New Season of Playhouse Disney’s ‘Tasty Time with ZeFronk’ Starts July 19; ‘Imagination Movers’ Get Healthy
Supporting Disney’s ongoing commitment to helping kids and parents achieve healthier lifestyles, Disney Channel will premiere the second season of Playhouse Disney’s popular animated short-form series for parents and preschoolers, “Tasty Time with ZeFronk,” on MONDAY, JULY 19 (9:25 a.m., ET/PT), with new episodes every day throughout the week. Beginning July 6 www.playhousedisney.com will feature all of ZeFronk’s recipes, which are simple creations that kids and their parents or caregivers can make together at home. Kids are also invited to craft personalized recipe books.
This season ZeFronk, a French Dachshund who hosts a cooking show from his doghouse, will highlight his favorite nutritious recipes from around the world, including China, England, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Thailand and his native France. The week will conclude with a new health-themed episode of the Emmy Award-winning series “Imagination Movers” on SATURDAY, JULY 24 (10:00 a.m., ET/PT).
Zefronk gives viewers a taste of recipes including Ze Chinese Chicken Salad, Ze English Tea Sandwiches, Ze German Potato Pancake, Ze Greek Treat, Ze Indian Mango Lassi, Ze Italian Caprese Kabobs, Ze Jamaican Coconut Banana Wheels, Ze Mexican Quesadilla, Ze Thai Watermelon Slush and Ze French Mini Quiche.
ZeFronk whips up healthy snacks with the help of his assistant, a bird named Sue, and is often driven to distraction by his sneaky neighbor cat, Dom, who will stop at nothing to get a bite of one of ZeFronk’s tasty snacks.
In the “Imagination Movers” episode entitled “Give Me Strength,” the Movers help a circus strongman, Gunther the Great, regain his powers through a series of muscle-building exercises, weightlifting contests and — most importantly – eating healthy.
“Imagination Movers” stars the popular New Orleans band of the same name – Rich Collins, Scott Durbin, Dave Poche and Scott “Smitty” Smith – and introduces preschoolers to the Movers’ energetic rock and roll style of music while emphasizing creative problem solving skills. The Emmy Award-winning series features the blue-
suited band as everyday guy brain-stormers working hard to solve “idea emergencies” in their Idea Warehouse, a place of infinite inspiration. Each 30-minute episode features five songs presented in music video style performances.
All Playhouse Disney series carry a TV-Y parental guideline.
Beginning June 8, Playhouse Disney’s Handy Manny will become the next celebrity to sport a milk mustache as part of the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP)’s ‘Got Milk?’ ad campaign. Print ads will first run in English in magazines such as Disney FamilyFun and People. Later this year, in conjunction with ‘Hispanic Heritage Month,’ Handy Manny will appear in milk ads in Spanish.
Academy Award-winning comedy legend Mel Brooks, Emmy Award-winning Brad Garrett and famed Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz guest star in the second season of Disney Channel’s Emmy-nominated Playhouse Disney series, “Special Agent Oso,” starring Academy Award nominee Sean Astin. The season premieres on SATURDAY, JULY 10 (8:00–8:30 a.m. ET/PT), with new episodes every Saturday throughout July and August.
The season will include the introduction of two new special agent characters: Buffo the water buffalo, voiced by Brad Garrett, is a slightly clumsy and excitable inventor charged with creating all of Oso’s special agent gadgets. And Oso finds a new sparring partner in special agent Musa, a mysterious stuffed animal ninja who has taken a vow of silence and dons a traditional keikogi.
Mel Brooks, whose grandson is a fan of the series, guest stars as snoring Grandpa Mel. Lou Holtz guest stars as the football-playing Uncle Lou. Other guest voices include Lisa Loeb, Rita Moreno, Ming-Na, Freddy Rodriguez and Rebecca Romijn.
The hit interactive series emphasizes discovery, humor and organizational skills for preschoolers. Storylines in the upcoming season model social and life skills, from the importance of telling the truth to what to do if you get lost, as well as many fun physical outdoor activity-themes, including playing catch, miniature golf, riding a scooter, playing tag and throwing a football.
Paying homage to special agent classics, the series follows Oso, voiced by Astin, a lovable yet bumbling stuffed panda bear who works for U.N.I.Q.U.E. (United Network for Investigating Quite Usual Events), an international organization of stuffed animals charged with helping kids accomplish everyday tasks such as mailing a letter, cleaning their room or learning how to use the library.
David Arquette has joined the cast of Disney Television Animation’s upcoming “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” an interactive series for preschoolers that follows the adventures of classic characters Captain Hook and Smee, along with a new crew of kid pirates led by the enthusiastic and courageous Jake. Arquette will voice the role of Skully, the lookout pirate parrot who helps Jake and crew foil Captain Hook’s plans. “Modern Family’s” Ariel Winter lends her voice to the recurring role of Marina the mermaid. The series will premiere on Playhouse Disney-branded blocks and channels around the world in 2011.
