"The Doozers" preschool series under development

Traveling Matt

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L.A.-based The Jim Henson Company has teamed up with Toronto's Decode Entertainment to bring beloved Fraggle Rock characters The Doozers to life in a 3-D animated preschool series that the pair plans to unveil at MIPTV.

Anyone familiar with the calypso-tinged strains of the theme to Jim Henson's much-loved early '80s puppet series Fraggle Rock should recall the tiny hardhat-clad characters that toiled tirelessly in the background, building miniature structures ultimately gobbled up by the much larger Fraggles. In this series, those wee workers known as the Doozers have been cast into the spotlight and will take on their construction work above ground. Moreover, underpinning the show that focuses on a trio of new apprentice Doozers - named Baxter, Puzzlebea and Daze, who learn through teamwork and cooperation - is a curriculum built around green technology and eco consciousness.

"The curriculum is related to our other science shows," says TJHC co-CEO Lisa Henson, "but it's oriented toward ecological concepts and ways of thinking about re-use, waste, economizing and limiting our ecological footprint." To help craft the curriculum, Decode EVP of production and development Beth Stevenson says her team, which is heading up production efforts in Toronto, has brought in an advisor who specializes in green building practices. "He's a civil engineer from the University of Toronto whose input brings a whole other level to the scripts," she says. "He turned us on to the notion of vertical building and has introduced us to futuristic, enviro-friendly tools that we have versioned for the Doozers."

As for the business nuts and bolts, TJHC and Decode have set the budget at US$300,00 per half hour for the 52 x 11-minute series and have moved into pre-production and are testing animation. Decode Enterprises is handling worldwide distribution outside the US, while Henson looks after global L&M activities. The pair is currently gauging broadcast interest and looking for presales to kick the project into full production by fall 2009 for a 2010 delivery.

http://www.kidscreen.com/articles/news/20090324/doozers.html
 

Traveling Matt

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The front page of the website, www.kidscreen.com, currently offers a look at a CG Doozer from the new series.

Hopefully this will be a success and may create more permanent brand strength and awareness, in addition to contributing positive synergy to the film.
 

minor muppetz

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First CGI Twiddlebugs, now CGI Doozers? Well, it might work well...
 

Redsonga

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Eeek! They look scary :confused:! I dunno, I am not fan of the doozers but at least I thought they looked cute in Fraggle Rock...These new ones, not so much, even for CGI...
 

RedPiggy

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LOL ... I'll have to get used to the Charlie-Brown-esque-won't-your-head-fall-off thing. I was kind of surprised about the names. I thought the running gag with Doozers was using tech names ... could they be named after buildings or something? It took awhile in the FR series for the writers to seem to enjoy writing the Doozers. It's nice to see (finally) an attempt to bring them out as much as the Fraggles and Gorgs. They shouldn't be boring just because they like to work instead of playing around. Our country barely has a work ethic as it is. A little Doozer-morality won't kill us. :smile:

edit: Ya know, I don't recall seeing antennae on that pic...
 

KingMokey

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Great, just what we need from Henson. More of the "hey, remember this? You used to like this!" that I'm used to, with surprise surprise, NO puppetry involved. I'm beginning to think more and more that this is Henson's long-term plan, to completely phase out puppetry from its core programming. Puppeteers are expensive, let's move more toward 3D animation, which is less expensive!

Sorry to be so negative (and in my first post! where are my manners), but this new prospect of a Doozers show frightens me. For two reasons, one because I love the original Fraggle Rock so much, and two because I'm sorry I have NO confidence in Henson in its current state to produce anything that will live up to the beauty and charm and legacy of the original material. Feel bad saying it like that, but that's the facts.
 

Oscarfan

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I wonder if we'll see some Fraggle cameos in the show.
 

Traveling Matt

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Considering how environmentalism is a major theme of this show, I think it sounds promising and could certainly parallel the original series while speaking to our world now. It's one of the few JHC concepts that really seems like something Jim would do today. I wish them luck.

I guess this must be the television project mentioned in a recent press release. Since it sounds like it might come before the movie, it's possible this will be the first new Fraggle material in nearly twenty-five years. I'm all for it, even if they do need to add antennae.
 
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