New animated programs from Craig McCracken, a new Marvel Universe programming block and preschooler series Doc McStuffins are front and center at Disney, which is unveiling this week its 2012-13 lineups for Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD.
The programs will be presented this week in New York to advertisers and sponsors by Gary Marsh, president and CCO of Disney Channels Worldwide.
“We not only try to stay ahead of the curve, but to draw a new one,” says Marsh. “By developing programming that takes a fresh approach to the familiar, we’re able to provide entertainment for kids and families that feels novel and exciting — and pure Disney.”
Here’s how Disney describes its new animated projects:
WANDER OVER YONDER — Emmy-winning producer Craig McCracken, among the most sought-after talent in TV animation, is the creator/executive producer of Disney Channel’s upcoming Wander Over Yonder, an animated comedy series about best friends and epic enemies, set in surreal places across the universe. Wander is an overly-optimistic intergalactic traveler who, along with his loyal but bullish steed, Sylvia, goes from planet to planet helping people to live free and have fun, all against the evil reign of Lord Hater and his army of Watchdogs. The voice cast includes Jack McBrayer (30 Rock, Phineas and Ferb), Keith Ferguson (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants). McCracken created the Emmy-winning series The Powerpuff Girls and produced a feature film based on it. He also created the hit series Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, which also won him an Emmy Award. Prior to creating his own shows, McCracken directed Dexter’s Laboratory and worked on a variety of shows for Hanna-Barbera. Wander Over Yonder is a production of Disney Television Animation.
GRAVITY FALLS – Premiering in June, this clever, unexpected approach to animated comedy is helmed by its creator, executive-producer/director Alex Hirsch, a 2007 Cal Arts graduate. His college short, Off the Wall, garnered attention from notable animation blogs Drawn! and Cold Hard Flash. He subsequently worked as a writer/storyboard artist on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and developed Disney Channel’s Fish Hooks. He is also the voice of Clamantha on that series. His ingenious new series Gravity Falls follows twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel, whose summer plans are ruined when their parents ship them off to spend the summer with their Great Uncle Stan in the very strange town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. The voice cast is: Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords, Toy Story 3) and Alex Hirsch. It is a production of Disney Television Animation.
SUMMER ADVENTURE WEEKEND — In July, Disney Channels presents its most expansive programming initiative yet, a “Summer Adventure Weekend,” with new, vacation adventure-themed episodes of every series on Disney Channel and Disney XD to be presented across three days. Themed episodes of Disney Channel’s Gravity Falls, Fish Hooks, Jessie, A.N.T. Farm, Good Luck Charlie, Austin & Ally and Shake It Up will be presented on Disney Channel, and Disney XD will feature themed episodes of Kick Buttowski – Suburban Daredevil, Lab Rats, Kickin’ It, Pair of Kings and Mr. Young. The “Summer Adventure Weekend” includes the first of an epic Phineas & Ferb two-part episode. In the episode, entitled “Where’s Perry?,” the Flynn-Fletchers are off on an African safari, leaving Perry at home to deal with Doofenshmirtz and his most evil plot yet: to take over the OWCA. But when Doofenshmirtz accidentally zaps Carl the intern with his Ultimate-Evil-Inator ray, Carl takes over the OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym) and imprisons Doof and Monogram. Agent P steps in but gets zapped with one of Doof’s many rays and in the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers, disappears. The mystery of Perry’s whereabouts will be continued in August. The voice cast includes Vincent Martella, Thomas Sangster, Ashley Tisdale, Mitchel Musso, Caroline Rhea, Richard O’Brien, Dee Bradley Baker and Alyson Stoner. Created and executive-produced by Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, the series is a production of Disney Television Animation. For three years running, the Emmy-winning Phineas and Ferb has ranked as the #1 animated series among Tweens and the Disney Channel Original Movie it inspired, Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, was TV’s #1 scripted telecast among Kids 6-11 (4.7 million) and Tweens 9-14 (3.6 million) and cable’s #1 scripted telecast in Total Viewers (10.7 million) for 2011.
