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Cartoonito Takes a Modern Approach to Preschool Programming


I had the privilege of attending the Cartoonito Virtual Press Junket this past Monday and was so impressed with how much time, effort and thought has gone into the making of the show.  There are so many passionate people involved behind the scenes, and you can learn all about them below.   

The main message I got from the junket about the show is that they want it to be a show that encourages children to be respectful and understanding to everyone, everywhere so that they can be the best humans possible.  It also wants to help children to learn about all different cultures. The show takes a modern approach to preschool programming and learning with their Humancentric Learning Philosophy.  You can learn more about it below.

The activities on the show will be parent friendly and incorporate items that most people already have in their homes.

There are many great programs that will be featured on the show with friendly characters you and your little ones will love.

WarnerMedia Kids & Family Sets Sept. 13 for Cartoonito Preschool Block on HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Little Ellen, Pocoyo, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo Season Two, Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go™ and More Preschool Staples Lead New, Modern Programming Slate Humancentric Learning Philosophy Reflected in Show CurriculaCurated by Education Experts

Aug. 16, 2021—Burbank, CA—Just in time for the school year, WarnerMedia Kids & Family will launch the Cartoonito preschool block Monday, Sept. 13 on HBO Max and Cartoon Network. The new block offers a modern approach to preschool programming with its proprietary educational framework, Humancentric Learning. A growing roster of new and library series will add to a slate that celebrates individuality and originality, while championing creativity, compassion and inclusion.On HBO Max, Cartoonito programming will be presented as a dedicated page featuring a collection of new preschool shows including Little Ellen and the second season of the The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, along with other staples, Esme & Roy, Sesame Street and more.Cartoonito on Cartoon Network will be available Monday-Friday (6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET/PT) and will include new series Bing, Mush-Mush & The Mushables and Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go™.Preschoolers and families can also tune in Saturday-Sunday (6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. ET/PT) for additional new Cartoonito shows including Lucas the Spider.

“Cartoonito’s offerings on HBO Max and Cartoon Network will reflect a wide array of diverse content that connects kids and their caregivers through relatable stories, lovable characters and meaningful social emotional learning both in and between the shows,” said Amy Friedman, Head of Kids & Family Programming, Warner Bros. “We are now in the homestretch and we can’t wait for our four hosts Nito, Glob, Wedge, and Itty to take preschoolers and their families into the expansive world of Cartoonito.” Cartoonito strives to be a space where little ones are free to be themselves, let their creativity flourish and become caring community members. This fresh take on preschool programming is guided by Cartoonito Proprietary HumanCentric Learning framework developed in partnership with Educational Psychologist Dr. Laura Brown which aims to help children develop their unique potential and encourage them to treat others with compassion, respect, and fairness. 

To align with this learning philosophy, all Cartoonito shows will have a curriculum designed by an early childhood education expert crafted to underscore one of four pillars of Humancentric Learning: Creativity, Caring, Curiosity and Courage. Little Ellen models optimism and resilience to build courage, Lucas the Spider explores his world to encourage curiosity, and other shows will  help preschoolers model strengths to become the best version of themselves and interact well with others.“The preschool years are a crucial time for development as children begin to identify, manage and communicate their emotions, build a positive self-image, and begin to make friends,” said Dr. Brown.``This learning framework aims to support these important skillsets through fun, engaging and relevant storytelling that empowers kids to feel comfortable in their own skin, believe anything is possible, treat others with kindness, and stand up to unfairness.”Cartoonito will also offer various resources to help parents and caregivers understand each show’s curriculum and extend the learning off screen. All shows will feature a visible learning badge—a short phrase and an icon that describes what Humancentric Learning goals the show teaches. The Cartoonitoparent website will include additional information about the curriculum and supplemental learning activities children and adults can play together to reinforce the learning. 

Parents can also follow Cartoonito on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for all the latest news, sneak peeks and resources.

Here is Cartoonito’s programming schedule for HBO Max and Cartoon Network beginning 

Monday, Sept. 13:

• Little Ellen (Season one)—Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Ellen Digital Ventures, Little Ellen is a brand new 2D animated children’s show that explores the world through the eyes of a hilarious and unpredictable seven-year-old Ellen DeGeneres. On her adventures in her musical hometown of New Orleans, Little Ellen takes big risks and makes big mistakes, but she’s always able to laugh at herself and bounce back when things don’t go as planned. 

