04/22/14: First Lady Makes First Appearance on Jessie; DreamWorks Teases Dragon 2; Wicked Cool Snags Garfield License



CYNOPSISKIDS!
04.22.14

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, April 22, 2014, and this is your first early morning briefing.

TODAY’S TOP NEWS

First Lady Michelle Obama guest stars in an ep of Disney Channel’s Jessie in a storyline aimed to raise awareness about the service and needs of military families. The episode, airing May 16 at 8p, will be accompanied by a PSA also featuring Mrs. Obama. In "From the White House to Our House," Jessie and Zuri set out to host a birthday party for Taylor, a new friend whose mother is a deployed member of the military. When Taylor decides she’d rather not celebrate anything without her mother, Zuri enlists the help of Mrs. Obama. Last year the First Lady was a keynote speaker at Disney’s Veterans Institute, an event to encourage greater employment opportunities for military men and women transitioning into civilian life.

PROGRAMMING PICKS

In a move more in line with kids’ bedtimes, beginning Tuesday, April 29, new eps of Syfy‘s original series Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge will air at 9p vs. their current 10p Tuesday slot. The competition series features 10 aspiring creature creators competing to out-imagine one another in challenges where they will build everything from mechanical characters to whimsical beasts. The stakes are high. Winner walks with $100,000 and a contract working at the world-renowned Creature Shop.

SAVE THE DATE: You don’t want to miss the third annual CynKids !magination Awards breakfast, June 11 in NY. Hosted by Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander, and honoring the best programming, marketing and people in the kids media industry, this year we’ll also feature a roundtable discussion with an elite group of Animation Innovators. Join us!



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MORE KIDS NEWS

Despite the rise in programming to draw in the whole family, many parents report they don’t really see themselves and their families represented in the current TV and film fodder. This is the word from Alison Bryant, CEO at PlayCollective, a strategy, insights and product group working in the children’s media realm. PlayCollective conducts on going research about children and family viewing habits. "Many people report the families they see are not in line with their family. They don’t see themselves represented as much," Bryant tells CynKids. "There’s over-representation, for example, of single-dad households–about 10 to 30 times the index. Why? Because it’s funny, and can set the [scene] for funny things to happen." More news and views on family co-viewing and in CynKids Special Report on Family Co-Viewing, coming your way next Wednesday.

Disney‘s winter wonderland dances on, as Frozen hits yet another milestone. The movie just surpassed Ice Age 4 to become the highest-grossing animated film in the world, with global (non-US) box-office receipts of $727.3 million and counting. Frozen’s success, plus the recent box office domination of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, also pushed Disney past the $1 billion international b-o line earlier this month. With Frozen’s domestic tally alone at more than $400 million, the movie is also the No. 6 highest-grossing film of all time, at $1.129 billion. And let’s not forget the soundtrack, which at more than 2 million copies sold was poised to remain atop The Billboard 200 albums chart for an 11th week.

DreamWorks Animation is getting a reputation as a tease. After whetting appetites with a few bits and pieces from upcoming feature Home, the studio and 20th Century Fox unleashed the opening of the upcoming How To Train Your Dragon 2 this past weekend at WonderCon, with an intro from writer/director Dean DeBlois and actor Jay Baruchel. The clip, now up on Yahoo, features Hiccup and best companion Toothless engaging in some wanderlust, and discovering some new XX. The second act in a planned trilogy, Dragon 2 returns most of the original cast voice talent including Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, T.J. Miller and America Ferrera. Cate Blanchett is among the newbies joining in this time around; the movie hits theaters July 4.

The soundtrack to Marvel’s latest live-action superhero flick, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, features music composed by Hans Zimmer and performed by a band under the moniker the "Magnificent Six": Michael Einziger of Incubus, Junkie XL, Andrew Kawczynski, the Smith’s Johnny Marr, Steve Mazzaro and Pharrell Williams (what project is the hatted one not involved in??). The film, which gets its US debut on May 2, already has spun out more than $47 million in global box office returns, making it the biggest opening of 2014.

LICENSING

Wicked Cool Toys been named Master Toy Licensee for Garfield, the result of a deal brokered by Bulldog Licensing Inc., Garfield’s US licensing representatives on behalf of Paws Inc. The agreement grants Wicked Cool worldwide rights to develop and market a line of figures, plush, vehicles, play sets, role play and seasonal products based on the corpulent cat, created by cartoonist Jim Davis in 1978.


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Date: May 20, 2014 | Time: 1:30 – 3:00 PM EST | SIGN-UP TODAY!

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TRIVIA

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: Who played little sister Wonder Girl to Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman? DEBRA WINGER Kudos to: Jeff Grant, Turner Research, Atlanta; Eddie Hill, BET Networks, NY; Howard Leib, BrainCamp, Ithaca, NY; Joe Swaney, Cartoon Network, Atlanta; Pat Brady, CESD, LA.

Today’s Trivia Question: Name at least one of the three "rules" posted in the John Adams High School cafeteria on Boy Meets World. (Email cathy@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.)

Cheers — Cathy Applefeld Olson
Cathy@cynopsis.com for
Cynopsis Kids!
04.22.14

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