Press Release from PBS KIDS
HOLLYWOOD -- Beginning Monday, September 7, 2009, PBS KIDS invites preschoolers to hop on board the fun and fantastical DINOSAUR TRAIN, a new CGI-animated series from The Jim Henson Company premiering weekdays (check local listings). DINOSAUR TRAIN embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains while encouraging basic scientific thinking and skills as the audience learns about natural science, natural history and paleontology. Each of the 40 half-hour episodes features Buddy, an adorable preschool age Tyrannosaurus Rex, and includes two 11-minute animated segments, Young viewers can join Buddy and his adoptive Pteranodon family on a whimsical voyage through prehistoric jungles, swamps, volcanoes and oceans as they unearth basic concepts in natural science, natural history and paleontology. The series continues Henson's and PBS KIDS' legacy of quality children's entertainment and joins Henson's successful series SID THE SCIENCE KID, which also airs on PBS KIDS.
"DINOSAUR TRAIN is a really exciting new show for us here at The Jim Henson Company," says Lisa Henson, the Company's co-CEO. "We wanted to create an educational series that allows parents and their kids to explore and discover natural and life sciences in a fun, imaginative way. They'll be inspired to ask interesting questions about both dinosaurs and trains, and will be eager to investigate the answers together."
"PBS is thrilled to build on its commitment to provide more science-based content for our youngest audience with the addition of DINOSAUR TRAIN," said Linda Simensky, VP, Children's Programming, PBS. "The Jim Henson Company does a fantastic job at leveraging children's natural interests in dinosaurs and trains while encouraging preschoolers to learn how to think, talk and act like paleontologists, which can open the door to a lifelong interest in science."
DINOSAUR TRAIN begins when Buddy is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Pteranodon and brought to their nest to hatch at the same time as his new siblings, Tiny, Shiny and Don. Buddy and his new family have an insatiable desire to learn all about the different types of dinosaurs, so they board the wondrous DINOSAUR TRAIN, which allows them to travel and explore the world inhabited by these amazing creatures.
Departing from Pteranodon Station, the DINOSAUR TRAIN is a colorful locomotive, customized to accommodate all kinds of dinosaurs. Windows are perfect for the long-necked herbivores, and there's plenty of head room in the Observation Car for the Giganotosaurus, giving all the species onboard a chance to check out the prehistoric world as they ride on the train. The DINOSAUR TRAIN has the ability to visit the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous worlds, while the Train's Conductor, a knowledgeable Troodon, provides passengers with "cool Dino facts" along the way.
Adding to the series are live-action interstitials featuring world-renowned paleontologist Scott Sampson. "Dr. Scott" brings to life the show's natural science and natural history curriculum for preschoolers as he gives specific facts about dinosaurs and compares their features to animals of today.
DINOSAUR TRAIN is created by Craig Bartlett (HEY ARNOLD!), one of animation's most successful producers. "DINOSAUR TRAIN is the perfect marriage of the two things 3-6 year olds love the most -- trains and dinosaurs. Ever since I saw my son put a toy dinosaur on board a toy train, I wanted to create a series that would take that interest and get kids excited about life sciences and natural history," said Bartlett.
Launching at the same time as the DINOSAUR TRAIN TV series is the show's interactive Web site at pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain. Buddy, Tiny, Mrs. Pteranodon and The Conductor will guide children as they discover natural history and the science of paleontology through fun games and activities. Parents, caregivers and educators can also find resources and activities to extend the series learning at PBS Parents (pbsparents.org) and PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org).
DINOSAUR TRAIN, produced by The Jim Henson Company, is co-produced with Singapore animation company BIG Communications, with the participation and assistance of the Singapore Media Development Authority. UK production and financial support is being provided by Ingenious Media. The series is executive produced by Lisa Henson, Brian Henson, Halle Stanford and Craig Bartlett.