Pittsburgh connections abound in 'Lucky Duck' on Disney Junior

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 02:32 PM Written by 

Lucky Duck animation

For its first original movie -- take "movie" with a grain of salt; it's only 43 minutes without commercials, an ideal length for preschoolers -- Disney Junior execs chose several musical theater vets with Pittsburgh connections for "Lucky Duck" (7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday).

Find out who after the jump. ...

Lucky Duck voice actorsFox Chapel native Christian Borle ("Smash") gives voice to lead character Lucky and his fellow Carnegie Mellon University alumnus, Megan Hilty ("Smash") voices snooty hippo Flo. Tom Cavanagh, who has no strong local ties (though here's a stretch: he starred on "Ed," created by Pittsburgh native Jon Beckerman), voices Snap, an easily-frightened turtle.

Written by Michael G. Stern ("Sofia the First," "Imagination Movers"), it's a cute, involving hour for preschoolers, particularly an eye-popping opening musical number set in a factory for bathtub toys are made.

Lucky gets rejected because he doesn't squeak and ends up on a freighter with other, properly working tub toys. There he's ostracized because he's different. Before long he makes friends with a tub toy turtle who doesn't squirt and a plastic hippo with two different colored eyes. The trio have a high seas adventure before being rescued by a boy and his commercial fisherman father.

There's a hint of "Toy Story" in "Lucky Duck," though it's not nearly as clever. But it is sweet and the positive message will be appreciated by parents.

My 4-year-old son gave "Lucky Duck" the highest compliment in his arsenal: "I want to watch it again."

Here's a complete release about the "Lucky Duck" special:








-- Exclusive Preview Available on WATCHDisneyJunior.com and

WATCH Disney Junior app beginning Friday, June 6 --

Broadway and television stars Christian Borle, Megan Hilty and Tom Cavanaugh lead the voice cast of the animated "Lucky Duck," the first Disney Junior Original Movie.  Geared towards kids age 2-7 and their families, the adventure at sea tells the story of a trio of misfit tub toys in search of the kids who will love them just the way they are.  "Lucky Duck" premieres FRIDAY, JUNE 20 on Disney Junior (7:00 p.m., ET/PT) and SATURDAY, JUNE 21 on Disney Channel (9:00 a.m., ET/PT).

It will be available for verified users on the WATCH Disney Junior app for smartphones and tablets and on WATCHDisneyJunior.com, beginning Friday, June 6.

Showcasing its musical theater cast, "Lucky Duck" features six original songs, including the ballad "I'm a Lucky Duck," the up-tempo "Tub Toy Twist" and the heartfelt "Friends Will See You Through."

The story introduces an unflappable rubber ducky with a broken squeaker named Lucky (voiced by Borle) and two kindred spirits – an extroverted hippo with mis-matched eyes named Flo (voiced by Hilty) and a timid turtle named Snap (voiced by Cavanaugh) – as the they find themselves stranded at sea when the cargo ship they are being transported on is caught in a storm.

"Lucky Duck" is a production of Nelvana Studio in association with Disney Junior. The movie was directed by Don Kim ("The Adventures of Chuck and Friends") and written by WGA Award winner Michael G. Stern ("Imagination Movers"). Executive producers are Nelvana Studio's Irene Weibel and Colin Bohm ("Mike the Knight"). The songwriters are Rick Garcia and William V. Malpede ("Rango") and the underscore was written by Frederik Wiedmann ("Green Lantern: The Animated Series").

Parents and preschoolers are invited to play the online puzzle game "Tub Toy Tumble," beginning Monday, June 16 on DisneyJunior.com/LuckyDuck.

Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior's series blend Disney's unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. In the U.S., Disney Junior is a daily programming block on Disney Channel and a 24-hour channel. There are 34 Disney Junior channels in 25 languages around the world.


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