Disney's LITTLE EINSTEINS, an innovative new TV series for toddlers, emanating from the popular videos and CDs from The Baby Einstein Co., will premiere in October 2005 during the daily Playhouse Disney programming block on Disney Channel. The series and a Disney DVD/video release in August will build on the cachet of the infant/preschool brand Baby Einstein.
"Parents who know and trust the Baby Einstein brand have been clamoring for quality products that will continue to expose their children to music, art and nature in new ways as they grow from toddlers to preschoolers, said Russell Hampton, svp/gm, The Baby Einstein Co. LITTLE EINSTEINS is the result of creative geniuses who took the essence of Baby Einstein and combined it with Playhouse Disney's philosophy of teaching skills that help develop 'well-rounded' children to create a series that is like no other."
Two-time Emmy nominee Eric Weiner (JOJO'S CIRCUS, DORA THE EXPLORER) will exec produce the series. Child development expert Dr. Valeria Lovelace (DORA THE EXPLORER, and former head of research for Sesame Street) is the curriculum adviser while Cordelia Bergamo, who has taught classical music to preschoolers for three decades, is the musical advisor.
The LITTLE EINSTEINS, a production of Curious Pictures, will provide preschoolers with new ways to hear and see music and art. In every episode, the characters journey through the landscape of a renowned painting or work of art from a range of cultures. The LITTLE EINSTEINS stories affirm the pleasurable appeal of music while teaching preschoolers to make music themselves.
Viewers are encouraged to participate in the storyline by rocking, patting, clapping, marching, conducting or playing simple instruments to the steady beat of the music. Studies show that the "steady beat" skill helps children learn and develop on multiple levels, including reading.
Rich Ross, president, Disney Channel Worldwide said, LITTLE EINSTEINS is a key addition to Playhouse Disney's 2005 schedule. The series will add depth to our strong learning-based program lineup. We're privileged to be working with our colleagues at The Baby Einstein Co. and, once again, with the talented Eric Weiner on what we know will be both a welcome series for parents and a favorite for preschoolers."
The LITTLE EINSTEINS are a loveable band of 2D characters set against vibrant, real-world backdrops including footage of the African jungle, Arctic Lapland, outer space, a Monarch butterfly habitat in Mexico, the Great Wall of China, the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Grand Canyon, the Sahara desert and the ocean. Each 24-minute, interactive mission is the result of extensive feedback from real preschoolers and brings five learning elements to life responding to music, listening to music, creating music, music collaboration and music and art appreciation.
A team of four relatable "peers" include six-year-old Leonardo who acts as the conductor; his four-year-old sister Annie, who loves to sing; their neighbors, a five-year-old African American boy named Quincy who is a musical virtuoso, and six-year-old June, a talented dancer of Asian descent. They meet in Leo and Annie's backyard clubhouse and with their amazing escort, the dynamic Rocket together they blast off on "the mission of the day." An adventure could be Rocket taking them dipping through Van Gogh's Starry Night among other interesting new "places."
The characters engage viewers to respond verbally and physically, as they hear music, see nature, explore amazing locales and discover classic works of art while using problem-solving skills applicable to the real world.
"With preschoolers, it is extremely important to get them up, moving and involved with what's happening on the screen," said Dr. Lovelace. "Not only does LITTLE EINSTEIN encourage them to sing, hum, conduct and create their own music, but it also helps them recognize the sounds of different instruments and the beauty in art when they see and hear things in the real world."
LITTLE EINSTEINS first mission, OUR HUGE ADVENTURE, will blast off on Disney DVD/Video in August. It all begins when Annie befriends an adorable little caterpillar in the middle of Van Gogh's "Wheat Field with Cypresses." The team must get little caterpillar to the tree so he can turn into a beautiful Monarch butterfly. This storm-filled journey is set to the dramatic music of Beethoven's 9th Symphony and features other classic artworks, including Hokusai's "Under the Wave Off Kanagawa."
The Baby Einstein Co. is famous for its best-selling Baby Einstein brand of videos, books, music CDs and toys specifically designed for babies and toddlers, from birth. Headquartered in Glendale, California, The Baby Einstein Co. is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co. For more information, visit www.babyeinstein.com or www.LittleEinstein.com.