Reel FX Home Ent. and NASCAR Inc. today (June 7, 2007) announced a summer 2007 production start for a new animated preschool series based on the hugely popular, family-friendly auto racing series. Set to launch in spring 2009, the fun and learning-based DVD series will be the first entry in a planned lineup of programming and products under the NASCAR Jr. brand.
Reel FX holds the master license to develop and distribute programming and products for NASCAR JR.
Developed for preschool kids, the series focuses on five young friends who, with the help of their playful kid-sized cars, work as a team to tackle entertaining, adventure-based missions. Their colorful vehicles, each of which possesses unique traits and capabilities, mirror the junior drivers' distinctive personalities.
NASCAR and Reel FX are jointly developing the DVD series to combine fun with learning and put special emphasis on active play, humor, and role-playing. Original music will be a key component of each episode.
"NASCAR JR. brings the excitement and thrills of NASCAR home to children in a way that allows them to connect to the sport and begin building an affinity for NASCAR that we hope will last a lifetime,â said Mark Dyer, NASCARâs vp of licensing and consumer products.
âThe world of NASCAR provides a strong creative springboard for developing colorful characters and stories that will resonate with young children and their parents,â said Dennis DeShazer, exec producer/co-creator of the series. âThe series will tap into what preschoolers already love -- cars, action and physical humor. At the same time, the programming will encourage key developmental skills, such as imaginative play and critical thinking. Just like the phenomenon which inspired it, we believe NASCAR JR. will become a family entertainment favorite in millions of homes in the years to come.â
DeShazer also is a co-creator of the classic childrenâs property, BARNEY, one of televisionâs longest-running, most acclaimed preschool shows and hugely successful home entertainment franchises.
âThe NASCAR Jr. brand will appeal to a wide and diverse audience of children who share a similar fascination with pretend play involving cars,â said Jon Green, exec producer/co-creator of the series. âThat play-pattern reality will be the fundamental element of the DVD series and further planned brand extensions, including publishing and consumer products. We believe NASCAR JR. is an odds-on winner in the preschool entertainment category.â
The product rollout will be staged to maximize opportunities as brand awareness grows, with the initial launch consisting of home entertainment, publishing, toys and games. After children have been introduced to and develop relationships with the characters, categories will be added, including apparel, party, domestics, and health and beauty.
The National Assoc. for Stock Car Auto Racing Inc. (NASCAR, www.nascar.com), which began in 1948, is the sanctioning body for one of Americaâs premier sports. NASCAR is the No. 1 spectator sport -- holding 17 of the top attended sporting events in the U.S., the No. 2 rated regular-season sport on television with broadcasts in more than 150 countries, and has 75 million fans.
Reel FX Creative Studios (www.reelfx.com) is an award-winning animation and special effects company headquartered in Dallas, with satellite studios in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Reel FX is engaged in the development and production of television, direct-to-video and feature film programming. The Reel FX Home Ent. division is focused on childrenâs media brands, and is the producer of the highly-acclaimed preschool series, BOZ, THE GREEN BEAR NEXT DOOR.