A Look at Amazon Instant Video’s Original Children’s Programming

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Following the success of its first pilot season, Amazon Studios has announced that it will be ordering five more pilots of original shows made just for kids.

If you’re unfamiliar with Amazon Instant Video, its model is a lot like those of its competitors in the streaming video biz. Like Netflix, you can buy an Amazon Prime membership to gain unlimited access to a streaming library, but you can also rent or buy a single movie or show without a subscription.

Obviously, Netflix isn’t going to let this happen without a fight. Both popular streaming services have been upping the ante on kid’s programming recently, which seems like a huge no-brainer since no one else on the planet can watch the same episode of something over and over like kids can. YouTube’s paid programming has also thrown themselves on top of the streaming dogpile with a few original content channels of their own.

As with any other business battle royale, the winner is you. Amazon’s three green-lit kids’ pilots are currently available for free, with more (subscription only) episodes on order. With the surge in confidence gained from the success of their pilots, they’ve also ordered five more kids’ pilots, including live action and animated programming aimed at kids aged 6-11.

Here’s a look at the three shows that made it. In other words, it’s safe to get kids hooked on these – there will be more.

Creative Galaxy

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In this quirky show from the creator of Blue’s Clues, an alien named Arty teaches younger kids about art without being condescending when it comes to vocabulary (the sidekick’s name is Epiphany).

The first lesson is on Pointillism, with reference to Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Once the lesson was done, the show went on to encourage kids to make their own paintings and crafts based on the concept they had just learned.

In her review of the episode, Amazon user momma lea said that her two-year-old son yelled, “I want to paint!” which she explains was a big deal, “because he’d rather play trains or some type of sport.”

Annebots

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In this series for elementary aged kids, Anne (who gives off a serious mini-mad-scientist vibe) creates three robots to help her out around the junkyard. Full of sneaky science learning and characters that do their best to defy kids’ show tropes, it’s a winner.

I liked when Nick couldn’t go online because his family had just moved in and the Internet guy hadn’t shown up yet. We’ve all been there, Nick.

The show is also slated to have accompanying apps available so kids can interact with the episodes as they watch. The pilot is a cartoon, but the final version of the show will be live action and CG.

Tumbleaf

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This unique stop-motion show will be a real feast for the eyes when it’s finished. Fig is a a blue fox-like creature with a painfully adorable best friend caterpillar, Stick, who lives in a tiny house strapped to Fig’s sleeve.

The pilot begins in stop-motion to show off its unique look, but most of the episode is animated. The final version of the show will be fully stop-motion. The show’s aim is to get kids to explore and discover the world around them, and it will do so in the most visually stunning way.

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