Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Who is Sid the Science Kid?

For the past year The Jim Henson Company has been hard at work producing "Sid the Science Kid," a brand-new television series set to debut on PBS in September 2008. The Jim Henson Company has partnered with KCET to produce this new educational series. The animated series will showcase the Henson Digital Performance Studio, a revolutionary tool that allows puppeteers to perform digital characters in real time.

"Sid the Science Kid" is a unique sketch-comedy show designed for 3-6 year olds and aims to promote science-readiness and critical thinking skills. The series stars Sid, an inquisitive young boy attempting to demystify his quirky observations of the world around him (such as why people sneeze, how a drinking straw works, why bananas turn brown, and how birds fly).

Longtime Henson performer and Muppeteer, Drew Massey is bringing the titular character of Sid to life. In addition to simply supplying the character's voice, Massey performs the digital puppet in real time. The ditial puppeteering provide the show with its fresh performances and spontaneous connections among characters. Joining Sid in this scientific adventures is an ensemble of friends -- including May (Julianne Buescher), Gabriela (Alice Dinnean Vernon) and Gerald (Victor Yerrid). The series also features an extended cast of characters including Sid's parents, grandparents, teachers and neighbors.

Bradley Zweig is serving as head writer for the show, and episodes are being directed by Brian Henson. The half-hour series is already lined-up to debut on PBS in September with an initial order of 40 episodes along with a two-year on-air commitment.

You can take a look at the stars of "Sid the Science Kid" (Sid, May, Gabriela, and Gerald) in the four exclusive pictures posted below. I will be sure to keep you updated as information regarding the production and premiere of this exciting new show is released.

Sid May
Gabriella Gerald


Anonymous said...

Why is the Henson company doing CGI flicks now?
I don't care that a puppeteer controls the pixels now.
This sucks.
I doubt Jim Henson would abandon
puppets and move on to computers.
Is anyone else bothered by this?
I love the Muppets because they are
cleverly crafted, and lovingly performed pieces of art.
Now it's all stored on a hard drive.

Anonymous said...

"Exciting new show"

So you like watching a computer program?

Give me cloth and real live acting.

frogboy4 said...

The technology used for this project was one of the last things Jim Henson worked on. This is the same sort of rig used for the Henson Hour's CG "Waldo" character. So yes, Jim Henson would have likely blessed this concept - especially for a children's science show.

It is basically a CG/virtual puppet. Yeah, the traditional puppetry with the Muppets is still my favorite way to go (by far) and that still seems to be going on at Disney with the Muppet gang, Sesame workshop and at the Henson Company with Puppet Up, the Fraggle Rock film and various other projects.

I am for real puppets firts, but kudos for trying to create something more endearing out of today's technology.

Anonymous said...

We love Sid and all his friends and are ready for the famous microphone to his store shelves. My son and I watch it everyday when he gets home from school. This show is obviously special and unique. One of those shows you can feel good about.

Anonymous said...

I Love this show!

Not being in the industry but being a life long fan of Henson creations, I'm so excited to have Sid the Science Kid in my home. I can understand the first posts point of view. But I don't think he/she samples much of what is avail to the target age group! I can clearly see what the puppeteers bring to the characters and love the dimension they bring to the show! There is always room for quality work no mater it's presentation.

My four-year-old loves the show and I love what it inspires. I'm learning a lot as well. I'm learning that every question from that little brain is an opportunity to teach and nurture more curiosity. Sometimes as busy parent we forget that.

Thanks to all involved!

Anonymous said...

We love Sid at my house. This has my 2 1/2 year old increasing his vocabulary in amazing ways. With so much inappropriate tv out there for kids this show is absolutely refreshing!

Anonymous said...

i dont know if it is age appropriate for my 14 month old, but we love this gets him up and moving when he hears any of the songs. it is so colorful and fresh. i understand what people are saying about how it is sad that it is no longer puppets, but we have to appreciate that it is shown on PBS with no commercials and still is focused on learning vs. entertaining. another plus is it is not as annoying as other cartoons, so we grown ups can take it over and over again. i'm sure my son will continue to love this show as he grows!!!
thanks hensons!!!!

gatorgirl said...

I loved ( and still do) the Muppets when I was a kid and I'm thrilled with the new Sid the Science Kid show. My 2 year old loves it, too. She only sits still for 2 things, Elmo and Sid so I really love the times we can sit together and watch something both entertaining and educational for both of us. Thanks again Jim Henson.

Ginny said...

I love this show because weirdly Sid looks like an animated version of my grandson. They are so similar it is hilarious, down to the microphone and his friends. LOVE the intelligence of this program as it does not dumb down children. GREAT JOB!!!!!

jhernandez said...

My 11 month old baby loves this show! My wife and I started surfing channels looking for cartoons for our little boy and he didn't seem interested in any of them, then we found PBS and they were showing Sid the Science Kid. My little boy was hooked from the first moment he saw Sid. His eyes were wide opened, he had a big smile on his face and he started dancing along with the music. We record every episode of this fantastic show. I guess the target audience is from 3-5 years old, but my kid loves it and like I said, he's only 11 months!

Thanks to all the people that have made this show possible.