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Henson Signs New Deals for 'Sid' and 'Dinosaur Train'

The Jim Henson Company signs new international broadcast deals for “Sid the Science Kid” and “Dinosaur Train.”

Hollywood, CA -- The Jim Henson Company has finalized multiple international sales agreements for its, Emmy-nominatedanimated preschool series Dinosaur Train and innovative, interactive Sid the Science Kid series, as well as its new Sid the Science Kid: The Movie.

In France, national public broadcaster France Télévisions has licensed season two of Dinosaur Train, the Emmy-nominated and Parents’ Choice Silver Honor TV series, which consistently ranks in the top ten shows for kids ages 2 to 5 in the U.S.  The network also picked up broadcast rights for Sid the Science Kid: The Movie. The feature length program, the first-ever for the series, continues the show’s mission of engaging preschoolers’ natural curiosity in the world around them.  Canal+’s children’s satellite channel in France, Piwi, also licensed season two of Dinosaur Train.

Portugal’s children’s cable channel, Canal Panda, has licensed seasons one and two of both Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid series.

State-owned public television broadcaster ERT in Greece picked up season one for both Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid for its young viewers.

Studio Canal has also licensed season one of Dinosaur Train for DVD release in both the U.K. and Germany.

In Canada, TFO, the French language educational and cultural public television station in the province of Ontario, has acquired broadcasting rights for the second season of Dinosaur Train for French-speaking Canada.  Knowledge, the viewer supported public broadcaster in British Columbia, Canada, has also licensed season two of Dinosaur Train for broadcast.

“Children’s program buyers throughout Europe continue to respond very favorably to Dinosaur Train and Sid the Science Kid,” said Richard Goldsmith, EVP of Global Distribution for The Jim Henson Company.  “Our fresh and invigorating children’s programming appeals to audiences and program buyers alike around the globe.  When you back this engaging content with our Company’s long-standing reputation for delivering high quality, fun and educational programming for children of all ages, it definitely provides us with a sales advantage.”

In Dinosaur Train, young viewers join Buddy and his adoptive family of Pteranodons, on whimsical adventures through prehistoric jungles, swamps, volcanoes and oceans as they discover basic concepts in natural science, natural history and paleontology. The Dinosaur Train, a colorful locomotive, is customized to accommodate all kinds of dinosaurs, and has the ability to visit the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous worlds, while the Train’s Conductor, a knowledgeable Troodon, provides passengers with fascinating facts along the way.

Dinosaur Train was created by Craig Bartlett. Lisa Henson, Halle Stanford and Bartlett serve as executive producers. Each 30-minute episode includes two 11- minute animated segments and a live action sequence featuring a real paleontologist that brings the show’s natural science and natural history curriculum to life for preschoolers by giving specific facts about dinosaurs and comparing their features to animals of today. Dinosaur Train airs on PBS KIDS in the U.S. The series is produced by The Jim Henson Company, and co-produced with Singapore animation company Sparky Animation, with the participation and assistance of the Singapore Media Development Authority. UK production and financial support is provided by Ingenious Media.  Dinosaur Train currently boasts approximately 70 licensees around the world.

The critically-acclaimed Sid the Science Kid television series has proven to be incredibly popular in many key territories around the world.  The series is produced using the revolutionary Emmy Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a proprietary technology that allows performers to puppeteer and voice digital characters in real-time, creating an unprecedented level of spontaneity, quality and interactivity.  Sid the Science Kid airs on PBS KIDS in the U.S. with funding provided by The Boeing Company, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and VINCI Early Learning Systems. Additional funding is provided by MetLife Foundation, The Rose Hills Foundation, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Johnny Carson Foundation and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

In Sid the Science Kid: The Movie viewers find Sid and his classmate Gabriela winning a science experiment contest and the opportunity to experience a new, modern science museum before it opens to the public. At the museum, they meet contest winners from China, and together they encounter a quirky scientist, voiced by special guest Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), who has designed robot tour guides of the future. When one of the robots goes haywire, it is up to Sid and his friends to work as a team to find the rogue robot and save the day.

The new feature film is written by long-time show-runner Bradley Zweig, who also serves as an executive producer.  Other executive producers are Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford for The Jim Henson Company.  For Nine Eyes Stone, Al F. Barry is the executive producer and David Miller is producer. The Jim Henson Company represents worldwide rights to the movie outside of China, including all theatrical, television, DVD and digital platforms and is also handling all ancillary distribution of the property including licensing, video and merchandising.

Source: The Jim Henson Company

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.