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Warner Media Previews Cartoonito Preschool Block

WarnerMedia recently announced that they were preparing a new push into preschool animation. The new Cartoonito branded programming block would see Cartoon Network airing preschool and educational content for the first time. Warner has been previewing the first batch of Cartoonito shows via a live virtual event from WarnerMedia Kids and Family.

Tom and Jerry Time sees the iconic cat and mouse duo appear in their first show made for preschoolers, in a series "combining hilarious antics with early learning concepts". The series is presented as a series of musical shorts designed to teach its young audience key skills to help them make sense of the world around them.

While being entertained by their wacky hijinx, little ones will also learn about key social and emotional skillsets, lessons in independence and early numeracy and literacy skills. The series is being produced by Warner Bros Animation, with Will Finn as showrunner and Sam Register as Executive Producer.

Amy Friedman, Warner Bros head of Kids and Family said:

Based on the beloved classic that so many parents grew up with, Tom and Jerry Time introduces a whole new generation to these iconic characters with a fresh and original take.For our youngest audience, Sam Register and his team at Warner Bros. Animation managed to keep all the playful hijinks, drop all the cartoon violence, and add the most delightful early childhood learning through song and story.  It’s playful – with a purpose – and we think parents and their little ones will love watching and learning together.

DC is also getting its first preschool series in the newly announced Batwheels. Produced by Warner Bros Animation, the new show could be described as Batman meets Cars. It features the most iconic vehicles from the DC Universe in a new action-adventure comedy series for young audiences. The twist is that this time, they can talk! 

The series will feature the character Duke Thomas, the first black Robin to feature in the comics and the Cassandra Cain incarnation of Batgirl- the first Asian-American to don the cowl. The Batwheels are a group of sentient crime-fighting vehicles who band together to defend Gotham alongside Batman, Robin, Batgirl and a host of DC heroes. WarnerMedia revealed the series' star-studded voice-cast.

The Bat-Family


• Ethan Hawke (The Good Lord Bird) as Batman – Gotham City’s greatest protector who keeps the streets safe from any and all threats. Even though Batman doesn’t communicate directly with the Batwheels, he acts as a father figure. They absolutely seek his approval and trust while they fight alongside him. 

• AJ Hudson (The Good Place) as Duke Thomas/Robin – The Boy Wonder who loves sinking his teeth into a great detective mystery while he strives to prove himself alongside Batman.

• Leah Lewis (Nancy Drew) as Cassandra Cain/Batgirl – The first Asian-American Batgirl as first introduced in the comics. In Batwheels Cassandra is the “big sister”, tech-savvy daredevil of the Bat-Family. She loves ripping around the streets of Gotham City on her motorcycle and always wants to be in the centre of the action. 

The Batwheels

• Jacob Bertrand (Cobra Kai) as Bam – The Batmobile and leader of the Batwheels team. Like his hero Batman, Bam has a strong sense of justice and tries his best to lead the team, even though he’s not always sure he’s up for the task. Ultimately, the other Batwheels know they can count on him, both as a super teammate, and as a friend. 
• Jordan Reed (Chuggington) as Redbird – Robin’s zippy sports car. “Red” is the kid brother of the team, always eager to prove himself a worthy sidekick to Bam but he can definitely hold his own on a mission. He’s enthusiastic and extremely inquisitive, asking tons of questions, like a kid detective.
• Madigan Kacmar (Chuggington) as Bibi – Batgirl’s brave and bold motorcycle. She is the fastest of the Batwheels, but also the smallest, so she sometimes has a habit of being impulsive and jumping right into the action without a plan.
• Noah Bentley (Elliott from Earth) as Buff –  This Bat-styled monster truck is the team’s muscle and can ram through or run over any obstacle in his path, but he’s also the heart of the team -  a gentle giant who doesn’t really know his own strength.
• Lilimar (Cleopatra in Space) as Batwing – Batman’s supersonic jet plane, “Wing” is easily the most sophisticated, and confident member of the team.  
• Kimberly D. Brooks (DC Super Hero Girls) as The Batcomputer – She is the supervisor, dispatcher, and trainer of the team – but most importantly she is also their mother figure. In addition to training and advising them, she must be there to comfort them and even hold their mechanical hands when needed. 
• Mick Wingert (What If?) as Moe – Batman’s robot repairman who facilitates repairs and upkeep on his fleet of vehicles. He is well-equipped, highly efficient mechanic who can fix almost any vehicular glitch, but not without a healthy dose of sarcasm. 

Finally, WarnerMedia Kids and Family and Stampede Ventures announced the cast and details for the upcoming Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience. The CGI animated special is adapted from the best selling book and sold-out theatrical experience from acclaimed children's author Mo Willems. The special is part of WM's multi-year overall deal with Willems

The hour-long rock opera focuses on Wilbur, the Naked Mole Rat who discovers a passion for fashion and turns life in the Tunnel, where he and his fellow Mole Rats live, upsidedown. 

The script was written by Willems himself with Tom Warburton, with original songs written by Willems and composer Deborah Wicks La Puma. Willems and Warburton are also Executive Producers alongside Stampede's Greg Silverman and Jay JudahMegan Alrutz serves as producer on behalf of the Mo Willems Workshop, and music is produced by Dan Petty, Doug Petty and Michelle Lewis. Animation production is from Oddbot Animation Studios. The special will arrive on Cartoonito on HBO Max sometime next year.


• Wilbur voiced by singer/actor Jordan Fisher (Work It) is a sensitive, curious and brave mole rat. He sees the best (dressed) in everyone and is a dreamer always looking at the clouds when everyone else has tunnel vision. Wilbur thinks there has to be more to life than just being 100% naked 500% of the time. And when random articles of clothing start falling from the sky, he sees his chance to be different by <GASP> wearing them! Even if that means not fitting in with Mole Rat society, or more importantly, his friends. 

• Grande voiced by Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) is the popular kid and, consequently, the one with the most to lose if the rules of nakedness in Mole Rat society change. She’s bold, brash and ever so confident (even if some of that confidence comes from a place of naked insecurity). As the front mole of the Tunnel’s Rock Band, she’s never seen without her bandmates Tall, Venti and Wilbur. But her friendship is put to the test when Wilbur starts wearing clothes, something she’s not ready to accept. 

• Tall voiced by Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates) is a rule-follower with a heart of gold. Tall in name yet short in stature, she’s a voice of reason who thinks she can see where Wilbur is coming from with his non-nakedness but is not brave enough to stand up to the rest of Mole Rat society. 

• Venti voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs) is a big lug that needs just two things in life: Rocking out with his bandmates and being stark, raving naked! While not the deepest cave in the tunnel, he’s got the biggest heart of any mole and will do anything for his friends.

• Grand-Mah voiced by Carol Kane (The Princess Bride)i s the larger-than-life matriarch of Mole Rat society. She dug The Tunnel with her own teeth and thus attained legendary status. And while the posters and propaganda depicting her reflect youth, vigour and dominance, in reality, she’s grown both longer in tooth and shorter in stature. Regardless of age, she’s lost none of her intimidating veneer, sagely wisdom and dislike of oxymorons.