New Jim Henson series will inspire 'climate hope' in modern-day animated fairytale

Jim Henson is surrounded by a group of Muppets

Long-time TV lovers may be familiar with Jim Henson as the creator of “The Muppets” and hits like “Fraggle Rock,” but the entertainment company founded in his name is pivoting to a different kind of storytelling.

The Jim Henson Company has partnered with Paramount’s Ananey Studios to create a new animated kids’ series targeted to youth ages six to 12 — and it’s all about “climate hope.”

An illustration shows a young girl and boy riding on pink dragons in the sky
Photo courtesy of the Jim Henson Company/Art by Bosmat Agayoff

The show, called “The Season Keepers,” follows twins Lia and Ben on a journey that teaches them about the importance of harmony between humans and nature. 

The modern-day fairy tale is inspired by Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and features lots of fantastical themes and imagery for audiences of all backgrounds to enjoy.

The plot goes a little something like this: When Lia and Ben’s parents divorce, they visit their grandmother's small village, which neither of them are very enthused about. 

As it turns out, however, they have actually stumbled upon an “epic battle between the seasons,” where Lia uncovers her powers to mediate between humans and “The Nature Makers,” which a press release calls “a realm of magical creatures who are the guardians of nature itself.”

The show builds on the siblings’ relationship, as Lia attempts to mend her family’s rifts, all while trying to keep the Nature Makers from “plunging the world into a perpetual winter.”

While Henson, the late puppeteer, is not the mastermind behind the series (that would be Bosmat Agayoff, the show’s creator and designer), a frequent collaborator of the Jim Henson Company will take the show into his hands. 

Craig Bartlett, who has written for kids’ shows like “Dinosaur Train” and “Sid the Science Kid” is billed as a writer behind the development of the series. 

Halle Stanford, who is the president of television at the Jim Henson Company, said “handing the story reins over to Craig Bartlett ensures this adventure will captivate kids for generations.” 

An illustration of a grandmother carrying a pot of steaming food to a table of two young people. They sit in a cluttered but cozy kitchen, which also features small characters, or "Nature Makers"
Photo courtesy of the Jim Henson Company/Art by Bosmat Agayoff

“From the minute [Ananey Studios] shared with us Bosmat Agayoff's gorgeous designs for her creation ‘The Season Keepers,’ we knew this was the next fantasy world we wanted to explore at The Jim Henson Company,” Stanford continued.

With themes of family, nature, and empowerment, creators are hopeful that Lia and Ben’s stories will impact young viewers for the better.

“At its heart, ‘The Season Keepers’ is about the healing of a family and of the natural world around them. And this series about climate hope is wrapped in a luxurious whimsical world filled with magical and never-before-seen creatures.”

While it’s not yet clear when the show will premiere, it’s apparent that the need for climate optimism is urgent, as today’s youth deal with unprecedented rates of anxiety about the environment

Similar shows have also emerged across the globe, like Canada’s “Future Chicken,” the UK’s “Octonauts,” and “Molly of Denali,” which airs on PBS in the U.S.

“The Season Keepers” may just be the next go-to in the lineup of climate-centric shows for young people — and attaching it to the Henson name may preemptively launch it into the mainstream cosmos.

“We couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with the legendary Jim Henson Company, responsible for some of the most loved and known kids shows,” said Orly Atlas-Katz, the CEO of Ananey Paramount, in a statement.

“In this modern-day animated fairytale, a breathtaking journey will intertwine magic, adventure, and heart to inspire young viewers everywhere.”

Header image courtesy of the Jim Henson Company

Article Details

June 10, 2024 2:53 PM
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