Geena Davis talks mascots and media representation

 

Kidscreen
Wendy Goldman Getzler
February 12, 2018

Geena Davis probably buys the same cereal as you.

But unlike the general population, the Hollywood star has a key understanding of what’s behind the box’s mascot—and the spokespeople or spokescreatures used to hawk more than 500 top-selling products in the US, for that matter. That’s because the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, together with food and beverage manufacturer The Jel Sert Company, recently conducted a study on how gender and race are represented in brand mascots. Davis says she can never look at product packaging the same way again, and now she’s hoping for the same reaction from the marketing and entertainment industry.

Among the Mascots Matter: Gender and Race Representations in Brandingfindings presented by Davis at today’s Kidscreen Summit keynote in Miami is the fact that male characters outnumber female characters two-to-one (67.1% compared to 31.4%). Female mascots are more likely to be presented as gender stereotypes than male ones (25.45% compared to 15.9%), and male mascots are seven times more likely to be shown as funny. They’re also more likely to be shown as being more active than their female counterparts (48.4% compared to 43.4%).

Like representations in film, television and other forms of mass communication, gender and race representations in the images seen in brand advertising send subtle messages about which individuals have the authority to confirm value on a product, according to Davis, and those messages are especially poignant when it comes to how kids self-identify.

“We are interested in the way females are portrayed in all forms of media that reach kids,” Davis says. “We primarily focus on film and TV for children under the age of 11, since that’s still their main entertainment source. But mascots for consumer goods were something that had never really been examined or researched before, and they’re a big part of kids’ lives.” Mascots Matter surveyed 1,096 character representations—from humans and humanoids, to animals and other creatures—across grocery, household and personal care products.

“The mascot study findings tell a similar story to what’s happening in the world of commercial entertainment, in that there’s a two-to-one ratio of male to female representation,” Davis says. The issue of race, too, is also hard to ignore. Among racial/ethnic minorities, Latino characters constitute 8.2% of mascots, followed by Black (2.9%), Native American/Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (2.2%), Asian (1.2%) and Middle Eastern (1.0%) mascots. “Kids are not seeing people who look like them in the characters their exposed to,” Davis adds. “For example, white mascots are more active and family-oriented. And this study reflects previous research we’ve done on media representation.”

The Academy Award-winning actor’s past research led her to present at Kidscreen Summit in 2016 in a keynote address entitled “If She Can See It, She Can Be It.” (This year’s keynote, “Marketing to Boys and Girls: New research from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media,” was moderated by Wind Dancer Film and Television president Dete Meserve.) Davis was initially inspired to launch the institute that bears her name in 2004, after she saw the children’s entertainment world through the eyes of her daughter, who was a toddler at the time.

“I was appalled that so many more male characters were being made to entertain the youngest of kids in the 21st century,” Davis recalls. “This area is profoundly urgent to acknowledge because we are training kids from the beginning to form an unconscious gender bias.” To be sure, Davis—whose own acting credits include unconventionally strong female leads in films like A League of Their Own and TV’s Commander in Chief—acknowledges that strides have been made to ensure children’s entertainment, in particular, is more inclusive.

Female empowerment has infiltrated a crop of toons like Nickelodeon’s Nella the Princess Knight, which premiered last year, as well Disney’s Elena of Avalor (which recently partnered with Girls Scouts for a leadership initiative) and long-running hit Doc McStuffins. DHX Media’s Rainbow Ruby, meanwhile, can transform into various forms to help her toy friends. Gender roles and sexual orientation in general are being portrayed differently, too. In 2016, for example, Nickelodeon’s hit series Loud House introduced the kidsnet’s first married gay couple, while Cartoon Network’s current series Clarence included a lesbian couple and a gay kiss. Disney Channel also featured its first gay main character on season two of Andi Mack last October.

“It helps that everyone is more aware. It’s been of paramount importance all along, but now society is realizing that something has to be done. But we still have so much work to do,” Davis says. “Marketers need to be exposed to our research, and so we take our findings directly to them and present things in a private way. And that usually does a lot of the talking for us. We have yet to leave meeting when one person doesn’t say we changed the outcome of their project in some way.”

Davis says the needle continues to move in the right direction when it comes to kids TV, and expects dramatic changes in terms of female representation to take form within the next 10 years. “On-screen media is one area of gross gender inequality that can be fixed overnight,” she says. “It’s so easy to solve the problem. There’s no reason not to make kids entertainment—especially preschool content—more gender balanced, since boys and girls are watching the same things at this age.”

As for the products and marketing messaging to which this same demo is exposed regularly, Davis is optimistic that change will be in the air—and on shelves—eventually, too. “It’s so important to know this research,” Davis says. “And once you’re aware, it’s something you can’t unsee.”

Parents' Choice Awards Silver Medal Winner - Ready Jet Go!

 

Parents' Choice Award
Spring 2018 Television

Ready Jet Go! is a half-hour animated series about earth/space science where pals Sean and Sydney get to explore the solar system with their new neighbor Jet Propulsion who, despite looking like a human, is an alien from planet Bortron 7.

Each episode features two separate stories and while the plots are fanciful they're built around scientific concepts such as understanding gravity and learning the steps of the scientific method. In "How We Found Your Sun," little human Mindy hears Jet describe the sun as a star but she's skeptical that anything so big can be a star, like the "tiny" ones she observes in the night sky. Jet explains that it's all about perspective and a trip into outer space shows the kids how observing something from different distances and angles reveals unique characteristics about it. In another episode titled "Tree House Observatory," Jet, Sydney, and Sean build their own observatory and even attempt to fashion a telescope out of items they find in Jet's garage. The storyline proves that so-called "failures" are an important part of learning. According to information on the PBS Kids website, this series, produced in cooperation with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory includes engaging live-action sequences with astronomer Amy Mainzer.

Ready Jet Go! sometimes suffers from a disconnect between the child-friendly characters and silly-fun elements and its more complex explanations of science concepts that occasionally feel shoe-horned in. Episodes do include lots of boppy tunes filled with science-inspired lyrics but it would take plenty of repeat viewings for these complex lyrics to stick with little kids and later be used as a kind of mnemonic device for school lessons.

