Disney Junior has ordered the new animated comedy-adventure Firebuds, from Emmy Award-winning creator and executive producer Craig Gerber (Disney’s Elena of Avalor and Sofia the First). Slated to premiere on Disney Junior and Disney+ in 2022, the music-filled series follows a team of young kids who are the children of first responders, and their talking vehicle sidekicks, as they embark on adventures together and learn what it truly means to be a hero.
This is Gerber’s first series to debut under his Disney Branded Television overall development deal with his new production banner, Electric Emu. Gerber also has a second project in development with Kris Wimberly, who worked with him on Elena of Avalor and is also a director on Firebuds. Created by Wimberly, the series follows a time-traveling treasure hunter and will be executive-produced by both Wimberly and Gerber.
Set in a fantastical world where talking vehicles live, work and play with the humans who drive them, Firebuds follows a boy and his firetruck as they team up with their first responder friends to help others in their community with problems, both big and small. Whether rescuing a young car that’s stuck in a tree, tracking down lost Dalmatian puppies or helping their neighbors stock up on emergency supplies during a blackout, the Firebuds highlight the importance of teamwork and helping your fellow citizens. Each episode comprises two 11-minute stories and features at least one new original song.
“Firebuds is about the spirit of community service and thinking about others before yourself,” said Gerber. “Just like our young heroes are trying to follow in their parents’ ‘tire treads,’ we are hoping to inspire children to embrace volunteerism and helping others. It is personally a very meaningful show for me and the perfect way to launch this next chapter of my career with Disney.”
The Firebuds team consists of the following:
- Bo, the optimistic and brave leader, voiced by Declan Whaley (Criminal Minds)
- Flash, a young fire engine and Bo’s best friend, voiced by Terrence Little Gardenhigh (Danger Force)
- Violet, a fearless and confident young girl who is always cool under pressure, voiced by Vivian Vencer (Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure)
- Axl, Violet’s funny and outgoing ambulance friend, voiced by Lily Sanfelippo (Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends)
- Jayden, Bo’s imaginative and inventive neighbor, voiced by JeCobi Swain (Home Economics)
- Piston, Jayden’s safety-conscious police car sidekick, voiced by Caleb Paddock (Adult Beginners)
In addition to Gerber, Humanitas Prize and Emmy Award winner Matt Hoverman (Fancy Nancy) is story editor and Krystal Banzon (I Feel Bad), Leanna Dindal (The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse), Jeremy Shipp (Tangled: The Series) and Norma Sepulveda (Elena of Avalor) make up the writing team. Annie Award-nominated Francis Giglio (DC Super Hero Girls) is art director and Emmy Award-nominated Rob Pratt and Craig Simpson (both from Elena of Avalor) are supervising director and producer, respectively. The episodic directors are Kris Wimberly (Elena of Avalor) and Julius Aguimatang (Mulan). The music team consists of Emmy Award-nominated Beau Black (The Lion Guard) as the series songwriter and Emmy Award winner Frederik Wiedmann (All Hail King Julien) as composer.
Firebuds is a production of Disney Television Animation.