Disney Announces New Preschool “Winnie the Pooh” Television Series

Welsh-based Boomerang Plus and Milan’s Maga Animation Studios are to make a new preschool series called Tales of Friendship with Winnie the Pooh for Disney Channels EMEA.

Scheduled to air on Disney Junior in 2012 in more than 21 countries worldwide, the show is set in the Hundred Acre Wood, where a storyteller reads special tales of the world famous bear and his friends.

Inspired by stories from the soon to be released Disney Winnie The Pooh book series, also called Tales of Friendship, the pictures in the narrator’s storybook come to life through a combination of live action and unique book-style motion graphics.

The new show will air during the bedtime block on Disney Junior and aims to help preschoolers get ready for their bedtime routine.

Developed by Disney Channels production hub for EMEA and produced in Wales by Boomerang Plus and Maga Animation Studios in Milan, Tales of Friendship with Winnie the Pooh consists of 18  episodes of five minutes. Beth Gardiner, vice president, original programming and development, Disney Junior EMEA, is leading the production process, and has appointed Tracy Bowerman as series producer and Dirk Campbell as series director.

Boomerang Plus is best known in the UK for its extreme sports coverage. It is a major supplier of children’s programming in the UK through its subsidiary Fflic.

Gardiner comments: “Winnie the Pooh is a classic character loved and trusted by mums around the world, and Tales of Friendship uses great storytelling to bring him and his friends to life for a whole new generation. At the heart of Disney Junior are fantastic stories that parents and kids can enjoy together. This new series is a perfect example of parents rediscovering this beloved bear of their childhood, and sharing the joy and warmth of these stories with their children.”

Giorgio Stock, executive vice president & managing director, TV, music, publishing, gaming and online, The Walt Disney Company EMEA, adds: “Disney Channels is dedicated to internationally sourcing content for our global portfolio of channels.  Jungle Junction, the first original animated series for Disney Junior from our London based production hub has been a global hit and we are very excited to build on that success with Tales of Friendship with Winnie The Pooh. The new series will join a portfolio of global hits including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and The Never Land Pirates.”

Created in May 2007, the EMEA production hub drives the investment in and development of long form programming outside of North America, for both European and global distribution. It has commissioned series such as Jungle Junction.

Disney Junior is an all-new multiplatform brand for children aged 2 to 7 years and their families, launched in the UK on 7th May 2011 and has since launched in a further 19 markets across EMEA. The newly created Disney Junior channel replaced Playhouse Disney, broadcasting daily content across television, an integrated website, YouTube channel, VOD, mobile, Facebook, social media and paid download platforms.

Read more biz