Despite that, Ready Jet Go! has an admirable mission and can be viewed as much for entertainment as for its educational value. Parents and educators may not have a mini-van that turns into a space craft like Jet's mom does, but they still can use Ready Jet Go! as a vehicle for gazing skyward and starting conversations about the universe.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2018 Parents' Choice

Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

Collider Kids: ‘Ready Jet Go!’ Creator Craig Bartlett on the Show’s Upcoming Holiday Special

 

Collider via IMDB
Dave Trumbore
December 10, 2017

In this special installment of Collider Kids, our weekly family-friendly article that puts the spotlight on content for our younger viewers, we talked with Ready Jet Go!
creator Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!, Dinosaur Train) about the science-focused PBS Kids show and its upcoming holiday special. Ready Jet Go!: Holidays in Boxwood Terrace will launch on PBS KIDS this December 11th (check local listings). The merry and bright special will also be available to stream for free beginning that date on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video App, and fans can check it out via the 24/7 PBS KIDS Channel as well.

In Holidays in Boxwood Terrace Jet is over the moon when his idea for the annual Boxwood Terrace Christmas Pageant is accepted – and he gets to direct the show, too! He casts Sean, Sydney, Mindy, and Sunspot as characters in the play, and also hires Mitchell Petersen to help him find that elusive, intangible thing called Christmas Spirit. Jet keeps searching for the Spirit of Christmas, and Sean and Sydney try hard to define it for him, while Mitchell really wants to belong to the group, but can’t quite figure out know how to fit in. But then, in a heartfelt conclusion, the kids get their answer about the true meaning of Christmas Spirit. Bartlett talks all about the special and more in our interview below:

Image via PBS Kids

For people who aren’t familiar with Ready Jet Go!, how would you describe it?

Craig Bartlett: I would say it’s a kids-first space show. It’s about an alien kid who comes to live in the neighborhood, so in the cul de sac you have this guy from outer space.

They’re all really huge fans of the Earth; Jet and his parents, they think it’s the greatest. So kids who are watching, I hope they get an idea of how great the Earth is from watching Jet say how great it is. Basically, they keep going out into space and looking back at the Earth, and that’s my favorite message to kids: Once we see the Earth from space, we realize how precious it is.

How did Ready Jet Go! come about?
Bartlett: I have known Linda Simensky, who is the head [of children’s at PBS, I have known her since early Nicktoons. I worked on Rugrats and pitched on Hey Arnold!and Linda was an executive even then at Nickelodeon. She went to Cartoon Network and I followed her there and we tried to develop some stuff, and kind of an early version of Ready Jet Go! was something Linda and I were talking about back in those days. I said, “What about a show where this kid’s from outer space, but the gag is that the Earth-ies don’t really even notice?” So much of the humor of the show is how happily his little community accepts him. All of Boxwood Terrace is like a JPL. We are right next to Jet Propulsion Laboratories here in Pasadena, and I wanted it to be a tiny version of that in Washington state, a little community built up around, first, an observatory and now they’ve made it a science facility, a little Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Everybody in town works there. Jet couldn’t have come to a more perfect Earth location, because they love space and they think he’s neat. Their attitude would be like, “You know, I felt like an alien when I was a kid, too.”

What makes PBS the perfect place for Ready Jet Go?

Barlett: I had done Dinosaur Train with Linda, and I felt like we were really in sync. We made 89 episodes of Dinosaur Train now, and I realized, “I can do a science show!” All you have to do is make sure that the subject matter of your curriculum is something that you really love, and I really love dinosaurs and I really love space. It was an easy fit.

Image via PBS Kids

On continuing science education, especially about space:
Bartlett: I think the space piece is interesting because it really does represent that frontier of our ability to accomplish things. The things we do when we send probes out into space and navigate them around planets, bringing back the most beautiful photography that I can think of ... The new pictures from Juno, of Jupiter’s surface, are perfect examples of that. And there’s something really impressive to me about the engineers and scientists who create those machines, and they get out there and perform these maneuvers that are all about amazing math ... even though math isn’t even my thing, I still have this appreciation for how beautiful an endeavor that is.

I love that kids, just from watching a science show, they learn to be critical thinkers, they learn to apply things like the scientific method to problems, I just think that makes for more responsible citizens. They’ll grow up to be able to find the difference between fact and fiction, and just be investigative and ask questions, all that stuff. We try to model that in our characters.

Jet is, as an alien, just running around, super curious about everything; he’s not super- critical, he’s super-curious. That’s why there are several characters: Sean is the one going, “Wait, wait, wait, we have to be scientific about this.” And Sydney’s creative and using her imagination. And then Mindy, the fourth character, is just meant to represent real four-year-olds. [laughs] In Season 2, she turns 5. We had a running gag where once she turns 5 she can go to space, so we send her into space in Season 2.

Image via PBS Kids

On collaborating with real-world scientists like paleontologist Scott D. Sampson for Dinosaur Train and the JPL’s Dr. Amy Mainzer for Ready Jet Go!:

Bartlett: So great. On Dinosaur Train, we worked with Scott Sampson, who is a paleontologist who basically tells you what’s new in paleontology. Amy is that for us, too. Every time we sit down for a bunch of shows, we go, “Amy, what’s new in space?” She loves that things that they just discover wind up on the show. She calls it bleeding- edge science, where if they make a discovery about an asteroid, or discoveries about Pluto–both Amy and I are big fans of Pluto, we just like it because it’s small and cute, and of course got kicked out of the planets. We wanted to do a story, but we knew that it’s been three years since New Horizons went by. However, when we were writing our Pluto show, she said, “Wait, hold on. Let’s not really start that one until New Horizons goes by.” So we got all that information and put it right into the episode. That aspect of it’s really fun.

It’s the same with Dinosaur Train, too. Scott Sampson made a new discovery one summer, and in the fall, that was a character in the next episode. That stuff is really fun. They’re finding brand new stuff and we get to include it in our show. And Amy’s just incredible. She’s very creative, has a great sense of humor, and she shoots those live- action interstitials for us. Her day job is managing teams who look at space telescopes, and they’re tracking near-Earth objects and looking at the asteroid belt and that kind of stuff, and she says there’s a lot of running numbers in that job, so she loves to take a break and work on our show. She pours a ton of energy into advising us on all this science. It’s the best; I can’t think of anything cooler.