Arquette said: “I’m thrilled to be a part of the ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ team. My daughter has seen the pilot episode and loves it. The character I voice is Skully – a talking parrot. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that parrots can talk, and, now here I am, a human imitating a parrot imitating a human. Ya gotta love show biz.”
An actor, writer, director and producer, Arquette has a long list of film and television credits including the role of Deputy “Dewey” Riley in the “Scream” films for director Wes Craven. He begins production on the fourth installment of “Scream” this summer. As a partner in Coquette Productions with his wife, Courteney Cox, David Arquette currently serves as executive producer of ABC’s “Cougar Town” alongside Bill Lawrence. Coquette also produced the FX drama “Dirt,” among other series. Arquette directed the feature film “The Tripper.” He is a partner in Propr clothing line and serves as Entertainment Chairperson for Feeding America.
Tween actress, Winter, is best known for her role as Alex on the hit ABC series “Modern Family.” Winter will next be seen on the big screen opposite Eddie Murphy and Kerry Washington in “A Thousand Words.”
Each episode of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” 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” also stars Colin Ford (“Supernatural”) 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.
Disney Channel has ordered a third season of its Emmy Award-winning Playhouse Disney series, “Imagination Movers,” starring New Orleans’ favorite alternative rock band for preschoolers. Production on the third season of music-filled episodes will resume in New Orleans in June 2010. The season will also include the first-ever Imagination Movers concert special. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, senior vice president, Playhouse Disney Worldwide.
Kanter said: “‘Imagination Movers’ is a hit with young viewers and their parents alike. Fans have connected with the personal warmth of the Movers and their unique style of music for kids, as validated by their huge online following and the success of their recent 40-city/54-date tour. Season Three of the series will expand the Movers world beyond the Idea Warehouse and will include more surprise visitors and guest stars.”
Walt Disney Records is scheduled to release a new album highlighting songs from the second season of “Imagination Movers” nationwide on June 8. The soundtrack will feature 18 original songs from the series, including “Bounce,” “Slip Sliding” and “When You Grow Up.”
The popular Imagination Movers are Rich Collins, a former journalist and father of five young children; Scott Durbin, an award-winning teacher and father of two young children; Dave Poche, an architect and father of two young children; and Scott “Smitty” Smith, a New Orleans firefighter who was a member of the Katrina search and rescue effort.
“Imagination Movers” features the blue-suited band – Rich, Scott, Dave and Smitty – as everyday guy brain-stormers working hard to solve “idea emergencies” in their Idea Warehouse, a place of infinite inspiration. Each 30-minute episode features five songs presented in music video style performances.
“Imagination Movers” airs weekdays at 9:30 a.m., ET/PT and weekends at 10:00 a.m., ET/PT during Disney Channel’s Playhouse Disney programming block for preschoolers. Select episodes are also available at www.playhousedisney.com, Disney Channel on Demand and on mobile via Sprint TV, MobiTV and FLO TV. The series carries a TV-Y parental guideline.
Skot Bright and Sascha Penn (“Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream,” “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party”) are executive producers along with Emmy Award-winning writer/producer Rick Gitelson (“Handy Manny,” “Rugrats”). Band members Collins, Durbin, Poche and Smith are co-executive producers. “Imagination Movers” is produced by Penn Bright Entertainment and Zydeco Productions in association with Disney Channel.
A second season of the Playhouse Disney animated series “Jungle Junction” has been ordered by Disney Channel. Produced by Spider Eye Animation in the UK, the season will consist of 26 colorful and interactive new episodes which will begin rolling out on Playhouse Disney platforms around the world in 2011. The announcement was made today by Nancy Kanter, senior vice president, Playhouse Disney Worldwide.
The series follows a group of fun-loving animals on wheels as they explore a unique jungle. Part animal, part vehicle, the inhabitants of “Jungle Junction” embark on fast-moving adventures that emphasize an appreciation of the environment while highlighting the pre-literacy skill of print awareness through the use of road signs and symbols. Season two storylines will continue to focus on the environment, building an understanding of how human activity affects the environment, how the natural world works and how man-made objects and energy function.
Kanter said: “‘Jungle Junction’ has become a global success for Playhouse Disney, with preschoolers and their parents embracing its characters and unique jungle world. We are eager to continue working with our UK production partners at Spider-Eye to bring more adventure-filled episodes to kids around the globe.”
In the U.S., “Jungle Junction” ranked among TV’s Top 20 preschool-targeted programs in Kids 2-5 in 2009, reaching over 26 million unique Total Viewers in the fourth quarter. (Source: NMR, U.S. ratings, Live + 7, as dated. Program rank based on minimum 10 telecasts; reach based on 6 minute qualifier).
Globally the series has premiered in over 15 countries and airs in 12 languages, reaching over 29 million unduplicated viewers. Among its notable performances is the UK, where “Jungle Junction” premiered in September 2009 and became the second most successful launch with Total Viewers, watched by nearly half a million viewers over its first weekend, and most successful within key demos (boys 4 – 5). The series will continue to roll out globally throughout 2010.
The “Jungle Junction” game, “Ellyvan’s Coconut Parade,” currently ranks as PlayhouseDisney.com’s #1 game for 2010 with total visits.
