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Disney Launches 'Little Einsteins' for Preschoolers

29 Jun, 2005 By: Angelique Flores

Infants and toddlers are rapidly growing out of the “Baby Einstein” video series. Now reaching the preschool age, these little fans — or, at least, their moms — are clamoring for more “Einstein” videos.

And Disney has heard their requests.

With the Aug. 23 release of Little Einsteins: Our Huge Adventure, Disney and the Baby Einstein company are kicking off the “Disney's Little Einsteins” series.

The first title in the series is a 60-minute feature movie that combines animated characters and live action. Our Huge Adventure will be priced at $19.99 DVD/VHS. Prebook is July 12. Bonus features include a “Navajo Maze Set-Top Game,” a “Meet the Team” introduction to the “Little Einsteins” characters and a “Disneypedia” program.

“‘Baby Einstein' is the No. 1 infant franchise,” said Lori MacPherson, SVP of brand marketing and product management for Buena Vista Home Entertainment. Noting that the preschool market is larger than the infant market, Disney recognized the significant opportunity to expand the franchise to preschoolers, she said.

Building on the “Baby Einstein” series, which teaches classical music, real-world objects and art, the “Little Einsteins” series expands on those same elements.

“It's much more participatory [than ‘Baby Einstein'],” MacPherson said.

The series takes kids on musical adventures and to real-world destinations, along the way encouraging them to participate in problem-solving missions.

Our Huge Adventure stars the series' four original characters — Leo, Annie, June and Quincy — who each go on different missions. Preschoolers are asked to participate and answer different questions in an interactivity component similar to “Dora the Explorer.” This similarity is no coincidence, as the series was developed by Eric Weiner, best known for his work as co-creator of “Dora.”

To round out the creative team for “Disney's Little Einsteins,” Disney assembled the creators of “Baby Einstein,” the head writer for “Blues Clues” and the educational consultant for “Sesame Street” to work on the project.

“It's the ultimate preschool dream team,” MacPherson said.

The series will be supported by a TV series scheduled to air on the Disney Channel in the Playhouse Disney block beginning in October.

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