Three new shows from U.K.-based Dorling Kindersley Vision are set to show kids how things work, from the plumbing of their houses to the plumbing of their bodies. The Way Things Work, aimed at the nine to 12 set, stars the loyal and long-suffering assistant to the eccentric 2-D inventor, The Great Woolly Mammoth, in a show about deconstructing the technology around us for the technophobic. The 26 15-minute episodes are budgeted at about US$175,000 each, and are intended to be shown in couplets. The show is being co-produced with Canadian distributor Canamedia, with pilots scheduled for completion this spring.
My Amazing Human Body takes over in the realm of the organic and attempts to answer such compelling questions as ‘Why do feet stink?’. The 26 x 15-minute series is also intended to be shown in couplets and was commissioned by Channel 4. With a budget of US$1.3 million, skeleton star Seemore Skinless and friends educate and entertain kids ages six to nine with a mix of live-action and 2-D animation. My Amazing Human Body is also currently in development with pilots slated for the spring.
Rounding out the DK trio is Parsnip, starring the lamb from the popular pop-up books by Sue Porter. Targeting girls ages two to five, the 52 five-minute shorts cost between US$22,500 and $25,000 each, and feature well-known characters voiced by real children.
Also, in the early stages of devlopment at DK are: The Numberlies, a 52 x five-minute series for preschoolers about a town full of silly
2-D animated number-based characters; Tooth Troop, a 26 x 15-minute series for the four to seven demo that stars a group of aliens on a mission to swap wobbly teeth with lost coins; and lastly, a 26 x 15-minute a claymation/animation mix that teams up celeb children’s authors Helen Oxenbury and John Burningham in their first-ever writing collaboration. The Secret Life of Georgy Plum features a shy boy and his dog who transform themselves into superheroes to defeat the dreaded Class Clown.