Moominvalley S1-2, TrollsTopia S1, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, Sesame Street, Pinocchio, & more
MOOMINVALLEY S1-2 | All ages
Moominvalley, adapted from Tove Jansson’s beloved tales of the Moomin family, won a 2020 British Animation Award for Best Children’s Series, and was nominated at the 2020 International Emmy Kids Awards and the 2021 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, among others.
Moominvalley’s stellar voice cast includes Golden Globe winner Taron Egerton (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Rocketman) as Moomintroll; BAFTA winner Matt Berry (Poseidon in the SpongeBob movies, What We Do in the Shadows) as Moominpappa; and Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Die Another Day) as Moominmamma, not to mention the likes of Oscar and Emmy winner Kate Winslet (Mare of Easttown, Titanic), Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders, BAFTA nominees Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd) and Bel Powley (The Morning Show, The King of Staten Island), and author Will Self.
The most expensive European animation series ever, Moominvalley is directed by Oscar winner Steve Box (Wallace & Gromit), produced by Emmy winner John Woolley (Shaun the Sheep), and written by award winners Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler (Peter Rabbit).
Since their first publication in 1945, the Moomin books have been translated into more than 50 languages and become one of the most successful licensing properties in the world, earning fans like Terry Pratchett, who called Jansson “one of the greatest children’s writers there has ever been”, and Philip Pullman, who said she should have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. As The Guardian says, “This loving, lavishly produced adaptation couldn’t be more timely: never has there been a better moment to introduce the Moomins, with all their optimism, openness and hospitality, their deep connection with nature and anti-consumerist ethos (without ever being pompous – with the exception, perhaps, of Moominpappa), to a new audience, and hopefully readership.”
You probably saw Tom Hanks’ Oscar-nominated performance last year as iconic kids TV show host Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. Now your kids can watch the Emmy-winning pre-school show Rogers created, Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood, inspired by the pioneering kids classic he hosted, Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood.
Integrating music, interactivity and a research-based curriculum, the animated hit show follows Daniel, a shy but brave four-year-old tiger who lives in the Neighbourhood of Make Believe with his family and friends. You may recognise Daniel’s voice: actor Keegan Hedley also voices Rubble in Paw Patrol.
Winner of a 2020 Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood has five stars on Common Sense Media, where they praise its “seamless incorporation of preschool skills like counting and phonics”, adding, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood appeals to preschoolers on a level that only animation can, taking the opportunity to teach them important interpersonal and pre-reading skills”.
MADAGASCAR: A LITTLE WILD S1 | Recommended for ages 5+ by Common Sense Media
DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar: A Little Wild follows the early years of the Madagascar movie franchise’s heroes – Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo – as they grow up in a rescue habitat at the Central Park Zoo.
Common Sense Media recommends the series for ages 5+, saying, “Like its parent movies, Madagascar: A Little Wild focuses on friendship as well as adventure… with consistent, positive messages about being yourself, not giving up, and being willing to pursue your dreams. The upbeat musical numbers are fun, too.”
Eric Petersen was nominated for a 2021 Emmy for his voice performance as Ant’ney.
TROLLSTOPIA S1 | Recommended for ages 6+ by Common Sense Media
If your kids are hooked on the troll-ific Trolls World Tour movie from Dreamworks, we have great news: TrollsTopia – the series – catches up with Poppy and the other enchanting characters for more hair-raising adventures.
TrollsTopia takes place immediately following the events in Trolls World Tour, when Poppy discovered that there are at least six different Trolls tribes, each identified by a different musical style… Now that Poppy knows there are other musical trolls, she bottles up her endless positivity and invites delegates from every troll tribe in the forest to live together in harmony in a grand experiment she calls TrollsTopia!
TrollsTopia has a 4/5 star rating on Common Sense Media, where they say, “Kids will love the fun characters from the new tribes and how they perform catchy music in different styles. There’s lots of random silliness that will tickle this age group’s funny bones. TrollsTopia is visually beautiful with its candy-coloured world and copious amounts of glitter. Lead troll Poppy has a very high emotional intelligence, and sets a great example for how to be a good friend and how to openly communicate your feelings.”
SCOOB! | Recommended for ages 7+ by Common Sense Media
Scooby-Doo and the gang are back in the animated adventure comedy, Scoob!, where they must face their most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this dogpocalypse, the gang discovers that Scooby has an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.
Nominated for a 2021 Image Award for Outstanding Animated Motion Picture, this box office hit is recommended for ages 7+ by Common Sense Media.
Scooby is voiced by Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award-winning voice artist Frank Welker (who’s voiced Fred since 1969 and Scooby since 2002), with multiple-Emmy nominee Will Forte (Sweet Tooth, The Last Man on Earth) as the voice of Shaggy; Emmy, Kids’ Choice, Teen Choice and People’s Choice multi-award winner Zac Efron (High School Musical) voicing Fred; Oscar nominee Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables, Mank) as the voice of Daphne; and Golden Globe and Teen Choice winner Gina Rodriguez (the voice of Carmen Sandiego, and Jane in Jane the Virgin) as Velma. Also listen out for Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg as Blue Falcon and Jason Isaacs, aka Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter, as Dick Dastardly.
