Montclair’s resident kid-toon guru Jorge Aguirre is back with a new animated project that your kids will want to watch: “Goldie & Bear,” which imagines that after Goldilocks was finished messing up Baby Bear’s porridge, chair and bed, the two characters became best friends and set out on adventures together in Fairy Tale Forest.
“As a writer, I’ve always enjoyed taking archetypes and putting a twist on them,” says Aguirre, who has taken a similar approach in the past with his “Giants Beware!” and “Dragons Beware!” books. “Given Disney’s long relationship with the retelling of fairytales, it was a perfect fit.” The new series is part of the Mouse House’s collection of Disney Junior shows that run on TV and online.
Actually, make that online and then on TV. “Goldie & Bear” premiered in September on Disney’s streaming-video app, with episodes going online two months ahead of airing on TV. (The series will be on the Disney Junior channel in November.)
But Aguirre shrugs a bit at the digital-first strategy, saying the way the episodes are being rolled out didn’t impact his creative process. “Our approach has always been story-first.”
It’s an approach that has served Aguirre well for a long time—he’s been a writer for “Dora the Explorer,” “Go, Diego! Go!” and “Handy Manny”—and he says the new series gets an extra boost from the top-flight team he put together. After laying a foundation with producer Rick Gitelson, Chris Gilligan and Milk Barn Animation crafted the visual approach. “Chris is an extremely gifted animation director,” Aguirre says, “and immediately understood the tone and look we were going for, which I would describe as ‘retro-modern Disney.’” Then Natalie Lander and Georgie Kidder took the main voice roles. “I could not be happier about our cast,” he says.
But Aguirre says the best surprise has been the feedback he’s gotten about composer Rob Cantor, who was brought in to do the series’ music. “Adults—myself included—can’t get the show’s songs out of our heads. Rob Cantor’s tunes are catchy and do a wonderful job of capturing our characters’ voices.”
Viewers who want to see what Goldie and Bear get up to with their Fairy Tale Forest neighbors the Three Little Pigs, Jack (you know, the beanstalk one) and others can go to disneyjunior.disney.com/goldie-and-bear now, and tune in via their cable boxes next month.