The Jim Henson Company has officially launched its newest preschool property, Chatter Zoo, which was first introduced at Licensing Expo in June.
This is the first new brand that the company has premiered digitally first, with a new app now available for iOS devices. A version for Amazon Kindle Fire will follow in September.
"Kids today are born into the electronic world. We strategically set out to launch Chatter Zoo in the mobile tablet formats because we have recognized that this is how a lot of young children today are engaging intimately with characters and stories," says Melissa Segal, executive vice president, global consumer products, The Jim Henson Company. "We have plans to extend the brand into toys and other categories such as books in 2014. The property eventually will extend across all media platforms reaching parents and kids everywhere."
The app, which was created in collaboration with Mindshapes, teaches early language acquisition as preschoolers interact with four baby animals.
The Jim Henson Company is also developing the property for television and ancillary products.
The “Chatter Zoo” app features two activities, two interactive stories, animations, and music content.
"When we create a new world for a preschool audience, we want that world to be authentic and meaningful across many different media formats. In the last several years, the digital space has developed to be a highly powerful tool for preschool learning and, working with language specialists and psychologists, we've created this new app that provides opportunities for our audience to master specific language goals while caring for their new Chatter Zoo friends," says Halle Stanford, executive vice president, children's entertainment, The Jim Henson Company. "The big idea of ‘Chatter Zoo’ is that young kids at home, who are just a little bit older than our adorable baby animals, get to 'take care of' and 'teach' these characters the very skills that they themselves are in the final stages of mastering using interactive play that is based in a strong curriculum of vocabulary acquisition and early language building."