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TV Series

Celebrate Diversity — All Around You

Right on time! A couple of years ago we told you about a new animated TV series headed to the Disney Channel in 2023 — and now here we are. Animation World Network has this news: “Disney-Branded Television announced that Kiff, their nutty new animated buddy-comedy about optimistic squirrel Kiff and her chill bunny bestie Barry, will premiere Friday, March 10, on Disney Channel and Wednesday, March 15, on Disney+. Kimiko Glenn (Orange Is the New Black) stars in the titular role of Kiff, whose thirst for life takes her on countless adventures through their city alongside Barry, voiced by H. Michael Croner (Craig of the Creek). From creators and executive producers Lucy Heavens and Nic Smal, the series follows Kiff and Barry as they navigate school, relationships and their often-eccentric community in Table Town, a world where animals and magical oddballs tackle day-to-day life together.” We’ll see it all this spring!

image c. 2023 The Disney Channel

Jam Sessions for Juniors

Something new for the younger set we just found out about, thanks to Animation World Network: “YouTube Originals Kids & Family has released the official trailer for its all-new preschool series Jam Van, featuring a lineup of celebrity voice talent and musical guests… From Believe Entertainment Group (Dear Basketball), composer/producer Bill Sherman (Hamilton, In the Heights, Sesame Street), and animation studio Global Mechanic, the series follows animated best friends Lamb (voiced by Pete Lee) and Anne the Alligator (voiced by Nicole Byer). The duo travels to new locations around the country, where they meet with famous live-action musical artist friends. Together take on social-emotional learning challenges with the help of a new original song sung together.” This live action/animation mash-up premiers on January 19th.

image c. 2023 Global Mechanic

Bear With Him

This is a bit complex, so we’ll let Animation World Network explain it: “Nickelodeon has released a handful of first look images for Bossy Bear, the new animated preschool series from husband-and-wife team David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim (UglyDolls, Tea Time Cats), based on the Korean / U.S. pop culture blend book series by Horvath. The series follows the misadventures of unlikely besties Bossy Bear (an overly enthusiastic extrovert) and Turtle (a thoughtful introvert) in their Koreatown-inspired city of Pleasantburg.” Look for the show on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. in 2023. [And have a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!]

image c. 2022 Nickelodeon

They Do Anything. Really.

We stumbled across an ad for Lee’s Detective Agency, a new anime mini-series that’s a spinoff of the popular Arknights smart-phone game and anime series. Set in the same multi-species dystopian world, if follows the exploits of “…an odd jobs business in guise of a private investigation firm based in [the city of] Lungmen that is run by the namesake Mr. Lee and his personal, close-knit ‘family’.” We’re not sure how it works either, but it’s coming soon (December 23rd) on Crunchyroll, and they’ve got the trailer up for you to see.

image c. 2022 Yostar Pictures

Celebrate the Ducks

Just in time for holiday wish lists, Disney and Dark Horse Comics bring us the Deluxe Edition of The Art of DuckTales, edited by Ken Plume. “Scrooge McDuck and nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie are back in the 2017 remake of the classic series from Disney Television Animation, DuckTales! Now, find out about the making of DuckTales and read stories from the developers and cast covering every episode from all three seasons! The deluxe edition of the Art of DuckTales gives you all the content of the standard edition along with a slipcase that houses a gold-gilded version the book, an exclusive DuckTales Guidebook that contains expanded versions of the interviews with the crew and cast, and a finely-crafted replica of Scrooge’s Number One Dime!” Start wishing.

image c. 2022 Dark Horse Comics

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+

The Chicken Go Book Book Book

And yet more animated book adaptations. We got this from Animation World Network: “Apple TV+ just released a trailer for its newest animated series, Interrupting Chicken, based on the 2011 Caldecott Honor-winning book series written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein. The preschool series introduces children to the joy of creative writing – starting with a little young chicken named Piper, who has a habit of interrupting story time! Every time Piper hears a story, she can’t help but jump in, ask questions, and let her imagination run wild.” The new series premiers on November 18th, and the trailer is up on line.

image c. 2022 Apple TV+

African Adventures

More from the latest Animation Magazine: Zizi and Hannibal is a South African animated series that’s been picked up for distribution by Monster Entertainment from Ireland. “Zizi is an adventurous and curious five-year-old girl. Her best friend, Hannibal, is a bumbling, fun-loving Hippo. Together they explore the beautiful places of Africa and meet all the wonderful animals that live there. Hannibal loves singing songs, rhymes and having fun and Zizi is always keen to learn more about the animals they meet.” Now we’ll see where it gets shown!

image c. 2022 Pixcomm

Guinea Pig Gullible

Recently in Animation Magazine they talked about a new kids’ TV series in production called Olga Da Polga. We got this from Beyond Rights, the production company in the U.K.: “Created by the legendary children’s writer Michael Bond (Paddington Bear), Olga Da Polga is a charming new pre-school title about a lovable and highly imaginative guinea pig who loves telling tales. Joining guinea pig Olga in her adventures in the garden are tortoise Graham, hedgehog Fangio, and Noel the know-it-all cat – alongside ‘The Sawdust Family’. Currently in production by Maramedia (Hushabye Lullabye), Bond’s delightful and amusing stories are being brought to TV screens for the first time in a live-action drama with wonderful talking animals and gorgeous animation.” No word yet on when it’s coming out — or where in the world, either! Stay tooned.

image c. 2022 Puffin Books