• The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo (Season two)—The new season of The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo premieres Sept. 30 and will expand on the last, promising even more excitement andinteractive games, and a whole new look! Decked out in his suit and tie, Elmo returns as the furry

Meet the Cartoonito hosts!

The Cartoonito programming block features four fun hosts that will keep preschoolers and families laughing and entertained in between watching their favorite shows. As the colorful faces of Cartoonito, Nito, Glob, Wedge and Itty each have their own unique personalities and will star in playful interstitials that will encourage young viewers to embrace their uniqueness and interact with others with empathy, respect and fairness.


Nito is a magical box of joy bursting with imagination, surprise, and even other characters! Ever curious, Nito loves exploring the world and eagerly shares facts with others: “Oh, oh, oh! Pandas eat up to 40 pounds of bamboo a day.” They are a natural leader and everyone’s best friend.



Glob expresses themselves through shapes, not words, and physically shows their emotions. A neuro-diverse shapeshifter, they love playing pretend and becoming new things. Glob is very caring and protective of their friends--especially Itty--and is always coming to the rescue in hilarious ways!


Wedge can be cautious and careful, but is capable of feats of great derring-do with the encouragement of friends! A triple-threat trilingual character, Wedge is super into arts and crafts, loves to help others and is the ultimate team player.

 * Wedge speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin


Itty is the baby of the group and is just learning to speak. Like the world’s happiest toddler, they bounce through life and radiate positivity! Communicates with giggles, goos, and the occasional upchuck if upset.



Cartoonito is a new preschool programming block built to support each child’s unique potential and help them become caring community members and is set to debut on HBO Max and Cartoon Network Monday, Sept. 13. It is a place where preschoolers are free to be themselves and let their creativity run wild; a space for kids to experience belly laughs and draw outside the lines; and a place where compassion, respect and inclusion are championed. Cartoonito celebrates the youngest kids exactly as they are and embraces their individuality and originality.


Humancentric Learning is a proprietary modern educational framework developed for Cartoonito that aims to help each child develop their unique potential and encourage children to treat others with compassion, respect, and fairness.


Humancentric Learning was developed in partnership with educational psychologist Dr. Laura Brown and reviewed by an esteemed advisory board of academic experts in Positive Psychology, creativity, early childhood development, and diversity, equity and anti-bias education. This advisory board includes:

• Dr. Ron Beghetto – Creativity 

• Dr. Ed Greene – Early Childhood Development, Outreach, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

• Ms. Catherine Goins, M.P.A., MA – Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Bias Education • Dr. Karen Reivich – Positive Psychology


Humancentric Learning is inspired by Positive Psychology and 21st Century Learning. Positive Psychology focuses on identifying and developing strengths, building and broadening positive emotions, and developing certain mindsets (for example, optimism) that are related to flourishing. 21st Century Learning focuses on strengths as well, but the strengths children need to solve the complex problems of tomorrow. In a world where information is a click away and computers solve the simple problems, high level skills like critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration are critical to navigating our future world.


Humancentric learning focuses on four key pillars, Creativity, Caring, Curiosity and Courage, that help children become the best version of themselves.

• Creativity – Thinking and acting in new and meaningful ways. 

• Caring – Treating oneself, others, your community and the world with kindness, compassion, respect, and fairness. 

• Curiosity – Being interested in, observing, and exploring oneself, other people, your community, and the natural world. 

• Courage – Being brave and persisting in the face of uncertainty, fear, or diculty.

These pillars can be thought of as capacities, and when they are supported and expanded, children are better able to become their best selves and treat others well.


• Funny is good. Kids don’t watch what they don’t enjoy so Cartoonito leans into funny. Humor defuses stress, draws others in, and builds creative muscle.

 • Learning and growth are inspiring. Kids benefit from seeing real, relatable problems and characters who try, make mistakes, and learn and grow in the process. Cartoonito highlights and celebrates this process to normalize it. 

