BBC’s Aussie Hit ‘Bluey’ Makes US Debut with Disney

BBC Studios has announced the mega-hit Australian kids’ series Bluey is set to premiere in the U.S., Monday, September 9, at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Junior and DisneyNOW. The series will then regularly air weekdays at 7:30 a.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel and 4:30 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Junior.

Aimed at preschool aged children and their parents, the show was created by Joe Brumm and is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Ludo Studio for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and BBC Studios. Bluey first launched on ABC in Australia last year enjoying massive success with parents and children alike, being the most viewed series in the history of ABC iview with over 100 million plays (per Webtrends, OzTAM VPM data). It was the most popular children’s TV show on terrestrial TV in Australia in 2018/19.

“From script to screen, Bluey is created entirely under one roof in Brisbane, Australia, and we’re so proud that Joe and the whole team’s work is now coming to the U.S. with Disney,” said Bluey EPs and Ludo co-founders, Charlie Aspinwall and Daley Pearson.

Bluey follows the adventures of a lovable and inexhaustible six-year-old Blue Heeler puppy who lives with her Dad (Bandit), her Mum (Chilli) and four-year-old little sister, Bingo. In each episode, Bluey takes the everyday events of family life and uses her limitless Blue Heeler energy to invent elaborate games that unfold in unpredictable and hilarious ways, bringing her family and the whole neighborhood into her world of fun. Bluey and Bingo love to roleplay and, whether they are doctors, fancy ladies, butterflies or hotel managers, they always drag in Mum or Dad to take part in their games. Bandit and Chilli are both dedicated working parents who, tired as they might be, appreciate the value of time spent playing with the kids, even if it means getting down on all fours for a horsey ride or keeping the last balloon in the air for as long as possible.

Bluey is an authentic dive into family life with preschool kids and celebrates the joyful simplicity of learning, growing and having fun through play. Unstructured, self-directed play allows Bluey to use her creativity while developing her imagination, and her mental, physical and emotional resilience. Exploring her world autonomously, Bluey conquers her fears while practicing grown up jobs, sometimes with her sister or with other children, and always with her parents to guide her.

“We wanted to create a genuine co-viewing show that parents and their kids can actually enjoy together,” said series creator Brumm.

The series has already become a proven co-viewing experience for families. In a recent call for “delightful children’s programming” put out by The New York Times, Bluey was the most popular reader submission despite only being available in Australia. The show has also inspired grown-up fans to share their approval over social media — such as in this Twitter thread where one “Bluey Superfan” tried to figure out exactly where the canine stars live.

Animation Magazine

AHA News: Daughter Makes Lifesaving Plea to 911: Coach Me Through CPR?

MONDAY, Aug. 12, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — In March 2017, Mary Smith took an afternoon off work to visit her daughter and 2-week-old grandson Brody at their Minneapolis suburb home.

Smith brought in groceries for dinner and carried a mobile crib up the stairs from the car. She was in the entryway when she found herself out of breath.

She collapsed, making a thud that her daughter, Lindsey Bomgren, heard from the hallway to the nursery.

Thinking her mom fell, Bomgren called out to her. Smith didn’t respond.

Bomgren put down Brody and raced to the entryway. She grabbed her phone and called 911. She told the dispatcher her mom wasn’t breathing. Smith was in cardiac arrest.

Bomgren then asked the dispatcher a question that would change everything: Can you coach me through CPR?

Although Bomgren had refreshed her training for the lifesaving technique nine months earlier as part of her job as a fitness instructor, now that she had to use it – and on her mom – she needed guidance and support.

The dispatcher told her to stack hand-over-hand and place them in the center of her mom’s chest. The dispatcher then repeated the words “pump, pump, pump” to maintain the rhythm needed to keep blood flowing to Smith’s organs.

“It made me feel I was not all alone,” Bomgren said. “It provided a sense of calm.”

She provided Hands-Only CPR for nearly 10 minutes until an ambulance arrived and paramedics took over.

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year. CPR, especially if administered immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

Paramedics administered two shocks from an automated external defibrillator to get Smith’s heart back into rhythm before transporting her to the hospital.