THE MIGHTY ONES S1 | Recommended for ages 8+ by Common Sense Media
DreamWorks Animation’s latest cartoon series, The Mighty Ones,follows the hilarious adventures of a group of creatures: a twig, a pebble, a leaf and a strawberry, who live in an unkempt backyard belonging to a trio of equally unkempt humans whom they mistake for gods.
Voiced by legends like Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes’ Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck), Fred Tatasciore (Looney Tunes’ Yosemite Sam and Taz) and Josh Brener (Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Donnie and Neeku Vozo in Star Wars: Resistance, plus Nelson in Silicon Valley), the series was nominated for a 2021 Emmy for Outstanding Voice Directing for an Animated Series.
Decider says, “It’s got the quirkiness and manic energy we expect from a DreamWorks Animation series… Shows that anyone can go on amazing adventures, even if you’re just a tiny pebble or random leaf.”
WAR WITH GRANDPA | Recommended for ages 8+ by Common Sense Media
Peter and his grandpa used to be very close, but when Grandpa Jack moves in with the family, Peter is forced to give up his most prized possession: his bedroom. Peter will stop at nothing to get his room back, scheming with friends to devise a series of pranks to drive him out. However, grandpa doesn’t give up easily, and it turns into an all-out war between the two.
The 40th biggest box office hit of 2020 globally, War With Grandpa stars Oscar winner Robert De Niro, Oscar nominee Uma Thurman, and rising child star Oakes Fegley (Pete’s Dragon, Wonderstruck), as well as Oscar winner Christopher Walken, Emmy winner Jane Seymour and multi-award-winner Cheech Marin.
War With Grandpa is recommended for ages 8+ by Common Sense Media, where they praise De Niro’s “charming performance” and say, “This impish comedy brings the whole family together with a nod to appreciating their elders just a little more.”
THE SECRET GARDEN | Recommended for ages 8+ by Common Sense Media
The enchanting fantasy adventure The Secret Garden follows Mary Lennox, an orphaned girl who is sent to live at her strict uncle’s estate, only to discover it conceals a magical garden.
This newest adaptation of the beloved 1911 classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett is led by newcomer Dixie Egerickx as Mary, with Oscar nominee Dame Julie Walters as Mrs Medlock, Edan Hayhurst (The Midnight Sky) as Colin Craven and Emmy nominee Amir Wilson (His Dark Materials, The Letter for the King) as Dickon. Oscar winner Colin Firth (Mary Poppins Returns, The King’s Speech, Bridget Jones’s Diary) plays Lord Archibald Craven, returning to the tale 34 years after he played the adult Colin in the 1987 TV movie of the same name.
Nominated for Best Costume Design at the 2021 British Independent Film Awards, The Secret Garden is adapted from the novel by triple BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne (Enola Holmes, Wonder, His Dark Materials), and produced by triple Oscar nominee David Heyman (the Harry Potter films) and the Emmy-winning team behind the Paddington movies, Rosie Alison and Ron Alpern, with International Emmy and triple BAFTA winner Marc Munden (Utopia, National Treasure) directing.
PINOCCHIO | Recommended for ages 10+ by Common Sense Media
Pinocchio, based on the beloved fairy tale by Carlo Collodi, stars Oscar winner Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful) as the old woodcarver Geppetto, whose puppet creation, Pinocchio (newcomer Federico Ielapi), magically comes to life. Naive and curious, Pinocchio tumbles from one misadventure to the next as he is tricked, kidnapped and chased by bandits on his quest to become a real boy.
Directed by BAFTA winner Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah), Pinocchio was nominated for two 2021 Oscars, for its costume design and makeup and hairstyling. It’s also won 19 awards around the world and holds an 83% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus reads, “Sticking closely to Carlo Collodi’s original story, Matteo Garrone’s Pinocchio pulls every string to create a visually stunning film that proves some tales really are timeless.”
As with so many fairy tales, although it’s based on a children’s novel, Pinocchio can be unsettling and dark at times. Now dubbed into English, Pinocchio is recommended for ages 10+ by Common Sense Media.
COMING SOON: FROM 1 OCTOBER 2021
SESAME STREET S50 | Recommended for ages 2+ by Common Sense Media
Sesame Street got its start at the height of the civil rights movement and the war on poverty, in answer to a simple but powerful question: could television help prepare less advantaged children for school? In 1969, the show’s founders tapped researchers, entertainers, and other visionaries to create a “street” like no other, where colourful monsters, humans, and even grouches lived side by side. Today, the show reaches kids and families in more than 150 countries and 70 languages, with its landmark 50th season winning nine Emmys in 2020, including Outstanding Preschool Children’s Series – bringing their total Emmy count to over 190.
