Over the last week, three new series have been announce from three separate studios, all of them revisiting previous shows or films. Disney is sending The Lion Guard to Disney Jr., Scholastic Entertainment is sending Ms. Frizzle back out with The Magic School Bus 360°, and FremantleMedia is resurrecting Cosgrove-Hall’s 80’s hit with a new version of Danger Mouse.
The first-The Lion Guard- is from Disney, and tells the story of a new generation from the Pridelands. Aimed at preschoolers, this sequel series to The Lion King follows the second child of Simba and Nala- Kion- who assembles an assortment of jungle animals to protect their homeland. As Disney did with Sofia The First, we will see a TV movie first, probably in late 2015. The series proper is slated to hit Disney Jr. in 2016. It will feature a whole slew of new characters, including “Fuli, a confident cheetah; Beshte, a happy-go-lucky hippo; Ono, an intellectual egret; and Bunga, a fearless honey badger.” Some older characters will make appearances, too, including Simba, Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu, and Mufasa.
Next up is a reboot of Scholastic Entertainment Studio’s 1994 series The Magic School Bus, to be called The Magic School Bus 360°. It seems the original educational series is one of the most viewed shows in streaming on Netflix, so the service ordered up 26 episodes to launch starting in 2016. The new iteration of the franchise features a modernized Ms. Frizzle and high-tech bus that stresses modern inventions such as robotics, wearables and camera technology. The hope is to captivate children’s imaginations and motivate their interest in the sciences.
Finally, FremantleMedia and Boulder Media are combining for a new version of Danger Mouse, the classic show first produced by Cosgrove Hall Films in 1981. The show is slated to be produced as 52 eleven-minute episodes directed by Robert Cullen. Brian Cosgrove, the show’s original co-creator, will add his input as a consultant on the new version. The show will be mixed-media rather than standard 2d or 3D animation.