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Apple TV+ Expands ‘Kids & Family’ Animation Slate

The streamer's Spring lineup kicks off with new seasons of ‘Pinecone & Pony,’ ‘Pretzel and the Puppies,’ and ‘Stillwater’ and the launch of all-new series ‘Eva the Owlet,’ ‘Jane,’ and ‘Frog and Toad;’ seven new ‘Peanut’ classics join the streamer with ‘Peanuts Anthology III’ and ‘Sago Mini Friends’ celebrates Earth Day.

All-new animated original series, specials, and fan favorites are heading to Apple TV+ this spring as the streamer expands its ‘Kids & Family’ slate beginning next month. 

Here’s a rundown:

Friday, February 3, 2023

Pinecone & Pony - Season 2 - Premiere

Based on the book “The Princess and the Pony” by author Kate Beaton, the new eight-episode animated comedy follows a young warrior-in-training, Pinecone, and her best friend, Pony. Together, their adventures teach them how to be brave in the face of adversity, to speak truth to power, and what it truly means to be a hero.

DreamWorks Animation produces the series with First Generation Films and Atomic Cartoons. Stephanie Kaliner serves as showrunner and executive producer. Beaton, Christina Piovesan and Mackenzie Lush are executive producers. Voice talent includes Maria Nash (Elinor Wonders Why); Alicia Richardson (Mistletoe Time Machine); Andy Hull (What We Do in the Shadows); Rachel House (Foundation); Thom Allison (Coroner); Chase W. Dillon (Haunted Mansion, The Book of Clarence); and Viola Abley (Scaredy Cats, Schmigadoon!).

Friday, February 9, 2023

Peanuts Classics Special:  A Charlie Brown Valentine

From Mendelson/Melendez Productions and Peanuts Worldwide, watch as warm and fuzzy feelings fill the air, and an inspired Snoopy writes poems about Valentine’s Day. Charlie Brown tries to impress the Little Red-Haired Girl. Sally and Lucy hope to get cards from their crushes. Peppermint Patty asks “Chuck” to the dance.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Pretzel and the Puppies - Season 2 – Premiere

Meet Pretzel, the world’s longest dachshund and a playful, supportive dad to five frisky puppies. Together with his wife, Greta, they encourage their pups to get their paws up to solve problems and “make their bark” on the world.

The series stars the voice talents of Mark Duplass (The Morning Show), Nasim Pedrad (Chad, Aladdin), and newcomers Milo Stein; Alex Jayne Go; Max Mitchell; Amari McCoy; and Gracen Newton.

The Apple Original series from HarperCollins Productions (Carmen Sandiego, The Oregon Trail), part of HarperCollins Publishers, is executive produced by showrunner Steve Altiere (Dinotrux, Dragons: Rescue Riders) with HarperCollins Productions Head, Caroline Fraser, and House of Cool’s Ricardo Curtis and Wes Lui serving as executive producers. Jennifer Contrucci of HarperCollins Productions serves as co-executive producer.

The series’ design and story are by House of Cool (Despicable Me, Trollhunters”), with CG animation by Saturday Animation (Mighty Mike, Zafari). Dr. Tony Wagner, Senior Research Fellow, Learning Policy Institute, and author of the book “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World,” serves as the play, passion, and purpose expert through the Apple TV+ Changemakers initiative.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Stillwater - New Shorts - Premiere

Ahead of Stillwater’s new season premiere, Apple TV+ is launching three all-new shorts, also available for non-subscribers on Scholastic’s YouTube.

  • Jasper’s Journey - Just in time for International Panda Day, follow Jasper the cat on a mindful journey through Stillwater’s Garden.
  • Making Waves - Stillwater makes new patterns in his Zen Garden.
  • Breathing - Karl joins Stillwater in learning how breathing can help make him feel better when he has angry feelings.

Gaumont and Scholastic Entertainment produced the shorts with Sidonie Dumas; Christophe Riandee; Nicolas Atlan; Terry Kalagian; Iole Lucchese; Caitlin Friedman; Jef Kaminsky; and Rob Hoegee as executive producers.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Eva the Owlet - New Series Premiere

Based on the New York Times bestselling Scholastic book series “Owl Diaries” by award-winning author Rebecca Elliott, the series follows Eva, a creative, cheeky owlet who lives next door to her best friend, Lucy, in the woodland world of Treetopington. With big ideas and an even bigger personality, Eva goes on high-flying adventures, expressing herself in her journal along the way!

