With Christmas spirit in the air and on air time, TV channels are going all out to bring in some good cheer amid times of economic slowdown and the memories of 26/11 not too far away. For kids, the channels have gone all out to reassure that good does triumph over evil. Children probably need to be reassured about this the most as the traumatic events of last month and the resultant curtailment on their kiddie activities have left them scared and subdued.
But with the spirit of Yuletide, exams being over and a winter break to look forward to, it s also a time for healing. Needless to say, the kids’ channels have their hands full in the coming days. exchange4media speaks with some kids’ channels to find out what kids can look forward to during this festival. All kids’ channels have planned a mix of fun-filled shows and movies to keep the kids engaged.
Cartoon Network is presenting ‘Cartoon Network Popcorn: Barbie Bells’, wherein Barbie movies would be screened back to back on December 25 from 9 am to 4.30 pm. The movie line-up for the same includes Barbie as the island princess at 9 am, ‘Barbie: Mariposa’ at 11 am, Barbie in the nutcracker at 12.30 pm, and Barbie in 12 dancing princesses at 2.30 pm.
Pogo will be airing special shows and movies on December 25 from 9.30 am onwards, starting with an animated TV special ‘Shrek The Halls’; animated feature film ‘Ice Age’ and ‘Ice Age: The Meltdown’ would be aired back to back starting 10 am. Continuing with the holiday spirit, Pogo will premiere the fifth edition of India’s first kids’ awards – Pogo Amazing Kids Awards 2008 – on December 28 at 10 am.
Commenting on the Christmas special programming line-up, Krishna Desai, Director Programming, South Asia, Turner International India Pvt Ltd, said, “Christmas for everyone and especially for kids is synonymous with family bonding, exchanging goodies and just being merry. Joining in the celebratory spirit of its viewers, Pogo showcases exciting shows and movies, making this Christmas a delightful experience.”
Nick, too, has started a ‘Nick Lift Ur Gift Contest’ from December 8, presented by Barbie & Hot Wheels, where kids celebrate Christmas with Nick by winning tons of gifts. All that kids have to do is tune in every single day from 4 pm to 8 pm until January 4, 2009, spot the prizes and the lucky winners win what they spot. Popular character Dora is being brought in town for a special Meet n Greet tour presented by Landmark, where kids get to meet, play games and dance with their favourite Dora, who will also hand out gifts to kids present in the stores across Delhi, Chennai, Lucknow, Pune and Bangalore. This initiative got underway from December 18 onwards. Other special screenings include ‘Mighty Cat Masked Niyander’, ‘Ninja’, ‘Perman and Tricky TV’, from noon onwards on December 25.
Speaking on the programme line-up for Christmas, Nina Jaipuria Elavia, Senior VP, GM, Nick India, said, “For kids, Christmas is all about family, fun and gifts. This vacation, Nick has planned a very special Christmas for all its Nicksters. With the launch of a new show, interactive contests, exciting on-ground events and lots of goodies coming their way, I wish them all an unforgettable Christmas.”
Likewise, Hungama TV has also planned a ‘Ta Ta (goodbye) 2008’, wherein the channel will feature the comedy marathons of all the best episodes of the popular shows on the channel. A unique watch and win contest will also be aired on the channel.
Jetix, too, has planned special shows and movies lined up for Christmas. This includes 12 days of Christmas celebrations which will see movies like ‘Spiderman’, ‘Storm Hawks’, ‘Power Rangers’, ‘Tarzan’, ‘GI Joe’, and ‘The Incredibles’ being aired on the channel. There will also be programmes featuring the loveable characters Herbie (the car with a mind of its own), Aladdin, Nemo, Timon and Pumba.
Play House Disney on Disney Channel will be airing a special episode titled ‘Mickey Goes Santa’ at 9:30 am on December 25. A Christmas special episode of ‘Suite Life of Zack & Cody’ will also be aired on December 25. On December 26, the movie ‘Camp Rock’ would be aired at 6 pm, which would then be followed by a first look at the new series, ‘Suite Life on Deck’, featuring the twins Zack and Cody from ‘Suite Life of Zack & Cody’.
Disney also has the Disney Xmas parade, a special Christmas parade of all the Disney stars at Disneyland, USA, at 11 am, followed by the movie ‘The Incredibles’ at 11.30 am. The programming line-up also includes the introduction of Disney Channel’s initiative ‘Talk Out Loud’, wherein the winners would be talking about their favourite shows on the channel. This programme will be aired on December 31. Disney Channel will also open audience voting lines for ‘Camp Rock’ themed ‘My School Rocks’, the biggest interschool dance competition across India held earlier last month. The capsules featuring the eight finalists will play out after the ‘Camp Rock’ movie premiere.
With so much lined up, parents can be assured that kids will stay at home in safe environs and have a time special time of family bonding.