Henson Awards New Licenses for critically-acclaimed preschool series “Pajanimals” to Disney Junior for EMEA and Latin American territories.
Hollywood, CA -- World-renowned family entertainment producer and distributor The Jim Henson Company has licensed all 52 x 11’ episodes of its new preschool series, PAJANIMALS, to The Walt Disney Company for its Disney Junior platforms in France, Italy, Benelux, Central and Eastern Europe, Israel, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The announcement was made today by Richard Goldsmith, Executive Vice President of Global Distribution, The Jim Henson Company and Patricia Hidalgo, Vice President Content & Programming Strategy, Disney Channels EMEA.
PAJANIMALS is slated to commence broadcast on Disney’s EMEA platforms starting in December 2012 in morning and afternoon slots, with some markets planning nightly evening programming blocks developed around the PAJANIMALS’
The stories unfold through fantasy, adventure and song as the Pajanimals fly away together on a magic rocket ship to make-believe lands such as the Land of Play, The Land of Hush, The Friendly Forest and Happy Birthday Land. These journeys celebrate imagination and tackle typical toddler issues, such as the fear of the first day of school, making new friends and learning how to share. The Pajanimals end their day of play with a relaxing return to their cozy bedroom and familiar night time or nap time routines, including bathing, brushing teeth and story time, to develop a feeling of safety and structure.
“PAJANIMALS was developed to help children become comfortable with the routines of daily life, promoting easy emotional transitions and providing skills that every child needs,” said Goldsmith. “The series has proven to be a powerful tool for parents who are dealing with the challenges of introducing their children to these new experiences and it is a testament to the development and quality of the series that Disney Junior has chosen to broadcast PAJANIMALS during daytime and evening timeslots, bringing ‘moms best helper’ to a diverse audience.”
Patricia Hidalgo, Vice President Content & Programming Strategy, Disney Channels EMEA comments: “PAJANIMALS will perfectly complement our own programming like Tales of Friendship and the Goodnight Song which are part of the bedtime offering on our Disney Junior channels across EMEA, helping create a calming period for young children and supporting parents in their bedtime routine. The series has been hugely popular with families globally and I’m sure will be a big hit on our channels.”
In the U.S., PAJANIMALS airs every night on 24-hour preschool channel Sprout®. The series also began broadcasting in July 2012 as part of the new NBC Kids weekend morning block tailored for preschoolers. Season two of PAJANIMALS debuted on Sprout® in August 2012.
In addition to the Disney Junior acquisition, PAJANIMALS has been licensed to international broadcasters ABC in Australia and TVNZ in New Zealand, where it debuted with strong ratings. The Jim Henson Company anticipates the announcement of additional new broadcast deals in the near future.
Source: The Jim Henson Company
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.