By Sahil Patel
Amazon is finally launching its first original kids’ series.
“Tumble Leaf,” from Bix Pix Entertainment and Emmy Award-winning director Drew Hodges, will debut on May 23, followed by “Creative Galaxy,” from “Blue’s Clues” creator Angela Santomero, on June 27, and Annedroids, from JJ Johnson and Sinking Ship Entertainment, on July 25.
Amazon plans to release the first season of all three shows in two blocks. Each show will premiere with six half-hour episodes exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video, with Amazon debuting seven more episodes by the end of 2014.
It’s reminiscent of the strategy Netflix is using for its own kids’ series, specifically “Turbo Fast,” which debuted last December with five episodes. Citing how animated programming requires different production timelines, Netflix plans to release new episodes of that show, as well as other animated kids series, in blocks timed to when kids and families would be home to watch the content.
“Tumble Leaf,” “Creative Galaxy,” and “Annedroids,” all debuted during Amazon Studios’ first pilot season. They were ordered to series alongside comedies “Alpha House” and “Betas.”
Since then, Amazon has picked up two more kids’ shows: “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street” and “Wishenpoof!,” which was also created by Santomero.
All kids programming from Amazon Studios is developed with the support of Dr. Alice Wilder, producer and director of research and development for “Blue’s Clues.” “We’re working with some of the most renowned creators in the business to introduce programming that promotes life-long learning through play,” said Tara Sorensen, head of kids programming at Amazon Studios.
Here are descriptions for “Tumble Leaf,” “Creative Galaxy,” and “Annedroids”:
“Tumble Leaf” (for preschool-aged children)
“Tumble Leaf” debuts May 23 and comes from Emmy Award-winning director Drew Hodges and award-winning studio Bix Pix Entertainment. The preschool aged show follows Fig the Fox and his best friend Stick as they discover adventure, friendship and love around every bend. Themes found in the show promote exploration and scientific thinking through play. The talent behind the characters includes Christopher Downs as “Fig” and “Stick,” Zak McDowell as “Hedge,” Addie Zintel as “Pine,” Brooke Wolloff as “Maple,” and Alex Trugman as “Ginkgo.”
“Creative Galaxy” (for preschool-aged children)
On June 27, Amazon Studios will introduce “Creative Galaxy” from acclaimed creator Angela Santomero and Out of the Blue (“Super Why!,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”), and features Samantha Bee (“The Daily Show”), Christian Distefano, Jason Jones (“The Daily Show”), Cloris Leachman (“Malcolm in the Middle”), and Jason Priestley (“Beverly Hills 90210”). In this make-along, create-along, interactive art adventure series for preschoolers, characters Arty and Epiphany travel around the galaxy to solve problems with art, inspiring creative thinking through crafts, music and dance. To give kids and parents the real-life tools they need to re-create Arty’s experience, a live-action piece at the end of each animated episode will take viewers through the craft project that Arty showcased in the galaxy.
“Annedroids” (for children ages 4 to 7 years)
“Annedroids,” about a young scientist, will be available starting July 25. Created by Emmy-nominated JJ Johnson (Dino Dan) and Sinking Ship Entertainment, and aimed at children aged four through seven, “Annedroids” is a live-action adventure series about a young female genius, her human friends, android assistants and the amazing scientific discoveries they make while undertaking the biggest experiment of them all: growing up. Addison Holley (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”) stars as “Anne,”Adrianna Di Liello (“Stage Fright”) plays her friend “Shania,” and Jadiel Dowlin plays “Nick.”