That’s not all for Disney Junior and the Magic of Healthy Living. Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Disney Junior Worldwide – she’s responsible for Disney’s learning-focused multiplatform TV content for kids ages two through seven – shares more about the launch of Disney Junior and the new shows.
MOC: There’s a lot of buzz in the parent-world about the change from Playhouse Disney to Disney Junior. Why is Playhouse Disney changing to Disney Junior? And, why now?
Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Disney Junior Worldwide.
NK: The brand was formed because we talk to parents every day. Through Disney Junior, we are responding to what parents have asked us for – more of the Disney brand essence they know and love – and ultimately – a dedicated 24-hour destination for young kids featuring stories and characters that make kids of all ages feel something in their heart.
The launch of Disney Junior in the U.S. is the next step in our global preschool strategy, which began 10 years ago with the premiere of our first dedicated preschool channel in the UK.
We’re busy in various stages of development and production on more new series.
MOC: As a parent, I’m thrilled about “Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living” initiative – and wow, Disney even enlisted the help of First Lady Michelle Obama to help our kids become more active and eat right. On the new Disney Junior schedule are shorts “Mickey Mousekersize!” and “Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps.” Can you share more about these special programs?
NK: “Mickey Mousekersize” is hosted by Mickey Mouse and focuses on the fun of exercising, encouraging children at home to get up and move along with Mickey and pals.
MOC: Is Disney Junior planning to feature any Mickey Mousekersize activities (tips, exercises or healthy recipes) online?
MOC: “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” is one our favorite shows, so my kids are excited about the new exercise shorts. Will any of Disney’s other classic characters don exercise gear for the 2 – 7 year-old set?
NK: We know that kids love to imitate their favorite characters and how they behave, so we’re always looking for opportunities to model good life skills and healthy choices for kids. As our projects take shape that feature the classic characters, as well as new original ones, we’ll certainly be looking for ways to make that happen.
MOC: What’s next for Disney Junior and DisneyJunior.com in partnering with parents to help their kids develop life-long healthy habits?
NK: As far as programming for Disney Junior is concerned, we have a new series in production that will premiere next year when we launch the 24-hour Disney Junior channel that is all about health, hygiene and developing life-long healthy habits. It’s called “Doc McStuffins” and our hero is Doc, a 6 year old girl who is the Dr. Doolittle of the toy world. She can fix any toy with the help of her resident toys and stuffed animals who come to life when someone is in need. What Doc models is a positive attitude towards taking good care of oneself. She helps to demystify doctors and check-ups and many of the other medical issues that parents face day in and day out with their kids. Our storylines range from showing why it’s important to drink plenty of water when it’s hot outside to eating enough to feel satisfied but not so much that you get a belly ache. We also tackle wearing eyeglasses, getting enough sleep and how to handle a boo-boo, just to name a few.
DisneyJunior.com will feature full episodes of both “Mickey Mousekersize” and “Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps.” Additionally, a dedicated section for parent and caregivers will highlight a variety of Disney Junior-themed healthy recipes all keeping within the guidelines of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living initiative.