Testing revealed Smith had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart walls that requires the heart to work harder to pump blood. The condition is often genetic, and Smith had been tested for it 40 years earlier following her teenage sister’s cardiac arrest. Those tests had been inconclusive.

Two months before her cardiac arrest, Smith was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. She had just completed wearing a heart monitor for a month. Her doctor had yet to provide any next steps based on those results, but she had been taking medication for it.

After her cardiac arrest, Smith received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator to shock her heart back into rhythm should it ever be needed. (In January 2018, the device was needed and did its job.)

Bomgren and her brother soon underwent testing. He, too, had HCM. Nine months after his mom received her ICD, he got one as well. Bomgren is now pregnant with her second child. She plans to undergo additional testing after the delivery. She also plans to have her children tested once they are older.

Because of the dispatcher’s role in helping their story have a happy ending, Bomgren and Smith became advocates for a proposed state law requiring 911 dispatchers to be trained in how to help callers in such situations.

“When you are doing CPR, every second matters, so the sooner you can start and the more confidence you have to continue doing it can help save a life,” Bomgren said.

In May 2019, Minnesota passed legislation requiring all 911 operators in the state to be trained to identify a cardiac arrest and coach CPR over the phone or quickly transfer calls to another call center whose staff can.

Similar laws exist in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Other states include the training as part of existing requirements for 911 operators.

“Bystander CPR can save lives,” Smith said. “I’m proof.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019 – Daily MedNews

Nike Makes Waves with Kyrie X SpongeBob Collection

Nike and Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products (VNCP) have announced the launch of the Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants collection. The collection features five shoes inspired by the signature characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as apparel and accessories, including t-shirts, a hoodie, socks and backpacks. The crossover is the latest part of the show’s 20th anniversary celebration to kick off this year.

Basketball superstar Kyrie Irving’s latest collection is suited for on-court competition and off-court jellyfishing with dedicated colorways for favorite characters. The three high-top sneakers in the collection showcase the signature Kyrie 5 silhouette in bright yellow for SpongeBob, pink and green tones for Patrick and turquoise accents for Squidward. The low-cut silhouette of the Kyrie Low 2 pays homage to the currency-crazy crustacean, Mr. Krabs, as well as a Sandy Cheeks version with colors inspired by her iconic space suit.

“What makes our collaboration with Kyrie and Nike so special is that we are celebrating SpongeBob’s 20th Anniversary with one of SpongeBob’s biggest genuine fans,” said Jose Castro, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Collaborations, VNCP. “Everything from the characters Kyrie chose and how they were designed into the line was done from a true fan’s perspective, and it shows. The sneakers, clothes and accessories became extensions of SpongeBob’s world, and we know fans everywhere will love this collection, just as much as we loved creating it with Kyrie.”

Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants will be available in adult and kids sizes from August 10 on and in-store. In Europe, the collection will also be available at Kickz stores

Animation Magazine

This Couple Makes Cannabis-Infused Food That’s Also Vegan

Curtis Powell and Rebecca Goss loved to venture out to infusion events (where cannabis is infused in food), but their options as vegans were extremely limited. So they decided to start their own dinner club, which they called Vegan Stoner Club.

The couple partnered with a close friend from Rob the Art Museum in June to start creating THC-infused dinners and pairings. “We want to spread veganism and cannabis in our own unique way,” Powell says.

The feedback so far has been positive. “Everybody loves it,” Powell notes. “And what’s funny is that most people that show up aren’t vegan.”

With these infused dinners, Vegan Stoner Club is hitting a different subculture and changing perceptions about vegan food. Goss and Powell are able to introduce plant-based dishes to people who otherwise may not have given them a try.

Rebecca Goss anf Curtis Powell are the minds behind Vegan Stoner Club.EXPAND

Rebecca Goss anf Curtis Powell are the minds behind Vegan Stoner Club.

Curtis Powell

Each dish created is infused with different dosages of cannabis to spread the effects over a complete dinner. The pair recently participated in Denver’s first Vegan Restaurant Week this past May, serving a soul food-inspired dinner of fried tofu in an infused barbecue sauce, infused mac and cheese and infused baked beans.