• Representation matters. What we put on screen influences what children believe is possible. Cartoonito ensures every child sees themselves in our diverse characters that play positive and aspirational roles in stories

• We stand up to unfairness. It’s not enough to empathize with others who are struggling. Being humancentric means being compassionate – feeling with someone AND wanting to help. Cartoonito characters stand up to and speak against unfairness.


Our early childhood consultants have a deep knowledge of early childhood development, media psychology, and the specific topic the curriculum focuses upon. This ensures stories are developmentally appropriate for our young viewers and the learning material reflects the most recent research on the learning topic.


All Cartoonito shows will feature visible learning badges – short phrases and learning icons that describe what Humancentric Learning goals the show features. The learning icons include: Resilience, teamwork, coping skills, kindness, caring and connection, listening skills, and encourages creativity, among others.


Yes. Cartoonito is developing outreach materials to help caregivers and teachers understand each show’s curriculum and extend learning o screen. These materials will be available on the Cartoonito parent website HERE.


Cartoonito will begin rolling out globally in 2022. Each territory will have a curriculum consultant, knowledgeable in both early childhood development and the varied cultures that territory serves to ensure that our Humancentric Learning framework is implemented with the respective cultural lens. They will also develop curricula for locally-produced shows as well as review scripts and animatics.


Every Cartoonito show has a curriculum that details the specific Humancentric Learning goals, why these goals are important to preschoolers and how the show supports these goals. The curriculum is written by an early childhood consultant who also reviews scripts and animatics to ensure stories support the curriculum and are developmentally appropriate, comprehensible, and beneficial for young audiences. Creators, writers, and other members of the show teams are also trained in the Humancentric Learning framework and the concepts that underlie it.


Amy Friedman

Head of Kids & Family Programming, Warner Bros.Amy Friedman is Head of Kids & Family Programming, Warner Bros. responsible for the creative and strategic guidance on kids and family programming for Cartoon Network and Boomerang, as well as the development and production of kids and family content for HBO Max. Friedman oversees strategy for new and current series, acquisitions, and co-productions globally for kids and family across the WarnerMedia portfolio of kids brands, while working in close collaboration with the animation studios, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios. 

Friedman is an accomplished veteran of the kids and family business. Prior to being appointed Head of Kids & Family Programming for Warner Bros., Friedman served as senior advisor on programming and creative responsibilities for Cartoon Network. She has also served in senior creative management roles at Nickelodeon, Noggin, TeenNick, Scratch (Viacom's in-house Millennial innovation lab), Sprout, and Universal Kids. Friedman is the Founder and President of Redhead Consulting, a brand creation and content development company focused on kids, teens and families. Her work in branding, inclusive storytelling and pro-social content has earned multiple Peabody, Beacon, Cable Ace, and Creativity Awards. 

ED Greene, Ph.D.

Ed Greene’s background and professional roles are in the areas of Child Development, Early Learning, Digital Media Literacy.

Ed formerly served as the VP for Children, Youth, & Digital Media Literacy at the Hispanic Information Telecommunications Network (HITN) and a former director of educational outreach HITN’s US Department of Education Ready to Learn grant. Professional areas of work include his roles as

• Advisory Board Member, Cartoonito

• Research Fellow, Knology

• Senior Advisor, Outreach Initiatives, Wonder Why Consulting

• Member, DEI Advisory Committee of the Children's Media Association (CMA)

• Trustee, Coalition for Quality Children’s Media — KIDS FIRST!

• His most recent work uses principles of digital storytelling to amplify youth voices about interests and concerns that impact their lives.

B.Mus Education DePauw University School of Music MA, Child and Human Development, Pacific Oaks College PhD, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Indiana State University, College of Graduate and Professional Studies

Laura G. Brown, Ph.D.

Laura has spent her career making compelling, high quality media properties and products for children. She currently serves as Curriculum Director of Cartoonito at WarnerMedia. An educational psychologist, she has crafted curricula and acted as Early Childhood Expert on numerous children’s television series including “Wallykazam!”, “Carmen Sandiego”, “Go, Dog. Go!”, “Mighty Express”, “The Wonder Pets”, “Ni Hao, Kai-Lan”, and “The Backyardigans”. Her clients include Nick Jr., DreamWorks Animation Television, Spin Master Entertainment, Disney Junior, Hello Sunshine, Imagine Entertainment, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, PBS Kids, Universal Kids, and many others worldwide.

