China Toy Fair


Qualcomm, Sesame Workshop Collaboration Uses Cutting-Edge Mobile Technology

Qualcomm and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, are collaborating on innovative mobile learning applications to revolutionize early childhood education. As part of the agreement, Qualcomm will perform research and development activities with Sesame Workshop to create and deliver new innovations in mobile educational content.

The collaboration between two global pioneers brings together Qualcomm’s cutting-edge mobile technologies, Sesame Workshop’s expertise in early childhood education, and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to create engaging and inspiring learning experiences that will prepare young children for school.

The first applications planned through this collaboration are being demonstrated in the Qualcomm booth as part of the 2013 Consumer Electronics ShowAbby’s Fairy Rock and Big Bird’s Words will include the very earliest examples of never-before-imagined content and hints at the possibilities to come. [Read more...]

Sesame Workshop Partners with Qualcomm for Augmented Reality Prototype

Qualcomm Incorporated and Sesame Workshop have joined forces to explore augmented reality experiences for children by creating a prototype play set that brings physical toys to life. An application is being demonstrated at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), running January 10-13.

The collaborative project explores the use of a tablet with a traditional play set, aiming to make children’s’ playtime more fun and educational. The prototype play set includes traditional elements such as common household objects and figurines of classic Sesame Street characters Cookie Monster, Bert, and Ernie. Additionally, the demo includes a tablet and an application that uses Qualcomm’s newly branded Vuforia augmented reality platform. When the tablet is pointed at the play set, the pieces and the play environment come alive through the tablet’s camera, transforming the play set into an interactive experience.

Qualcomm is exhibiting at Booth No. 30313 in South Hall 3 at CES.

[Read more...]

Sesame Street Airs Special on Food Hunger

Lily, a new Sesame Street Muppet whose family struggles with food hunger

Last Sunday, Sesame Street premiered Growing Hope Against Hunger, a one-hour primetime PBS television special produced by Sesame Workshop. The special included documentary films by Academy-Award winning director and filmmaker Cynthia Wade and starred Brad Paisley, Kimberly Williams Paisley, and the Sesame Street Muppets.

The special, supported by Walmart, presented families’ personal stories to raise awareness of the widespread issue of hunger in the U.S., as well as strategies that have helped these families find resources and grow stronger together. Growing Hope Against Hunger also introduced a new Muppet named Lily whose family has an ongoing struggle with hunger. A Spanish version of the special will air on October 22 on Univision and on October 23 on Telefutura. All materials are available online at sesamestreet.org/food.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden Visit Sesame Street

In this photo handout from Sesame Workshop, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden visit Sesame Street on Monday, April 18, as part of the White House’s “Joining Forces” Initiative and Sesame’s military families project, to tape Public Service Announcements asking all Americans to support our military families.

Photo by Richard Termine

Cookie Monster Wants to Host Saturday Night Live

Sesame Street says: “Cookie Monster wants to host Saturday Night Live and he needs your help! Click here to join the Facebook group and help Cookie Monster be the next host! http://bit.ly/CookieSNL

Sesame Street to Introduce Three Shows at MIPCOM

The producers of Sesame Street will be introducing three new shows that are currently in development at MIPCOM, to be held in Cannes, France October 4-8.

Super Grover 2.0 features Sesame Street character Grover modeling scientific processes as he observes, formulates questions, and investigates to solve problems across the world. The show will also be featured as a segment on Sesame Street.

Count TV features Count von Count introducing viewers to the number of the day and explaining what each number represents. Each episode finishes with a Bert and Ernie tap dance routine about the number of the day

Goodnight, Elmo features Elmo and his dad in their bedroom routine as they make up their own bedtime stories.

International Productions of Sesame Street Available Online

Amazon Video On Demand is offering exclusive access to free episodes of international co-productions of Sesame Street.

Programs that will be available include Takalani Sesame from South Africa, which features the first HIV-positive Muppet to help de-stigmatize HIV in an age appropriate way;  Sesame Tree from Northern Ireland, which encourages children to explore and appreciate the world around them; Galli Galli Sim Sim from India, which celebrates cultural heritage; and Alam Sim Sim from Egypt, which promotes self-esteem in young girls. Programs from Bangladesh, Brazil, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Palestine, and Russia will also be available.

Shalom From Stars and Muppets in Israel

Sesame Workshop, the developer behind Sesame Street, has teamed with Israel’s Channel HOP! to develop a 12-part DVD set about Jewish values. The 30-minute episode DVDs will include approximately 30 more minutes of bonus features as well as appearances by Grover and other Muppets. Celebrity appearances for the series include Debra Messing, Natalie Portman, Ben Stiller, Jake Gyllenhal, and Achinoam Nini, among others.

The first DVD, Welcome to Israel, features Grover and Anneliese van der Pol as they begin their explorations of Israel with guest Christina Applegate. Chanukah: The Missing Menorah takes the crew on a hunt for van der Pol’s missing menorah before Chanukah activities begin and includes an appearance by Debi Mazar. Both DVDs, and subsequent episodes, showcase Jewish values while explaining traditions and practices in Israel.

Shalom Sesame is meant for U.S. audiences and is a continuation from the 1988 11-part Shalom Sesame, which was based on the Israeli version of Sesame Street, Rechov Sumsum. The first two DVDs will be released nationwide on October 5. Subsequent releases will roll out starting in January.

Nigerian Version of Sesame Street Announced

New York-based Sesame Workshop has teamed with Ileke Media in Nigeria to co-produce Sesame Square, Nigeria’s version of Sesame Street. The 30-minute program will focus on preschool issues while two Muppet hosts encourage counting, reading, and staying in school.

Kami, a girl Muppet, is HIV-positive with golden fur and an adventurer’s spirit. A blue-skinned boy Muppet is energetic and loves making even trivial tasks fun. A mobile phone contest to name the boy Muppet is currently underway, with those in Nigeria encouraged to text one of three names–Zobi, Wazu, or Baju–to the show’s producers.

Sesame Square is planned for three years of broadcast, during which two outreach kits will be sent to schools and NGOs throughout Nigeria, meant to encourage literacy and health. The project is funded with the help of a five-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant that will help with the television series and outreach kit creation, as well as research regarding the program’s effectiveness.

Sesame Workshop and Mercy Corp Partner for Haiti Relief Videos

In a partnership announced yesterday, Sesame Workshop and Mercy Corp will distribute three original films based on the Haiti earthquake, as well as two films recently dubbed into Creole, all to be distributed to Haiti’s youth.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind Sesame Street, stated the two dubbed films, Cinderelmo and Healthy Monsters, feature celebrity appearances by such figure heads as Keri Russell, Oliver Platt, and India Arie. The films promote healthy eating, physical activity, teamwork, and play.

Along with these films, Sesame Workshop plans to release three live-action films by filmmaker Linda Costigan, which were shot on location in Haiti following the earthquake. The first film, Helping Hands, teaches lessons about teamwork and working towards common goals. The others, I Am Haiti and Recycled Car, teach how Haiti’s children will be the leaders in the country’s recovery and how Haitians will rebuild their country, respectively. [Read more...]