Last year, I lamented about the lack of an on-air home for preschool series Pocoyo. Winner of a BAFTA award, three Pucinella Prizes at Cartoons on the Bay and the Best TV Series prize at Annecy, I questioned its nearly-invisible status in the United States.

Pocoyo Well, it looks like the wise folks at Nick Jr. got wind of this property and are  following the lead of 100 other territories worldwide. Nick Jr. is now airing this series as interstitials, bringing the quirky tales of Pocoyo and his animal friends to preschoolers on our side of the ocean.

Of course, this will be followed by an extensive toy line featuring characters Pocoyo, Elly the elephant, Pato the duck, and Loula the dog. Previously, we had to import a Pocoyo stuffed doll from the U.K. (I know, a bit extreme).  I am sure I will soon be scooping up some of the plush dolls, bath figures and electric cars that Bandai is set to release this fall.

So what makes this show so special? Here’s my pitch from a previous post.

This show truly stands out, featuring sparse white backgrounds covered by bright animations. Narrations from British actor/comedian Stephen Fry lend themselves to the quick and interactive plots. I won’t bore with the list of awards this show has won, but the folks behind this (Spanish producer Zinkia Entertainment) have some serious talent.

Be on the lookout for this must-see preschool TV.

More info @ The Toybook.com

More info @ The Hollywood Reporter

PocoyologoAs hashed out in my previous post, I am quite a fan of Zinkia’s refreshingly unique toon Pocoyo. Unfortunately, with only DVD distribution in the United States, this show hasn’t really found a proper following here. However, not too long after my plea for a TV deal, it was announced that my favorite CGI fella was making his way to US airwaves. ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Zinkia announced a deal with Univision for Spanish-language broadcast and WGBH Boston for English-language broadcast. Finally, this Stephen Fry-narrated, BAFTA award-winning show has a shot at an audience beyond the few who have discovered it on YouTube, Netflix or Redbox. Of course, with it may come some licensed products that I am likely to scoop up. (Maia already sleeps with her Pocoyo doll every night, but I had to ask my UK-based aunt to ship it over.)

Other news coming out of the Pocoyo camp is the launch of Pocoyo World, a themed virtual world for toddlers and younger children. Following the same theme as the TV show (“learning through laughter”), visitors to the site will be able to interact with lead characters Pocoyo, Pato the duck, Elly the Elephant and Sleepy Bird. Like most virtual worlds, users create an avatar and then visit different locations including a zoo, amusement park, cinema, and playground. Each area has different activities for kids, including educational games, puzzles, virtual pet adoptions, streaming media, printables and music. Unlike some of the older-skewing virtual worlds, kids are not allowed to chat with each other but basic interaction is allowed. Maia got a kick out of the playground area where she was able to share a see-saw with another live player. Many of the activities require a membership fee, but for 3.90 Euros a month (that’s about $5.75 USD), it a cheap price to pay for some substantial content. Apparently the world was built for $3 million, and it shows with the breadth of content and detail put into the site.

A promo image for Pocoyo World
A promo image for Pocoyo World
Map of virtual world environment
Map of virtual world environment

Any music maven knows the basic quandary of Kylie: huge worldwide following while the US mostly evades her. Is one of daughter’s favorite shows getting the same treatment?

Look how cute I am.

Pocoyo, a CGI animated toon, can be easily purchased on Amazon and other online retailers. But this TV show remains mostly homeless in the world of US TV, despite finding airtime in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and more. (“Pocoyo” does in air in Spanish on Discovery Familia in the States).

This show truly stands out, featuring sparse white backgrounds covered by bright animations. Narrations from British actor/comedian Stephen Fry lend themselves to the quick and interactive plots. I won’t bore with the list of awards this show has won, but the folks behind this (Spanish producer Zinkia Entertainment) have some serious talent.
I discovered this property at an animation festival in San Fran a few years back, and then rediscovered it on the wonderful video site Totlol.com. Since then, it is a must in our house. But no dice if the little one wants any licensed goods as Pocoyo licensees seem to be very UK-centric.

So, this is my plea to whoever is listening: give young Pocoyo, Pato the duck, Elly the Elephant and Sleepy Bird some US airtime.

Deprived girl needs her Pocoyo toys.

Deprived girl needs her Pocoyo toys.

Check out a sample episode below.