July 25, 2018
Sesame Workshop’s first new animated program in more than a decade promotes “learning through play” and mindfulness
(New York, NY – July 25, 2018) – Sesame Workshop and Nelvana announced today that Esme & Roy, the first new animated series from the makers of Sesame Street in more than a decade, will debut on Saturday, August 18 on HBO in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada. The program follows a young girl, Esme, and her best monster friend, Roy, on their adventures as the best monster babysitters in Monsterdale. Aimed at children ages four to six, it offers a creative new approach to teaching “learning through play” and mindfulness strategies.
With loveable characters who spark strong emotional connections among preschoolers and parents alike, Esme & Roy invites children into a colorful world where even the littlest monsters can overcome big challenges together. Across 26 episodes, Esme and Roy will use the power of play to help younger monsters through familiar situations like trying new foods and feeling scared during loud thunderstorms. Little viewers will look up to their new favorite monster-sitters as positive role models, learning how to manage strong emotions with simple mindfulness practices alongside Esme and Roy’s charges. Infectious humor, imaginative design, and expressive voice talent including Millie Davis (Wonder, Odd Squad) and Patrick McKenna (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs [series], Hotel Transylvania: The Series), bring the world of Esme & Roy to vibrant life.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with some of the most talented and creative forces in the industry on this new series,” said Steve Youngwood, President of Media and Education and Chief Operating Officer, Sesame Workshop. “Packed with humor, heart, and valuable lessons, Esme & Roy represents the kind of quality programming that families have trusted Sesame Workshop to deliver for nearly fifty years, tailor-made for a new generation of kids and parents.”
“From its early beginnings, the Nelvana team knew Esme & Roy was destined to be a very special commission. Working with our incredible partners at Sesame Workshop, our world-class animation studio and its talented team of animators brought this truly imaginative series to life with beautiful artistry that perfectly complements the spirit of the series,” said Scott Dyer, President, Nelvana. “Children and parents alike will enjoy learning and playing as they watch Esme & Roy together and we couldn’t be more delighted to showcase this brilliant series to audiences.”
As Sesame Workshop’s newest addition to the educational entertainment landscape, Esme & Roy underscores how vitally important play is to early childhood development. Whether they’re pretending to be veterinarians to model how to hold a pet gently, or sticking to a shopping list by turning a trip to the grocery store into a matching game, the monster-sitters help their little friends learn a range of lessons while they have fun. When children play together, they are physically, cognitively, and socially engaged. Motivated by their own curiosity and interest, they learn to collaborate, self-regulate, communicate, and empathize with others during play sessions. As modeled in Esme & Roy, “learning through play” allows children to develop these critical life skills in a safe environment.
Children are most ready for this kind of engaged, productive playtime when they can manage challenging feelings like worry and frustration. Esme & Roy offers easy-to-adopt strategies that can help even very young children regulate their emotions. Tactics include: taking slow belly breaths, which provide a pause for children to be reflective instead of reactive; self-talk that uses positive statements to remind kids of their strength and capability; giving oneself a soothing hug; and using a “glitter jar” to calm the body and mind, shaking a sparkly snow globe-like jar and taking deep breaths while watching the glitter swirl and slowly fall.
“We can’t wait to share the vibrant and textured world of Esme & Roy with kids,” said Kay Wilson Stallings, SVP Creative Development, Sesame Workshop. “By incorporating the latest thinking about mindfulness and learning through play into the fabric of this show, we hope to reinvigorate playtime and give today’s kids the tools they need to manage their emotions in a positive way.”
Created by TV veterans Dustin Ferrer and Amy Steinberg (Peg + Cat, Team Umizoomi, Wonder Pets! and Shimmer and Shine), Esme & Roy is produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s animation studio Nelvana, with illustrations inspired by renowned artist Dankerleroux.
For more information, visit the Esme & Roy press kit.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.
Nelvana is Canada’s premier animation company and a world-leading producer and distributor of children’s content. Nelvana has delighted audiences around the globe for more than 40 years with a vast library of more than 4,000 episodes from original, award-winning series like Babar and Franklin. Nelvana’s content is distributed in more than 160 countries worldwide and broadcast across Corus Entertainment’s suite of leading kids networks. Nelvana Enterprises, the global licensing and merchandising arm of Nelvana, manages the organization’s portfolio of in-house and third party brands with offices in Toronto and Paris. Nelvana Studio, with offices in Toronto and Montreal employs more than 300 Canadian artists working with local and international producers to create premium children’s content for a global stage. For more information, visit www.nelvana.com.