On making space and science accessible to everyone:

Bartlett: Amy’s personal story is that, as a kid, she became interested in astronomy. The people in her life who were authority figures basically encouraged her. She wants to be able to give that encouragement to little kids, especially girls. You have girls who, by the time they get of an age in science, it’s sort of becomes a boys’ thing and the girls drop out. She’s working on that. We’re working on that all together trying to model a real gender-balanced show where everybody loves space, and the girls and the boys, there’s no difference as far as their interest and thinking they can be scientists.

Image via PBS Kids

What can you tell us about “Holidays in Boxwood Terrace” special?

Bartlett: By the time we got to that one, that was at the end of our first two seasons worth of shows, so we were like, “Well, we have to do a Christmas special. That’ll be great!” It was fun to have done it that long. We’ve had several episodes where Jet kind of puts on a show. Truly, one of the foundations when I pitched it was that Jet is kind of a Music Man. Jet is this little alien kid but he’s kinda dancing around like the Music Man with his elbows out, marching around, and he’s always ready to burst into song. That aspect where Jet, he’s kind of irrepressible–you can’t keep him from starting a show– and by the time we’d gotten to the Christmas show, we had already done several of those. So the Christmas special is kind of meta. Jet’s like, “A Christmas pageant? What’s that? Great! Let’s go look at it!” He immediately goes downtown and finds Mr. Petersen, who’s one of the DSA guys, and he can’t wait to hand over the directorial reins to Jet; he’s been doing it for years and he’s exhausted. Jet comes in with a whole pitch sequence and Petersen can’t wait to give it to him. So now you have Jet, the alien kid, directing a Christmas pageant.

It’s such a runner that the Propulsion family basically takes words really literally and don’t really understand English that well, in a classic sci-fi comedy tradition. The aliens have always been that way. They’re particularly good-natured, our family of aliens is particularly sweet. They have a really short-term memory and the next day they’re ready to start all over again. They never lose their enthusiasm for this new planet.

All my favorite things about Jet, we put into the special. I got to write a bunch of songs. It was really important that the Christmas special have a story, and the story is that Jet gets to put on the pageant, but in order to put on the pageant, he has to find out what the spirit of Christmas is, and so he hires Mitchell–the loner kid who’s the detective who always spies on them–to help him find the spirit of Christmas. What you realize is, when Mitchell takes the job, is that as a loner he wishes he could fit in but doesn’t know how. Of course, the whole pageant is going to lead to a scene with a song about the spirit of Christmas being about letting someone in. “There’s someone out in the cold, let them in.” Mitchell gets to experience that and literally discover in real time that he’s being invited in.

On his hopes for “Holidays in Boxwood Terrace” becoming a holiday favorite: Bartlett: I hope so. I really like that. I think that’s the nicest thing about the holiday shows. I totally hope it’ll be a perennial and that people will watch it. I hope that the show gets to go on so we can make more in the future.

What’s the future for Ready Jet Go?
Bartlett: A show like Ready Jet Go! could probably go on forever because that element of new discovery will always be there. I hope we can keep going. It’s always a challenge. If PBS considers it something that they can grow into a classic property, that would be fantastic. We are very hopeful, and ready, to do a Season 3 of Ready Jet Go!

Ready Jet Go!: Holidays in Boxwood Terrace will launch on PBS KIDS this December 11th (check local listings). The merry and bright special will also be available to stream for free beginning that date on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video App, and fans can check it out via the 24/7 PBS KIDS Channel as well.

‘READY JET GO!’ CHRISTMAS SPECIAL LAUNCHING DEC. 11

 

Animation World Network
PBS KIDS will premiere an out-of-this-world half-hour Christmas special of the popular animated series, Dec 11 on TV, the web, video app and VOD.
By AWN Staff Editor | Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 9:22am

PBS KIDS will premiere Ready Jet Go!: Holidays in Boxwood Terrace, Dec. 11. The Christmas special will also be available to stream for free beginning on that date on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video App, and fans can check it out via the 24/7 PBS KIDS Channel as well.

In Holidays in Boxwood Terrace Jet is over the moon when his idea for the annual Boxwood Terrace Christmas Pageant is accepted – and he gets to direct the show. He casts Sean, Sydney, Mindy and Sunspot as characters in the play, and also hires Mitchell Petersen to help him find that elusive, intangible thing called Christmas Spirit. Jet keeps searching for the Spirit of Christmas, and Sean and Sydney try hard to define it for him, while Mitchell really wants to belong to the group, but can’t quite figure out know how to fit in. But then, in a heartfelt conclusion, the kids get their answer about the true meaning of Christmas Spirit.

Ready Jet Go! makes the science of space cool for the 3- to 8-year-old set with vibrant animation, action-packed adventure and high-energy music, taking young viewers on a journey into outer space, and building on their natural curiosity about science, technology and astronomy. The series also features a leading NASA astronomer – the Jet Propulsion Lab’s Dr. Amy Mainzer, the show’s science curriculum consultant who stars in its fun and informative live-action segments.

Ready Jet Go! was created by Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!, Dinosaur Train) and follows neighbors Sean and Sydney, who befriend the new kid on their block, Jet Propulsion, who happens to be an alien from the planet Bortron 7. Together, they explore the solar system and its effects on the science of Earth.

The 7 New TV Shows Your Children Can’t Miss This Holiday Season

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Paste
Amy Amatangelo
November 10, 2017

Why should adults have all the fun? The holiday season brings new TV series and specials for your children, too. We’ve made our list and checked it (more than) twice, and we think your children (ages 2-12) will find these TV shows very nice. Plus, if you can get them to sit in front of the TV for at least 30 minutes you might have time to address those holiday cards, wrap those presents, plan those big meals and maybe get a moment of peace. No judgment here!

Jet gets to direct the annual Boxwood Terrace Christmas pageant in this new special. Jet searches for the Christmas spirit and looks everywhere until he realizes it has been right in front of him all along. This great series, which encourages children’s curiosity about the world around them, also features NASA astronomer s Dr. Amy Mainzer in live- action segments.

‘Ready Jet Go!’ Christmas Special Launching Dec. 11

 

AWN
November 9, 2017

PBS KIDS will premiere an out-of-this-world half-hour Christmas special of the popular animated series, Dec 11 on TV, the web, video app and VOD.

‘Ready Jet Go!: Holidays in Boxwood Terrace’ will premiere on PBS KIDS, Dec. 11.

