Disney Revs Up Kid Knievel

Walt Disney Television Animation has begun production on Kid Knievel, a 2D-animated comedy series about a 12-year-old boy who aspires to become the world’s greatest daredevil. Famed thrill seeker ‘Kaptain’ Robbie Knievel will serve as a stunt consultant on the series, which is slated to premiere in the fall of 2009 on the soon-to-launch Disney XD channel. Kids will be able to catch a sneak peek when five 55-second original animated shorts debut on DisneyXD.com in advance of the television premiere.

Created by Sandro Corsaro, Kid Knievel centers on Francis Little, a boy who overcomes incredible obstacles in his quest to become famous for his death-defying acts. Inspired by the will and determination of daredevil Robbie Knievel, son of the legendary Evel Knievel, Francis pursues his daily dose of danger with his loyal friends Gunther and Sam by his side. His imaginative journey takes him speeding down a river in a rocket-powered kayak, jumping Dead Man’s Drop on a skateboard and riding a unicycle while blindfolded atop a herd of white rhinos.

Animation producer Chris Savino (Johnny Test, The Powerpuff Girls), who has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award, serves as exec producer and director on the series. The voice cast includes Chris Edgerly (Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law) as Francis Little, Matt Jones (Greek) as quirky best friend Gunther, and Danny Cooksey (Xiaolin Showdown, Pepper Ann) as obnoxious older brother Brad.

‘As our first animated show for the new Disney XD platform, Kid Knievel sets the tone for the animated series to come,’ says Eric Coleman, senior VP of original series at Walt Disney Television Animation. “It has break-out characters, fresh designs, big laughs and great action.’

Disney XD is a re-branding of Toon Disney. The basic cable channel will debut in February with a multi-platform setup that will showcase a mix of live-action and animated programming for kids 6-14, especially boys into discovery, sports, adventure and humor. Offerings will include sports-themed programming developed with ESPN. In the U.S., Disney XD will be a 24-hour, advertiser-supported network reaching 72 million households.