Since Powell is originally from Miami, he’s also created Cuban-influenced marijuana dinners with empanadas, a traditional Cuban sandwich and a dos leches cake (leaving the dairy products out of the typical tres leches version). Other pot-permeated eats at recent events have included barbecue pulled pork (a meatless version, of course), fried mac and cheese balls, garlic knots, fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms, onions and pesto, and tofu scramble with hash browns. The vegan gourmet says one of the most popular items thus far has been Rebecca’s banana pudding, loaded with 10 milligrams of THC per serving.

“We tend to veganize what people are missing,” Powell says of the supper club’s scratch-made comfort food.

Vegan Supper Club has been holding events at least once a month since launching, and dinners are held at private locations. For more information and to sign up for a dinner, visit Vegan Stoner Club and Rob the Art Museum on Instagram. Then prepared to get stoned like a vegan.

Toke of the Town

Rainbow’s ‘44 Cats’ Makes US Debut on Nickelodeon June 10

European content powerhouse Rainbow (Winx Club) has revealed that its shiny new kids’ animated series 44 Cats (52 x 13’) will get its paws on U.S. TV with a week of premieres on Nickelodeon, beginning Monday, June 10 at 10 a.m. (ET/PT). Set to regularly air on weekdays at 10 a.m., the show follows the daily adventures of Lampo, Milady, Pilou and Meatball – four kittens who are part of a band called The Buffycats. Together, they try to find creative solutions to everyday problems and help other cats in need.

In 44 Cats, the music-loving kittens live and play in a garage that they transform into a Clubhouse, while helping out their friends in the neighborhood. The series celebrates and promotes can-do attitudes and addresses important themes such as diversity, friendship and altruism.

The U.S. launch follows Rainbow’s 2018 agreement with Viacom International to broadcast 44 Cats in select international territories. Premiered last year, the property is already a success in various countries across the world, enjoying fast growth in both broadcasting and licensing.

“Nickelodeon is synonymous with quality and excellence in the kids and family content industry. We are truly excited to announce the airing of another Rainbow TV series on Nickelodeon in the U.S.,” said Iginio Straffi, Founder and President of Rainbow Group. “44 Cats has already proved to be a top-notch show that can work in any territory, and thanks to Nickelodeon’s huge reach, we will be able to bring the overwhelming positive energy of the show to millions of kids in the U.S., too.”

Animation Magazine

Ask a Stoner: Microdosing Before Exercising Only Makes Me Tired

Dear Stoner: How are people microdosing edibles and then working out? I want to sleep every time I try it.

Dear Jalen: Microdosing cannabis or other substances can mean different amounts for everyone, so consider your tolerance and reactions to THC or CBD in the past before you think you’re microdosing. To me, the single serving of THC in an edible, ten milligrams, is a fine microdose that comes with little crash. However, that amount could get less-regular users really high; instead, they’d probably microdose somewhere closer to 2.5 milligrams. And if you add CBD to that ten milligrams of THC, I’d start yawning soon, too.

Try to stay out of that cloud.

Try to stay out of that cloud.

It’s all about finding the right combination…but even with plenty of practice, you might not find the perfect microdosing formula for exercising. Some people’s motivation, focus or energy just doesn’t jibe with cannabis, no matter how much they experiment.

Send questions to

Toke of the Town

Animated People: Joel Payne Makes Contact with ‘Friendliens’

Digital artist Joel Payne, whose credits span the critically acclaimed video game Heroes of Might and Magic to Steven Spielberg’s Sky Pirates, Disney’s Atlantis: The Video Game, Star Ship Troopers: Roughnecks, Silent Hill: Homecoming and original characters for Growums, tells us about turning his talents toward the original, kid-safe animated series Friendliens. See more of Payne’s work at and

Animag: Tell us about your new project Friendliens … how did it all start?
When my twin daughters were born in 2011, I became a single parent having to learn how to take care of two new baby girls and my four-year-old son alone while trying to keep food on the table. I was terrified. … When my daughters were old enough to walk and I had a little room to breathe, I looked around to see if I could find products, shows that would support my plan as a parent, and I couldn’t find anything that didn’t have a religious or political agenda hidden in it, or wasn’t making me cringe as a parent.