PBS KIDS will premiere Ready Jet Go!: Holidays in Boxwood Terrace, Dec. 11. The Christmas special will also be available to stream for free beginning on that date on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video App, and fans can check it out via the 24/7 PBS KIDS Channel as well.

In Holidays in Boxwood Terrace Jet is over the moon when his idea for the annual Boxwood Terrace Christmas Pageant is accepted – and he gets to direct the show. He casts Sean, Sydney, Mindy and Sunspot as characters in the play, and also hires Mitchell Petersen to help him find that elusive, intangible thing called Christmas Spirit. Jet keeps searching for the Spirit of Christmas, and Sean and Sydney try hard to define it for him, while Mitchell really wants to belong to the group, but can’t quite figure out know how to fit in. But then, in a heartfelt conclusion, the kids get their answer about the true meaning of Christmas Spirit.

Ready Jet Go! makes the science of space cool for the 3- to 8-year-old set with vibrant animation, action- packed adventure and high-energy music, taking young viewers on a journey into outer space, and building on their natural curiosity about science, technology and astronomy. The series also features a leading NASA astronomer – the Jet Propulsion Lab’s Dr. Amy Mainzer, the show’s science curriculum consultant who stars in its fun and informative live-action segments.

Ready Jet Go! was created by Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!, Dinosaur Train) and follows neighbors Sean and Sydney, who befriend the new kid on their block, Jet Propulsion, who happens to be an alien from the planet Bortron 7. Together, they explore the solar system and its effects on the science of Earth.

Craig Bartlett Offers Kids a Front Row Seat to the New Space Race

 

Fatherly
Carlos Mejia
April 11, 2017
 

Craig Bartlett spent the better part of the last four decades creating classic TV shows for kids. In a sense, he’s conquered the industry. He was an animator on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, a writer on Rugrats, and the mind behind both Nickelodeon’s mega-hit Hey Arnold! and the PBS smash Dinosaur Train, on which he even sings the theme song. Where does a children’s entertainer go after all those wins? Being an ambitious guy, Bartlett is looking beyond Earth and beyond pure entertainment. With his show Ready Jet Go!, he’s cast himself as a science communicator and, in a narrower sense, a benign propagandist for NASA.

Ready Jet Go! works cooperatively with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the California skunkworks that created the Mars Rover and Voyager 1 among many, many other important probes. The show features interstitials with astronomer Amy Mainzer, who helps kids understand the science behind space exploration. “From the very beginning, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t that be cool if the show taught kids just how to be good, scientifically literate citizens?'” Bartlett says.

It is cool and the timing is perfect. With private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin

innovating their way to creating sustainable businesses in orbit and NASA looking to put boots on Mars, the next generation has a real shot of growing up and taking a job at mission command or in a capsule. The hero of Ready Jet Go!, Jet Propulsion, take the latter approach. He and his alien family study Earth and take spaceship rides to neighboring planets. He’s got a multi-planetary mentality, which is what Bartlett wants for his audience.

Fatherly spoke with Bartlett about getting kids to eat their science, working with NASA, and his own ambitions in space.

For you, what’s the importance of having science play a part in children’s programming right now?
The current administration may or may not fund certain things in science. NASA seems to be doing okay, but it’s going to be more of a challenge than ever for kids to grow up to be scientifically literate. That requires an understanding that you can’t just takeeverything as a fact and that you have to kind of apply scientific scrutiny to everything you see online or in the news. Ready Jet Go! is set up really well for that. And I love that PBS gives me that opportunity to do a curriculum show about space. Thank goodness for that opportunity.

What was the initial inspiration behind Ready Jet Go!?
I wanted to make a space show for years. More than a decade ago, I worked on a project for NASA called the Shuttle Launch Experience. It was at the Visitors Centers out at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, where they used to launch shuttles. I was the Media Editor of that project. We knew our audience would be waiting in line in the Florida heat, on this long kind of gantry that goes up and into the experience. So we made this pre-show that was 26 astronauts being interviewed.
Every one of the astronauts told me the same thing about looking back at the Earth from space. They said, ‘You can’t forget it. It’s a life changing experience. You’ll never look at the Earth the same again. It’s incredibly beautiful, you realize instantly that there are no borders, it’s just one blue spaceship, you know, and that we should take care of it.’

Basically, being scientists changed them not only because of the science but also because of a more visceral — perhaps more kid-friendly — experience? They all become environmentalists, they go, ‘God, when I get back to Earth, I’ve got to tell people.’

We’re at the outset of a new space race and you’re getting a front row view by working with JPL. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen?
Amy Mainzer is our science advisor and astronomer that we feature on our show. She works as a research scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and they’re kind of my first place that I go and get information. In going around Southern California with Amy to make these little interstitial segments we visited a lot of really amazing places and people.

Going out to Tesla and seeing what’s going on with SpaceX was really fun. There official NASA vehicles being made, but there is this also this really great stuff being developed in the private sector. They’re going to figure out how to get humans to space, humans to Mars, and it’s going be great. There are a lot of problems to solve before we can get people to Mars and back alive and they’ll be figured out in real time right in front of us.

Amy Mainzer and Doctor Scott the Paleontologist are big parts of your shows. What’s it’s like working with people who are smarter than you?

Amy’s main job at NASA is working on two or three space telescopes in geocentric orbit. They’re out, just as far out as they can be from Earth and still somehow orbit the Earth. When Amy told me that she tracks asteroids coming in on a collision course with Earth, I was like, ‘Wow! Amy, your job is the most important job in civilization. So you’re number one with a bullet at NASA, right?’ She said, ‘Nah, you know, there are a lot of projects that are cooler than ours.’

It’s just like showbiz. You’re like, ‘I’ve got a great show!’ And you pitch it and they go, ‘Well, we have notes.’ It’s the very same thing with NASA. She’s like, ‘Hey, we got this new telescope that’ll track asteroids.’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, well, we’ve also got this cool Jupiter orbiter that we want to put money in.’

Your shows are different than others on PBS, which mostly focus on math skills and reading. Were you consciously looking to create shows about science?
For me, it’s easier to sit around and come up with dinosaur facts than, say, math, because it appeals to me more. And the same thing applies with space. I love space. I think it’s really cool. My effort is first to show that it’s really cool and beautiful. And that’s what we do with the main character of Jet!. It’s always kind of through the point of view of him and his alien family who’ve come to Earth, and they think it’s awesome.

