Disney Junior

Disney Junior, a new multiplatform destination for kids age 2-7, which reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary, will debut at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 29, in New Zealand on SKY NZ and Australia and on FOXTEL and AUSTAR.  

The “all new, all day” launch day line-up will be anchored by the new animated series “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”, which will premiere at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, who appeared this week at the Sydney Opera House, are visiting Australia from Disneyland to help celebrate the introduction of Disney Junior to the Australian and New Zealand markets (images supplied).

Disney Junior invites parents, grandparents and caregivers to join their children in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, both classic and new, while incorporating specific learning and developmental themes. Disney Junior is launching content across a 24-hour channel (formerly Playhouse Disney), an integrated website, video on demand, mobile and paid download platforms.

Among the new series are “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”, an animated adventure combining new and classic Disney characters Captain Hook and Smee (“Peter Pan”); a series of Disney Poetry Shorts which showcases poems for children set against classic Disney animation; and the short form series “Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps” to encourage healthy lifestyles for preschoolers and families.  Playhouse Disney hits “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, “Handy Manny”, “Jungle Junction”, “Special Agent Oso”, “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” and “Imagination Movers”, among others, will be part of Disney Junior.  In addition, SLR Productions’ “Guess How Much I Love You”, a television adaption of the much loved children’s book of the same name which has sold over 22 million copies globally, is set to premiere later this year.

Disney Junior’s animated and live action programming will blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and beloved characters with learning components, including early maths and language skills, as well as healthy eating and lifestyles, with an emphasis on social and emotional development.

DisneyJunior.co.nz, an engaging, learning-focused Disney destination for kids aged 2-7 and their parents, accompanies the television launch. The site will feature storybooks narrated by popular Disney characters; activities that encourage creativity; videos of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, “Handy Manny”, “Special Agent Oso” and “Imagination Movers”; and a wide array of 50 games featuring favourite Disney characters. The site will also debut a “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” supersite, featuring adventure-themed games including “Jake’s Treasure Hunt”, where users help Jake and crew find hidden treasure and escape from Captain Hook, and “Izzy’s Flying Adventure”, where players use Pixie dust to help Izzy and the gang fly off to stop Captain Hook, who has stolen their treasure. 

“We’re so excited to launch Disney Junior in Australia and New Zealand, two countries that have always embraced the heritage of Disney characters and storytelling”, said Leisa Sadler, General Manager, Branded Media Content, Disney Channels Australia and New Zealand.  “Disney Junior will be an entry point into the world of Disney for young kids, creating a world – online and on-air – that captures the magic of Disney and its classic heartfelt storytelling and timeless characters beloved by generations.”

“As a company, we’re thrilled to launch Disney Junior in Australia and New Zealand”, said John Cracknell, Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company New Zealand and Australia.  

“Disney Junior is a hugely important brand as it provides a daily touch point with our core audience of children and families, and helps build the emotional connection with our passionate audience”.

To celebrate the launch, the channel is running “Disney Junior’s Magical Treasure Hunt” competition to win a family holiday to Hong Kong Disneyland or one of 100 Mickey Mouse plush toys.  To participate in the competition, viewers are asked to tune in to watch for one of five different coins appearing throughout the day (6 a.m.-3 p.m. AEST) on Sunday, May 29.  Viewers must then go online to the competition site at www.disneyjunior.co.nz <http://www.disneyjunior.co.nz> and name the face on the coin. There are five coins to spot across the day and five chances to win.

 

New Series and Short Form Programming Descriptions: 

 

“Jake and the Never Land Pirates” is a new animated adventure series that introduces a crew of kid pirates – leader Jake and pals Izzy and Cubby – and follows their Never Land adventures as they work to outwit two infamous characters, the one and only Captain Hook and Smee, from Disney’s classic “Peter Pan.” 

 

“Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps” is a new short-form series which features Oso and friends as they watch a live-action kid demonstrate three healthy steps to exercising and eating right. Sean Astin and Brad Garrett star as Oso and Buffo.

 

“A Poem Is…” is a short-form animated series showcasing poems for children set to scenes and imagery from classic Disney films including “Dumbo,” “Bambi” and “Lady and the Tramp.” Narrated by actors such as Katie Holmes, Jennifer Garner, Whoopi Goldberg and Kenneth Branagh the series is designed to cultivate fond memories of Disney classics for parents and create new ones for kids by introducing young children to the beauty of a poem.

Disney Junior, a new multiplatform brand and channel devoted to children ages 2-7 and their families, will debut on May 29 on SKY in New Zealand and on FOXTEL and AUSTAR in Australia, it was announced today at the ASTRA Conference by Ben Pyne, President of Global Distribution, Disney Media Networks.  

Disney Junior will invite parents and grandparents to join their children in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, both classic and new, while incorporating specific learning and developmental themes. Disney Junior will launch content across the 24-hour channel 045 (formerly Playhouse Disney), an integrated website, video on demand, mobile and paid download platforms. 

Among the new series are “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” an animated adventure combining new and classic Disney characters Captain Hook and Smee (“Peter Pan”); a series of Disney Poetry Shorts which showcases poems for children set against classic Disney animation; and two short form series, “Mickey Mousekersize” and “Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps,” to encourage healthy lifestyles for preschoolers and families.  Playhouse Disney hits “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, “Handy Manny”, “Jungle Junction”, “Special Agent Oso”, “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” and “Imagination Movers”, among others, will be part of Disney Junior.

Pyne said: “We’re very excited to bring Disney Junior to New Zealand and Australia, two countries that have always embraced the heritage of Disney characters and storytelling.  Disney Junior in a unique offering in the marketplace as it takes these classic Disney characters and brings them to life on TV on beyond, while encouraging early childhood learning and embracing the magic of emotionally connected storytelling.”

Premiering in conjunction with Disney Junior is the new animated series, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” an interactive treasure hunt that follows the adventures of classic characters Captain Hook and Smee, along with a new crew of kid pirates led by the enthusiastic and courageous Jake. The series, which emphasizes teamwork and features original pirate rock music performed by The Never Land Pirate Band. 

Also debuting with the launch of Disney Junior is a series of Disney Poetry Shorts, designed to bring fond memories of Disney classics to parents and create new ones for kids. The series of short-form animation showcases poems for children set to scenes and imagery from classic Disney films. It will introduce preschoolers to the beauty of a poem well read and combine it with extraordinary moments in Disney animation history. 

The New Zealand and Australia roll-out follows the brand launch in Latin America and the UK earlier this month. The US premiere of Disney Junior last February on Disney Channel was Disney Channel’s best month ever among Kids 2-5. Year to year, the Disney Junior block is up a whopping 44% among Kids, 55% among Boys 2-5, 32% among Girls 2-5 and 13% among Women 18-49.   To date in 2011, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” is TV’s #1 series among Kids and Boy 2-5.