TV Kids Weekly shines a spotlight on the new space-themed animated series, Ready Jet Go!
TV Kids Weekly/World Screen News: Joanna Padovano
TV Kids Weekly shines a spotlight on the new space-themed animated series Ready Jet Go!, the first kids’ show from Wind Dancer Films.
The 3D animated series Ready Jet Go! follows the outer-space adventures of two friends and their alien neighbor, Jet, as they explore the solar system in a flying saucer. The show, created by Craig Bartlett (Dinosaur Train, Hey Arnold!), aims to teach astronomy and Earth science concepts to children between the ages of 3 and 8. It is produced by Wind Dancer Films (Roseanne, Home Improvement) and marks the company’s foray into kids’ television programming.
“[Bartlett] came in with a film idea and in the course of that discussion, he mentioned that he had this idea about wanting to make a show for kids to learn about astronomy and Earth science through the eyes of an alien kid,” says Dete Meserve, executive producer of Ready Jet Go! and principal of Wind Dancer, which recently set up a new children’s TV division. “I thought, There isn’t a kids’ show about space and I don’t really know why. This could be a really fun way in, and [doing a show] through the eyes of an alien kid made me really excited because it was a way to look at Earth the way we wanted kids to.”
Meserve feels that a big part of Ready Jet Go!’s appeal is that it provides answers to many of the space-related questions that children often have. “I know as a kid I had always wondered, What is it like to jump on the moon?” she says. “Well our kids [in the show] get to do that. They get to play soccer on Mars; they get to go close enough to the sun to really understand that it’s a star and that it’s not this flat disc in the sky but a sphere. It’s opening up [their] imagination at the same time that [they’re] learning how the solar system and the world work.”
Ready Jet Go! premiered in February on PBS Kids in the U.S. In its first three weeks on the air, the show reached 8.4 million viewers, 3.1 million of which were children. It had more than 30 million streams on digital platforms for the month of February.
Just ahead of its linear debut, Wind Dancer tapped Licensing Street as the property’s U.S. licensing and retail development agent. The consumer products program will launch with branded toys, publishing and apparel that will begin rolling out around the country in 2017. “Licensing Street really got this show from the day that we showed it to them and it was in its very, very early form of drawings and concepts,” says Meserve. “We didn’t even have a finished episode to show them and they [came up with] ways to make things that would be really fun for kids to play Ready Jet Go! in their backyards.”
CAKE is on board to internationally distribute the series outside of the U.S. “Ready Jet Go! is first and foremost a character-based comedy with heart and a bit of space science thrown in as seasoning,” says Tom van Waveren, the company’s CEO and creative director. “Bartlett’s talent lifts this show to be a wonderful celebration of friendship and curiosity. It’s a joy to take Jet and his crew into the world for our friends at Wind Dancer Films.”