Is the goal for Ready Jet Go! to create the next generation of scientists, astronomers, and astronauts?
That’s the feedback. Parents will write letters into us that say, ‘My kid says,’When I grow

up I want to be an astronomer.” And they might be four; they might be six; they might
be eight. But the show plants that seed. Then, when they say they want to do it, we kind of try to lay down that framework in the show. We model the parents being encouraging. The parents have cool jobs. The moms and dad in our show work at a place that’s just like the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

I hope to someday run into somebody who goes to Cal Tech and is becoming an astronomer or physicist and have them say the first place they got that idea was watching Ready Jet Go!.

What’s the best thing about being a child’s first introduction to space and science?
When a kid tells their parent at the dinner table some amazing fact and the parents are like, ‘What? That’s a giant word. Where’d you learn that?’ And they’re like, ‘Well, I saw it on Dinosaur Train.’ That’s my favorite thing when a parent gives me that little testimony. You know, and the song “Dinosaur A-Z” lists 26 species that start with A through Z. That’s my favorite when a 3-year-old is able to rattle off those giant names. I love that

stuff.

And you have an entire generation of Hey Arnold! fans who grew up street smart. It’s so fun to get that kind of validation. When I see what 30-year-old Hey Arnold! fans write online about the show now — it’s kind of completing that loop of feedback where all this stuff that we tried to say in the show, really did land with the kids in the audience.

Look at that, man! Just like I said!

Wind Dancer Plans New Series

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License Global
Mar 23, 2017

Wind Dancer Films has revealed a slate of new animated and live action projects for kids, families and more.

New projects for the company include
the development of the second season
of “Ready Jet Go!,” which will launch this
winter and continue to take viewers on
learning-rich adventures through
astronomy, technology, scientific exploration, innovation and invention.

The company has also unveiled a new animated pilot, titled “The World Wide Webbers,” which follows the Webber kids and their family on a series of adventures around the world to teach kids, ages 4-8, about literacy and geography.

Wind Dancer partnered with Muse Entertainment to create a new live action TV movie and series, called “Hello, I Love you.” Both companies are also producing the upcoming film for The Hallmark Channel, titled Good Sam.

Wind Dancer Films Expands Kids Entertainment Portfolio

The Licensing Book
March 22, 2017


Wind Dancer Films announced a new slate of animated and live-action projects for kids. In addition to the recently-announced upcoming second season of Ready Jet Go!, the company collaborated with Carin Greenberg, Tod Mesirow, and Craig Bartlett to deliver a range of on-screen entertainment projects.

New projects currently in the works include Ready Jet
Go! Season 2; The World Wide Webbers; Not A Box;
Hello, I Love You; Muse Entertainment; Good Sam. Additional upcoming Wind Dancer Films productions include a range of animated and live-action series and films.

Wind Dancer Builds Kids’ Slate in the Wake of ‘Ready Jet Go!’

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Animation Magazine
Mercedes Milligan
March 22, 2017

Wind Dancer Films, a Hollywood-based company behind many top TV sitcoms and box-office winners, is growing its kids’ entertainment footprint following the success of its first foray into the area, Ready Jet Go!, which launched last year on PBS KIDS. The company has unveiled a full slate of new animated and live-action TV and film projects for kids and families, teaming with top children’s media creatives to deliver fresh content.

“We’re thrilled that our first-ever children’s series, Ready Jet Go!, has been an out-of-this-world success,” said Dete Meserve, Executive Producer of the series and Principal of Wind Dancer Films. “Our priority continues to be creating quality entertainment offerings for kids and families and we’re very excited to be working on these smart and engaging new productions with the best-of-the best in the space.”

New projects in the works at Wind Dancer include:

Ready Jet Go! Season 2 (CGI Animation; Ages 3-8)

Season 2 of the popular series created by Craig Bartlett (Dinosaur Train, Hey Arnold) will debut in 2018, with 24 new episodes, an hour-long special and a range of new web games and mobile apps. Ready Jet Go! takes viewers on far-flung, fun and learning-rich adventures through astronomy, technology, scientific exploration, innovation, and invention. Since its premiere, the show has reached 34.3 million viewers, including 10.2 million kids on linear TV. Ready Jet Go! content has been streamed more than 146 million times since January 2016. In addition to airing on PBS stations, full-length segments from the series are available for streaming on pbskids.org and on the free PBS KIDS Video app. The series is also on Amazon Prime Video.

The World Wide Webbers (Animated Pilot; Ages 4-8)

An exciting new concept designed to spark children’s interest in both literacy and geography. Created by Kim Berglund, a 15-year veteran in the kids’ entertainment arena, the program follows the Webber kids and their family on a series of adventures around the world.

Not A Box

Winner of two Daytime Emmys, two Annie Awards and a Writers Guild Award, writer/showrunner Carin Greenberg (Tumble Leaf, Lalaloopsy, Octonauts) has joined the Wind Dancer team to pen the script for a pilot that adapts Antoinette Portis’ award-winning book property, Not A Box, for the small screen.

Hello, I Love You (Live Action; Tweens)
Wind Dancer has partnered with one of Canada’s largest film and television productioncompanies, Muse Entertainment (Life of Pi, Being Human), on this new TV movie and series.

Good Sam

Based on the best-selling and award-winning novel by Wind Dancer Principal Dete Meserve, the company is producing the upcoming film for The Hallmark Channel in partnership with Muse Entertainment.

Additional (as-yet untitled) animated projects in the works include a music-centered series for kids 5+ with Craig Bartlett; feature film for family audiences with writer Robert Zappia (Christmas Is Here Again, Tom & Jerry); “maker”-influenced CG series for preschoolers with Kid Glove executive producer Brenda Wooding (SheZow, Space Racers); and The Wilde Family, a preschool science series created by Ready Jet Go! alums Rachel Lipman (Splash & Bubbles) and Joe Purdy (Dinosaur Train).

Wind Dancer is also planning two additional live-action series, a comedy about a secret club for solving tween problems with author/writer Elise Allen (Gabby Duran) and Corey Powell (Doc McStuffins, My Little Pony); and an informational series about the stories behind cars, with Tod Mesirow of Robot Body (Mythbusters, Top Gear).