Laura is also co-author of the new chapter book series, Trillium Sisters, and a contributing author at Osmo. She holds a Ph.D. in Applied Educational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BA from The University of Pennsylvania.


Tom Ascheim serves as President of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics. In this role, he is responsible for leading the global strategy for WarnerMedia’s Kids & Family programming across Cartoon Network and HBO Max, as well as Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Boomerang, and the company’s three powerhouse animation studios Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network Studios and Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe. In January 2021 Ascheim was appointed to also oversee Warner Bros.’ Wizarding World/Harry Potter franchise.Iconic IP, series and characters under the KYAC banner include Looney Tunes, DC’s animated Super Heroes, Harry Potter, Rick and Morty, Craig of the Creek, the classic Hanna-Barbera library, Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo, Warner Bros.’ unrivalled film library, and many more.   

Ascheim works collaboratively with his colleagues across WarnerMedia Studios and Networks to build, enhance and drive growth for the kids, young adults and classics brands across all platforms, while developing and implementing global and local strategies to unlock the full potential of the division. The KYAC brands are currently distributed in 192 countries around the world with its networks in 500 million homes and delivered through more than 65 channels in 31 languages. Prior to joining Warner Bros., Ascheim was president of the cable network Freeform, named to that position in December 2013. In that role, he had oversight of original programming and acquisitions, franchise management, marketing, sales and operations, and responsibility for the overall strategic and creative direction for the channel. In January 2016, Ascheim led the former ABC Family network in a major transformation, rebranding it as Freeform, deepening the network’s commitment to the young adult audience. Additionally, he was an industry leader in embracing streaming, pivoting Freeform’s business strategy to programming and marketing to both streaming platforms and the linear network simultaneously. 

In 2011 Ascheim joined Sesame Workshop as chief strategy officer and executive vice president of Sesame Learning, where he led the team in developing a digital, in-school and companion-home offering, which paired differentiated learning solutions with in-school assessment. 

From 2007-2011, Ascheim was chief executive officer at Newsweek, overseeing all global operations, web and mobile sites, and regional magazines in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. In this role, he successfully led the effort to sell Newsweek and worked with new ownership to merge Newsweek with The Daily Beast.In 2006 Ascheim was named executive vice president and general manager of Nickelodeon Television, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations for all of the company’s portfolio of channels including the #1-rated kids’ network Nickelodeon, preschool-targeted network Noggin, its primetime, tween-targeted arm, The N, and Nicktoons Television. 

Ascheim originally joined Viacom in 1990 as vice president of Nickelodeon Business Development and Media Products, where he was responsible for strategic and long-range

Tricia Melton, Chief Marketing Officer, Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics

Tricia Melton is Chief Marketing Officer for Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics (GKYAC). In this role, she leads global marketing and brand strategy for the new GKYAC division, which includes Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, Warner Bros. Animation, and Turner Classic Movies. Melton is responsible for all marketing aspects, including brand management, creative, social, and integrations, across all platforms. Melton previously served as Senior Vice President, Marketing, Brand, Creative, and Communications at Freeform. Prior to that, Melton was Senior Vice President of Entertainment Marketing and Branding for TBS, TNT, and TCM where she led high-profile, innovative and award-winning marketing initiatives for cable fan favorites, including Conan, The Closer, The Last Ship, Rizzoli & Isles, Falling Skies and Dallas.Past roles include Vice President of Marketing for Lifetime Television, where she  oversaw consumer, affiliate, ad sales and marketing for Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, and Lifetime Real Women.  She also served as Vice President of Marketing for Oxygen Media where shedeveloped the network’s brand strategy as well as the first-ever Super Bowl ad targeted towards women, which won a White House Project Award for positive portrayals of women in the media. Melton’s other positions include Vice President of Marketing for Food Network; Vice President of Marketing and Promotions for Channel One Network in New York; and the Whittle Educational Network, a Whittle Communications division. Melton holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Montevallo in Alabama and has held advisory board positions with PromaxBDA, the Advertising Board, the Peabody School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, and Melinc.