How Time Flies
Time-travel has been a go-to concept for animation for ages, playing out in a variety of formats and techniques from the Mr. Peabody and Sherman shorts on Rocky & Bullwinkle to last year’s CG comedy flick Free Birds. So, it takes a little hint of magic to make the schtick really stand out, and Guru Studio’s preschool hit Justin Time has just that. After five years, the colorful 2D animated show continues to fill small screens across the globe with imaginative adventures as it follows Justin and his friends Olive and Squidgy as they take young audiences around the world and through time to experience the greatest (kid-friendly) stories from history. Justin Time has been sold to over 100 broadcasters worldwide, including Sprout and NBC Kids where it claimed No. 1 spots last year. And impressively for Guru’s first original pre-k property, the show earned nominations for a Daytime Emmy Award and three Annie Awards in 2013.
In addition to developing Justin Time season three, the kooky kids at the Toronto studio (founded by industry vet Frank Falcone in 2000) have more quirky original shows in the works, like the sci-fi comedy Spaceface (26 x 22; Kids 7-11), a hilarious take on bitter kid frenemies Nemesis for Teletoon (26 x 22; Kids 7-11) and the charming, texturally rich preschool series Port Little (52 x 11); as well as the toon adaptation of the FriendsWithYou brand, Wish Come True, with TVO and Home Plate Ent. Despite the distractions of a curious stray cat problem, the Guru team pushes forward with a love of animation, a dedication to “intent before content” and an unabashed admiration for Animal from the Muppets—a fine combination if ever there was.