Wind Dancer Films Announces Full Slate of Upcoming New Projects for Children and Families

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BroadwayWorld.com
TV News Desk
Mar. 21, 2017

Wind Dancer Films, the film and television company behind many beloved TV sitcoms and box office successes, officially entered the children's television space in 2016 with the launch of its critically-acclaimed series READY JET GO! on PBS KIDS. Now, Wind Dancer has pulled back the curtain on a full slate of new animated and live-action projects for kids, families and beyond. In addition to the recently-announced upcoming second season of Ready Jet Go!, its inventive CG- animated series created by Craig Bartlett (Dinosaur Train, Hey Arnold), a hit with audiences in the U.S. and around the world, the company has joined forces with a veritable who's who of top names in children's media - among them Carin Greenberg, Tod Mesirow, and Craig Bartlett once again - to deliver a range of exciting new on-screen entertainment.

"We're thrilled that our first-ever children's series, Ready Jet Go!, has been an out-of-this-world success," said Dete Meserve, Executive Producer of the series and Principal of Wind Dancer Films. "Our priority continues to be creating quality entertainment offerings for kids and families and we're very excited to be working on these smart and engaging new productions with the best-of-the best in the space."

Among the notable new projects that Wind Dancer now has in the works are:

Ready Jet Go! Season 2 - Season 2 of the popular series launches in early 2018 with 24 all-new episodes, an hour-long special and a range of new web games and mobile apps. READY JET GO! takes 3-8-year-olds on far-flung, fun and learning-rich adventures through astronomy, technology, scientific exploration, innovation, and invention. Since its premiere, the show has reached 34.3 million viewers, including 10.2 million kids on linear TV.* READY JET GO! content has been streamed more than 146 million times since January 2016.** In addition to airing on PBS stations, full-length segments from the series are available for streaming on pbskids.org and on the free PBS Kids Video app on a variety of mobile devices and platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. The series is also on Amazon Prime Video.

*Source: Nielsen NPOWER, 2/15/16-2/12/17, L+7 READY JET GO! Program Reach, 50% uni, 6+ qual, P2+ and K2-11.

**Source: Google Analytics Jan '16 - Jan '17

The World Wide Webbers - An exciting new animated pilot for kids ages 4-8 designed to spark their interest in both literacy and geography. Created by Kim Berglund, a 15-year veteran in the kids' entertainment arena, the program follows the Webber kids and their family on a series of adventures around the world.

Not A Box - Winner of two Daytime Emmys, two Annie Awards and a Writers Guild Award, writer/showrunner Carin Greenberg (Tumble Leaf, Lalaloopsy, Octonauts) has joined the Wind Dancer team to pen the script for a pilot that adapts Antoinette Portis' award-winning book property, Not A Box, for the small screen.

Hello, I Love You - Wind Dancer has partnered with one of Canada's largest film and television production companies, Muse Entertainment (Life of Pi, Being Human), on this new live-action TV movie and series for tweens.

Good Sam - Based on the best-selling and award-winning novel by Wind Dancer Principal Dete Meserve, the company is producing the upcoming film for The Hallmark CHANNEL in partnership with Muse Entertainment.

Additional Wind Dancer Films productions now on the horizon include:

An animated, music-centered series for kids ages 5+, with award-winning READY JET GO! creator Craig Bartlett

An animated feature film for family audiences, with writer Robert Zappia (Christmas Is Here Again, Tom & Jerry)

A live-action comedy series about close friends who form a secret group and adopt a unique approach to solving tween problems, with YA author and award-winning writer Elise Allen (Gabby Duran book series) and Corey Powell (Doc McStuffins, My Little Pony)

A "maker" influenced CG-animated series for preschoolers with Kid Glove executive producer Brenda Wooding (SheZow, Space Racers)

The Wilde Family, an animated preschool Science series created by Rachel Lipman (Splash & Bubbles, Ready Jet Go) and Joe Purdy (Dinosaur Train, Ready Jet Go)

A live-action series about the stories behind cars, with Tod Mesirow of Robot Body Inc. (Mythbusters, Top Gear, KCRW/NPR's Car Guy)

About Wind Dancer Films Wind Dancer Films created and produced successful television series such as Home Improvement and Roseanne, along with box office successes such as What Women Want and Bernie. Founded by series creators Matt Williams and David McFadzean, and later joined by principal, Dete Meserve, Wind Dancer Films has produced hundreds of hours of comedies and family projects for film and television. www.WindDancer.com

15 of the best science apps for preschoolers through teens: Back-to- School tech guide

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Cool Mom Tech
Jeana
September 6, 2016


We parents know that science is everywhere and why it’s so important. So we always love tracking down some of the best science apps for kids each year, to show kids how fun science can be, and how it’s a part of pretty much everything they already do and see.

The focus on STEM in the past few years has given rise to incredible products and apps for kids to explore science from a very young age. But it’s likely that our pick’s for this year’s
best science apps for kids will answer many of them, and provoke many more, too. We’re betting a lot of parents will also learn a thing or two.

Recommended ages: 3-5

Ready Jet Go! Space Explorer app

Fans of this PBS KIDS series will be excited to spend more time with Jet on the small screen, exploring space, planets and learning about constellations through fun activities. And similar to one of our favorite astronomy apps, Starwalk, kids can point the app to the sky on a starry night and figure out if what they’re seeing really is the Big Dipper or Orion’s Belt.

(Free, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon)

‘Ready Jet Go’ Gets Second-Season Nod at PBS

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Variety
Yahoo Lifestyle
Yahoo Movies
Kidscreen
AWN

The second season of “Ready Jet Go,” the PBS Kids series that teaches viewers about scientific thinking skills, has gone into production, according to Wind Dancer Films, the production company behind the series. The new season will feature 24 new episodes, an hour-long special and a collection of new web games and mobile apps, and is set to launch in late 2017.

The show is created by Craig Bartlett and introduces three-to-eight-year-old viewers to astronomy, technology, scientific exploration, innovation, and invention. The series incorporates live-action interstitials with noted NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory astrophysicist Dr. Amy Mainzer, a science curriculum consultant for the show.

The series”follows Jet Propulsion, the new kid in town who also happens to be an alien from outer space. Along with his Earthling friends Sean and Sydney, Jet goes on intergalactic explorations through the solar system. Each episode poses a question about outer space or Earth science.
The second season is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the U.S. Department of Education.