Celebrity guests in Season 50 include musicians Charlie Puth, Maren Morris and Dave Grohl; ballet dancer Misty Copeland; comedian Michael Che; and Olympic athlete Chloe Kim. The season also introduces Big Bird’s Road Trip, a special segment that tours the United States and beyond to find out what kids love about where they live. Later in the season, a new neighbour comes to Sesame Street. Played by Violet Tinnirello, eight-year-old Charlotte – her friends call her “Charlie” – is the first child to join the Sesame Street cast in more than 20 years. Charlie is a military child who moves to the neighbourhood with her family, bringing viewers along for the ride as she explores her new home for the first time.
Showmax has also added Emmy-winning Sesame Street specials like When You Wish Upon a Pickle and The Magical Wand Chase, as well as Season 6 of the SAFTA-winning South African spinoff Takalani Sesame, among other Sesame Workshop content.
THE NOT-TOO-LATE SHOW WITH ELMO S1 | Recommended for ages 3+ by Common Sense Media
Hosted by a certain furry red monster, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo is a star-studded talk show for the whole family that won the 2021 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Children’s Programming. With 13 episodes, each highlighting a different part of kids’ bedtime routines, it’s the perfect way for kids and parents to wind down together at the end of the day.
Elmo welcomes a star-studded lineup of guests to The Not-Too-Late Show to entertain families with music, games, and fun – with Cookie Monster as his sidekick, other Sesame Street pals as backstage crew, and even his very own house band! Performers like Lil Nas X and the Jonas Brothers put their own spin on beloved Sesame Street songs; John Mulaney and Olivia Wilde get competitive with tricycle races and teddy bear dress-up contests; Jonathan Van Ness gives Alan a “monster makeover”; and Jimmy Fallon and John Oliver stop by to give Elmo some hosting advice, and much more—all before Elmo’s bedtime!
With a little help from these famous visitors, The Not-Too-Late Show gives familiar nighttime activities like brushing teeth, choosing a bedtime story, and putting on pyjamas a fresh and fun twist that only Elmo could deliver.
The Not-Too-Late Show has 4/5 stars on Common Sense Media, where they say, “Who would have thought that this excitable red critter would be the perfect host for a late-night TV show? Elmo is great at banter with the guests, and the content is extremely family-friendly, especially for the preschool set… These 20-minute episodes could become part of a family’s evening wind-down, but they’re fun to watch anytime…”
The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo is created by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street and so much more.
DC SUPER HERO GIRLS S2 | Recommended for ages 8+ by Common Sense Media
DC Super Hero Girls follows teenage superheroes (and Metropolis High School students) Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Bumblebee, Supergirl, Green Lantern, and Zatanna as they fight crime and protect the citizens of Metropolis.
Created by Emmy-winning writer-producer Lauren Faust (who developed My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), DC Super Hero Girls was nominated for a 2021 Emmy for Best Directing Team for a Daytime Animated Program, as well as three 2020 Annie Awards.
“It’s empowering and inspiring and great to see female characters showing agency in a series aimed at children and so on – but also, significantly, it’s just funny as hell,” says The Guardian. “It’s wild, it’s colourful and it’s got my son already planning to be Batgirl for Halloween. Forget the comparatively feeble cinematic universe: this is DC’s greatest incarnation by far.”
Binge episodes 1-4 of Season 2 from 1 October 2021, with Season 1 already available on Showmax.
COMING SOON: FROM 4 OCTOBER 2021
THE CROODS: A NEW AGE | Recommended for ages 8+ by Common Sense Media
The 10th biggest movie of 2020, with a worldwide gross of $215 million, DreamWorks Animation’s “Croodaceous” adventure The Croods: A New Age follows the prehistoric Croods pack as they try keep up with their new, more evolved neighbours, the Bettermans.
Nominated for a 2021 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture, six Annie Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards, The Croods: A New Age is a “raucous, nakedly commercial but also wickedly funny sequel”, according to The Times (UK), while Empire Magazine praises its “vibrant animation and a wackadoodle sense of humour.”
Oscar winners Nicolas Cage (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, Leaving Las Vegas) and Emma Stone (Cruella, La La Land), legend Cloris Leachman (Phineas and Ferb, Young Frankenstein), Oscar nominee Catherine Keener (Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich), MTV Movie Award winner Ryan Reynolds (Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Deadpool), and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Clark Duke (Veronica Mars, The Office) reprise their voice roles from the first film, while four-time Emmy winner Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, The Angry Birds Movie) and Teen Choice nominees Leslie Mann (Rio, Knocked Up) and Kelly Marie Tran (Raya, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) join the voice cast as the Bettermans.
Also catch the Oscar-nominated original film The Croods on Showmax.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
That’s not all folks: Oscar-winning Pixar favourite Inside Out is coming to Showmax on 4 October 2021 and a host of 2021 award winner are already on the platform, including Looney Tunes S1, Dolittle, and Sonic the Hedgehog, among much, much more.