Netflix expands kids’ selection with three pre-school series
Staff Reporter | On 07, Jul 2015Reading time: 3 mins
Netflix is expanding its kids’ TV selection yet again with the commission of three new series.
The streaming giant has been increasingly active in its programming for younger viewers, adding exclusive DreamWorks spin-off Dragons: Race to the Edge this month to bolster its competition with Sky’s growing family VOD library and Amazon’s new kid-friendly tablet and subscription media service. Netflix also has deals with partners such as PBS, Disney Channel, Mattel, Hasbro, Lego and Scholastic.
Its pre-school activity, though, has been slightly less prolific, with licences for shows such as Bob the Builder and Pingu recently expiring. Netflix will be hoping to change that with the order for three new animated series.
Word Party, Kazoops! and True & the Rainbow Kingdom will feature elements of language acquisition, problem solving and critical thinking throughout each episode. They follow the announcement last month of new original shows Puffin Rock (coming this September), Kulipari: An Army of Frogs (jumping online next year), Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and Jane (also swinging in during 2016) and Cirque du Soleil – Luna Petunia (expected in autumn 2016).
Here’s a little more about each of them:
Word Party – 2016
Word Party is a vocabulary building show from The Jim Henson Company that follows four adorable baby animals as they sing, dance and play. The show invites our youngest viewers to help teach the baby animals new words, learn these new words themselves, and even celebrate these achievements with a “Word Party!”
Word Party is produced using the groundbreaking Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a proprietary technology from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop that allows puppeteers to perform digitally animated characters in real time – enabling the animation to be more lifelike and spontaneous. 26 11-min episodes will premiere exclusively on Netflix around the world in 2016.
Kazoops! – 2016
Monty has a huge imagination, a great sense of adventure and is always asking the question “Why,” because the world is full of stuff people do and say that makes him scratch his head and wonder. Are all monsters scary? Can animals play music? Why must we wear matching socks?
Accompanied by his best friend, Jimmy Jones, the family pet pig, Monty challenges everyday preconceptions about life through the power of his imagination.
Kazoops!, produced by Cheeky Little, in partnership with the ABC and BBC, promotes curiosity and critical thinking and brings to the screen a playful CGI animation style that draws on traditional claymation and fun 2D graphic art. The 13 episode series will premiere on Netflix around the globe in late 2016 and launch in the UK and Australia at a later date.
True & the Rainbow Kingdom – 2017
True & the Rainbow Kingdom is a comedy adventure series from Guru Studio, Home Plate Entertainment and i am OTHER. True is the guardian of the magical Rainbow Kingdom and the show’s bright and resilient girl lead. True, along with her best friend, Bartleby the cat, used ingenuity and creative thinking to solve problems big and small, and bring harmony and love to all. The series is based on artwork by the Friends With You fine art collective and its positive messages of Magic, Luck, and Friendship.
Coming in 2017, 10 22-min episodes will premiere on Netflix globally and launch in Canada at a later date.
In addition to these new original titles, Netflix is also adding three new first-run exclusive series for kids to enjoy. The award-winning Russian phenomenon, Masha and the Bear, will premiere this August in the United States. This month, Canadian animation company Nelvana Studios introduces The Day My Butt Went Psycho to grade-school kids in the U.S., UK, and Mexico. And Elias, the little rescue boat from the popular Norwegian preschool series of the same name, is now streaming exclusively on Netflix in US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand.