The loveable friends in the Hundred Acre Wood get a 3D-animated look and a new friend -- six-year-old girl named Darby -- in the new Disney series, MY FRIENDS TIGGER & POOH, premiering on Disney Channel's programming block for preschoolers, Playhouse Disney, on May 12, 2007, at 10:00 am.
The series stars A.A. Milne's timeless characters Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit and other favorites, plus Lumpy (making his television debut), Darby and her puppy, Buster. Rendered for the first time in CG by Walt Disney Television Animation, the stories reflect the traditional qualities of the original Winnie the Pooh stories -- a sense of community, friendship and whimsical adventures. Every episode revolves around the solving of a mystery in the Hundred Acre Wood, with the help of adventurous Super Sleuths Tigger, Pooh and Darby, and features an interactive curriculum to encourage the youngest viewer to apply "reflective" thinking skills.
Each half-hour show features two 11-minute stories in which Tigger, Pooh and Darby don homemade Super Sleuth costumes, transforming themselves into a trio of dedicated problem solvers. Whether figuring out where butterflies come from or what happened to the "rumbly in Pooh's tumbly," the Super Sleuths bring their own perspective and talent to the perplexing puzzler and work together to analyze the situation.
The series curriculum is also designed to help preschoolers develop their reasoning skills. Viewers are encouraged to take a thoughtful look at the world around them and understand that sometimes asking the right questions is more important than the answer.
Veteran voice actor Jim Cummings reprises his roles of Tigger and Pooh. He has exclusively been the voice of Pooh since 1987 and Tigger since 1999. Ten-year-old actress Chloe Grace Moretz is the voice of Darby.
The exec producer/story editor is Brian Hohlfeld (POOH'S HEFFALUMP MOVIE, PIGLET'S BIG MOVIE, A VERY MERRY POOH YEAR). The directors are Emmy Award-winning Don MacKinnon (Disney's THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, BUZZ LIGHTYEAR OF STAR COMMAND) and Emmy nominee Dave Hartman (JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES).
The series features sing-a-long music, a core component of Disney's legacy. The series opening theme and its recurring "Think, Think, Think" song and "Super Sleuths Theme" were written by Emmy Award-nominated composer Andy Sturmer of the Beatles-influenced pop band Jellyfish and performed by Kay Hanley of the alternative rock band Letters to Cleo.
"MY FRIENDS TIGGER AND POOH gives preschoolers a chance to experience the Hundred Acre Wood through the eyes of a contemporary friend just like them," said Nancy Kanter, svp, original programming, Disney Channel. "Darby's presence offers viewers the unique opportunity to engage with the adored Winnie the Pooh characters. We felt that an environment so rich in nature would provide a great framework for stories that emphasize problem-solving and 'sleuthing' -- allowing kids to ask questions themselves and reflect upon the challenge at hand."
The series will also premiere soon in more than 70 countries via Disney Channels and Playhouse Disney channels around the world shortly thereafter.
Playhouse Disney is a daily programming block on Disney Channel that encourages preschoolers to imagine and learn through original series, interstitials and acquired programming that encompasses song, movement and entertainment. Guided by an established curriculum, Playhouse Disney supports multiple areas if child development: physical, emotional, social and cognitive; thinking and creative skills as well as moral and ethical development though carefully constructed themes, storylines and characters.
Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. Currently available on basic cable in more than 90 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on 26 Disney Channels and feeds around the world, Disney Channel is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group.