Imagen Award-nominated "Handy Manny" is an innovative, multicultural animated series that is designed to infuse young viewers with an enthusiasm to take on life's challenges and to make things work, most notably interpersonal relationships. With his raucous set of talking tools, hardworking handyman Manny Garcia (voiced by "That 70s Show's" Wilmer Valderrama) helps his neighbors by taking on their repair projects, no matter how big or small.
The series airs on Disney Junior Channels and Disney Junior programming blocks on Disney Channels in the U.S. and around the world.
For English-speaking children, "Handy Manny" teaches simple Spanish words and phrases by putting them into a real-world context – such as Manny saying "abuelito" when referring to his grandfather or calling his tools "las herramientas" during conversations. In addition, the series introduces everyday aspects of Latino culture, including holidays and the importance of family. "Handy Manny" will also resonate with young Latino viewers, thanks to its authentic portrayals of culturally-relevant characters and customs.
Set in the multiethnic community of Sheet Rock Hills, each upbeat episode of "Handy Manny" consists of two 11-minute segments that begin with one of Manny's neighbors contacting him for a repair job. Responding quickly, Manny sizes up the project, formulates a plan and – with the help of his assorted tools – gets to work.
Through the stories, preschoolers can learn that cooperation and ingenuity can help them face problems in their day-to-day lives. As the show's main character, Manny sets a great example for kids: he's confident, naturally helpful, always polite and a good role model for his tools. He is diligent and industrious and he gets great satisfaction from contributing to the Sheet Rock Hills community and to the world at large. All the while, he models a recognition and appreciation of his rich heritage.
Although Manny is a whiz at fixing things, he relies heavily on his helpers, a boisterous bunch of talking tools, each with its own personality designed so kids will find them both entertaining and relatable: Pat, a bumbling Hammer; Turner, a grouchy screwdriver; Felipe, an ambitious Phillips screwdriver; Dusty, the maternal Saw; Stretch, the perfectionist tape measure; Rusty, the fearful Wrench; Squeeze, a curious pair of pliers; and Flicker, a young and curious flashlight who is just learning to speak English. Despite their diverse personas, all of the tools share a strong loyalty to Manny and a commitment to doing a good job. Other regular characters include Kelly, the friendly hardware store lady and Mr. Lopart, a neighbor who often needs more help than he wants to admit.
Typically in each episode, after Manny gets to work, something unexpected happens that brings his project to a screeching halt. It's up to Manny and the tools to figure out how best to resolve the unexpected problem and gain some greater understanding or insight.
In one episode, Manny isn't feeling well, so the tools must work together and enlist the neighbors to help him recover. In another, Kelly brings Manny a kitten that needs a loving home. While the tools want to keep the kitten, they eventually realize that a lonely neighbor may need the feline companionship more than they do.
Once the challenge is overcome, Manny and the tools eagerly return to their repair work, often using some of their newfound knowledge. They pull together and happily finish their job, whether it's fixing a broken doorbell or repairing a tree house. Each tool performs its own specialized task, while singing the fun "We Work Together" song.
"Handy Manny" was created by Roger Bollen and Marilyn Sadler and developed for television by Rick Gitelson ("Rugrats"). Bollen, Sadler and Gitelson are the executive producers. "Handy Manny" is a production of Nelvana Limited in association with Disney Channel.