MARVEL UNIVERSE — The epic storytelling of Marvel — full of action, adventure and humor, along with complex, courageous and aspirational characters — will be introduced to a new generation of kids and families through a dedicated weekly programming block, Marvel Universe, premiering April 1 on Disney XD. The new series, Ultimate Spider-Man, is written and guided by a creative team that includes some of the most influential names in comic books and pop culture: Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada, and Marvel’s Head of Television, Jeph Loeb, Supervising Producers/Writers Man of Action (Joe Kelly, Joe Casey, Steven T. Seagle & Duncan Rouleau), Creative Consultant/Writer Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series, Lost), and Consulting Producer/Writer Brian Michael Bendis (Marvel’s Ultimate Comics Spider-Man comic series). In the storyline, a teenage Peter Parker (voiced by actor Drake Bell) juggles the relatable challenges of high school with the extraordinary challenges of being a Super Hero. Nick Fury (voiced by actor Chi McBride) invites Parker to train with his S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, where Peter’s alter-ego, Spider-Man, will join forces with four other teenage Super Heroes — Nova, White Tiger, Power Man and Iron Fist — on the greatest action and adventure ever as they work to become ultimate superheroes. The Marvel Universe programming block will also feature the second season of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,and new short-form series that take viewers behind the scenes to meet the creative teams and explore the many facets of the Marvel Universe.
MOTORCITY – This animated series, set in a futuristic Detroit after it has been purchased and built into Detroit Deluxe by evil billionaire Abraham Kane, premieres April 30 on Disney XD. Kane, having banned personal freedoms including automobile transportation, is ultimately challenged by a group of rebels, The Burners, led by 17-year-old Mike Chilton. The Burners retreat to an underground city, customize their fleet of hot rods and pursue their quest to stop Kane from taking over the world. Motorcity is executive-produced and directed by noted producer Chris Prynoski (Metalocalypse). Craig Lewis (Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends) is the story editor and John O’Bryan (Avatar: The Last Airbender) and George Krstic (Star Wars: Clone Wars) are the writers. The series voice cast is Reid Scott, Nate Torrence, Kate Micucci, Kel Mitchell, Jess Harnell, Brian Doyle Murray, Jim Breuer and Mark Hamill. Motorcityis a production of Robin Red Breast, Inc. and Disney Television Animation.
TRON: UPRISING – An impressive group of artists, animators, writers, directors and producers have delivered an exciting new series that combines 3D and 2D animation for a revolutionary visual aesthetic. The exciting storyline takes place between the two Tron feature films and introduces Beck, who has been chosen to lead the mission to free his home, a computer world known as The Grid, from the reign of the villainous Clu and his henchman General Tesler. Beck will be trained by the greatest warrior The Grid has ever known, Tron. The executive producer/director is Charlie Bean (Robotboy, Samurai Jack and Powerpuff Girls) and the consulting producers are Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz (both screenwriters of “Tron: Legacy” / executive producers of ABC’s Lost and Once Upon a Time) and Justin Springer (co-producer of Tron: Legacy). The music is composed by Joseph Trapanese (Tron: Legacy). The voice cast is: Elijah Wood, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Mandy Moore, Nate Corddry, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reubens, Reginald VelJohnson and Bruce Boxleitner. The series is a production of Disney Television Animation.
RANDY CUNNINGHAM: 9th GRADE NINJA – This action-packed animated comedy, set to premiere in fall 2012 on Disney XD, follows the fast-paced adventures of unlikely hero Randy Cunningham who, armed with his magic ninja suit, the teachings of the “NinjaNomicon” (an 800-year-old Ninja guide) and the help of his best buddy Howard, finds himself as the one thing protecting his school and the world from certain destruction. The voice cast is: Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation), Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) and Andrew Caldwell (Transformers). The creators/executive producers are Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas (Scooby Doo). The series is a production of Boulder Media in Dublin, Ireland, and Robin Red Breast, Inc. in Los Angeles.
Acquired series for Disney XD include Slugterra for fall 2012, Packages from Planet X for early 2013 and PacMan for spring 2013.
