Just in time for the school year, WarnerMedia Kids & Family will launch the Cartoonito preschool block Monday, Sept. 13 on HBO Max and Cartoon Network. The new block offers a modern approach to preschool programming with its proprietary educational framework, Humancentric Learning. A growing roster of new and library series will add to a slate that celebrates individuality and originality, while championing creativity, compassion and inclusion.
On HBO Max, Cartoonito programming will be presented as a dedicated page featuring a collection of new preschool shows including Little Ellen and the second season of the The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, along with other staples, Esme & Roy, Sesame Street and more.
Cartoonito on Cartoon Network will be available Monday-Friday (6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET/PT) and will include new series Bing, Mush-Mush & The Mushables and Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go. Preschoolers and families can also tune in Saturday-Sunday (6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. ET/PT) for additional new Cartoonito shows including Lucas the Spider.
“Cartoonito’s offerings on HBO Max and Cartoon Network will reflect a wide array of diverse content that connects kids and their caregivers through relatable stories, lovable characters and meaningful social emotional learning both in and between the shows,” said Amy Friedman, Head of Kids & Family Programming, Warner Bros. “We are now in the homestretch and we can’t wait for our four hosts Nito, Glob, Wedge, and Itty to take preschoolers and their families into the expansive world of Cartoonito.”
Cartoonito strives to be a space where little ones are free to be themselves, let their creativity flourish and become caring community members. This fresh take on preschool programming is guided by Cartoonito’s proprietary Humancentric Learning framework developed in partnership with Educational Psychologist Dr. Laura Brown which aims to help children develop their unique potential and encourage them to treat others with compassion, respect, and fairness.
To align with this learning philosophy, all Cartoonito shows will have a curriculum designed by an early childhood education expert crafted to underscore one of four pillars of Humancentric Learning: Creativity, Caring, Curiosity and Courage. Little Ellen models optimism and resilience to build courage, Lucas the Spider explores his world to encourage curiosity, and other shows will help preschoolers model strengths to become the best version of themselves and interact well with others.
“The preschool years are a crucial time for development as children begin to identify, manage and communicate their emotions, build a positive self-image, and begin to make friends,” said Dr. Brown. “This learning framework aims to support these important skillsets through fun, engaging and relevant storytelling that empowers kids to feel comfortable in their own skin, believe anything is possible, treat others with kindness, and stand up to unfairness.”
Cartoonito will also offer various resources to help parents and caregivers understand each show’s curriculum and extend the learning off screen. All shows will feature a visible learning badge – a short phrase and an icon that describes what Humancentric Learning goals the show teaches. The Cartoonito parent website will include additional information about the curriculum and supplemental learning activities children and adults can play together to reinforce the learning.
CARTOONITO PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE
Little Ellen (Season one) – Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Ellen Digital Ventures, Little Ellen is a brand new 2D animated children’s show that explores the world through the eyes of a hilarious and unpredictable seven-year-old Ellen DeGeneres. On her adventures in her musical hometown of New Orleans, Little Ellen takes big risks and makes big mistakes, but she’s always able to laugh at herself and bounce back when things don’t go as planned.
The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo (Season two) – The new season of The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo premieres Sept. 30 and will expand on the last, promising even more excitement and interactive games, and a whole new look! Decked out in his suit and tie, Elmo returns as the furry red “host with the most,” with Cookie Monster as his cohost and the rest of the Sesame Street Muppets pitching in as cast and crew. Each episode will feature celebrity guests, musical performances, and plenty of opportunities for preschoolers and their families to get up and play along.
Library shows will also join the Cartoonito lineup on HBO Max and include: Care Bears: Unlock the Magic (Season one), Esme & Roy (Seasons one and two), Love Monster (Seasons one and two), Mo Willems Storytime Shorts! (Season one), Sesame Street (classic seasons including current season 51), The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo (Season one) and more.
Monday through Friday (6:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET/PT):
Bing – Produced by Acamar Films, in association with Brown Bag Films, Bing is a new show celebrating the joyful, messy reality of preschool life and finds the big stories in the little moments. Bing is a lovable, authentic preschooler, who lives very much in the present moment. Each moment brings new experiences for Bing, which often lead to a bump, spillage or temporary disappointment. By Bing’s side, through it all, is Flop, whose patience and encouragement help Bing, along with his audience, to experience and learn from life’s unpredictable moments.
Mush-Mush & The Mushables – Produced by France’s La Cabane and Belgium’s Thuristar in coproduction with CAKE, Mush-Mush & The Mushables is a new show that follows the endearing Mushable community as they embark on a journey to put the fun back into fun-gi! As pocket-size guardians of the forest, growing up isn’t always easy, but together each day shines just as bright as the one before. The show is created by Elfriede de Rooster and directed by Joeri Christiaen.
Thomas & Friends All Engines Go – From Mattel Television, Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go invites preschoolers all aboard and follows the world’s Number One Tank Engine and his friends on their silliest and most musical adventures yet. Produced in vibrant, 2D-animation in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Studio, the new show features a core cast of five young engines – Thomas, his best friend Percy, rival Diesel, the adventurous world traveler Nia and an all-new electric high-speed rail train, Kana.
Saturday/Sunday (6:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. ET/PT):
Lucas the Spider – Lucas the Spider is a new CGI-animated show premiering Sept. 18 from Fresh TV in association with WexWorks Media with CAKE handling international distribution and is based on a viral YouTube hit that follows the adventures of an endearing young spider as he and his friends try to navigate the big world around them.
The weekday Cartoonito lineup on Cartoon Network will also include library and fan favorites Baby Looney Tunes, Caillou and Pocoyo, with Care Bears: Unlock the Magic and Love Monster joining the weekend roster.
Cartoonito is WarnerMedia’s biggest commitment to preschool programming in 100 years.
In addition to these shows at launch, the burgeoning slate will also feature forthcoming series from Warner Bros. Animation including Batwheels, Bugs Bunny Builders (working title) and Tom and Jerry Junior (working title); Jessica’s Big Little World (working title) from Cartoon Network Studios; a collection of projects with bestselling children’s book author Mo Willems; and additional new series and specials from Sesame Workshop including Mecha Builders and Bea’s Block.