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.