Produced by Scholastic Entertainment (Clifford the Big Red Dog, Goosebumps, The Magic School Bus) with production services and 4K animation by 9 Story Media Group’s studio Brown Bag Films (Doc McStuffins, Vampirina, Octonauts), the series features original songs by musician and singer-songwriter Fitz of Fitz and the Tantrums. Voice talent includes Vivienne Rutherford (Eureka!, 911: Lone Star);  Jessica DiCicco (The Loud House, Puppy Dog Pals); Dino Andrade (Loud House, We Baby Bears); and Sascha Yurchak; Jon Olson; Evie Hsu (Team Mekbots); Sarah Vattano (The Uglies, Rise Up, Sing Out); Pressly James Crosby (General Hospital”, and Kenna Ramsey (Rent).

The series is executive produced by Scholastic Entertainment’s team, including Iole Lucchese (Clifford the Big Red Dog); Caitlin Friedman (Stillwater); and Jef Kaminsky (Signs of Survival). In addition, head series writers and Daytime Emmy Award nominees Annabeth Bondor-Stone (Helpsters) and Connor White (Helpsters) serve as co-executive producers, and Daytime Emmy Award nominee Damien O’Connor (Angela’s Christmas, Angela’s Christmas 2) serves as supervising director.

The late Dr. John F. Evans, a writing clinician, National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach at Duke Integrative Medicine, and the Founder and Executive Director of Wellness & Writing Connections, LLC, served as the expressive writing expert on the series through Apple TV+’s Changemakers initiative.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Jane - New Series Premiere

Inspired by the work of Dr. Jane Goodall, the new 10-episode mission-driven series is from Emmy Award winner J.J. Johnson (Ghostwriter, Dino Dana), Sinking Ship Entertainment, and the Jane Goodall Institute. The live-action/CGI blended series is created and executive produced by company partner J.J. Johnson alongside Blair Powers, Christin Simms, and the Jane Goodall Institute’s Andria Teather. Matt Bishop serves as VFX/Animation executive producer.

Ava Louise Murchison (Reacher) stars as Jane Garcia, a nine-year-old budding environmentalist on a quest to save endangered animals. Jane takes her best friends David, played by Mason Blomberg (Shameless), and Greybeard, the chimpanzee, on epic adventures to help protect wild animals all around the world because, according to her idol Dr. Jane Goodall, “Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, can they be saved.” The cast also includes Tamara Almeida (Secrets at the Inn), Dan Abramovici (Wayne), newcomer Jazz Allen, and Sam Marra (Stumptown).  

Friday, April 14, 2023

Sago Mini Friends: “Treasure It” Earth Day Special Premiere

In the special, an old lunch box finds new life when Harvey transforms it into a treasure box full of unique items for his friends.

Produced by Spin Master Entertainment, animated by 9 Story Media Group’s Brown Bag Films — Toronto, and based on the award-winning Sago Mini World app developed by Sago Mini, the series features Harvey the floppy-eared dog and his best friends, Jinja the cat, Jack the rabbit and Robin the bird. Along with a unique cast of residents as colorful as their own whimsical world, the four friends play, explore, imagine, and celebrate daily in their joyful town of Sagoville.

The animated preschool series is executive produced by Jennifer Dodge; Ronnen Harary; Tone Thyne; Dustin Ferrer; Laura Clunie; and Toni Stevens, with Chad Hicks as series director. Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and expert in the science of happiness, serves as the gratitude expert on the series through Apple TV+’s Changemakers initiative.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Frog and Toad New Series Premiere

Frog is a frog. Toad is a toad. They have a lot in common… but they are also very different. Frog and Toad are best friends who know that the true secret to friendship is enjoying the things you have in common and embracing the things that make you different. Our differences make us special, and Frog and Toad celebrate what makes them unique.

