Thursday, November 16, 2006

Henson Caters to Pre-Schoolers with "Laugh Pad"

"The Dan Clark Company" has teamed up with "The Jim Henson Company" to produce "Laugh Pad", a brand-new preschool series, intended for airing on Cartoon Network. Although the series has not been officially picked-up yet, a pilot was produced earlier this fall. The show focuses on Legume, a silly green alien-like creature, and Tammy, his human friend.

The show utilizes the state of the art Henson Digital Performance System. The system allows for immediate real-time performance of 3-D generated characters via puppeteering techniques. The system allows an unprecedented level of spontaneity, interactivity and readiness when compared to traditional computer animation.

"Laugh Pad" inserts the human actor into the computer generated world where she interacts with the real-time-animated characters. By using the Henson Digital Performance System, the digital puppeteer and actors are working side-by-side, which allows the actor and characters to feed off each other and provides a spontaneous and "realer" feeling to the interactions when compared to animation.

A short sample clip from the test pilot, which showcases the show's unique style and visual effects, has surfaced on the net -- the short clip is available to watch here. It is unsure if Cartoon Network will green-light the series or when viewers will be able to see more "Laugh Pad". I'll keep you posted as more develops on this, and other Henson, project.

Update: I got several e-mails after posting this story (including two from people who worked on the program), they informed me that since producing the pilot Cartoon Network officialy decided not to pick up the show. Apparently the entire preschool programming block the show was to be a part of was cancled, and "Laugh Pad" was a casualty. There are currently no plans to sell and distribute the program elsewhere, but I'll keep you posted if anything changes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well I'm glad Cartoon Network's preschool block idea failed. Do you know what they plan to do if that block was success? It would spelled the end for the classic cartoon chanel, Boomerang!