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Strength From Within — And Puppets

Animation World Network let us know about Slumberkins, a new TV series that recently started streaming on Apple TV+. “Based on the plushie and book series line of the same name from Thrive co-founders and CEOs Kelly Oriard and Callie Christensen, AppleTV+’s Slumberkins series features characters Bigfoot, Unicorn, Sloth, Yak, and Fox as they explore a world of feelings in this puppet/2D animation show that empowers the emotional wellness of children through supportive storytelling. Slumberkins brings to life characters from Oriard’s and Christensen’s books who all experience a diverse range of emotional explorations, discovering that awareness of their own feelings and the ability to sort through those emotions lead to blossoming relationships and unwavering self-confidence. This was the main concept behind the original Slumberkins plushies, each with its own book series that includes interactive questions to support emotional growth.” And with puppets created by The Jim Henson Company no less.

image c. 2022 Apple TV+

We Are Mongrels

It’s a new puppet TV show coming to British television called We Are Mongrels, and it’s being marketed by the BBC as “Avenue Q meets Family Guy“. This is from Furtean Times ( “British digital TV channel BBC Three has commissioned an adult puppet series featuring anthropomorphic animals. We Are Mongrels follows the exploits of a country fox who decides to discover ‘the real wild life’ in the city. He therefore travels to the Isle of Dogs and meets up with a range of different characters including a ‘sexy’ Afghan hound whom he falls in love with, a street cat, and a sarcastic pigeon from Blackburn. The series is the creation of Adam Miller, who is one of the directors on Taking the Flak, the currently broadcast BBC Two comedy drama set in an African war zone, and the ITV2 sketch series Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show. Miller will also act as the director of We Are Mongrels. Stephen McCrumb will be executive producer. McCrumb told Broadcast magazine that he and Miller had ‘a shared love of puppets and the desire to do something ambitious in British comedy, outside of live action’. The series will be broadcast next year [2010] and will be written by Jon Brown. In a unbroadcast pilot for the show, the voice of the fox was played by Rufus Hound, Lucy Montgomery played the Afghan, and Katy Brand played the pigeon. While it is hoped that the actors will return to play their roles, it has not yet been confirmed if they will.”