‘Disney Junior’ Programming Block to Launch February 14 on Disney Channel

Disney Junior, a new multiplatform destination for kids age 2-7, one that reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary, will debut Monday, February 14 (8:30 a.m., ET/PT), anchored by the new animated series “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.” Five other new series also join the Disney Junior schedule: the short form titles “Mickey Mousekersize,” “Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps” (supporting Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living initiative) and “A Poem Is…” (narrated by Jennifer Garner and Katie Holmes, among other familiar voices), and full length series “Babar and the Adventures of Badou” and “Tinga Tinga Tales.” Viewers’ current favorites, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Handy Manny,” “Special Agent Oso,” “Jungle Junction” and “Imagination Movers,” will also be seen on Disney Junior.

Disney Junior’s animated and live action programming will blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and beloved characters with learning components, including early math and language skills, as well as healthy eating and lifestyles, with an emphasis on social and emotional development.

The announcement was made today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, California by Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide.

Marsh said: “Disney Junior will be an entry point into the world of Disney for young kids, creating a world – online and on-air – that captures the magic of Disney and its classic heartfelt storytelling and timeless characters beloved by generations.”

Disney Junior (currently Playhouse Disney) will be available as a programming block weekdays (4:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., ET/PT) and weekends (4:00–9:00 a.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel in more than 99 million U.S. homes. This year it will also debut on 25 Disney Junior channels (currently Playhouse Disney channels) and free-to-air broadcast partners around the world. In 2012 Disney Junior will debut as a 24-hour basic cable and satellite channel in the U.S.

DisneyJunior.com, an engaging, learning-focused Disney destination for kids age 2-7 and their parents, accompanies the television launch. The site will feature storybooks narrated by popular Disney characters, activities that encourage creativity, over 150 full-length episodes of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Handy Manny,” “Special Agent Oso” and “Imagination Movers,” and a wide array of 90 games featuring characters from Disney Princesses, “Toy Story” and “Cars,” among other Disney favorites. The site will also debut a “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” supersite, featuring adventure-themed games including “Jake’s Treasure Hunt,” where users help Jake and crew find hidden treasure and escape from Captain Hook, and “Izzy’s Flying Adventure,” where players use Pixie dust to help Izzy and the gang fly off to stop Captain Hook, who has stolen their treasure. A dedicated section for parent and caregivers will highlight character-inspired recipes, crafts and party planning tips and ideas, along with how-to videos.

Beginning Monday, February 7, a full-length preview of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” will be available on Disney Channel on Demand (SVOD) and an 11-minute preview episode will be available on DisneyJunior.com, Disney Channel on Demand (Free VOD), Disney Channel mobile VOD providers and iTunes. As of the February 14 television premiere, the series will be simulcast on Disney Channel’s mobile providers Sprint TV, FloTV and MobiTV. New episodes will be available on DisneyJunior.com, Disney Channel on Demand, Disney Channel mobile VOD and simulcast providers, as well as iTunes and Xbox.

“Jake and the Never Land Pirates” is a new animated adventure series that introduces a crew of kid pirates – leader Jake and pals Izzy and Cubby – and follows their Never Land adventures as they work to outwit two infamous characters, the one and only Captain Hook and Smee, from Disney’s classic “Peter Pan.” The series, which emphasizes teamwork, features original pirate rock music performed by The Never Land Pirate Band. Many of the key creative professionals behind Disney’s #1 series for preschoolers, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” are at the helm of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.” Rob LaDuca executive-produces, with Mark Seidenberg serving as producer/story editor, Kelly Ward as voice director and Howy Parkins directing the series. It is a production of Disney Television Animation.

“Mickey Mousekersize,” a new short-form series part of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living initiative is hosted by Mickey Mouse and focuses on the fun of exercising, encouraging children at home to get up and move along with Mickey and pals.

“Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps,” a new short-form series part of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living features Oso and friends as they watch a live-action kid demonstrate three healthy steps to exercising and eating right. Sean Astin and Brad Garrett star as Oso and Buffo.

“A Poem Is…” is a short-form animated series showcasing poems for children set to scenes and imagery from classic Disney films including “Dumbo,” “Bambi” and “Lady and the Tramp.” Narrated by Katie Holmes and Jennifer Garner, the series is designed to cultivate fond memories of Disney classics for parents and create new ones for kids by introducing young children to the beauty of a poem.

“Babar and the Adventures of Badou” is an updated version of the classic “Babar” series and introduces King Babar’s energetic eight-year-old grandson, Badou, and friends as they explore the world of Celesteville.

“Tinga Tinga Tales” is a vibrant animated adventure series inspired by traditional African animal folktales and the art of Tanzania.

The premiere schedule is as follows:

Monday, February 14 (all times listed are ET/PT)

6:50 a.m. Finding Nemo

8:30 a.m. Jake and the Never Land Pirates Series Premiere “Hide the Hideout/The Old Shell Game”

8:55a.m. A Poem Is… Short-Form Series Premiere

9:00 a.m. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse “TBD”

9:25 a.m. Special Agent Oso Three Healthy Steps Short-Form Series Premiere

9:30 a.m. Handy Manny “Art Show/The New Time Capsule”

9:55 a.m. Mickey Mousekersize Short-Form Series Premiere

10:00 a.m. Babar and the Adventures of Badou Series Premiere “The Key/Grotto for One”

10:25 a.m. Jake and the Never Land Pirates Music Video

10:30 a.m. Chuggington Season Two Premiere “Wilson & the Dinosaur/Quiz Master Hodge”

10:55 a.m. A Poem Is…

11:00 a.m. Tinga Tinga Tales Series Premiere “How Lizard Hides Under Rock”

11:15 a.m. Timmy Time “Timmy the Postman”

11:25 a.m. Handy Manny School for Tools

11:30 a.m. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse “A Surprise for Minnie”

11:55 a.m. Mickey Mousekersize

12:00 p.m. Jake and the Never Land Pirates (encore)

12:25 p.m. Special Agent Oso Three Healthy Steps

12:30 p.m. Jungle Junction “Hiccup Power/Fifi Frenzy”

12:55 p.m. Handy Manny School for Tools

1:00 p.m. Special Agent Oso “Green Finger/For Sleepy Eyes Only”

1:25 p.m. Jake and the Never Land Pirates Music Video

1:30 p.m. Imagination Movers Season Three Premiere “Goldilocks and the Four Movers”

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