Kids Programming (11)
Fans of the Disney Channel series Amphibia have already had a difficult year.
They have a sneaking suspicion that Disney has lost faith in the animated series and fans approached the season two finale with more than a bit of dread. While the Disney Channel had announced it had greenlit a third season of the show just before the season two premiere, some of the comments from the network and from people associated with series made it sound as if there might be a bit of buyer's remorse associated with a third season. And even if season three does happen, it's likely to be the end of the show, according to series creator Matt Braly. So the cast and crew of the show had been organizing fan events and putting out their own art and promos in order to promote the event as much as possible ahead of the finale.
The season two finale had long been scheduled for Saturday, May 1st, but it was pulled at the last minute on Friday. The unofficial/official reason given by the network on social media was that it was due to a conflict with a planned "Halfway to Halloween" promotion. Based on comments from insiders, the episode was apparently pulled over a dispute about the final scene in the finale. There was some speculation about the finale being pushed to next weekend, but there was already a Big City Greens block scheduled. Disney hasn't announced a date for the finale, although two weeks out seems to be the best guess. A delay which breaks the momentum of the season and makes it even more likely the finale's ratings will be a disappointment.
If things weren't chaotic enough, Apple's iTunes seems to have not been told about the delay of the finale. So the episode was available for purchase on Sunday for a few hours. And given that it was the only place the episode was available, it has been copied and posted on scores of YouTube channels and fan web sites.
Fans of Amphibia as well as some of the show's cast have asked fans to ignore the posted videos & wait to respond about the episode until after it officially premieres. Social media is one of the commonly used metrics used by The Disney Channel when it assigns promotional support and marketing efforts. A weak season two finale could relegate a possible season three to being burned off by the network.
If the history of these types of mistakes are any indication, their pleas for restraint will mostly be ignored. All of which will have a direct impact on the future of the show.
And it's too bad, because Amphibia is a sweet and clever series that deserves a much better fate that network afterthought.
Kids TV programming - particularly shows targeting the pre-K crowd - can feel more than a little insane to adult viewers. Dinosaur Train features a train which transports talking dinosaurs across time, but only in the periods in which dinosaurs existed. The star of Martha Speaks is a dog who is able to talk because she was eating alphabet soup and it accidentally went into her brain instead of her stomach. And don't even attempt to parse the backstory of The Backyardigans.
But even by the creative standards of preschool programming, Pui Pui Molear is a dizzying devil's brew of cute and creepy. It's nearly impossible to accurately describe the show if you're sober, so check out the video below and then go watch a few thankfully short episodes on Netflix.
Basically, Pui Pui Molcar is a Japanese-produced stop-action series that centers around a bunch of guinea pigs that have wheels instead of feet. They "drive" around like cars, but they're also sentient. A premise that offers up all sorts of unsettling scenes, like the one where one Molcar eats a bunch of garbage, then drives to a Molcar bathroom and poops the garbage (and its human driver) onto a strip of green grass. Oh yes, there are drivers inside the Molcars. They are human when they are inside, but when they exit the Molcar, they are suddenly toy soldier-like stick figures.
The short films have become a huge hit in Japan and for the record, the name "Molcar" is a mash-up of the word "molmot" (the Japanese word for guinea pig) and "car." But it's also important to note that the Molcar universe includes robot sharks and zombies. And that the episodes feature spoofs and creative nods to pop culture classics ranging from "Back To The Future" to "Indiana Jones."
Pui Pui Molcar is more than a bit over-the-top. But the episodes are cute, with bright colors and the goofball sounds that make it iirresistible to young kids. Although based on the number of Pui Pui Molcar memes I'm seeing on social media, the show might have a few fans over the age of 6.
A film made by Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon has been nominated for an Oscar at the upcoming Academy Awards.
The Kilkenny-based studio got the nod for Wolfwalkers in the best Animated Feature Film category – their fourth nomination in the classification in recent times and their fifth Oscar nomination in total.
The Apple Original film tells the story of Robyn, a young apprentice hunter, who comes to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. With much of the animation inspired by Celtic art, Wolfwalkers is considered a triumph of creative collaboration and Irish storytelling.
