Little Airplane Studio
We all know that familiar tune "Wonder pets, wonder pets, we're on our way, to help the baby animal and save the day. We're not too big and we're not too tough but when we work together we've got the right stuff. Go wonder pets, yay!" If your kids are like mine, they love the wonder pets, which was created by the brilliant Josh Selig. Recently, I had the opportunity to take my kids on a tour of Little Airplane Studios, located at South Street Seaport; a studio company founded by Josh Selig in 1999. We were very lucky to have Producer Tone Thyne as our tour guide. He did an amazing job taking us to each department and explaining how and what they do in a super kid-friendly, interactive way. Little Airplane has opened up their studio for tours; so now you can bring your family for an inside look at this amazing world!
During the tour, we were introduced to writers, animators and designers who walked us through how they are involved in creating the shows. The kids were absolutely riveted the entire time. They loved seeing the computers that they use for creating all the characters. The highlight of the tour was getting to go into the recording booth and record their voices and then watch the animated characters with their voices! The whole thing was amazing and my kids couldn't stop talking about it and telling everyone how cool the tour was. Here they are in the recording booth...
I had the pleasure of meeting Josh Selig, Creator and Executive Producer for the Emmy Award-winning series "The Wonder Pets!" (Winner of the 2009 Japan Prize for Best Television Series) on Nick Jr., "3rd & Bird!" for the BBC's CBeebies and "Oobi!" also on Nick Jr. Mr. Selig has received 10 Emmy Awards for his work as a Writer on "Sesame Street" and a Humanitas Award for his work as Head Writer of "Little Bill." He was incredibly warm and welcoming. My seven year old daughter asked him where he comes up with the ideas for shows and he explained that he sees real kids all around and gets ideas from them. They work with educators to figure out the best way to teach lessons through the programming.
Here we are with Josh Selig!
I also want to tell you about something very special that Little Airplane has created... "The Olive Branch," is a series of 26 one-minute short films, produced by Little Airplane's recently established non-profit Little Light Foundation. It is written and directed by Josh Selig. The series features traditional hand-drawn animation by Pablo Smith ("The Wonder Pets!", "3rd & Bird") and is made entirely in Little Airplane's New York studio. The music is composed by Emmy Award-winning composer, J. Walter Hawkes. To ensure that children in all countries - rich and poor, developed and developing - will have an equal opportunity to see "The Olive Branch," Little Airplane has taken the extraordinary step of offering the program to broadcasters for one unit of their own currency per episode. To view the "Olive Branch" premiere episode please click this link: www.littlelightfoundation.org
We were even able to get a sneak peek at some of the new shows coming out soon. One of them is called "Small Potatoes", which my kids can not wait to see! They even made me into a small potato!
I highly recommend taking your family to South Street Seaport to tour Little Airplane Studios in their wonderful historic building and check out all the fun things to do at the seaport while you are there! If you live in the tri-state area or you are coming to New York for a visit, this is a fabulous activity. In my opinion the tour is ideal for kids ages three to eight.
*Their tours run on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. They also offer one Saturday tour per month. Reservations are required and can be made by calling us at 212-965-8999. The tours are limited to groups of ten and the cost for the tours is $10 per person. This fee is used to support Little Airplane Productions' mission, "To create and produce the finest educational preschool programming in the world." The tours are held at our production studio at 207 Front Street in New York's historic South Street Seaport. For more information, visit the Little Airplane studio website.