“Blue’s Clues” creator Traci Paige Johnson and award-winning feature film producer Caroline Baron team up to launch new children’s media company yummico. Initial release is the food adventure series “yummiloo,” debuting March 20 with interactive app.
NEW YORK –
Traci Paige Johnson, creator of the beloved, groundbreaking preschool television series Blue’s Clues and co-creator of SuperWhy, and Caroline Baron, award-winning producer of acclaimed feature films, including the Oscar-nominated Capote and Monsoon Wedding, have teamed up to launch the new interactive children’s media company yummico, a trusted destination for delicious media. yummico produces entertaining media for preschoolers across multiple platforms, with a focus on digital games, interactive shows, apps and ebooks, as well as traditional narrative animation, print books and other consumer products. Featuring lovable characters, irresistible stories and a homegrown aesthetic, yummico creates content that kids adore and parents trust.
The new company kicks off with the musical food adventure series Yummiloo. Yummiloo gives the phrase playing with your food an entirely new meaning as it makes trying new foods fun and sets a foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating. Featuring the Yum Yums, a band of creatures who live in a world made entirely of food, Yummiloo uses story-based games to help kids discover the basics of food identification and nutrition. The first Yummiloo app, titled Yummiloo Rainbow Power, is an interactive game produced in collaboration with Night and Day Studios. It launches on the iTunes store on March 20. Yummiloo Rainbow Power, which will regularly sell for $1.99, will have special promotional pricing during its debut with more details to come.
“As a children’s content creator, I am committed to creating characters and telling stories that truly connect with children - content that inspires them to look at the world in a new way once they turn off the devices” said Johnson. “As a mom, I am always searching for quality content that is also a parent's ally, where I know my child is actually engaged and even getting some added value."
yummico's founders are committed to engaging parents and developing relationships around issues their audiences are concerned about. All of yummico's properties will be released with parent guides and tips that help bring the digital experience into a real world setting.
Yummiloo confronts the issue of childhood nutrition through fun, accessible game play. The Yummiloo educational curriculum and learning goals have been outlined and developed in consultation with children’s media research and educational consultant Dr. Natascha Crandall.
Johnson and Baron met at their sons' preschool and realized they shared a common concern: Their kids were native users of devices for which there was limited good available content. Having each built impressive track records as creators of enormously popular media content, the pair recognized that they were two moms who were uniquely positioned to do more than just talk about their concerns – they could actually do something real, tangible and from the heart. The two then enlisted their husbands - director, animator and visual effects creator Bob Mowen and feature film writer, director and producer Anthony Weintraub – to join in the project and yummico was born.
“As platforms and distribution channels evolve and technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated and ubiquitous, great content – particularly for children - continues to be at a premium and in great demand,” said Baron. “yummico is ideally suited to deliver that content. With our focus on the digital space, we have positioned the company to take full advantage of the demands of the market.”
“In designing the Yummiloo game play, our goal was to provide a fun and engaging experience that helps kids develop food identification skills and healthy eating habits,” added Brianne Baker, Creative Director at Night & Day Studios. “After they play Yummiloo Rainbow Power, don’t be surprised if kids request radicchio or squash the next time they visit the grocery store. Or better yet, they'll ask to collect a rainbow of food!"
yummico will be rolling out additional content shortly, including The Adventures of Ash & Ollie, a series of fun and engaging adventures that reinforce lifestyle habits, including bedtime rituals, screen time, potty training, good manners and more. Other programming in development includes The App Police, a buddy comedy featuring two bumbling policemen that takes place inside the world of tablet devices and Edison the Invention Detective, the humorous adventures of Edison, a girl inventor who loves to solve mysteries.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.