendly humor and original songs.

The Sago Mini World app features more than 40 games for kids ages 2-5 and has been recognized by the Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, the Webby Awards, the Academics’ Choice Awards and the Kidscreen Awards.

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“Sago Mini Friends” is executive produced by Jennifer Dodge (“Paw Patrol”), Ronnen Harary (“Paw Patrol”), Tone Thyne (“Wonder Pets!”) and Dustin Ferrer (“Esme & Roy”). Laura Clunie (“Paw Patrol”) and Toni Stevens (“Paw Patrol”) serve as co-executive producers, with Chad Hicks (“Kingdom Force”) as series director.

New Preschool Series ‘Pretzel and the Puppies’ to Debut on Apple TV+ Feb. 11

Apple TV+ has announced a new animated preschool series “Pretzel and the Puppies” will premiere Feb. 11.

Based on the book “Pretzel” by Margret and H.A. Rey, creators of “Curious George,” the original series is a new story about the modern dog family led by stay-at-home dad Pretzel, his five Dachshund puppies, and mom Greta, the mayor of Muttgomery.

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The series features the voice talents of Mark Duplass (“The Morning Show”), Nasim Pedrad (“Saturday Night Live”), and newcomers Milo Stein, Alex Jayne Go, Max Mitchell, Amari McCoy and Gracen Newton.

 

Netflix Expands Preschool Programming With Four New Series, Two Renewals

Netflix is expanding its preschool content offering with original content focused on science, adventure and requisite nursery rhymes. The streamer announced second-season renewals of “Ridley Jones” and “Ada Twist, Scientist,” in addition to the bow of four new shows: “Action Pack,” “Big Tree City,” “The Creature Cases” and “Deepa and Anoop” — all debuting in 2022.

The series join other Netflix preschool offerings for kids aged 2-6, including “Ask the StoryBots,” “Mighty Little Bheem,” “Go! Go! Cory Carson,” “Gabby’s Dollhouse,” “CoCoMelon” and “Go, Dog. Go!”

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“We’re creating preschool series for our youngest viewers and their families in over 190 countries to invite them to play, laugh, and learn with us,” Heather Tilert, head of preschool content at Netflix, wrote in a post.

The “Action Pack” is a group of kids — Treena, Watts, Wren and Clay — who use their incredible super powers as they take on the biggest threats in Hope Springs, implement the lessons taught by Mr. Ernesto at the Action Academy, and fulfill their ultimate mission of bringing out the good in everything, even in villains.

“The Creature Cases” animated action-comedy series follows the adventures of Sam Snow and Kit Casey, agents of CLADE: the Covert League of Animal Detective Experts. In a world populated exclusively by animals, these brilliant sleuths travel the globe solving mind-boggling mysteries that mix real zoological facts with wild detective action.

“Big Tree City” is an all-action, all-comedy series from Emmy Award winning Blue Zoo Animation. Hot sauce volcanoes, biscuit dinosaur mysteries and exploding soda pop factories — join the wild rescues of Major Prickles and his overzealous team, as they try to save the animal citizens of Big Tree City.

“Deepa & Anoop” hails from Mattel Television and follows the adventures of fun-loving 7-year-old Deepa and her best friend, Anoop, a color-changing elephant, at Deepa’s family’s bed and breakfast, Mango Manor.

“Ridley Jones” and her friends Peaches, Fred, Ismat, Dudley and Dante return for a second season continuing their nightly adventures when the lights go out, the doors lock shut, and all the exhibits come to life at The Museum of Natural History.

The second season of “Ada Twist, Scientist” follows a pint-sized scientist with a giant-sized curiosity, who aspires to discover the answer to absolutely everything. Ada, along with her best friends Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere will be back to explore more ways science is a part of everyday life.

‘Tom and Jerry’ Preschool Series Gets Greenlight for HBO Max and Cartoon Network

The first-ever preschool “Tom and Jerry” animated series “Tom and Jerry Time,” produced by Warner Bros. Animation, has been greenlighted as part of WarnerMedia Kids & Family’s new Cartoonito preschool programming block, debuting on HBO Max and Cartoon Network.

Combining comedy with key early learning concepts, “Tom and Jerry Time” aims to teach young viewers the skills they need to explore the world around them, according to the studio.

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“Based on the beloved classic that so many parents grew up with, ‘Tom and Jerry Time’ introduces a whole new generation to these iconic characters with a fresh and original take,” Amy Friedman, head of kids and family programming at Warner Bros., said in a statement. “For our youngest audience, Sam Register and his team at Warner Bros. Animation managed to keep all the playful hijinks, drop all the cartoon violence, and add the most delightful early childhood learning through song and story.  It’s playful — with a purpose — and we think parents and their little ones will love watching and learning together.”

Presented as a series of animated musical shorts, “Tom and Jerry Time” turns the world created by the cat-and-mouse rivalry into a cartoon classroom. Preschoolers will be introduced to their comical mischief — chasing, pranking and outsmarting each other — while also learning key social and emotional skillsets, lessons in independence, early math and literacy skills, and other key preschool educational concepts, according to the studio.

