Disney Launches Junior Channel in ANZ

Disney Junior, a new multiplatform brand and channel devoted to children ages 2-7 and their families, will debut in Australia and New Zealand on May 29 on FOXTEL, AUSTAR and SKY NZ, it was announced at the ASTRA Conference in Sydney by Ben Pyne, President of Global Distribution, Disney Media Networks.
Disney Junior will invite parents and grandparents to join their children in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, both classic and new, while incorporating specific learning and developmental themes. Disney Junior will launch content across a 24-hour channel (formerly Playhouse Disney), an integrated website, video on demand, mobile and paid download platforms.
Among the new series are “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” an animated adventure combining new and classic Disney characters Captain Hook and Smee (“Peter Pan”); a series of Disney Poetry Shorts which showcases poems for children set against classic Disney animation; and two short form series, “Mickey Mousekersize” and “Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps,” to encourage healthy lifestyles for preschoolers and families.  Playhouse Disney hits “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, “Handy Manny”, “Jungle Junction”, “Special Agent Oso”, “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” and “Imagination Movers”, among others, will be part of Disney Junior.
Pyne said: “We’re very excited to bring Disney Junior to Australia and New Zealand, two countries that have always embraced the heritage of Disney characters and storytelling.  Disney Junior in a unique offering in the marketplace as it takes these classic Disney characters and brings them to life on TV on beyond, while encouraging early childhood learning and embracing the magic of emotionally connected storytelling.”
Premiering in conjunction with Disney Junior is the new animated series, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” an interactive treasure hunt that follows the adventures of classic characters Captain Hook and Smee, along with a new crew of kid pirates led by the enthusiastic and courageous Jake. The series, which emphasizes teamwork and features original pirate rock music performed by The Never Land Pirate Band.
Also debuting with the launch of Disney Junior is a series of Disney Poetry Shorts, designed to bring fond memories of Disney classics to parents and create new ones for kids. The series of short-form animation showcases poems for children set to scenes and imagery from classic Disney films. It will introduce preschoolers to the beauty of a poem well read and combine it with extraordinary moments in Disney animation history.
The Australia and New Zealand roll-out follows the brand launch in Latin America and the UK in early March.