Disney tries superheroes for preschoolers with 'PJ Masks'

Tuesday, 15 September 2015 09:50 AM Written by 

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Disney Junior programming has already found success exploring the genres of pirates, outerspace and the Wild West, so given the nature of our current all-superheroes, all-the-time entertainment diet, it's no surprise Disney is debuting "PJ Masks," a superhero show for preschoolers airing at 11 and 11:30 a.m. Friday on Disney Channel (episodes will encore weekends at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Disney Junior).

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The series follows a trio of six year olds who transform into their superhero alter egos, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, when they put on their pajamas.

I screened the first episode for my 5-year-old son who liked the show but didn't get the connection between "PJ" and pajamas. And like another Disney preschooler show, "Miles from Tomorrowland," I have my concerns that this one also gets him too amped up with its action scenes so we won't be watching it before school.

"PJ Masks" appears to be a co-production, not a home-grown Disney series like "Miles." This one is more in the "Chuggington" realm, another series brought to Disney rather than created in-house at Disney.

Press notes explain "PJ Masks" "is based on French author Romuald Racioppo’s imaginative and striking picture book series “Les Pyjamasques.” A much-loved publishing property in its native France, where the books debuted in 2008, the series currently includes 15 titles with plans for two new releases every year."

"PJ Masks" emphasizes friendship and, in the first episode, the consequences of impatience, but if there's any attempt at an educational curriculum -- even "Miles" offers a tony bit of space science -- it wasn't obvious.

Still, anything is better for my preschooler than "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," so if "PJ Masks" satisfies my sons craving for superheroes, then it's a welcome addition to the Disney lineup.

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