The hope is to get kids excited about setting goals, having good manners, leaving the planet better than they found it, dealing with bullying, combating childhood obesity and seeing the value in our community leaders … I also wanted to give all control of the network to parents so that they are in complete control of the content. Parents can create their own playlist for each child in there home of subjects specific to the needs of that child and use our chore helper to incentivize kids with rewards that they deem worthy.

We’re creating new 2- to 3-minute long, easy to understand 3D cartoons each month for one low $ 2 fee … And we’re building a rolodex of solutions using best practices to get kids excited about doing things all parents hope for their children. We’re also adding a health and fitness program and getting kids prepared in case of emergencies from fire, floods and earthquakes.



How long have you been working on this project?
I started the project in 2011 when my daughters were born. It’ been a labor of love with my Disney fans support the development of the app by supporting my fine art.

How did you create the characters and the beautiful backgrounds?
I worked in the video game, TV, film and VR ride industry since 1990 as an art director and game designer. I was always a fan of Star Trek and Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone and thought it would be easier talking about social issues if I used aliens, since there blood is green and we could talk about subjects without judging them by the color of their skin. I thought it would be interesting if their home world and backstory acted as a cautionary tale and a beacon of optimism after discovering what it means to be a Friendlien. They redeem themselves, and so can we.

Why do you think the idea would make a great animated series?
With most games and shows these days promoting sex, violence and bad behavior, I wanted to create a series that parents could 100% trust. I didn’t want just children to love it, I wanted to make something that parents could get behind. With so many parents handing their phones over to their children when they’re in the grocery store, if they’re going to look at something, why not make it good content that gets them thinking about being friendly?

Tell us a little bit about your background?
I’ve built rides for Disney Imagineering and Steve Spielberg, I’ve art directed some of the first 3D shows on TV, worked on the biggest games in history, and I’ve had a very long career that I walked away from in the video game industry. I’ve held 30 professional occupations in the entertainment industry at the highest levels which has allowed me to be a one man Pixar for the Friendlien project. You could say all of this has prepared me for the most important project of my life.



How did you get started in animation?
I started in the video game industry in 1992 when the 3D revolution was just getting started. I finally got to animate a project called Growums, where I created over 100 episodes over four years by myself. I felt like Walt Disney trying to figure it all out from scratch. That project was featured on the show The View and made national news.

Who are some of your animation inspirations?
Walt Disney is my hero. It’s why I’ve worked with the company since 1995 in different capacities. Walt cared about family entertainment and magic. He had a charm about him and all of the movies he produced when he was alive were always about good conquering evil and we need more stories like that today.

What do you love about working in the animation business?
As an artist, there is something very therapeutic about the idea of waking up each morning and building an impossible world with no limit where the characters you create might inspire a person to pursue their dreams and be a good human being to others. I’d like to think Walt would be proud.







Joel Payne

Joel Payne

Animation Magazine

Casey Leonard Makes Magic for Nickelodeon Movie ‘Lucky’

Nickelodeon debuts a new, original animated movie titled Lucky on Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m. The movie centers on an unlucky leprechaun named Hap McSweeney. After a dragon stole his grandfather’s pot of gold, the McSweeneys have been cursed with horrible luck. However, Hap doesn’t let all the misfortune get him down. One day, on a field trip to visit the mansion of the luckiest man in Fortune City, Hap stumbles upon a particularly familiar pot of gold…

The film is directed by Casey Leonard whose credits include storyboard artist and director on Breadwinners and animator on Out of Jimmy’s Head. He is also the showrunner for the new Nickelodeon series based on next month’s Wonder Park feature. He was kind enough to answer some of our questions about his work and influences (and share an exclusive clip, which you can catch below the interview!):

OK, let’s go back to Casey’s early years! When did you know you wanted to work in animation?
As a kid, I consumed as much animation as possible, filled sketch books with comics. I couldn’t stop drawing. However, growing up so far away from where animation is produced, it really didn’t occur to me that it being an animator was an actual job until I was 18. Then it was decided. I didn’t know how to get there, but figured the first step was art school. So I went. I got my degree in SIM (Studio for Interrelated Media) from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

What were some of your favorite animated shows or movies growing up?
I grew up on the hits! DuckTales, Inspector Gadget, Transformers — they had the best animated intros! Then Dragon Ball came to the states. I watch a lot of that and Batman: The Animated Series.

