Guru Studio, Toronto’s leader in children’s entertainment (PAW Patrol, True and the Rainbow Kingdom, Pikwik Pack, Big Blue) unveiled his latest project, balls,a new animated educational comedy series in development with support from TIME Studios’ Kids & Family division. The show will teach kids ages 5-8 how to develop a lifelong practice of separating fact from fiction, whether it’s a schoolyard rumor or online misinformation.
“We are thrilled to partner with Guru, an industry leader in animated storytelling, to ensure Scoops adheres to journalistic principles important to children,” said Maria Perez-Brown, Children and Family Manager, TIMEStudios. “Skills such as media literacy and critical thinking are crucial for children, especially when surrounded by technology and having access to massive amounts of information at such a young age.”
balls follows eight-year-old investigator Ellerby, her best friend Olsen, and their ubiquitous camera as their natural curiosity leads them to uncover the truth hidden behind rumors in their neighborhood. Whether Ellerby digs into goofy questions like why the paper mill smells like dirty feet or explores hard truths like why PJ’s parents decided to stop being married, she’ll use news gathering skills designed to judge credibility and reliability of information.
Scoop Engagement: Is It True? Is it right? Is this a story I should share?
The 52 x 11′ educational comedy emphasizes media literacy, as Ellerby always adheres to its method of safety to ensure its reporting is truthful, fair and unbiased. TIME Studios and TIME magazine for kids bring nearly a century of journalism experience to the project designed to introduce children to fundamental journalistic concepts of truth and fairness. In partnership with TIME for childrenEllerby will be featured in the basic journalism materials distributed to more than 3 million American children.
“Like so many kids today, Ellerby has a mad enthusiasm to ask ‘why’ and find out the truth,” said Frank Falcone, President and Executive Creative Director at Guru Studio. “We are thrilled to work with an incredible team at TIME Studios and TIME for childrenwho have such a rich history of telling stories with integrity that touch the heart of our community.
Andrea Delbanco, editor-in-chief of TIME for childrenadded: “Children are never too young to learn the basics of information and media, which is the mission of TIME for children in classrooms and homes across the country and around the world. Children are naturally curious. Teaching them critical thinking skills at an early age will help them navigate the news and the world around them.
balls is created by Fablevision’s Tone Thyne (The Adventures of the Towel Man, Pets!, Go! Go! Cory Carson) and produced by Falcone and Rachel Reade Marcus for Guru Studio, and Perez-Brown for TIME Studios.
Guru Studio will handle international distribution as well as merchandising and licensing rights.