Sam Register (Looney Tunes Cartoons) is executive producer. Will Finn (Tom and Jerry in New York) serves as showrunner and co-executive producer with Denise Downer (Stillwater) on board as story editor.

‘Dino Ranch’ Preschool Series Renewed for Second Season on Disney Junior and Disney+

The animated preschool series “Dino Ranch” has been renewed for a second season at Disney, the production company Boat Rocker announced. Season two will air on Disney Junior and Disney+ in the United States and Latin America beginning in 2022.

“Dino Ranch” has received an incredible response from kids and parents around the world and we couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to produce a second season,” Michel Pratte, president of Boat Rocker Media and GM of Boat Rocker Studios, said in a statement. “The show is a shining example of franchise IP for Boat Rocker and we are looking forward to continuing to build brand affinity and engagement love for ‘Dino Ranch’ with our partners.”

“We’re very excited to continue our strong partnership with Disney for ‘Dino Ranch,’” Jon Rutherford, president of Boat Rocker Studios, kids & family, and rights, said in a statement. “Disney’s incredible support, along with the show’s ability to resonate with audiences through its unique blend of dinosaurs, family, and engaging storytelling has helped us achieve immediate success. With Season two, we plan on deepening engagement with our fans by unveiling new characters and locations, and many new thrilling adventures with the Cassidy family.”

“Dino Ranch” takes place on a working farm, home to the tight-knit Cassidy family: Ma (Jane), Pa (Bo), and their three adopted kids, Jon, Min, and Miguel. But it isn’t an ordinary ranch. The Cassidy family is in charge of rounding up, riding and caring for a lively herd of racing, roaring dinosaurs who are also their best friends.

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Boat Rocker has developed a licensing program for “Dino Ranch,” partnering with Jazwares on a line of “Dino Ranch”-themed toys that will be available in fall 2021. The company is also working with publishing partner Scholastic to design and produce a range of “Dino Ranch” readers, sticker storybooks, novelty, activity books, and audiobooks with products due to launch in the fall. Further licensees have been secured in the United States for apparel, bedding and bath, watches, Halloween costumes, and costume characters for live events.

“Dino Ranch” was created by Matt Fernandes (of Industrial Brothers) and is produced by Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker Studios, in association with CBC Kids and Radio-Canada. Boat Rocker Studios manages global franchise development, including content distribution and consumer products. Animation services for season two of “Dino Ranch” will be provided by Boat Rocker’s Jam Filled Entertainment.

New Series ‘Donkey Hodie’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel May 3

PBS Distribution May 3 will add the new series “Donkey Hodie” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Following the adventures of Donkey Hodie, granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie character from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” (now known as “Grampy Hodie”), the new preschool puppet series arrives with three volumes. Children follow Donkey and her pals as they go on music-filled adventures while learning valuable lessons about resilience, persistence and problem solving.

The series is produced by Fred Rogers Productions (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”) and Spiffy Pictures (“Nature Cat”) and features original music along with reimagined versions of Rogers’ songs.

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In volume one, Donkey Hodie must wait until all her pals are together to open a present. She uses her imagination to help pass the time. Then, Harriett Elizabeth Cow wants Donkey and her pals to try her new invention, the Bounce-a-Rino, and they must decide who bounces first. Also, a scary monster appears during Donkey and Panda’s sleepover.

In volume two, Donkey gives her new flower too much water, and it grows so big that it disrupts her garden and her pals’ fun. Then, when the wind ruins Donkey and Panda’s Camp Buddy Buddy plan, they must change the plan. Plus, Donkey and Panda host King Friday for the day, but they don’t know what kings like to do.

In volume three, Donkey and Panda lose Bob Dog’s favorite ball in Spooky Shadow Swamp, and they must find their inner bravery to get it back. Then, a noisy penguin interrupts Donkey and Panda’s band practice. Plus, Donkey creates a sculpture for the Someplace Else art show, makes mistakes and feels ready to give up.

Also coming to the channel in May are volume 10 of “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” and volume 17 of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

HBO Max Picks Up U.S. Rights to Preschool Series ‘Love Monster’

HBO Max has picked up the U.S. rights to the Boat Rocker Studios preschool adventure “Love Monster,” with episodes available to stream now.

The animated series, featuring a lovable monster, premiered on CBeebies in the United Kingdom in late January. It is based on the award-winning preschool books of the same name by Rachel Bright.

The series follows the exploits of Love Monster as he navigates the challenges involved in being a bit funny looking in a world of cute fluffy things. Every day provides Love Monster the opportunity to embark on all kinds of adventures with his friends in Fluffytown, where, together, they learn life lessons. Designed to help preschoolers understand and manage different emotions, “Love Monster” showcases the importance of kindness, empathy, connection and instinct.

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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.