How did you get your first job in animation?

My first job in animation was out of pure luck, perfect timing, a studio on a hiring frenzy, and a buddy who was about to start but then broke his arm snowboarding, so he recommended me – it was at Soup2nuts in Boston, MA, as a character animator. To this day, it’s still one of the most challenging gigs of my career.

Who would you say are your animation idols?
All of Mamoru Hosoda’s films completely blow me away. Every shot, moment and character is pouring with sincerity and specificity. His character relationships and stories are incredibly relatable and genuine and really funny too!

Tell us a little bit about your new Nick movie, Lucky, and your work on the upcoming Wonder Park series.
Lucky is about an unlucky leprechaun and his best friends on a mission to retrieve his family’s stolen lucky pot of gold, thus restoring his luck. The first act is comedy, the second act is heist and the third act is all action. It’s really fun! At its core, Lucky is about friendship. All the luck in the world’s got nothing on love.

Wonder Park is great, too. It’s really exciting to inherit this great group of characters and a giant amusement park to tell stories in. The CG department at Nick is doing really exciting, cutting-edge work that is truly bridging the gap between TV and feature quality animation. It is quite the honor to be along for the ride.

What do you love about each? What have been the biggest challenges?
Lucky was enormously challenging in every way. Learning to tell stories in a new, longer format and in a new medium was so exciting! And we made it really fast. At one point in production I was launching animators up at Bardel on the second act of the movie, while rewriting and reboarding massive sections of the final act, and doing pose by pose animation revisions on shots from the first act. Intense!

One thing I never anticipated falling in love with while working in CG is live-action style cameras and lenses. It’s probably my favorite thing about making the Wonder Park series as well.

Tell us about how you got involved with the project?
I really had no business directing a CG movie. I had zero experience in CG or movies. But when David Steinberg showed me the original draft of the Lucky script, I fell in love with the potential of the characters, their relationships, and their story. So I spent a week thumbnailing my vision for the intro to the movie, pitched it to David, he got on board. Then I pitched it to the head of movies, Mike Sammaciccia, and then I was in. From there, I spent six months putting together rough designs and a five-minute test animatic, got the official greenlight, then went into full production.

Where was the animation produced and how long did it take to complete?
The movie took about 14 months from greenlight to final lock. In house at Nick, we did everything from boards to design to character and set modeling, texture, rigging, etc. Then the animation was handled at Bardel in Vancouver, which took roughly four months. Then the lighting, rendering and comp were done in house.

How many people worked on the movie?
Around 30 people at Nick and 25 animators at Bardel.

Tell us a little bit about the look of the movie and how it was achieved.
My goal for the look of the movie was to be able to watch it 10 years from now, and for it to still hold up. So, I knew we needed to create something that felt as timeless as possible. Coupled with that, I needed to be able push poses and expressions in a really broad cartoony way. So we landed with a look that feels really tactile with a classic stop-motion vibe, while fully embracing the amazing tech and toolsets of CG.

Give us your best advice for newbies!
We animators tend to be introverts and fully focus on our assignments. My advice is: Do more! Reach out to animators you look up to, seek advice, network, learn to enthusiastically communicate your ideas. And most importantly, when you get notes, drop the ego, seek the note behind the note, and address said notes with the confidence your work will be stronger and smarter as a result.

What are your plans for the next few years?
I plan to keep striving to tell stronger, more engaging stories. I’m itching to make another movie. Maybe I’ll do that!

Lucky premieres Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT).

Casey Leonard

Casey Leonard

Animation Magazine

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