DOC McSTUFFINS – This animated series about a 6-year-old girl who communicates with and heals stuffed animals and toys in her backyard clinic, premieres with the 24-hour channel Disney Junior and will also be seen on the Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel. Under the consultancy of the Hollywood Health & Society division of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, the series will highlight the importance of taking care of oneself and others, while showcasing the hallmarks of great Disney storytelling – fantasy and wish fulfillment. The series voice cast includes: Kiara Muhammad, Loretta Devine, Lara Jill Miller, Robbie Rist, Jess Harnell, Jaden Betts, Kim Brooks and Gary Anthony Williams. The series’ theme song is performed by the star of Disney Channel’s hit series A.N.T. Farm and Hollywood Records recording artist China Anne McClain. Emmy Award-winning writer/producer Chris Nee (Little Bill and Deadliest Catch: Crab Fishing in Alaska) is the creator and executive producer, and Emmy Award-winning Norton Virgien (Rugrats) is the director. Doc McStuffins is a production of the Dublin, Ireland-based Brown Bag Films.
JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES: BUCKY’S GREAT RACE – In a primetime event episode to be presented in September 2012, Jake’s pirate ship Bucky falls into the hands of Captain Hook after losing a race against the Jolly Roger, so Peter Pan returns once again to help Jake, Izzy, Cubby and Skully follow the Pirate Code and win back their trusty ship. Voicing the cast of characters are: Cameron Boyce, Madison Pettis, Jonathan Morgan Heit, David Arquette, Adam Wylie, Corey Burton and Jeff Bennett. The Never Land Pirate Band (aka Sharky and Bones) is Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson. The executive producer is Rob LaDuca and the producer/story editor is Mark Seidenberg. The director is Howy Parkins. The series is a production of Disney Television Animation.
MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE: MICKEY AND DONALD HAVE A FARM – In this special presentation scheduled for fall 2012, when the powerful wind from Pete’s Giant Windmill accidentally sends all of the animals on the new Clubhouse Farm flying to different places, Mickey and his pals set out to find and rescue them. The voice cast is: Bret Iwan, Russi Taylor, Bill Farmer, Tony Anselmo and Tress MacNeille. The executive producer is Rob LaDuca and the producer/story editor is Mark Seidenberg. Donovan Cook is the director. The series is a production of Disney Television Animation.
SOFIA THE FIRST – Disney will introduce a new little girl princess to its celebrated legacy of princess fairytales in an animated television movie, Sofia the First, premiering in fall 2012 to be followed by a series premiering in winter 2013 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior channels around the world. The stories are designed to communicate positive messages and life lessons that are applicable to preschool-aged children. The voice cast is: Ariel Winter, Sara Ramirez, Wayne Brady and Tim Gunn. The series was developed by Craig Gerber (Pixie Hollow Games) who also wrote the movie. Jamie Mitchell (Special Agent Oso) serves as both executive producer and director on the series. Gerber is co-executive producer and serves as the story editor. The series and movie are productions of Disney Television Animation.
THE HAPPY HUGGLEMONSTERS – Based on the book series I’m a Happy Hugglewug by Niamh Sharkey, this animated series follows the adventures of spirited five-year-old Henry Hugglemonster, the middle child in a family of fun-loving monsters. The series is directed by Norton Virgien (Rugrats, Doc McStuffins), the lead writer is Sascha Paladino (Wonder Pets, Ni-Hao Kai-Lan), and the producer is Gillian Higgins (Doc McStuffins, Octonauts). It is a production of Dublin, Ireland’s Brown Bag Films.
QUIET IS … – Tranquil songs and serene visuals mark this tender new short-form series, one designed to encourage calmness before bedtime for the youngest viewer. Quiet Is… was created by award-winning author and illustrator Sara Pinto and acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Luciana Frigerio. The composers are Rick Garcia and William V. Malpede. The stop-motion animated series is a production of the award-winning Scotland-based animation studio Ko Lik Films, Ltd.