On Monday, September 16, Disney Channel’s learning-based programming block, Play House Disney, will introduce its first-ever host — a lump of clay appropriately named Clay.
The bright, colorful and cheery blob of yellow plasticine, who morphs into different shapes and changes color to stimulate imagination and learning, will be seen in every program break during Playhouse Disney (6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., ET/PT). Clay will also be featured in a companion website at PlayhouseDisney.com.
Clay, originally named Lumpy, was created by Jennifer Grey of Grey Matter Design, Inc., who also serves as an executive producer of the interstitial segments.
To bring Clay to life, Gray and Disney Channel called on Burbank-based special effects wizards the Chiodo Brothers. Run by Stephen Chiodo, Charlie Chiodo and Edward Chiodo, the creature shop is responsible for the cult classic Killer Klowns From Outer Space and has contributed stop motion effects for Tim Burton’s Peewee’s Big Adventure, the sci-fi chiller Screamers, the Sci-Fi Channel’s Frank Herbert’s Dune and the 1991 TV revival of Land of the Lost, to name a few.
Clay’s Lead animator is Kim Blanchette, whose credits include The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jurassic Park, Toy Story and the legendary defunct epic David Allen’s Primevals.
Serving as Director of Photography is Chris Warren, heir to a stop motion legacy. His grandfather, Gene Warren, animated on the 1962 Harryhausen-esque Jack The Giant Killer and his father, Gene Warren Jr., brought dinosaurs to life in the original Land of the Lost TV series (1974-1976).
Debi Derryberry (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius) provides the voice of Clay and Allyce Beasley (Moonlighting) guides viewers through the schedule as the voice of Playhouse Disney.
Teasers have begun airing on Disney channel and the Clay Pal website for parents and caregivers launches at PlayhouseDisney.com today.