A new animated social studies series from Emmy-winning animator Joe Murray (Rocko’s Modern Life, Camp Lazlo) is taking off later this year, with PBS KIDS announcing a November 21 premiere date for Let’s Go Luna! during the PBS Annual meeting today. Produced by 9 Story Media Groups award-winning toon shop Brown Bag Films, the multiplatform property will debut nationwide on PBS stations, the 24/7 PBS KIDS channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms.
The series aims to address the gap in young children’s exposure to social studies concepts in school and encourage kids 4-7 to explore and appreciate cultures worldwide, and build global citizenship and social skills.
Let’s Go Luna! follows the adventures of three friends – Leo, a wombat from Australia; Carmen, a butterfly from Mexico; and Andy, a frog from the U.S. – as they traverse the globe with their parents’ traveling performance troupe, “Circo Fabuloso.” At each of the Circo’s stops, Luna the Moon, voiced by Judy Greer (Archer, Ask the Storybots), guides the trio as they get to know the local region and its people. From London to Cairo to Beijing, the friends explore the food, music, art, architecture and other features that make each place distinctive. Episodes end with the kids back at the Circo Fabuloso and Luna back in the sky, with a reminder that there’s always more to see, learn and experience in every place they visit.
“Let’s Go Luna! gives children a vibrant introduction to some of the most interesting aspects of life around the globe, helping them appreciate what may be the same, and what may be different, about people’s everyday lives,” said Linda Simensky, VP Children’s Programming, PBS. “The show combines the humor, detail and artistry for which Joe Murray is known with one of the core values of PBS KIDS: to encourage children’s curiosity and invite them to learn more about the world.”
Each episode of the storyboard-driven preschool show includes two 11-minute stories developed in consultation with cultural advisors from each region the Circo visits. The writers then work with storyboard artists to create visually-driven narratives that highlight each city’s distinctive landscape and features. Songs capture regional musical styles and instrumentation, and interstitials feature traditional folktales associated with each location.
“In all of my experience in producing shows, Let’s Go Luna! is the most important of my career,” said series creator and showrunner Murray. “Its message to young kids of becoming globally aware has never been as needed as it is now. And how can you go wrong with the moon as your ambassador? From the writers, artists and production staff I get to work with, the culturally rich content, and PBS as the series’ home, all arrows point up for me.”
“We are thrilled to be working with PBS KIDS and the incredibly talented Joe Murray to bring Let’s Go Luna! to life,” said Tanya Green, VP Production for 9 Story’s Brown Bag Films – Canada. “Joe’s unique designs and message of cultural appreciation are sure to be a hit with kids and parents around the world.”
The TV series is part of a multiplatform media experience that will also include digital content for kids, parents and teachers beginning in late 2018. A variety of games Let’s Go Luna! will be available at pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Games App, as well as clips and full episodes across PBS KIDS’ streaming video platforms, including the PBS KIDS Video App. A dedicated app will also launch in 2019. Parent resources will be available on the PBS Parents site, and PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials for teachers, including video excerpts, games, tips and printable activities.
Let’s Go Luna! is executive produced by 9 Story’s Vince Commisso and by Joe Murray. Dave Brown (Numb Chucks, Octonauts) is directing, with Julie Soebekti and Tanya Green of Brown Bag Films serving as supervising producers. 9 Story Distribution International is managing the worldwide distribution and merchandising rights.