Since its February premiere on PBS Kids,”Ready Jet Go!” has reached 22 million viewers, including 7.6 million kids on linear TV, and its content has been streamed more than 93 million times since January. In addition to airing on PBS stations, full-length segments from the show are available for streaming on pbskids.org and on the free PBS KIDS Video app on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. The series is also on Amazon Prime Video.

Review: Ready Jet Go Space Explorer is a can't miss adventure among the stars! In fact, it gets 5 stars!

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Smart Apps For Kids
April 11, 2016

Bottom Line: Ready Jet Go Space Explorer is a brand new app from PBS Kids that allows kids to explore and play among the stars (learning interesting facts along the way). If you’ve got a budding scientist on your hands, this app is a must.

Did I mention it’s free? What are you waiting for?

If you’d like to download Ready Jet Go Space Explorer (FREE, iPad/iPhone), please use the handy link below so they’ll know how you found them.

Ready Jet Go Space Explorer lets us join along with Jet and his friends as they explore and play in space. There are games and coloring functions along with star charting capabilities that may just keep my kids from making off with my phone when we are out camping. Not that I’d take my phone camping. That would be silly. But I digress...

This app opens up with Jet asking us if we’re ready to explore. Almost immediately he asks us to find some constellations, telling us that we can explore the

sky by swiping on the screen. We explored the sky for a bit this way, tapping on constellations and planets when we would come across them. By doing this we could see and hear their names.

Our control panel looked like the dash of a spaceship (named Space 9000), and we quickly began to find that there were other ways to explore and things to do. By tapping the purple saucer button we enter a fun game of hide and seek with Jet. Off he goes to hide among the stars, giving you hints about where to find him. Don’t worry if you get lost, his little friend sunspot will help guide you to him. Oh! And you earn an

explorer badge each time you find Jet.

After playing hide and seek, why not go color the stars? For each of the major constellations, we were offered the option to paint it any color we wanted. I think a golden Leo is just the thing, don’t you? It’s a pretty simple coloring function, and it won’t let you color outside the lines so everything stays neat. I do wish this function had a few more options and the ability to color with a bit more detail.

At any time you can tap on the face of Space 9000 and be offered a glossary of the planets and major constellations. By tapping on one, you are shown its relative position in the sky. To get a closer look and hear lots of interesting facts, you simply have to pull the red lever and Space 9000 will zoom you there. Find out about the positions of the planets and learn what their names mean. Learn about the 24 different constellations – learn how to find them and what their names mean, among other things.

While exploring, you can tap on stars to find out the names of them. If you come across a constellation, Space 9000 offers you the chance to zoom in closer and find out more. You can also visit the planets or earth’s moon this way.

Our very favorite thing about this app is that, while you can explore the sky with a simple swipe of your finger, you can change the mode of exploration to and augmented reality

mode to let kids really get a feel for how we fit into the solar system. This works much like the star-tracker type apps that many adults have on their phones. Simply move the device around to be shown what is in the sky in those areas. We were still offered the same options to explore and find out information this way, but the thrill that my kids get being able to find the formations in the sky that they are learning about in the app makes it our preferred method of exploring the app.

Overall, this app is a well-made, engaging app that helps introduce kids to the wonders of space. I know that my family will be making use of this for a long time to come. The fact that such a quality app is also free is a major bonus. Five Stars.

'Ready Jet Go!' Apps, Games And Toys Planned After 37 Million Stream The Show

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Forbes
Andy Robertson
April 8, 2016

Ready Jet Go! show launches star gazing app and is planning video games and toys after attracting 37 million digital streams online.

If you’ve not seen the cartoon already it airs on PBS and takes young viewers into outer space. It’s the brain child of Craig Bartlett, who also created PBS Kids’ hit series Dinosaur Train and is produced by Wind Dancer Films.

The payload is two fold — science fiction entertainment and engaging education about science, technology and astronomy. Viewers follow Jet whose family members happen to be aliens from the planet Bortron 7. As the show description puts it, “Together, they explore the solar system and the effects it has on the science of our planet, while learning about friendship and teamwork along the way.”

While this may sound like crow-baring learning in through the back door, the reality is actually much more integrated. By creating likeable characters and engaging story lines that children can relate to the informative aspect of the show is simply a side effect of what’s happening.

To ensure the information is accurate and up to date, the show includes live-action interstitials with Jet Propulsion Laboratory astronomer Dr. Amy Mainzer, who also is the science curriculum consultant for the show.

I asked Mainzer how they combine the scientific information with the show, and why this is important. “When I was a kid, it was incredibly difficult to get current information, since all the old books in the libraries I went to were filled with outdated material. This is particularly a problem for space and Earth science, where the pace of what we’re learning is changing lightning-fast.”

And in terms of presenting the science in a way that will engage children, I asked whether that was a challenge? “At its heart, science is about experimentation, not memorizing facts. By having the kids in the show try to make experiments work as they play games and hang out together, we can model the real process of science and deductive reasoning.”

“Consequently, a lot of the Ready Jet Go! episodes focus on the kids working together to figure out how to do something, like making paper airplanes fly farther. Also, a big part of science these days is teamwork, so we show the kids learning to work collaboratively to solve problems, like learning to share space in their treehouse by pretending to be astronauts in the Space Station. In my experience, these are some of the best aspects of being a practicing scientist, and we try to infuse the fun of science into the show.” Show producers Wind Dancer Films also come with quite a pedigree — Home

Improvement, Roseanne and movie successes like What Women Want andBernie. I spoke to Dete Meserve from Wind Dancer Films, executive producer ofReady Jet Go! about its inception and initial success. “Before the show aired, the month before it drew 37 million streams on digital apps. Then on air we’ve had 8.5 million views in the first few weeks.”

Meserve underlined the show’s unique position in an otherwise saturated market. “There’s no show like it on TV so we feel that this is fertile territory for an adventure for kids and seeing the earth through the eyes of an alien seeing the planet for the first time.”

I asked whether there would be a video games, toys and consumer products for the show. “We have three HTML5 web games and an app that’s just launched worldwide. The free Ready Jet Go! Space
Explorer app allows kids put their phone or tablet and put it up to the night sky to see what constellations are out there. We’re just beginning to roll out the whole licensing and merchandising so kids can keep playing Ready Jet Go for many years to come.”

