TIME WARP TRIO combines humor and great stories to ignite kids interest in history in a new action-adventure animated series, which debuted on the Discovery Kids on NBC Saturday morning block on July 9, 2005. The show will air weekly at 10:30 am (ET)/8:30 am (PT) (check local listings), and also airs on the Discovery Kids Channel.
Created for Discovery Kids by renowned kids television producer WGBH and animated by Soup2Nuts, TIME WARP TRIO is based on the popular book series of the same name written by Jon Scieszka (who also wrote THE STINKY CHEESE MAN and THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS) and illustrated by Lane Smith. The series takes an animated look at what could happen when three 10- year-old city kids get their hands on a magic book that could send them anywhere in time or space.
Joe receives a mysterious book from his eccentric magician uncle, which, when it emits a pale green mist, it warps Joe and his friends Sam and Fred on extraordinary adventures where they meet Napoleon, a young Genghis Khan and Thomas Edison, among others. Each episode is based on real history and created in consultation with historians, and offers up a quirky interesting fact often left out of classroom lessons, such as that Blackbeard the pirate had 14 wives.
During their time travel adventures they frequently bump into their own great-granddaughters, Jodie, Samantha and Freddi, who also inherited The Book in the year 2105.
Each episode is loaded with cool facts about real history, such as that native American women used bear grease in pre-hair mousse days to control the frizzies and Mongolian nomads sniffed each other as a greeting rather than shaking hands. Major funding for TIME WARP TRIO is provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The series has a heavy graphic line art style with bold, saturated colors, provided by art director Mark Usher, reflecting the designs from the books, which Scieszka and Smith serving as consultants on the series. The kids resemble average, everyday kids (head character designer is John Dee), which real kids should be able to more easily identify with than glamorous, fashion-plate characters often served up in animated tween shows. The characters seem to float, rather than integrate with the backgrounds designed by Laura Kozuh.
Casting director Deb Toffan has set Mark Rendall to voice Joe, Darren Frost does Sam, Scott McCord plays the part of Fred. Tony Daniels does Uncle Joe, who gets the boys in so much trouble with the book while Susan Roman is Joes Mom.
TIME WARP TRIO has just the right mix of kid humor and cool facts, rooted in real history, that will appeal to kids, and is in keeping with our mission to help kids explore the real world as only kids can, said Marjorie Kaplan, evp/gm for Discovery Kids. Each trip back in time is told through a kids perspective of history, which, we hope, will resonate with our viewers and perhaps even turn them into young history buffs!
Added Carol Greenwald, exec producer from WGBH, We had a lot of fun working with Soup2Nuts to create a unique look with flash animation that will appeal to kids. We also did extensive research and designed backgrounds, costumes, props, and even battle strategies to bring to life the historical time periods and place where our trios travel. For instance, viewers will learn about such practical maters as what kind of shoes did soldiers wear into the great battles and how Samurai warriors brushed their teeth.
Kids may continue their experience in a whole community set up at the TIME WARP TRIO website at www.DiscoverKids.com. The site offers more facts, activities, games, missions, clips, a newsletter and a place to message other kids
Producers are Jacqui Deegan, Patrick Downie and David Trexler with Marcy Goldberg Sacks and Pamela Ross as assoc. producers. Visual effects are by Evan Sussman. David SanAngelo is director, director of animation is André Lyman, Kathy Waugh is head writer and Marc Chusid is gm for Soup2Nuts.
The show is recorded at Studio 306 with Carl W. Adams directing audio, Patrick Downie is audio editor, Aidas Kupcinskas and Joseph Boyd Vigil do mix and sound design and Jonas Cox is post-production director.
Riddlin Kids performs the theme song by Steve DAngelo, Johnny Suntan Obercian and Terry Tompkins. Scoring is by Eggplant Productions Inc.
Martha Ripp and Jim Rapsas are exec producers and Kaplan is exec in charge of production for Discovery Kids. Greenwald and Dorthea Gillim exec produce for WGBH.
The Saturday morning block on NBC and the Discovery Kids Channel (a 24-hour digital channel) offers entertaining, engaging, high-quality, real-world programming for kids. Building on Discovery Networks signature areas of science, adventure, exploration and natural history as well as a genre just for kids real-world narrative each Discovery Kids (discoverykids.com) show gives kids another perspective of the world in which they live and the possibilities available to them.
WGBH (www.WGBH.com) is the producer of award-winning childrens series such as ARTHUR, BETWEEN THE LIONS, POSTCARDS FROM BUSTER and ZOOM, airing on PBS, and PEEP AND THE BIG WIDE WORLD, airing on TLCs READY SET LEARN! and the Discovery Kids Channel. Under the leadership of vp Brigid Sullivan, the WGBH childrens lineup leads the field in educational multimedia (including the Web, broadband and interactive television) and in technologies and services that make media accessible for people with disabilities.
Soup2Nuts (www.soup2nuts.tv) is an innovative Boston-based digital animation studio offering full, in-house production services from creating series, writing, music composing, recording, character design, through the entire animation process. Founded in 1994, the studio quickly established a reputation as a successful and award-winning creator and producer of animated comedy programming with first hit, DR. KATZ: PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST on Comedy Central. Soup2Nuts has produced numerous series, including HOME MOVIES for Cartoon Networks Adult Swim, HEY MONIE for Oxygen Network and BET; SQUIGGLEVISION, on ABC and OGRADY on Noggins tween block, The N. Soup2Nuts is owned by Scholastic, the global childrens publishing and media company.