Cartoonito, a preschool programming block that is on both HBO Max and Cartoon Network, with respective programming, recently threw an epic (virtual) birthday party to kick off the premiere of Cartoonito and there were some major announcements regarding even more new shows headed to the preschool block! Hint: one new series involves a character with "bat" in his name, another is a series starring two characters who's names rhyme with Pom and Harry. Any guesses? After the public event I was lucky enough to attend a Q & A session with those at the helm of Cartoonito, they shared insight on how they select their programming and how they chose the name Cartoonito.
Cartoonito, Preschool Programming Block Debuts on HBO Max and Cartoon Network | Premiere Press Event Brings New Show Announcements
What's in a name, right? Why Cartoonito? What does it mean?
When asked about the name during the press Q & A, Tricia Melton (Chief Marketing Officer of Global Kids, Young Adults & Classics) explained that Cartoonito quite literally translates to "little cartoon" and while Cartoonito is new to viewers in the US, this brand has been in other countries for some years now. The name perfectly ties into the overarching brand, Cartoon Network.
Cartoonito goes beyond TV shows for kids. This programming block has been developed with four pillars in mind; creativity, caring, curiosity, and courage.
Dr. Laura Brown (Educational Psychologist) explained Cartoonio follows a "Human-Centric Learning" framework, with goals of helping children feel comfortable in their own skin and helping them interact with their community. The aim is to have children (and adults watching along with them) "lean into humanity".
When it came time to select the programming that would help kick Cartoonito off, Amy Friedman (Head of Kids & Family Programming, Warner Bros.) explained Cartoonito's program pyramid; starting with familiarity as the biggest section on the bottom, coproductions from around the world in the middle and at the tippy top, franchises.
During the virtual birthday party, guests in attendance were treated to announcements that definitely fit the familiarity and franchise pieces of the pyramid; both Tom and Jerry and Batman are being properly introduced to preschoolers with new shows coming soon to Cartoonito!
Cartoonito | Tom and Jerry Time
One of the announcements made during the virtual, live birthday party was a brand new series starring Tom and Jerry! The famous cat and mouse rivals will star in their first-ever preschool animated series, Tom and Jerry Time.
Combining hilarious antics with key early learning concepts, Tom and Jerry Time aims to teach young viewers the skills they need to explore the world around them.
ABOUT THE SERIES
Presented as a series of animated musical shorts, Tom and Jerry Time turns the world created by the biggest rivalry in all of animation into a fun and cheerful cartoon classroom. Both characters, known for their over-the-top personalities, are natural-born teachers, with Tom showcasing confidence and resilience while Jerry highlights ingenuity and courage. Preschoolers will be introduced to their comical mischiefs – chasing, pranking, and outsmarting each other – while also learning key social and emotional skillsets, lessons in independence, early math and literacy skills, and other key preschool educational concepts.
Sam Register (Looney Tunes Cartoons) is executive producer. Will Finn (Tom and Jerry in New York) serves as showrunner and co-executive producer with Denise Downer (Stillwater) on board as story editor.
Related: Cartoontio | Learn More About The New Preschool Programming Block
Cartoonito | BatWheels
Another exciting announcement made during the live event was the reveal of the voice cast of Batwheels! Jacob Bertrand was on hand for the announcement, Bertrand will be the voice of as Bam, The Batmobile and leader of the Batwheels team.
ABOUT THE SERIES
They are a team of incredible crimefighters who have banded together to oppose evil, combat crime and clean up the streets of Gotham City. They are…okay, they’re NOT Batman and Robin. They’re the Batwheels - an awesome group of sentient super-powered crime-fighting vehicles defending Gotham City alongside Batman, Robin, Batgirl and a host of DC Super Heroes.
Having just been created by the Batcomputer, our heroes are essentially kids with little to no life experience. Led by Bam (The Batmobile), the Batwheels - Bibi (The Batgirl Cycle), Redbird (Robin’s Sports Car), The Batwing and Buff (The Bat Truck) – must navigate the growing pains of being a newly formed super team as well as the growing pains that come with just being a kid. This relatable and aspirational series will follow the journey of this dynamic team as they thrill and entertain with their heroic adventures as well as demonstrate to kids the value of self-confidence, friendship and teamwork.
Batwheels is produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Sam Register (Looney Tunes Cartoons) serves as executive producer. Michael G. Stern (Doc McStuffins) serves as co-executive producer, Simon J. Smith (Baymax Dreams) is supervising producer and Steven Fink of Bang Zoom Ltd. is producer.