With the show’s success families will likely be keen to hear more about plans for toys, games and products. As I’ve said for PJ Masks, it will be crucial to find the right partners here and back up the on screen experience with interactive and physical play that extend learning and entertainment.

Andy Robertson is a freelance technology and gaming expert for a range of national media. He produces the daily Family Gamer TV show on YouTube.

 

Wind Dancer dives head-first into children’s TV production

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Kidscreen
Wendy Goldman Getzler
March 2, 2016

Wind Dancer Films, the production company behind such TV series as Roseanne, Home Improvement and Ready Jet Go!, is deepening its presence within the children’s television space and has tapped Dete Meserve to lead the charge.

Meserve, who has been a key member of Wind Dancer’s executive team for the past 15 years, will serve as company principal as she leads Wind Dancer’s expansion into kids TV production. Joining Meserve at the new division is Rusty Tracy, who is now VP of Animation. Tracy previously served as a creative director at Nickeldoeon and has worked on a number of its animated series, including Wallykazam!, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and The Penguins of Madagascar.

Wind Dancer isn’t entirely new to the kids TV arena, however. Ready Jet Go!, the company’s first kids series, currently airs on PBS KIDS in the US and is being distributed worldwide. Meserve is an executive producer on the series and works closely with the show’s creator Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!, Dinosaur Train). Meserve is also heading up another project, Not A Box, an animated TV series in development that’s based on the book of the same name by Antoinette Portis.

The company is now circling a number of projects that it expects to put into development in the coming months. As a full-service studio, Wind Dancer will finance, create and control the children’s properties that it develops. (In light of Ready Jet Go!, for example, the company recently established a California-based studio to further facilitate its work on projects from start to finish.)

Wind Dancer will also continue to work closely with partners including London-based CAKE and New York’s Licensing Street on international sales and the licensing and merchandising of current and future animated properties.

Dete Meserve Named Wind Dancer Principal

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Animation Magazine
Mercedes Milligan
March 2nd, 2016

Wind Dancer Films, the company behind TV series and films like Roseanne, Home Improvement and What Women Want, is going after the children’s TV space with the appointment of 15-year executive team member Dete Meserve as Principal. Meserve will lead the company’s expansion into kids TV, which officially kicked off with the launch of its first children’s series Ready Jet Go! on PBS KIDS.

Meserve serves as executive producer on Ready Jet Go!, working with creator Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!, Dinosaur Train). She is also heading up animated series project Not a Box, currently in development and based on the award-winning book by Antoinette Portis. In her career, Meserve has produced numerous films and series and has been responsible for securing over $65 million in financing for film and TV properties. Her credits include Home Improvement, Saint George, What Women Want, Bernie, The Keeping Room, Wildest Africa and As Cool as I Am.

Prior to joining Wind Dancer, Meserve was vice president of USC Radio. She began her career as station manager of the National Public Radio affiliate in Evansville, Indiana, and assistant general manager of the PBS affiliate. Meserve is also the author of multi-award-winning, best- selling novel Good Sam, which she will produce as a film for Hallmark Channel.

Wind Dancer Films Launches Kids Division With Dete Meserve At Helm

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Deadline
Nellie Andreev
March 1, 2016

TV and film production company Wind Dancer Films is officially moving into the children’s television space with the launch of a new division aimed at kids. Wind Dancer Films president Dete Meserve, recently named Principal, will be in charge of children’s programming in the new division. In addition, Meserve has tapped Rusty Tracy as the company’s new VP of Animation, her first key hire in her new role. Tracy has worked on various animated kids TV series, including Monsters & Aliens and Kung Fun Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (creative director), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (main character designer), and The Penguins of Madagascar (CG supervisor).

Wind Dancer Films is behind the new PBS Kids CGI-animated series Ready, Jet, Go!, which premiered last month. They also have animated series Not a Box in development and are working to develop, produce and finance more animated properties. Wind Dancer’s other credits include TV series Roseanne and Home Improvement, and indie feature What Women Want.

Best Kids' TV Shows on Amazon Prime Instant Video

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Common Sense Media
2016

Looking for awesome kids' TV shows you can watch on demand? Amazon Prime members have instant access to this list of winning kids' TV shows, as well as oodles of great movies. From kid- friendly cartoons to laugh-out-loud comedies, there are plenty of options for the entire family. If you're not a Prime member or want more options, check out Amazon's Instant Video library for hundreds of popular shows available to rent. Many of these shows have multiple seasons available, so be sure to create screen-time rules to prevent kids from binge-watching. Check back here often for regular updates!

WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW

Parents need to know that Ready Jet Go! is a science-based series that teaches kids about astronomy and technology through the experiences of a young alien who's taken up residence on Earth with his family. Concepts such as force and energy are defined and given practical examples within the context of the stories, and kids see how the characters' curiosity yields many learning opportunities. There are strong messages about teamwork and friendship, and there's some diversity among the characters. Jet's friends do keep their space travels hidden from their parents, so it's worth talking to them about if and when it's appropriate to keep secrets from grown-ups.
 

WHAT'S THE STORY?

In READY JET GO!, Jet Propulsion (voiced by Ashleigh Ball) and his family leave their home planet of Boltron 7 to pose as earthlings and experience the planet up close. Jet quickly befriends neighborhood kids Sean (William Ainscough) and Sydney (Dalila Bela), both of whom have a passion for science and are eager to swap knowledge with Jet. Together they explore how things work on Earth, both scientifically and with regard to human relationships. In some cases, they also get to hop aboard Jet's family's van, which doubles as a spacecraft that takes them to the outer reaches of the solar system to visit other planets.
 

IS IT ANY GOOD?

Thoroughly engaging and packed with educational content, this exceptional series is a fun way for kids to learn about science and astronomy. Jet's excitement for the human experience is matched only by Sean and Sydney's eagerness to learn all about outer space; put the three of them together, and it's a true celebration of the joy of discovery. Whether it's executing a rescue mission for a Mars rover or combining daily chores with experiments in force, Jet and his friends have a lot to teach kids through their own experiences.

On the more humorous side, Jet's parents' learning curve is filled with funny misunderstandings of the human ways of things, and both kids and parents will have a lot of fun watching them get the hang of "throwing a salad together" and understanding the "string" part of beans. Their Amelia Bedelia-like follies are good for some laughs, but they also reflect the challenges of immersing yourself in a culture that's different from your own.

 

TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT ...