Production Begins on Playhouse Disney’s ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’; Series Features Captain Hook
Disney Television Animation has begun production on “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” an interactive 2-D and CG animated series for preschoolers and parents featuring the music and fun-filled adventures of classic characters Captain Hook and Smee, plus a new crew of kid pirates led by the enthusiastic and courageous Jake. The series, which will premiere on Playhouse Disney-branded blocks and channels around the world, is designed to emphasize teamwork. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, senior vice president, Playhouse Disney Worldwide.
Kanter said: “’Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ will introduce preschoolers to the excitement of Never Land, an imaginative, engaging pirate world for kids and a wonderfully memorable one for their parents. Comedic foils Captain Hook and his well-meaning sidekick, Smee, will continue to amuse young kids, as the enthusiastic Jake leads his team of kid pirates on adventures that model teamwork for our young viewers.”
Each episode features two fun and music-filled stories, as Jake leads his team – including Izzy, Cubby and their parrot lookout, Skully – aboard their amazing ship, Bucky, sailing from their Pirate Island hideout on a lost treasure hunt throughout Never Land. There, Jake and the team learn that they must work together to outsmart Captain Hook and Smee, earning gold doubloons as they conquer tasks. Whether the treasure is a skateboard, a guitar or a prized seashell, Captain Hook will do anything to get his hands on it, so Jake and his fellow kid pirates invite viewers to use teamwork, problem-solving and physical activity such as sliding down waterfalls, pulling vines and flying with the magic of pixie dust to reclaim their treasures.
“Jake and the Never Land Pirates” stars Colin Ford (“Sweet Home Alabama”) as Jake, Disney Channel star Madison Pettis (“The Game Plan,” “Cory in the House”) as Izzy and Jonathan Morgan Heit (“Bedtime Stories”) as Cubby. The series will feature original pirate jigs and rock chanteys, as well as music underscore by Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson of the Portland, Oregon-based pirate rock band, Captain Bogg & Salty.
Rob LaDuca (“Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”) is executive producer and Howy Parkins (“Emperor’s New School”) is director.
Mr. Smee, we thought we knew you. There was no doubt that once the Pirates League moved into town and started offering pirate makeovers that major changes would be afoot. Consider the following photo that compares Mr. Smee’s old look to his new look. Seams a bit different, don’t it? And who knew Mr. Smee lacked a belly button? He must have lost it in a battle with Peter Pan. He now also sports a more texture/plasticized set of eyebrows, a completely different mouth and all over has a more cartoony look, particularly with his eyes (and I think he might have had a nose job too). I might be going overboard when I suggest I think he even shrank a bit considering the height of his eyes compared with Hook’s nose (even more dramatic when it appears that Hook is even leaning forward in the old look photo while he’s standing upright in the new look photo).
Also going on around the World of characters, Snow White recently returned to the Germany Pavilion in Epcot with her very own wishing well. Also new is a sign outside the meet & greet area announcing it is a meet & greet spot, the first of its kind in the World Showcase if I’m not mistaken. The sign doesn’t mention Snow specifically however and it also appears that Dopey no longer takes a break from working in the mines to say hello with her either. We understand that Snow got a free vacation to Walt Disney World as they worked on her area.
And while it’s not news per se, let’s quickly check out the recent addition to the animation building in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the meet & greet area for the characters from Disney/Pixar’s UP: Russell, Dug and Carl. Said to be the most advanced meet & greet set to date, the set also features Kevin who pops up on either side and a real garden hose to help hold the house down (special thanks to Scott of the Disney, Indiana podcast for that tip).