Related: Tom and Jerry: The Movie | A No-Spoilers, Parent Review
Cartoonito | Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience
Talk about an all-star lineup! WarnerMedia Kids & Family and Stampede Ventures have unveiled the cast of esteemed children’s book author Mo Willems’ upcoming Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience, a one-hour CGI-animated rock opera.
NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED CAST
ABOUT THE ROCK OPERA
Based on Willems’s New York Times best-selling book and the sold-out theatrical rock experience, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience is a CGI animated rock music special that wears its heart on its sleeve. Wilbur Mole Rat and all his Fellow Mole Rats in the Tunnel have always been, well...naked. But when Wilbur discovers clothing and a love for style, the Tunnel turns upside down! An animated hour of “underground” music and comedy about being comfortable in your own skin, this adaptation of the popular theatre experience will knock your socks on!
Willems and Tom Warburton co-wrote the script with original tunes by Willems and composer Deborah Wicks La Puma. Willems and Warburton will executive produce alongside Stampede Ventures’ Greg Silverman and Jay Judah, with OddBot Animation Studios serving as animation house. Megan Alrutz will also serve as producer on behalf of the Mo Willems Workshop. Songs are produced by Dan Petty, Doug Petty, and Michelle Lewis.
Related: Jellystone! New Series on HBO Max | Is the New Yogi Bear Series OK for Kids?
About WarnerMedia Kids & Family
WarnerMedia Kids & Family is the united group within the WarnerMedia enterprise that offers an expansive content slate on HBO Max and Cartoon Network. As the umbrella brand for all kids and family content, Cartoon Network reenergized its brand promise through its new tagline Redraw Your World, which empowers individuality and aims to be the place where kids are free to be themselves. With hundreds of hours of original series, specials and acquisitions, the WarnerMedia Kids & Family portfolio features its Cartoonito preschool programming block; a roster of upcoming animation and live-action originals that appeal to kids of all ages; and ACME Night, a weekend entertainment destination for families to enjoy a line-up of library favorites and blockbuster hits as well as new originals that will include Batman: Caped Crusader, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Unicorn: Warriors Eternal, and more. A marquee collection of powerhouse brands and expertise marks WarnerMedia Kids & Family as a global leader wherever its brands live and engage with audiences all over the world.
Cartoonito is the WarnerMedia Kids & Family preschool programming block on HBO Max and Cartoon Network. Inspired by Positive Psychology and 21st Century Learning, Cartoonito is based on the proprietary preschool educational framework of Humancentric Learning, which aims to support every child’s humanness by celebrating their unique selves. With a roster of originals actively in development, Cartoonito will offer modern programming that leans into WarnerMedia’s Kids & Family iconic IP that stems from Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios. Mush-Mush & the Mushables and Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go are among a slate of 20 new series that will be available at launch. In addition, a portfolio of originals including Batwheels, Sesame Workshop’s Bea’s Block, Bugs Bunny Builders, Little Ellen, and a collection of projects from bestselling children’s book author Mo Willems will add to thousands of hours of content from WarnerMedia’s legacy library and global acquisitions.
About Warner Bros. Animation
Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) is one of the leading producers of animation in the entertainment industry, producing and developing projects for multiple platforms, both domestically and internationally. WBA’s current series include Animaniacs for Hulu, Green Eggs and Ham and Wings of Fire for Netflix, Aquaman: King of Atlantis, Batman: Caped Crusader, Batwheels, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Harley Quinn, Jellystone!, Little Ellen, Looney Tunes Cartoons, My Adventures with Superman, Tiny Toons Looniversity, Tom and Jerry in New York, Velma and Young Justice for HBO Max, DC Super Hero Girls, Teen Titans Go!, ThunderCats Roar for Cartoon Network, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who?, The Tom and Jerry Show and Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs! for Boomerang. WBA is also in production on a series of animated longform movie specials for ACME Night, WarnerMedia Kids & Family’s family programming block on Cartoon Network and HBO Max. Programs include Did I Do that to the Holidays? A Steve Urkel Story, Merry Little Batman and an Untitled Looney Tunes Cartoons movie. The studio is currently in production with New Line Cinema on the upcoming original anime feature film, The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim. WBA’s full-length theatrical film, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, was released in summer 2018. As home to the iconic animated characters from the DC, Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes libraries, WBA also produces highly successful animated films — including the DC Universe Movies — for DVD, Blu-ray® and digital media. One of the most-honored animation studios in history, WBA has won six Academy Awards®, 40 Emmy® Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, a BAFTA Children’s Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parents’ Choice Award, the HUMANITAS Prize, two Prism Awards and 21 Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation).