Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho. It's off to Disney Junior we go?
Following in the footsteps of Captain Hook and Mr. Smee
(i.e. the villains of Disney's 1953 feature-length version of "Peter Pan." Who have recently found themselves reinvented as comic foils on that highly successful new animated series, "Jake
and the Never Land Pirates"), Disney's first feature film stars - the Seven Dwarfs
- may have just gotten themselves a new gig.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
At today's Disney Kids and Family Upfront 2011-12 event in
New York City, Nancy Kanter - Senior Vice President, Original Programming and
General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide - will reveal that the Mouse House is developing
a pilot for a brand-new television program which may star Doc, Happy, Sneezy,
Bashful, Sleepy, Grumpy and Dopey.
Mind you, "7D" (that's the proposed title for this new TV
series) would chronicle the Seven Dwarfs' adventures before they met up with Ms.
White. Back when Doc & Co. still lived in the kingdom of Jollywood and were
regularly recruited by Queen Delightful to come help out around the castle.
Now I know that there are animation purists out there who
will scream bloody murder just as soon as they learn that the Dwarfs may soon have their very own animated series. But know this: Disney Junior has
recruited a first-class creative team for "7D." Emmy Award-winning Tom Ruegger of
"Animaniacs" fame will be directing this pilot. Former Jim Henson Company
staff writer Craig Shemin has put together a whimsical & winning script for
this test episode. And Noah Z. Jones (who is probably best known these days as
the creator of the Disney Channel's hit animated series "Fish Hooks") is
handling "7D" 's character design.
The end result will hopefully be an original animated series
that still feels familiar to Disney Junior's 2 to 7-year-old target
audience. "7D" - as Nancy Kanter describes it - is supposed to be a ...
... comic take on the world of fairytales and storybooks ...
(where the Seven Dwarfs) are (Queen Delightful's) go-to guys. (But) what the
queen doesn't realize is that while (the Dwarfs) do eventually save the day,
it's less about their skill and more about their ingenuity and luck that gets
Anyway, the pilot for "7D" has just gone into production. Later
this year, Ms. Kanter and her team at Disney Junior Worldwide will formally review
this test episode and then make a decision about whether or not they should proceed
with full-blown production of a new animated series which would star the Seven Dwarfs.
Which - again, I know - will sound like a bizarre idea to some.
But if you seriously doubt that Kanter & Co. can pull this off, then
go watch an episode or two of "Jake and the Never Land Pirates." Which has done
a brilliant job of transferring Peter Pan's magical realm to the small screen.
Creating this brand-new animated series that not only appeals to Disney Junior's
2-7 year-old demographic but also manages to entertain their parents as well.
That's the type of program that Disney executives really
hope "7D" will turn out to be. But what do you folks think? Are you ready for a
Seven Dwarfs television series? Especially one (I'm quoting from the press
release now) set in "a comic and contemporary storybook world" where these much-beloved
Disney characters will then take part in "music-filled stories"?
I really don't get what the Disney Channel team is doing these days. They had like 10 shows that were smash hits with stuff like JoJo's Circus, Stanley, Rolie Polie Olie, Koala Brothers, PB&J Otter, Bear in the Big Blue House, Higgleytown Heroes, Book of Pooh and they scrapped every single one of them and seem to be replacing them with ... well ... dreck.
DS4 likes Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but the rest of it? Blech. Special Agent Oso is, without a doubt, the single WORST kids' T.V. show ever produced and the rest of their shows like Chuggington and Jungle Junction just seem to be totally pointless. I know DS couldn't care less about them.
I will admit that he LOVES Fish Hooks, but I think it's complete and total garbage. I actually feel like a bad parent for letting him watch it, which is something you should never feel with a Disney product.
I say why not? However, I do say that they'd need to do a GREAT job! None of this cartoon mish mash. It's better be a compliment to the original.
Disney didn't produce Jojo, Stanley, Bear, or HigglyTown (and I doubt the produced the others). Those were produced by third-party entities (largely Canadian, actually) and given licensing deals by Disney to appear on Disney Channel, in theme parks, etc. Disney started the transition to all original programming awhile ago. The Wiggles were swapped for the Imaginiation Movers, for example. Yes, the Movers existed a long time ago, but they are now under an exclusive contract with Disney for TV, records, toys, tours, etc.
So what Disney is doing is saving money by making their own series by using their vast library of intellectual property, and a few new ones. It's not like Playhouse Disney had all hits (anyone else remember BunnyTown *shudder*). Also, Disney wants to keep characters like Mickey Mouse, Captain Hook, and the Dwarves, who are now well over 50 years old, in the minds of children. If a child doesn't know who Mickey Mouse is, how do they react about meeting Mickey at the theme parks? How is a 4-year-old gonna know what the new Mine Coaster at WDW is about unless he is familiar with these characters? I think Disney is super smart for developing these shows, and the shift to social education as opposed to just ABC's is fantastic for children's development.
I LOVED the idea - really loved it - until I hear that "And Noah Z. Jones (who is probably best known these days as the creator of the Disney Channel's hit animated series "Fish Hooks") is handling "7D" 's character design."
Fish Hooks is one of the ugliest thing I've ever seen on television.
"I LOVED the idea - really loved it - until I hear that "And Noah Z. Jones (who is probably best known these days as the creator of the Disney Channel's hit animated series "Fish Hooks") is handling "7D" 's character design."
Fish Hooks is one of the ugliest thing I've ever seen on television."
I'm not crazy about Craig Shemin being part of it either.
A Dwarves cartoon? Sure. Character design by the creator of Fish Hooks, the one show on Disney Channel I don't allow my kid's to watch? No thanks.
The irony is that we now appear to be moving away even more from what was a "revolutionary" Eisner approach when he got Disney into animated TV. One of the conditions, I believe, was that Disney had to create new characters for Saturday morning - the Gummi Bears and the Wuzzles. Granted, they later moved into DuckTales and the other characters when the world didn't end after Disney ended up on Saturday morning, but there was a sense back then that the "classics" were always off limits.
Jake and the Never Land Pirates has quickly become my kids (ages 2 & 3) new favorite show. We have the DVR set to grab new ones and every day I 'm asked "Dad, do we have a new Jake?" If I say no, they respond with "that's ok, we can watch them again".
Some Disney fans are always complaining the "older characters are not be utilized as much as they could be". Well here is a chance to do that. I look forward to it.
I do miss me some Rolie Polie Olie lol
I agree - Fish Hooks is terrible - Disney needs to stop trying to compete with garbage like Sponge Bob and keep focusing on smart, fun programming like Phineas and Ferb - if this show is more like Fish Hooks and less like P&F, I can guarantee we won't be watching it in our home.
Anything is better than oso.