The Puppy Bowl players are untrained dogs, given their age, and that means that there's unavoidably a great deal of pooping on the field. Puppy Bowl exec producer Melinda Toporoff said the pups defecate as much as every 20 seconds at times, but it's easy to fix it all in post with careful editing. And she has no interest in working with camera-ready canines. “The less trained, the better,” she said. “That's what makes for adorable television in this case — if puppies are falling asleep on the field, we love it.”
Kittens are a big part of Puppy Bowl X. Internet sensation Keyboard Cat will o a cover of Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" during halftime at Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl X.
Puppy Bowl X's devoted tailgaters camped out to enjoy the show.
Puppy Bowl referee Dan Schachner said there are never a set number of toys on the field, but revealed that the ones that get the most action are those that are the loudest or the closest to resembling sausages. As a point of habit, the Animal Planet team rotates toys just as frequently, if not more, than they rotate the puppies to keep the players stimulated.
A five-penguin cheerleading squad will keep the audience entertained during puppy breaks.
FLOTUS Michelle Obama and first dogs Bo and Sunny hosted a Puppy Bowl training camp Tuesday in D.C. to prep the athletes for the big game.
This year's telecast will feature 66 puppies, 30 untrained kittens, five penguins, three trained cats, eight tailgate party dogs, four service dogs and six hamsters.
Puppy Bowl stars to watch, from left to right: Cici, Aurora, Pong and Suri. As it has from the start, the show also incorporates an explicit message of promoting pet adoptions for rescue orgs. As of Jan. 20, all but two puppies have been adopted. All other animals have found homes, according to execs, and usually do by the time Puppy Bowl airs.
After her son Theo developed severe asthma, exec producer Chris Nee created “Doc McStuffins,” a series about a 6-year-old girl who runs a clinic for broken toys, to alleviate children's fears about visiting the doctor. Nee even named Doc's dolls and stuffed animals after Theo, his friends and relatives.
“It's the ultimate wish fulfillment for kids and their parents,” she says. “Kids really want to talk to their toys and parents really want their kids to grow up to be doctors.”
To wit, the Artemis Medical Society, which supports women psychiatrists of color, has created the We Are Doc McStuffins movement in celebration of the show's African-American characters.
“(They're) so passionate about seeing a portrayal of themselves as kids,” Nee says. “You can't be it if you don't see it.”
— Maane Khatchatourian
It was a lifelong love of adventure that inspired Brandon James Scott to createhis hit show, “Justin Time.”
“I was a big explorer when I was a little kid, always running around in the forest and going around everywhere,” Scott says.
Justin is similar, travelling through time on imaginary adventures across the globe with his squishy sidekick Squidgy and best friend Olive to solve real world problems. Though the show is geared toward four- and five-year-olds, Scott assures that “Justin Time” does not underestimate its viewers.
“Some shows for this age group are ... very, very basic,” he explains. “You have to simplify some things for their minds to be able to absorb, but you can still make things exciting.”
— Andrea Seikaly
“Bubble Guppies” co-creators Robert Scull and Jonny Belt hatched the idea for the show after realizing that ocean life is a world that has yet to be explored in, natch, full depth. With preschoolers as their target aud, Scull and Belt aimed to make a variety format show that was fun and educational.
“We like to think of (the show) as a gummy vitamin,” Scull says. “It's colorful and delicious, but on the inside it's chock-full of goodness.”
While they hope both parents and kids enjoy their guppy characters—including hyper, messy Gil and Molly, a bubbly songbird — their preschool viewers come first.
“We write it the way we would play with a preschooler, so the show interacts with the kids,” Belt says. “We don't take ourselves too seriously. Our first audience is the preschoolers.”
— Francesca Bacardi
“Gravity Falls'” voracious fanbase, including its almost 8,000 subreddit subscribers, zealously dissects each secret that creator-exec producer Alex Hirsch weaves into each episode.
“The more obsessive, weird stuff I hide, the more people find it and they love it,” Hirsch says. “It's like a message in a bottle that's returned a thousandfold by weirdos of the Internet.”
Based on Hirsch's childhood summer adventures with twin sister, Ariel, the Disney Channel comedy breaks the mold with its half-hour format.
This structural difference allows Hirsch to tell multi-layered stories with richer themes that are more akin to “miniature movies” than other animated children's shows.
“When you're drawing from observation and experience, whether you intend to or not, you'll create a more relatable cartoon,” Hirsch says.
— Maane Khatchatourian
The unique and colorful world of “Adventure Time” has entertained audiences for five seasons.
“It's beautiful and funny and has an original tone,” says head of story Kent Osborne.
“The setting is bright and fantastical. Within that we try to keep the interactions and emotions as real as possible,” adds creative director Adam Muto.
The biggest challenge for the creatives is keeping the stories fresh. “It's increasingly hard not to retread old ground,” Muto says.
Per Muto, fans of the Cartoon Network toon have “funny, world-shaking epics and quiet domestic dramas” to look forward to in upcoming episodes.
— Terry Flores
“Teen Titans Go!” has a unique take on superheroes.
“I'm pretty sure we're the only superhero show where there is no heroism,” says producer Aaron Horvath. The comedic series reveals what young superheroes Robin, Raven, Cyborg, Beast Boy and Starfire do when they're not saving the world from villains. And, surprise, it's a lot like what normal teenagers do.
“The kids like the show's silliness and slapstick,” says producer Michael Jelenic. “Everything we do is super exaggerated. We more or less need to come up with a funny and quirky story every single week.”
— Terry Flores
Before “Scaredy Squirrel” appeared on the smallscreen, he was the star of Melanie Watt's book series. The neurotic rodent made such an impact, director Matt Ferguson and Nelvana veep Irene Weibel snatched him up for TV.
“We had this process of stripping the book back to that core character that everybody thought was fun and then building up a brand new world around him,” Ferguson says.
Scaredy's worrywart tendencies would usually peg him as the goofy secondary character in other shows, says Ferguson, but his place as the lead gives him an edge.
“We wanted to focus on him as a specific character, and then make the funniest gag-based show that we can,” Ferguson says.