Written and directed by locals Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, the animated gem was created in the medieval city of Kilkenny, where the story is also set and where Cartoon Saloon has begun hosting a new festival of visual storytelling called Kilkenny Animation.
Featuring cartoons, animation and illustration in a series of exhibitions, talks, performances, workshops and experiences that celebrate the creativity and craft of the visual image, the next festival is pencilled in for October 2021.
The Irish film will compete against Onward, Over the Moon, A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon and Soul at the 93rd Academy Awards, but with many thinking it a two-horse race between Wolfwalkers and Pixar’s Soul, this could be the Kilkenny studio’s best chance yet to finally land the coveted Oscar.
Upon learning that he is from New York City, Arlo, a wide-eyed boy who is half human and half alligator, decides to leave his sheltered life in the swamp and search for his long lost father. The animated musical movie, Arlo the Alligator Boy, will launch Arlo’s journey as he meets a group of misfits who quickly become his new family. Once Arlo’s adventure lands him in New York City, the series, I ❤️️Arlo, will kick off as he and his newfound crew set up shop in an abandoned seaside neighborhood and help bring it back to life.
Here is the rundown of the voice actors:
Vincent Rodriguez III
Jonathan Van Ness
Michael "Flea" Balzary
Arlo The Alligator Boy premieres Friday, April 16th, 2021 on Netflix.
Here is the official trailer for the GKids film On-Gaku: Our Sound which will premiere in select theaters on December 11th.
Here is the official logline of the film:
When you’re a bored teenager looking for thrills, sometimes the only thing you can turn to is rock ‘n roll. Having no skill, money, or even a full set of drums, a feared trio of high school delinquents nevertheless decide they are destined for musical glory in a quest to impress their only friend Aya, avoid a rival gang, and – most importantly – jam out. Animated almost entirely by director Kenji Iwaisawa, and featuring a lead performance by Japanese alt-rock legend Shintaro Sakamoto, ON-GAKU: OUR SOUND brings its own sound and vision to the Hiroyuki Ohashi manga from which it was adapted. With pitch-perfect deadpan humor, the film presents a highly original take on the beloved slacker comedy: a lo-fi buddy film with a blaring musical finale that will leave you wanting an immediate encore.
Nickelodeon is welcoming in the holiday with over 100 hours of seasonal content, featuring 21 premieres of its live-action, animation and preschool series beginning Thursday, November 19th.
Here is a rundown of some of the new Nickelodeon programming:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH, 2020:
12 p.m. PAW Patrol “Pups Save a Bah Humdinger!” (30 min. special) Mayor Humdinger is being very naughty on Christmas Eve, and it’s up to the PAW Patrol to help Santa and save Christmas.
12:30 p.m. Santiago of the Seas “A Pirate Christmas” (30 min. special) Santiago and his crew must help Santa save Christmas. Guest star: Alfred Molina.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH, 2020:
8:30 p.m. (Nick Jr. Channel) The Adventures of Paddington “The Lost Letter” (30 min. special) Paddington has accidentally sent Jonathan’s Santa letter to Peru by mistake. When he sends Pigeonton to the North Pole with a new list, he goes missing.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4TH, 2020:
11 a.m. Blue’s Clues & You! “Blue’s Night Before Christmas” It’s the night before Christmas and Josh and Blue play Blue’s Clues to figure out what Blue wants for Christmas, decorate with Steve, help Joe wrap presents, and celebrate a night full of holiday traditions. Guest stars: Steve Burns and Donovan Patton.
12 p.m. Bubble Guppies “The Guppies Save Christmas!” On Christmas Eve, Molly, Gil and Bubble Puppy discover Santa’s lost list in the snow. To return the list safely to the North Pole, they have to keep it out of the hands of the Christmas-hating Humbug.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5TH, 2020:
11:30 a.m. It’s Pony “Bramley Holiday” The Bramleys need to find a way to celebrate their traditions and be together for the holidays.
7 p.m. The Casagrandes “A Very Casagrandes Christmas” Ronnie Anne is excited for the perfect Christmas, but visits from the neighbors put her dream Nochebuena on hold.
