Issues about remarriage are sweetly addressed in a special primetime episode of Playhouse Disney's hit series for preschoolers, JOJO'S CIRCUS premiering June 20, 2005, at 7:30 pm on the Disney Channel. Erik Estrada is the voice of groom-to-be, Mr. Muscles, and sings an original song with lyrics written by Kathie Lee Gifford in this stop-motion episode A Circus Town Wedding.
JoJo's young friend Maya learns that her father, Mr. Muscles, is remarrying and her stepmother-to-be is her teacher, Mrs. Kersplatski, but Maya is worried how this will change her role with her father. Maya wonders if her dad will still make her favorite peanut butter and banana sandwiches and if she will still be his "little mouse," JoJo and her friends Skeebo and Croaky question their own families about stepmothers. JoJo's parents, Peaches and Mr. Tickle, reassure her that the wicked stepmothers in fairytales are really just make believe.
While all of Circus Town delights in the upcoming nuptials, viewers learn about the customs of a wedding. On the big wedding day, the fretful Maya hides away. JoJo finds her and convinces Maya to tell her dad why she is so scared about the change in their family. In a sweet father/daughter song, Mr. Muscles sings to his daughter a reassuring song about how he will always be there for her.
At last, all of Circus Town, dressed in their finest, turns out for the colorful, joyful event. When Mr. Muscles realizes he has forgotten the ring, Maya, the flower girl, comes to the rescue.
In the "spotlight moment," a staple at the end of every episode, JoJo concludes that she learned, "there are all kinds of families, but no matter what kind you have, the people who love you love you forever, no matter what."
In addition to Estrada, voice stars include Madeleine Martin (currently on Broadway in THE PILLOWMAN) as the voice of JoJo; stage and screen actress Jayne Eastwood (founding member, The Second City, Toronto) as the voice of Mrs. Kersplatski; and Phoebe Mcauley as the voice of Maya.
Kathie Lee Gifford wrote the lyrics for "A Wedding's A Wonderful Thing" and "Maya's Song," which are sung by Eastwood and Estrada, respectively.
The curriculum advisor is Roberta Altman, graduate faculty at Bank Street College of Education, and author of JUMP, WIGGLE, TWIRL & GIGGLE. The episode was written by Susan Kim and directed by John Schnall and Tim Snyder. Music is by Rich Mendoza and Stuart Kollmorgen. The exec producers are Jim Jinkins, David Campbell and Adam Shaheen.
JOJO'S CIRCUS is produced by A Cuppa Coffee Prods. and Cartoon Cola, a Cartoon Pizza Co.