The Jim Henson Company announced the production of an all-new second season of the award-winning, animated preschool series DINOSAUR TRAIN. A hit with both U.S. and international audiences, the new season will premiere in fall 2011 in the U.S. on PBS KIDS where it ranks in the top 5 children’s programs among kids ages 2 to 5. The show will continue to be co-produced by Singapore-based Sparky Animation.
The second season of DINOSAUR TRAIN, which will consist of 26 CG-animated, half-hour episodes (or 52 x 11 minute episodes), is being developed with a renewed commitment to nurture children’s curiosity about the natural world, using basic scientific thinking skills to observe and learn about plants and animals in their natural habitat and the way the natural world works. The new season will encourage parents to explore their local surroundings with their children.
Young viewers join Buddy and his adoptive family of Pteranodons on whimsical adventures through prehistoric jungles, swamps, volcanoes and oceans as they unearth basic concepts in natural science, natural history and paleontology. The Dinosaur Train is a colorful locomotive, customized to accommodate all kinds of dinosaurs. The Dinosaur Train has the ability to visit the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous worlds, while the Train’s Conductor, a knowledgeable Troodon, provides passengers with fascinating facts along the way.
During its first season, DINOSAUR TRAIN was named as a Parents’ Choice Recommended TV series, and the DINOSAUR TRAIN website received a Parents’ Choice Silver Award and was the recipient of a prestigious 2010 Prix Jeunesse Award. Season 2 will also bring new games to the award winning website.
DINOSAUR TRAIN, created by Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!), embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains while encouraging basic scientific thinking and skills. Each episode includes animated segments with live-action sequences featuring a paleontologist who brings to life the show’s natural science and natural history curriculum for preschoolers, giving specific facts about dinosaurs and comparing their features to animals of today. The series continues The Jim Henson Company’s legacy of quality children’s entertainment and airs with Henson’s successful series SID THE SCIENCE KID(TM), also on PBS KIDS.
Craig Bartlett, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford will executive produce the new season. The Jim Henson Company will continue to oversee all ancillary exploitation of the property, including licensing and merchandising. PBS will handle DVD distribution to consumer and education markets. DINOSAUR TRAIN is co-produced with Singapore animation company Sparky Animation, with the participation and assistance of the Singapore Media Development Authority. UK production and financial support is being provided by Ingenious Media.
In addition to the television series, there is also a DINOSAUR TRAIN interactive website at PBSKIDS.org/dinosaurtrain. Buddy, Tiny and Mr. Conductor guide children as they discover natural history and the science of paleontology through fun games and activities.
PBSKIDS.org/dinosaurtrain welcomes more than 2.4 million visits each month, offering
engaging content designed to continue dinosaur exploration beyond the television series, including printables, games, and a dinosaur field guide. Parents, caregivers and educators can find resources and activities to extend the series learning at PBS Parents (PBSPARENTS.org) and PBS Teachers (PBSTEACHERS.org). For information on the DINOSAUR TRAIN geocache program–a fast-growing adventure game that inspires families to get out and discover treasures together go to www.geocaching.com/dinosaurtrain.
About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy nominated “Sid the Science Kid,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Wilson & Ditch: Digging America” and “Pajanimals.” Features include “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” and “Unstable Fables.” Television productions include “Fraggle Rock” and the sci-fi cult series “Farscape.” With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop(TM), a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state-of-the-art and vintage equipment.
The Company’s Henson Alternative brand recently launched the New York run of “Stuffed and Unstrung,” a live puppet improvisational show at the Union Square Theatre.
(Source: The Jim Henson Company)