7:30 p.m. The Loud House “Season’s Cheating/A Flipmas Carol” Lincoln tries to rig the family gift swap and ends up learning a valuable lesson. Then, a Scrooge-like Flip is visited by three ghosts in a special take on “A Christmas Carol.”
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6TH, 2020:
10 a.m. (Nick Jr. Channel) Abby Hatcher “A Very Fuzzly Christmas” Abby is determined to bring her holiday traditions to the neighborhood when a snowstorm closes the hotel on Christmas Eve.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11TH, 2020:
12 p.m. PAW Patrol “Pups Save the Marooned Mayors/Pups Save the Game Show” While ice fishing in the North Country, Mayor Goodway and Mayor Humdinger get stuck in an ice crevasse. Then, Cowgirl Beryl hosts a game show at the Wingnuts’ farm.
12:30 p.m. Baby Shark’s Big Show! “Baby Shark’s Big Fishmas Special” (series premiere) With Fishmas just around the corner, the season’s hottest toy — Burpin’ Bubbz — is at the top of Baby’s and William’s wish lists and when Santa Jaws goes missing, it’s up to them to save the holiday.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12TH, 2020:
11 a.m. ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks “A Very Merry Chipmas” Theodore is mistaken for an elf and whisked off to the North Pole to help build toys in Santa’s workshop.
11:30 a.m. LEGO City Adventures “Arrest Ye Merry Gentlemen” When Fendrich threatens to ruin Sinclair’s holiday gala, Duke intervenes to save both the party and the holidays.
The full length feature film Thomas And The Magic Railroad will be coming to movie theaters on October 24th for a one day only run, presented by Fathom Events and Shout Factory
The movie features the voices of Peter Fonda, Mara Wilson, Alec Baldwin, Didi Conn and Russell Means and this presentation will include scenes that were cut from the original version of the film. As well as a behind-the-scenes interview with director Britt Allcroft and actor Alec Baldwin. There will also be an interview with Peter Fonda that dates back to the film's original release.
Here is the official description of the film:
For as long as anyone can remember, the magical Island of Sodor has been the realm of enchantment, innocence, and talking train engines. Mr. Conductor (Alec Baldwin) is taking care of the whole railway whilst Sir Topham Hatt is away.
Mr. C comes from a family of miniature Conductors who travel between the Island of Sodor and Shining Time Station thanks to a supply of mysterious gold dust. However, Sodor’s steam engines suddenly find themselves heading for a load of trouble courtesy of the railroad baddie Diesel 10, whose plan is to destroy our hero Thomas and Mr. C…then take over Sodor before Sir Topham Hatt’s return. Thomas and Mr. C must save the engines before his dwindling supply of gold dust runs out!
Lily (Mara Wilson) has a hunch that her grandfather (Peter Fonda), up in his workshop on Muffle Mountain, can be the one to crack the code that will save the Conductor family… and bring back to life the Magic Railroad, which runs between Sodor and the beautiful Indian Valley surrounding Shining Time. Lily teams up with Mr. C and Thomas and sets out to get Sodor back on track in this beloved, full-length adventure starring the world’s #1 tank engine.
Tickets for Thomas And The Magic Railroad can be purchased now at www.fathomevents.com and participating theatre box offices.
Stepbrothers Phineas and Ferb, their older sister Candace, Perry the Platypus and the Danville gang are back together again in "Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe," an out-of-this-world animated adventure from Disney Television Animation. Executive-produced by Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh (creators and executive producers of the long-running Emmy Award-winning series "Phineas and Ferb"), the movie centers on Phineas and Ferb as they set out across the galaxy to rescue Candace, who after being abducted by aliens, finds utopia in a far-off planet, free of pesky little brothers.
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous follows a group of six teenagers chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at a new adventure camp on the opposite side of Isla Nublar. But when dinosaurs wreak havoc across the island, the campers are stranded. Unable to reach the outside world, they’ll need to go from strangers to friends to family if they’re going to survive. Scott Kreamer (Pinky Malinky) and Lane Lueras (Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny) serve as showrunners and executive producers. The series is executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Colin Trevorrow. Zack Stentz serves as consulting producer.