Based on the Caldecott and Newbery Award-winning four-book series by Arnold Lobel published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, Award winner Rob Hoegee (Stillwater, Niko & the Sword of Light) serves as showrunner with award-winning studio Titmouse (Big Mouth, Star Trek: Lower Decks, The Legend of Vox Machina) producing the animation. Hoegee executive produces alongside Adrianne Lobel, Adam Lobel, and Titmouse’s Chris Prynoski (The Legend of Vox Machina), Shannon Prynoski (Fairfax), Antonio Canobbio (Arlo the Alligator Boy), and Ben Kalina (Big Mouth).

The voice cast includes Academy Award winner Nat Faxon (Our Flag Means Death, The Connors) and Emmy Award nominee Kevin Michael Richardson (The Simpsons, Family Guy), with appearances by Ron Funches (Trolls); Fortune Feimster (Good Fortune, Kenan); Cole Escola (At Home with Amy Sedaris); Aparna Nancherla (The Great North); John Hodgman (Up Here); Yvette Nicole Brown (Disenchanted, Act Your Age);  Stephen Tobolowsky (The Goldbergs); Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants); Selene Luna (Coco); Margaret Cho (Fire Island), and Betsy Sodaro (Duncanville).

May 5, 2023

Peanuts Anthology III - New to Apple TV+

New to the “Peanuts Classics” collection from Mendelson/Melendez Productions and Peanuts Worldwide:

  • It's an Adventure, Charlie Brown,
  • It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown
  • Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown (Emmy Award winner)
  • Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown
  • Play it Again, Charlie Brown (Emmy Award-nominated)
  • Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown (Emmy Award-nominated)
  • You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown (Emmy Award winner)

Friday, May 5, 2023

Harriet the Spy - Season 2 - Premiere

Based on the iconic children’s novel chronicling the coming-of-age adventures of the irrepressible Harriet M. Welsch. The Jim Henson Company produces, and Beanie Feldstein (Lady Bird, Booksmart) stars as Harriet, alongside Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as Ole Golly, Harriet’s larger-than-life, no-nonsense nanny.

Set in 1960s New York, the show follows the outspoken and perpetually curious 11-year-old Harriet M. Welsch, who, more than anything, wants to be a writer. But, in order to be a good writer, she’ll need to know everything - and to know everything means she’ll need to spy … on everyone! The new season follows Harriet as she navigates, letting go, growing up, and celebrating the gift of today.

The series features Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls) as Marion Hawthorne, the ringleader of a group of popular girls at Harriet’s school. Additional voice cast includes Kimberly Brooks (Baby Shark's Big Show); Crispin Freeman (Young Justice); Grey Griffin (The Loud House); Bumper Robinson (The Owl House); and Charlie Schlatter (Big Nate, For All Mankind). Guest stars this season include Jaeden Martell (It), Emmy Award winner Brad Garrett (Cha Cha Real Smooth), and Emmy Award nominee Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl).

Will McRobb (The Adventures of Pete & Pete) writes and executive producers with Sidney Clifton (Black Panther animated series, Me, Eloise) as producer. Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford executive produce for The Jim Henson Company, with John W. Hyde, Nancy Steingard, and Wendy Moss-Klein serving as executive producers and Terissa Kelton as co-executive producer. Chris Prynoski, Shannon Prynoski, and Ben Kalina executive produce for Titmouse.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Stillwater - Season 3 – Premiere  

The Peabody and Daytime Emmy Award-winning series centers on siblings Karl, Addy, and Michael, who encounter everyday challenges - big and small - that sometimes feel insurmountable. Fortunately, they have Stillwater, a wise panda, as their next-door neighbor. Through his example, stories, and gentle humor, Stillwater gives the children a deeper understanding of their feelings and tools that help them face their day-to-day challenges.

Based on the award-winning and bestselling Scholastic book “Zen Shorts” by Jon J Muth, Gaumont and Scholastic Entertainment produce with Sidonie Dumas; Christophe Riandee; Nicolas Atlan; Terry Kalagian; Iole Lucchese; Caitlin Friedman; Jef Kaminsky; Jun Falkenstein; and Rob Hoegee serving as executive producers. In addition, the series features the voice talents of James Sie, Eva Binder, Tucker Chandler, and Judah Mackey.

Stillwater was developed for television in collaboration with awareness and intention expert Mallika Chopra, author of “Buddha and The Rose” and the “Just Be” series for kids, and CEO of Chopra Global, through Apple TV+’s Changemakers initiative.

Source: Apple TV+

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.