Through the Woods, the Emmy-winning mobile first series of 2D-animated shorts from Fred Rogers Productions (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood), is making its PBS KIDS television debuts Friday, June 4, following the studio’s new puppet series Donkey Hodie (check local listings). Originally launched in 2017, the three-minute adventures into “nearby nature” are designed to nurture respect for the natural world in children, and model essential lessons that support kids’ confidence and sense of self.
A different Through the Woods short will enter rotation every weekday from June 4-17. Starting in July, a combination of these and Elinor Wonders Why shorts will follow Donkey Hodie episodes.
Through the Woods follows Rider and his dog, Wolfie, as they explore the small woods behind his house. In every adventure, the ever-curious Rider wonders about the animals and plants he observes — spider webs, a bunny’s nest, fireflies — and shares his discoveries with his Grammie through play.
To bring Rider’s world to life, the team at Fred Rogers Prod. felt that it was important to model the neighborhood and ecosystem on a real place (Pittsburgh) and to showcase animals and plants that local kids can find in their own backyard, encouraging them to explore. Fred Rogers Prod. worked with a consultant from the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to make sure that all flora and fauna in the shorts are seasonal and authentic to the Pittsburgh area. The shorts also emphasize natural sounds over music.
Through the Woods is created by Ellen Doherty (Cyberchase, Reading Rainbow) and animated by Pip Animation (Cybershase, Caillou, Ren & Stimpy).