Show of the week: The Moblees

Producer and distributor Shaftesbury heads into KidScreen with a new interactive musical series for preschoolers, The Moblees.

Aimed at 3-to-5s, the 30x11mins, the live-action series encourages healthy living by getting kids off the sofa and involved in music-based physical activity. The five comic characters encourage the participation through direct-to-camera addresses and general playfulness. The five are: Bailey Butterfly; her younger brother, Carlin Caterpillar, brainy Gisbert Grasshopper, optimist Dasha Dog and super smooth Sylvio Snake.

The Moblees is actually based on a theatre production, The Ohmies, from Laurie Miller and Benjamin Tollefson. There is also a live Moblees family show that is currently performed in North America.

“It is a fun, charming and thoroughly engaging series that gets preschoolers up and moving, and inspires healthy change in the way families move through their daily lives,” says Ryan St. Peters, vice president, Kids & Family, Shaftesbury.

The series was filmed in Halifax, Canada, and debuted on pubcaster CBC’s kids block this winter in a Monday-to-Friday 8am slot.

The Moblees is a great addition to the Kids’ CBC family,” says Kim Wilson, creative head of children’s and youth programming, CBC said: “It’s all about empowering kids to live a healthy, active lifestyle, which is a key element of our Whole Child strategy.”

The CBC has been keen to highlight the active lifestyle message of The Moblees, noting, ahead of the series launch, research showing that only a small proportion of preschool kids are physically active enough. The pubcaster is also using the series as part of its outreach efforts with kids.

Medical experts were recruited to advise on the show. “Using a television program as a strategy to reduce the sedentary behaviour of young children seems paradoxical,” says professor Mark Tremblay, director of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. “However, The Moblees is designed to condition and guide young children and their families to recalibrate their lifestyle to one where fun, creative, lifestyle-embedded movements are normal, spontaneous, frequent, desired and rewarded.”

The show: The Moblees

The producers: Boulevard, Shaftesbury

The distributor: Shaftesbury

The broadcaster: CBC (Canada)

The concept: Interactive musical series that encourages a healthy lifestyle for preschoolers