“Jungle Junction” was created by Trevor Ricketts (writer/storyboard artist, “Shaun the Sheep”). Erica Darby and Morgan Francis of the Cornwall, England-based Spider Eye Animation (“The Cramp Twins,” “The Lampies,” “Monkey Dust”) are executive producer and director, respectively. “Jungle Junction” is a production of Spider Eye Animation in association with Disney Channel.
“Jungle Junction” airs weekdays at 10:00 a.m., ET/PT during Disney Channel’s Playhouse Disney programming block for preschoolers. The series carries a TV-Y parental guideline.
Disney Channel celebrates Earth Day with green-themed episodes of its hit series, each conveying the importance of conservation, recycling and using sustainable natural resources, beginning SATURDAY, APRIL 17.
For the youngest viewers, Disney Channel will present a new episode of “Handy Manny,” an Environmental Media Association Award-winning series, guest starring eco-crusader “Sustainable Dave” Chameides and Lance Bass, and new eco-themed episodes of “Special Agent Oso” and “Imagination Movers.” PlayhouseDisney.com will launch a new “Special Agent Oso” game entitled “Recycling is Forever,” on THURSDAY, APRIL 1, in which kids can help Oso identify, sort and properly place recyclable items in the correct bins to earn a special recycling Digi-Medal.
For older kids and tweens, Disney Channel will feature encore eco-conscious episodes of “Phineas and Ferb,” “Hannah Montana,” “The Suite Life On Deck” and “Wizards of Waverly Place.”
New Disney’s Friends for Change: Project Green on-air messages featuring multi-platinum recording artists and actors Joe Jonas (“JONAS”) and Demi Lovato (“Sonny With A Chance”), stressing the importance of protecting the planet’s oceans and waterways, will debut on Earth Day. Kids can add to the more than 1.5 million Friends for Change “pledges” that have already been made by visiting Disney.com/ProjectGreen and committing to help local habitats.
Playhouse Disney’s hit Emmy-nominated series, “Handy Manny,” puts the pedal to the metal with the premiere of the series’ second primetime special, “Handy Manny Big Race,” starring Wilmer Valderrama and guest starring NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. and N’Sync’s Lance Bass, SATURDAY, MARCH 20 (7:00-7:25 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. In this exciting primetime event for preschoolers and parents, Manny and the tools hit the motor speedway as a pit crew for the highly anticipated Wood Valley 500. The announcement was made today by Earnhardt and Valderrama at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
In “Handy Manny Big Race,” Manny and the tools help Elliot fix up his used race car to enter the big Wood Valley 500 race. The car turns out better than expected and everyone is ready to race – except Elliot, who’s too nervous to drive. Famous race car driver Chase Davis (voiced by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) steps in to help, but Elliot’s nerves get the best of him. With the tools as his pit crew, Manny gets behind the wheel in an attempt to win the race for the entire team.
Earnhardt said: “My 4-year-old niece is a huge ‘Handy Manny’ fan, so when Disney Channel approached me about doing this role, I did it with her in mind. It was fun doing it, and being ‘Chase Davis’ for a while. I know Kennedy will enjoy seeing me on her favorite cartoon.”
In the special, Valderrama, Bass (who recurs on the series as surfer-dude Elliot) and the cast of Tools perform the new song “One Step at a Time.” A music video for the song will premiere Saturday, March 6 on Disney Channel and online at Disney.com/HandyManny. In addition, PlayhouseDisney.com will give preschoolers the opportunity to decorate their own race car for the chance to have it featured on air during the premiere broadcast of “Handy Manny Big Race.”
A full-length preview becomes available on Disney Channel On Demand on Saturday, March 13. Select mobile providers will also simulcast the special in conjunction with the television premiere. Beginning Sunday, March 21, the special will be available at Disney.com/HandyManny and on a variety of mobile VOD distributors.
Disney Chanel will debut the third season of its #1 Playhouse Disney series “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27 (9:00 a.m., ET/PT). The third season, which brings the series to 100 episodes, will also include the new physical fitness-themed short-form series, “Mickey Mousekersize” and three new primetime specials.
Supporting Disney’s ongoing commitment to helping kids and parents achieve healthier lifestyles by engaging preschoolers in fun physical activity, the 10 new three-minute “Mickey Mousekersize” shorts, hosted by Mickey Mouse, focus on the fun of exercising and encourage kids at home to get up and move along with Mickey and pals. The short form series will debut this fall.
In addition to 31 new music-filled episodes, three brand new primetime specials will be presented. Last October, the series’ first-ever primetime special, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Choo Choo Express,” ranked as TV’s #1 program in its timeslot among its targeted Kids 2-5 demo, more than doubling year-ago preschool ratings in the time period. A family viewing event, 54% of Adults 18-49 viewed the event with a preschooler.
The season launches with an episode entitled “Goofy’s Goofbot” in which Goofy builds a super smart and strong toy robot that looks just like him. Other storylines for season three include an “Indiana Jones”-like adventure, an underwater submarine voyage and a desert journey.
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.