For almost 60 years, The Jim Henson Company has inspired children through the magic of puppetry. With its latest creation, Splash and Bubbles, these masterful storytellers are employing computer-animated wizardry and a new cast of characters to inspire kids to love marine biology and conservation while also teaching them to value and accept each other.
On Dec. 30, the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater will be one of a handful of theaters selected to screen One Big Ocean, a special one-hour preview of the PBS KIDS series’ first movie event. The screening starts at 10:30 a.m., is open to the public and free with Aquarium admission. Special discounted pricing for bundling the Splash and Bubbles screening with an Aquarium visit is $25.50 for adults and $16 for ages 3-12. Aquarium members, IMAX Club Pass holders and WTCI Kids Club members can attend the screening for free.
One Big Ocean, which will be broadcast on PBS stations on Jan. 16, was produced by the Jim Henson Company and Herschend Studios in collaboration with an advisory board of marine biologists, including Dr. Sylvia Earle. The program teaches children about marine life and the ripple effect that can arise from even the smallest of gestures. One Big Ocean’s story focuses on the epic adventure of Splash (a Yellowback Fusilier), Bubbles (a Mandarin Dragonet), Dunk (a Pufferfish) and Ripple (a Seahorse) as they attempt to rescue a young sea turtle.
Unlike Jim Henson’s landmark Seasame Street, the Splash and Bubbles characters are generated digitally using motion-captured performances by actors rather than physical puppets. Each episode includes animated stories and live-action content and incorporates themes of diversity, individuality, interconnectedness and the celebration of learning and discovery.
After the screening, guests can capitalize on their budding biologists’ brimming excitement for aquatic wonders with a visit to the Aquarium, where they’ll explore, learn and see real-life examples of the kinds of creatures they saw on screen.
One Big Ocean will debut on the same day as the January 16thlaunch of the new PBS KIDS 24/7 channel on WTCI-TV. The Tennessee Valley’s community PBS station will air Splash and Bubbles weekdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and on Saturdays at 8 a.m.
PBS will launch a suite of Splash and Bubbles-related digital offerings, including full episodes and educational games. Visithttp://pbskids.org/splashandbubbles/ for Splash and Bubblesvideos, games and activities designed for children ages 4-7. VisitWTCItv.org/education for PBSLearningMedia.org resources.