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April 24, 2014

preschool

Yo Gabba Gabba coming to Nick Jr - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 26th 2007 1:03PM

yo gabba gabbaMoona. Foofa. Brobee. Toodee. Plex.

Either I'm typing in tongues or those are the names of some characters from the upcoming Nick Jr. series Yo Gabba Gabba!, a series I keep accidentally referring to as "Gabba Gabba Hey!" (curse you, Ramones!). Moona, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee and Plex are a cyclops, a pink flower bubble, a green something-or-other, a cat-dragon and a robot, respectively. Just the names and the descriptions of the characters has the preschool part of my brain excited to see what the shows is all about.

Yo Gabba Gabba! will be hosted by DJ Lance Rock and also feature special guests and animated segments. Based on the promo video, it looks like an eclectic mix of Electric Company-style retro and funky music mixed with the bright colors and simplicity of Teletubbies. You'll probably find it annoying, but if you have little kids, they'll probably love it. And yes, I do believe that is Biz Markie making an appearance in the promo.

The series hits Nick Jr. this fall.

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Ellen's Acres coming to Cartoon Network

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 4th 2007 9:08AM

ellen's acresAnimation Collective, the company behind Wulin Warriors, has developed another series for Cartoon Network, a preschool series called Ellen's Acres. I'll assume most of you couldn't care less about this, but if you have young ones, either children of your own or a small child who just happened to follow you home one day, they might want to check it out when it premieres on January 8.

Ellen is a little girl who lives with her parents at Emerald Acres Hotel in Nevada. There are no other children her age around, so she has to rely on her own imagination to have fun. That sounds a little like Calvin and Hobbes, and not too different from my own experiences growing up in a rural area away from the city, except Ellen plays with a radial tire and I played inside large tractor tires. Trust me, it's fun when you're five.

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Well, since we're free to mock Barney -- VIDEO

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 30th 2006 9:41AM
BarneyRecently, Julia posted a piece about a lawsuit filed against a man that made fun of Barney on his little website. The end result favored the satirist, so Julia said, "America, you are free to mock Barney" and... y'know what? I think I will.

I don't recall how I stumbled across this video (probably late-night YouTube surfing), but I definitely remember watching it at, like, three in the morning and laughing deliriously for an obscene length of time. It's a charming mash-up of Barney video and Tupac audio. That's right. Somehow, the flailing of Barney's tiny hands suddenly become the aggressive gestures that conduct the beat of a west-side thug. Plus, the dancing children and sparkles add a nice touch.

Obviously, the visuals are work-safe, but, since it's gangsta rap, you may want to turn down the volume or pop on some headphones. Here we go...

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Attention preschoolers: more Max and Ruby on the way

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 10th 2006 6:05PM
max and rubyOkay, we probably don't get a lot of preschoolers reading this blog, but if you happen to be a parent with young kids who are fans of the Nick Jr series Max and Ruby, they can look forward to new episodes featuring the brother and sister bunny duo in Spring of 2007. The episodes will air, as usual, during Nickelodeon's Nick Jr morning block of preschool programming, and on Noggin. The new slate of episodes will kick off with an Easter special. Also, at some point during the new episodes, one of the bunnies will be mortally wounded with a shotgun. Wait, sorry, I'm confusing this series with Dallas. Anyway, kids will learn the usual lessons about sharing, compromise, and respecting others. Also, they'll learn that bunnies wear clothes and talk, which is absolutely true.

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Mickey Mouse Clubhouse coming in May

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 19th 2006 5:05PM
mickey mouseHere's a question for anyone who's reading this who has little kids: do kids today even know who Mickey Mouse is? I know Disney still maintains a talon-like hold on the subconscious of preschoolers everywhere, but I don't know if ol' Mickey gets much attention these days. Well, he may be getting more attention when Mickey Mouse Clubhouse premieres in May as part of the Disney Channel's "Playhouse Disney" block. The new computer-animated program will feature Mickey and his close pals Goofy, Donald Duck, Pluto, Minnie Mouse, and Daisy Duck as they take part in weird and fun adventures and teach basic fundamentals of learning. The theme song is written and performed by They Might Be Giants. The show debuts in primetime at 7:30 p.m. on May 5, and then rerun the next morning in its regular Saturday 9:00 a.m. timeslot.

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Little Einsteins on iTunes

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 12th 2006 1:06PM
little einsteinsThose of you with small children might be interested to know that Disney's Little Einsteins, the animated preschool program about a group of intelligent youngsters in a magic rocket which uses classical music and fine arts to enhance the educational experience, is now available on iTunes. Individual episodes will be $1.99 while the full first season will be $25.87. So, basically, if your kids want to download these episodes they need to get off their blankets and get a job so they can afford to pay for them. If you just buy them the episodes, they'll never learn what it means to work for something, which is why you should send your three-year-old to work a nightly ten-hour shift as a longshoreman. This will make the experience of watching the program all the more meaningful, trust me.

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John K wants your little girl

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 10th 2006 1:03PM

heartachesIs the creator of Ren and Stimpy going to create a cartoon for the kindergarten set? I have no idea, but he wants to. I know the link is a couple months old, but the story actually goes back to the late 90s. That's when Kricfalusi created some animated spots for Old Navy featuring a group of little girls who will also star in his new venture, titled The Hearthaches. From what I can gather, there's no studio attached to this, so it's still in the "pitch" phase. Nevertheless, I would love to see the kind of spirit and energy put into so many of Kricfalusi's grotesque-but-hysterical cartoons filtered through a more "girly" lens.

Regarding his approach to the series, Kricfalusi wrote this: "I feel my duty is to make cartoons that have tons of fun and magic in them. I wouldn't give kids asparagus ice cream you know. I give neopolitan [sic]."

That should be the mantra of anyone who makes animated programs for children.

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It's Hellraiser, for kids

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 7th 2006 1:56PM

hellraiserIt's just a joke, of course, but I can't help but think that turning the movie Hellraiser into a children's program is a really great idea.

Heckraiser: The New Breed is an animated program about the adventures of SafetyPinHead and the Junior Cenobites, who must thwart their arch nemesis, Nanny, as they try to find the puzzle box that will send them all back to Heck. I think that sounds positively heartwarming, and it gets even better. A scene from the first episode is describe thusly:

In the premier episode, SafetyPinHead feels jealous because he thinks Butterball Cenobite ate the last piece of Lemon Meringue pie. Butterball swears he didn't, but SafetyPinHead is so sure Butterball is fibbing that he concocts a trap that springs rusty hooks into Butterball's stomach and flays his intestines open, exposing the pie, which SafetyPinHead greedily gobbles up. They both wind up with tummy-aches, but for completely different reasons!

Sure it may sound a bit graphic for preschoolers, but have you ever seen Jo Jo's Circus? That little clown girl is much more creepy.

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Wanted: Host for children's television

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 20th 2006 11:51AM
  • Filed under:
  • PBS
As part of its new, five-year initiative called PBS KIDS, the public television network is launching a nationwide search for someone to host its new preschool programming, which begins this fall. PBS describes the right person as someone "who embodies a warm, creative and charismatic approach to life-long learning and child engagement. And don't be too creepy." OK. I added that last line myself. The host will do more than just introduce the next show. He or she will act out language and musical segments and inspire the kids to think about what they're watching. PBS is considering current television talents and people in early childhood education for the job. You can find more information about the job here.

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