Amazon Studios Greenlights Three New Kids Series


Kidscreen is reporting that AmazonStudios have green lit three new kid’s shows…

Amazon has ordered three new original kids series, Dino Dana, The Kicks and Lost in Oz, as well as half-hour special Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas, to debut on its Prime Video platform.

All three series targeting kids six to 11 will be made available for Prime members in the US, UK, Germany and Austria in 2016, while Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas is slated to make its worldwide debut on Prime in the US on November 13.

Created and directed by J.J. Johnson (Dino Dan, Annedroids  ), Dino Dana is a follow-up to the 2015 Emmy award-winning series Dino Dan. Produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment partners J.J. Johnson, Blair Powers and Matthew Bishop, co-executive produced by Christin Simms (Dino Dan) and written by Johnson and Simms, the preschools series will feature 16 new prehistoric creatures, an adopted baby dino and two sisters.

Live actioner The Kicks, stars a young female soccer star who is uprooted to California midway through the school year and has to rise to the challenge after finding out her new team has been on a lengthy losing streak. Based on a book series by US Olympic gold medalist and current US Women’s National Team soccer player Alex Morgan, the project is executive produced by Full Fathom Five’s novelist James Frey (I Am Number Four) and Todd Cohen (Lumen), as well as Andrew Orenstein (Malcolm in the Middle).

Rounding out the trio of new series is animated action-adventure comedy, Lost in Oz. The series is set in the modern metropolitan Emerald City, where 12-year-old Dorothy Gale befriends the street-smart witch West and giant munchkin Ojo. Along with Dorothy’s dog Toto, the group sets out on an epic journey to help her get back to Kansas. Lost in Oz is developed and produced by Bureau of Magic’s Mark Warshaw, Darin Mark, Jared Mark, and Abram Makowka (East Los High, Smallville).

Finally, in Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas, Shaun accompanies the Farmer and Bitzer to a country fair, where he cleverly convinces the Farmer to buy three exotic llamas. However, Shaun soon find outs his new roomates are a bit too cozy in their new home, and he’s eventually forced to oust the intruders and save the farm.

The Aardman Animations special is written by Lee Pressman (Peter Rabbit), Richard Starzak (Shaun the Sheep) and Nick Vincent Murphy (Moone Boy), directed by Jay Grace (Shaun the Sheep,Creature Comforts) and produced by Paul Kewley and John Woolley (Shaun the Sheep).

Neal Warner

What is your name and your current occupation? 
I’m Neal Warner and I am currently directing a live stage show called Rock & Roll Rehabwhich features a live band playing in sync with animated music videos projected on a large screen above the stage. It’s been an ambition of mine since I was in Junior High School and saw the re-release of Walt Disney’s Fantasia. It recently finished a run at the Hayworth Theater on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.

What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Before I went to work as an inbetweener at Hanna-Barbera during my summer vacation between graduating high school and starting college I was a published cartoonist in the “Free Press” and in “underground comix”. Ironically, the only job I ever had after creating the underground comic character Pizza Fella and starting full time in the Animation Industry was as a pizza delivery guy while attending San Diego State.


What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I wrote and directed the John Lennon themed stage show, A Day In His Life, which was represented by the William Morris Agency and followed that with the Rock & Roll Rehabshow, both of which include a lot of animation as part of the multimedia projection. I published PaperCuts, The Illustrated Lyrics Magazine in the 80s which included a two song record insert and featured the songs’ lyrics in comic book form, I produced several animated music videos, one of which won the Gold Plaque in Music Video at the Chicago International Film Festival and was included in a screening of “The World’s Best Animated Music Videos” at the First Los Angeles Animation Celebration and I produced The Tooner’s Trip Disc enhanced CD and The Tooners’ Rocktasia CD (available on iTunes). Those are my favorite “pet” projects but I’m also proud of my work on The Heavy Metal Movie, Ducktails The Movie, the two Rugrats Movies, The Puff The Magic Dragon TV special and some of the many TV commercials and series I’ve worked on either as an animator, an assistant animator, a director or as a timing director for studios such as Disney TV, Klasky-Csupo, Marvel, Murakami-Wolf, Filmmation, Film Roman, Sony, Universal, Fred Wolf Films and many others.

How did you become interested in animation? 
I was a cartoonist whose work was published in my junior high school newspaper, the cover of the yearbook and animated my first film, The Jogger, in the ninth grade. In high school I was the school’s staff “political” cartoonist as well as a paid contributor to professional underground comics and in college I was elected into Sigma Delta Chi, the Society Of Professional Journalists for my political cartoons in the CSUN campus paper. Although Continue reading