Posted by PBS Publicity on

The Jim Henson Company's New Animated TV Series and Interactive Web Site Encourage Preschoolers' Exploration of Natural Science, Natural History and Paleontology

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (July 7, 2009) - Beginning Monday, September 7, 2009, PBS KIDS invites preschoolers to hop on board the fun and fantastical DINOSAUR TRAIN, a new CGI-animated series from The Jim Henson Company premiering weekdays (check local listings). DINOSAUR TRAIN embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains while encouraging basic scientific thinking and skills as the audience learns about natural science, natural history and paleontology. Each of the 40 half-hour episodes features Buddy, an adorable preschool age Tyrannosaurus Rex, and includes two 11-minute animated segments along with brief live action segments hosted by renowned paleontologist Scott Sampson. Young viewers can join Buddy and his adoptive Pteranodon family on a whimsical voyage through prehistoric jungles, swamps, volcanoes and oceans as they unearth basic concepts in natural science, natural history and paleontology. The series continues Henson's and PBS KIDS' legacy of quality children's entertainment and joins Henson's successful series SID THE SCIENCE KID, which also airs on PBS KIDS.

"DINOSAUR TRAIN is a really exciting new show for us here at The Jim Henson Company," says Lisa Henson, the Company's CEO. "We wanted to create an educational series that allows parents and their kids to explore and discover natural and life sciences in a fun, imaginative way. They'll be inspired to ask interesting questions about both dinosaurs and trains, and will be eager to investigate the answers together."

"PBS is thrilled to build on its commitment to provide more science-based content for our youngest audience with the addition of DINOSAUR TRAIN," said Linda Simensky, VP, Children's Programming, PBS. "The Jim Henson Company does a fantastic job at leveraging children's natural interests in dinosaurs and trains while encouraging preschoolers to learn how to think, talk and act like paleontologists, which can open the door to a lifelong interest in science."

DINOSAUR TRAIN begins when Buddy is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Pteranodon and brought to their nest to hatch at the same time as his new siblings, Tiny, Shiny and Don. Buddy and his new family have an insatiable desire to learn all about the different types of dinosaurs, so they board the wondrous DINOSAUR TRAIN, which allows them to travel and explore the world inhabited by these amazing creatures.

Departing from Pteranodon Station, the DINOSAUR TRAIN is a colorful locomotive, customized to accommodate all kinds of dinosaurs. Windows are perfect for the long-necked herbivores, and there's plenty of head room in the Observation Car for the Giganotosaurus, giving all the species onboard a chance to check out the prehistoric world as they ride on the train. The DINOSAUR TRAIN has the ability to visit the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous worlds, while the Train's Conductor, a knowledgeable Troodon, provides passengers with "cool Dino facts" along the way.

DINOSAUR TRAIN is created by Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!), one of animation's most successful producers. "DINOSAUR TRAIN is the perfect marriage of the two things 3-6 year olds love the most - trains and dinosaurs. Ever since I saw my son put a toy dinosaur on board a toy train, I wanted to create a series that would take that interest and get kids excited about life sciences and natural history," said Bartlett.

Launching at the same time as the DINOSAUR TRAIN TV series is the show's interactive Web site at pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain. Buddy, Tiny, Mrs. Pteranodon and The Conductor will guide children as they discover natural history and the science of paleontology through fun games and activities. Parents, caregivers and educators can also find resources and activities to extend the series learning at PBS Parents (pbsparents.org) and PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org).

Dinosaur Train, produced by The Jim Henson Company, is co-produced with Singapore animation company Sparky Entertainment, with the participation and assistance of the Singapore Media Development Authority. UK production and financial support is being provided by Ingenious Media. The series is executive produced by Lisa Henson, Brian Henson, Halle Stanford and Craig Bartlett.

About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include "Sid the Science Kid", and "Pajanimals." Features include "The Dark Crystal," "Labyrinth," "MirrorMask," and "Unstable Fables." Television productions include "Fraggle Rock" and the sci-fi cult series "Farscape." With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson's Creature Shop, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry's top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state of the art and vintage equipment. The Company is currently in production on 40 episodes of "Dinosaur Train," an animated preschool series teaching concepts of natural science and natural history, set to debut on PBS KIDS in fall 2009. The Company's Henson Alternative brand continues to produce "Puppet Up! - Uncensored," a live puppet improvisational show that runs monthly at the Avalon Hollywood. The Company has also announced the creation of Jim Henson Designs, a merchandise collection inspired by Jim Henson's earliest sketches, and The Jim Henson Company: Discoveries, an acquisitions banner that celebrates outstanding third party produced independent film, television and video productions from around the globe embodying the Company's enduring legacy. www.henson.com

PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and outreach programs. With positive character role models and content designed to nurture a child's total well-being, PBS's online and community resources - including PBS KIDS online (pbskids.org), PBS KIDS GO! online (pbskidsgo.org), PBS Parents (pbsparents.org), PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org, PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country - leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 million people on-air and online each month and reaching 99% of American homes.


# # #



Press Contacts
Noelle Brown, SWPR Group
(818) 760-7131; nbrown@swprgroup.com
Jessica Schmidt, The Rogers Group
(310) 552-4177; jschmidt@rogerspr.com
Jill Corderman, PBS KIDS
(703) 739-5788; jcorderman@pbs.org