Disney Junior's BAFTA-nominated CG-animated series "Jungle Junction" follows a group of fun-loving animals on wheels as they explore a unique jungle filled with a network of floating roads that twist and loop high off the ground in harmony with the trees. A fast-moving adventure, the show emphasizes an appreciation of the environment while highlighting pre-literacy skills through the use of road signs and symbols.
Part animal, part vehicle, the inhabitants of Jungle Junction, also known as 'Wheelers,' include Zooter, an energetic pink pig scooter who is the town messenger, her best friend Ellyvan, a cross between an elephant and a van who serves as the Jungle delivery service, and the Beetlebugs, the playful kids of the jungle who are always eager to learn. Other residents include Hippobus, a full-fledged school bus complete with internal seats and windows, Dozer, an officious maintenance vehicle, and Bungo, the official sign maker and installer who tries to ensure everything in the Jungle runs as smoothly as possible.
Each humorous 22-minute episode follows one of the key characters as they overcome a problem. For example, the Wheelers learn that a little teamwork makes everyone a winner during a jungle race and Ellyvan has to ask for his friends' help when he ignores a "No Ellyvans" sign on the roadand ends up stuck in a hole. At its heart, the show is about the interaction between the characters and how they relate to and learn from each other, celebrate successes, solve problems and most importantly, have fun.
The action takes place in the idyllic and lush riverside town of Jungle Junction, which is surrounded by an unending desert. Much care and consideration is needed to ensure the survival of the jungle, which is a core theme of the show. The spaghetti-like road system features turntables, roundabouts and crossings and the brightly colored houses are made from locally-sourced materials. The center of town houses the Clock Tower where the residents often meet, the Star Juice Bar where the 'Wheelers' go to swap stories at the end of the day and enjoy a fresh fruit smoothie, and Carla's General Store which is stocked with all types of products sourced from the Jungle.
"Jungle Junction" is part of Disney Channel's daily Disney Junior programming block for kids age 2-7. Like all Disney Junior programming, "Jungle Junction" is guided by an established curriculum that nurtures multiple areas of child development: physical, emotional, social and cognitive; thinking and creative skills as well as moral and ethical development. "Jungle Junction" is designed to encourage preschoolers to think about their impact on the natural world, thus fostering an early appreciation for the environment. Storylines promote positive environmental messages and the characters have an understanding of the fragile nature of their environment and the need to respect it.
In addition to positive environmental messages, pre-literacy skills are emphasized through the use of road signs, traffic lights, maps and icons placed throughout the jungle setting. Interactive beats ask viewers to decipher these symbols as part of the story in an effort to develop preschoolers' understanding of their meaning in the everyday world. The curriculum consultant for "Jungle Junction" is Brian Neish ("Little Robots," "Roary the Racing Car").
"Jungle Junction" features high-energy original music including the catchy "Gotta Zip" which provides a fun musical interlude in every episode as the characters figure out how to overcome a problem and travel at light speed around Jungle Junction to reach a solution. "Gotta Zip" was written by Peter Lurye ("The Magic School Bus," "Stanley"). Mark Blackledge ("Life As We Know It") serves as music composer for the underscore.
"Jungle Junction" is produced in the United Kingdom by Spider Eye Animation Studios out of London and Cornwall. The series was created by Trevor Ricketts ("Shaun the Sheep"), and is executive-produced by Erica Darby ("Monkey Dust") and directed by Morgan Francis ("Father & Daughter").
The new Disney Junior programming block on Disney Channel reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior’s animated and live action series blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. Disney Junior is available on basic cable in more than 99 million U.S. homes (via a daily block on Disney Channel) and to millions of other viewers on 25 Disney Junior channels (fka Playhouse Disney channels) and free-to-air broadcast partners around the world. It is also seen via subscription video-on-demand and a broadband website, DisneyJunior.com. In 2012 Disney Junior will add a basic cable and satellite channel in the U.S.