Television

Nick US comes out with first mini operetta for pre schoolers

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MUMBAI: US broadcaster Nick Jr. takes preschoolers on musical world adventures with The Wonder Pets. This is an original series starring three courageous classroom pets who sing opera and travel the world.

The 20-episode, animated series from creator/executive producer Josh Selig of Little Airplane Productions will debut with a simulcast on both Nick Jr. and sister network Noggin on 3 March with two back-to-back episodes.

Nick Jr. will also kick off the premiere of The Wonder Pets! across several Nickelodeon Preschool TV platforms. For parents, from 10 February, Nick Jr. Parents TV will stream a three-minute behind-the-scenes special and The Wonder Pets! For Parents site will feature interviews with the series creator, printables, crafts, ecards and more.

From 17 February, Nick Jr. Video, Nickjr.com's broadband video service, will stream a 12-minute 'sneak peek' from the second episode Save the Penguin! as well as character and adventure clips.

From 20 February, Nick Jr. on-air will ask preschoolers to go online to tell the Wonder Pets that an animal is in trouble and they need to save the day. Nick Jr.com will then feature The Wonder Pets! Phone Game where kids can "call" the superheros to the rescue.

From 24 February, character and adventure clips from The Wonder Pets! will be available on Verizon Wireless' V CAST wireless broadband multimedia services.

Nickelodeon Preschool Television executive creative director Brown Johnson says, "A singing guinea pig, turtle and duck, tales of teamwork and far away places, combined with a fresh photo real animated style make The Wonder Pets! practically irresistible for kids and parents".

The Wonder Pets! chronicles the adventures of three funny, singing classroom pets: Linny the Guinea Pig, Ming-Ming Duckling and Turtle Tuck, who travel the world and use teamwork to save baby animals in distress. Every
episode of The Wonder Pets! is an original mini-operetta filled with world music influences suited to the locale of the day's adventure.

The music is written and developed by some of Broadway's top Tony and Grammy Award-winning talent, including Jeffrey Lesser, a Grammy Award-winning producer and recording engineer for artists including Barbra Streisand, Sting and Linda Ronstadt. Award-winning composers and orchestrators from Broadway's Avenue Q, Monty Python's Spamalot, and Fiddler on the Roof have also worked on the series.

All of the music on The Wonder Pets! is recorded with a live orchestra; and in operetta style much of the dialogue is sung. Linny the Guinea Pig, Ming-Ming Duckling and Turtle Tuck live in a preschool classroom.

At the end of each school day when the teachers and students have all gone home, the fearless trio become The Wonder Pets! In every story, The Wonder Pets! receive a call on a tin-can phone in their classroom from a baby animal who needs their help. The trio quickly assembles their Flyboat, made from a collection of classroom toys and travel together across oceans, into space, and even back in time to save animals in distress.

Like real preschoolers, The Wonder Pets! have no actual super powers, but they work together as a team to overcome adversity and achieve great success. A new, original style of animation, called photo-puppetry animation was created exclusively for The Wonder Pets! The technique allows animators to manipulate photographs of real animals, creating a comical, realistic look that is unique to Nick Jr. Nick Jr.'s website will feature convergent interactive games to complement the premiere of The Wonder Pets!

On March 3, the site will launch The Wonder Pets! Save the Day musical game inviting preschoolers to join the Wonder Pets team and go on a personalized rescue adventure.

The show's curricular goals are based on developing appreciation and orientation towards teamwork, vocabulary building, and problem solving.

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