Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Henson Moving Forward with "Dinosaur Train" and "The Skumps"

Following in the recent footsteps of "Sid the Science Kid", "Unstable Fables" and "Frances", The Jim Henson Company has announced two new CG series currently in development within the company - "Dinosaur Train" and "The Skrumps".

"Dinosaur Train", an animated series created by Craig Bartlett, has already secured a tentative television deal with PBS Kids with 26 half-hour episodes currently in development. The animated series focuses on Buddy, a preschool-age Tyrannosaurus who is rescued and hatched by a Pteranodon. Buddy soon realizes that he is different than his siblings; and in response to Buddy's enthusiasm to learn more about himself and other dinosaurs, his adoptive mother takes her children on educational adventures to meet different types of dinosaurs and learn about these incredible creatures. The family rides a dinosaur-run train that travels through magical tunnels that lead to different prehistoric eras. The series' curriculum and content is being developed with input from paleontologists, scientists and education experts, and is being designed to help build interest in life science and natural history.

Also on Henson's developmental line-up is "The Skrumps", the original digital-puppetry series based on characters created by John Chandler. Henson first launched the franchise and characters in 2007 with a collection short webisodes on Yahoo! Kids, and interest in the property has been growing ever since. The Company is currently working on two long-form direct-to-DVD films featuring the characters; and Henson is also looking for partners to put together a television series featuring the characters. The Skrumps are brought to life using the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio (the same technology used on "Jim Henson's Sid the Science Kid" and "Frances"), this system allows puppeteers to perform the CG characters in real-time.

Brian Henson, co-CEO of the Jim Henson Company, says the company's development slate is maturing, and he expects the company to release between three and five new projects each year. Other projects currently in development and production within the company include "Sid the Science Kid", "Pajanimals", a "Fraggle Rock" feature film, "Power of the Dark Crystal", "Unstable Fables", "Farscape" webisodes, "Puppet Up! - Uncesored", an stage show based on "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas", and much more. I will be sure to keep you updated as details on all these exciting Henson projects become available.

5 comments:

Nic Kramer said...

I hope Creg's shows will be good. I really enjoyed "Hey Arnold!".

Anonymous said...

How the hell will the Dinosaur show get past the Jesus Junkies on their creationist shtick?

Anonymous said...

I'm a Jesus junkie. I'm a creationist too. But I don't have a problem with dinosaurs and such, because I believe that creation was not 6000 years ago. The Bible doesn't give a definitive timetable to creation, so all these eras that trip up a lot of Christians really did happen. It's called Old-Earth Creationism. Look it up. Mark

Tiny Dancer said...

I'm only concerned that they may spread themselves too thin. Three to five projects a year sounds daunting to me, considering what they do. Hopefully their next big thing doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

Dale said...

Jim Henson's group has created another monster hit with these adorable "little" critters.

The series premiered over the Memorial Day weekend here in Utah where world-renowned palentologist Scott Sampson from the Utah Museum of Natural History brings the show's natural science and history to life for the preschooler crowd as "Dr. Scott".

Eight of the scheduled 40 episodes for the first season have already won over the hearts of kids of all ages who have tuned in.

Go here >

http://www.pbs.org/aboutpbs/news/20090107_pbskidsdinosaur.html

to read the January 7th press release describing this all-new CGI-animated series, then go here >

http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain/

to further explore the games, learning tools and curriculum themes of the show, and explore the "dinohood" online.

The fascination the preschoolers possess for dinosaurs as well as trains is what catches the eyes of the adults. The lessons learned by the little tykes extend far beyond the science, the history, the engineering and math to include even critical thinking and social skills that will help form our next generation of leaders.

Trains, and dinosaurs, and Henson (Oh My). Move over Barney, the Dinosaur Train is roaring down the track. ALLLLL ABOARD!