PBS KIDS banks on civics & shorts

City Island, which teaches kids how communities work, rolls out later this year, and Molly of Denali will also get new shorts.
October 19, 2022

PBS KIDS has greenlit a new series of animated shorts focused on teaching kids about civics.

City Island (20 x three minutes) will put a spotlight on topics such as city planning, how communities work and conflict resolution. New York-based Augenblick Studios and Future Brain Media are producing the shorts, which will launch on PBS KIDS in December 2022 and January 2023.

Aaron Augenblick (The Jellies!) created the 2D-animated series for ages six to 10. Episodes follow the young lightbulb Watt as she learns about how cities run, what roles businesses like libraries and airports play, and how to solve problems.

Augenblick is executive producer on the series alongside Daniel Powell and art director Gemma Correll. Augenblick and Powell founded the kids animation studio Future Brain Media in 2021 to create the shorts and provide service work on third-party projects. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting provided the funding.

Civics is a growing trend in the kids industry, with Netflix ordering the animated musical series We The People (10 x three minutes) from Chris Nee and executive produced by the Obama’s Higher Ground Productions. Launched in 2021, it features original songs that break down concepts like taxes and the first amendment for kids and teens. Meanwhile, the Jim Henson Company is developing Citizen Squad, a live-action one-off that encourages kids to be good citizens in their community.

PBS KIDS is also doubling down on shorts with 20 new Molly of Denali videos. Titled Molly of Denali: The Big Gathering, the shorts will start rolling out next month, following Alaska Native Molly and her community as they prepare for an annual Indigenous festival. Aimed at four- to eight-year-olds, Molly of Denali tracks Molly as she learns about her culture and goes on adventures with her family. PBS KIDS and Boston pubcaster GBH ordered a second season of the show, which GBH co-produces with Atomic Cartoons last year.

About The Author
News editor for Kidscreen. Ryan covers tech, talent and general kids entertainment news, with a passion for kids rap content and video games. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at rtuchow@brunico.com



Brand Menu