Prime Video’s ‘Do, Re & Mi’ hits all the right notes

The preschool animated series, Do Re Mi, launches on Prime Video today, September 17, inviting kids into a world that not only entertains them with melodies and harmonies, but also educates them about instruments, notes, a new musical genre in every episode. , and more. Three adorable birds, 12 episodes and a huge amount of music are now available to children in 240 countries.

It’s a project that creators Jackie Tohn and Michael Scharf have had around the world since 2014.

“I don’t want to call it luck, because Mike and I worked our buns for seven years,” says actor and performer Tohn, executive producer of the series with Scharf, known for his role as Melanie Rosen in GLOW. “But every step of the way for me and Mike we ask ourselves, ‘Is this going to happen? Or is it going to die here? Is anyone going to care? You just don’t know what it’s going to be. And at this point, we kind of feel like we won the lottery.

Scharf, known for The Moon and the Son: an imaginary conversation, adds, “I think the hardest part was that it’s all about simplicity in this industry. When you walk into a room saying there has to be a new song and genre in every episode, and you try to make an introduction to music education accessible to all the children in the world, most of the time. industry is not used to hear this big picture. Getting them involved and really understanding how influential the project can be is riddled with doubts. But at the end of the day, we’re just trying to make children’s lives better, and anyone can support that. “

The series, produced by Gaumont Television and Amazon Studios, drew FrozenKristen Bell as executive producer and voice of the Mi Blue Songbird, and Fast & Furious: Spy Racers‘Luke Youngblood as the melodious owl Do, with Tohn as a brave, lyrical and very rosy Re.

“The art is the only part of the show that I haven’t got my hands on, so I can say with confidence, without bragging, that this is the most beautiful children’s show I have ever seen in all. my life, ”notes Tohn. ” It’s just wonderful. And it’s shocking because we have this concept, and then you see this thing come to life and be so vibrant and beautiful.

The show’s three best bird friends – Do, Re and Mi – live in Beebopsburgh, a colorful town with piano sidewalks, guitar forests, beat-note bushes, instrument-shaped houses and trees with chime leaves.

“We really wanted to make sure it was all about the music,” says Scharf. “The characters will have musical symbology on their faces and their glasses, playsets and 3D animation sets will also be musical instruments. The plants of this world make instruments grow. There are the falsetto forests and the music mountain. Everything is fully engaged in music education and music terminology.

Led by their friend Maestro Moon, Do, Re and Mi go on an adventure to discover music and its role in problem solving. The show not only focuses on a new genre with each episode, but also features new bird friends and original songs from Tohn, David Schuler, Brittany Dunton and Jake Monaco.

“I like to call it ‘sneaky teaching,’ says Tohn. “I think what’s special Do Re Mi is that each episode has a musical genre, a musical lesson, and an emotional lesson. And all this takes place under the aegis of this beautiful and exciting musical spectacle set in a musical world. Thanks to our curious characters, the children who watch the series will learn because our characters learn in real time. The kids are going to have a great time watching, they won’t even know they are learning.

Scharf adds, “David and Jackie wrote some of the most amazing preschool music ever. And Fabien Ouvrard, our director, breaks the mold of preschool staging. It uses dynamic shots which, because of the music, give us this possibility of having clips. So we can have trained plans and all those things that are not traditional in preschool education and preschool entertainment. “

But Scharf and Tohn’s mission goes beyond the simple animated series. To accompany the show’s launch, the team is also publishing a storybook that tells the first episode of Do Re Mi, interactive musical instruments and playsets, a mobile game that incorporates aspects of music education – such as rhythm tracking, musical vocabulary, and instrument identification – as well as a guide for teachers and students. families designed to help educators and families help young children build basic musical skills by instilling a fundamental love for music.

“Music has always been a big part of Jackie’s life and my life,” says Scharf. “My mom wanted me to be a classical pianist and I took music education classes from kindergarten to senior level, although I wasn’t very good at it, but I had a wonderful time. We really wanted to create something that could give the kids, who didn’t have the chance, the experience we had.

For Scharf and Tohn, they see Do Re Mi as a testament to the importance of music in a world that does not regard music as a priority in educational programs.

“When budgets are cut in schools, the first thing to do is music and arts education,” explains Tohn. “From the start, we’ve been very passionate about our show mission, which is to make sure music education gets into the brains and hands of children.”

She continues: “Children who learn music don’t just become musicians. They become more functional adults. It helps with social skills. Arts education, without it, none of us would be where we are and it’s a shame that she’s the first to go. So, we are really passionate about replacing the education that was missing in schools.

And after seven years, the creators say what they’ve been looking forward to the most with the series premiere is watching the kids sing the songs of Do Re Mi and grow from experience.

The kids singing the songs are going to be crazy to me, ”Tohn says. “Every person I know who has kids, I’m like, ‘If I don’t get video footage of your kids singing these songs, I don’t even know what that friendship was for.'”

Scharf agrees.

“And then hearing different stories of kids outwitting their parents in musical terminology,” he notes, “And at an advanced level before they’re technically supposed to, would just be a huge dream for us. . “

Victoria Davis photo

Victoria Davis is a full-time freelance journalist and part-time Otaku with an affinity for all things anime. She has reported on many stories ranging from activist news to entertainment. To learn more about his work, visit victoriadavisdepiction.com.


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