Mouse Bulks Up Bear Hour


Healthy eating and coping with kindergarten will be the subjects of two short-form series that will be part of the new Breakfast with Bear" hour, which debuts June 20 in Disney Channel’s morning preschool block Playhouse Disney

Shane’s Kindergarten Countdown, a new animated spin-off of the network’s popular Shanna’s Show, spotlights Shanna as she helps her 5-year-old brother get ready for kindergarten, giving him tips on everything from taking the bus to making new friends.

The spots, based on characters from a book series by early childhood pro Jean Marzollo, are set to catchy tunes from industry vet Jeff Zahn (PBS’ Arthur. They are executive produced by Matthew Thornton.

New episodes of Adventures in Nutrition with Captain Carlos will also be added to the new hour. Carlos is an animated show about a six-year-old boy’s healthy diet and exercise (programers continue to get in front of the obesity issue, which is high-profile in Washington)..

In the new episodelets, for example, Carlos eats protein-rich tuna for strength to build a tent; snacks on yogurt to build sand castles at the beach; and downs blueberries for brainpower when playing chess.

The show was recently nominated for an Imagen Award for its positive portrayal of Latino culture.

Airing weekdays at 7 a.m., the "Breakfast with Bear" hour is hosted by a 7-foot-tall Bear from Disney’s Emmy-winning series, Bear in the Big Blue House.

The shaggy orange singing and dancing bear visits preschoolers across the country at home to eat breakfast and join in morning exercises.

"Breakfast with Bear" is produced by Rick Fernandes and Hold the Onions Productions. Bear in the Big Blue House was created by Mitchell Kreigman and produced by Jim Henson Productions.