Nickelodeon is one of the world’s most well-established and respected producers of children’s television. Having produced quality media for 36 years, Nickelodeon is number one with preschoolers across all of TV. One of the channel’s most unique and recent successes is “Shimmer and Shine”–a show for preschoolers that follows the adventures of two genies named Shimmer and Shine. After a highly praised first season, Nickelodeon recently greenlit a second season which will feature 20 new episodes full of brand-new characters and magical locations.
“Shimmer and Shine” is an animated series that is moving to CG format for the forthcoming season. Airing in June, season two will continue to chronicle the adventures of twin genies-in-training Shimmer and Shine who will embark on more magical adventures with their human best friend, Leah. They will also encounter brand-new characters and explore vibrant new locales in the land of Zahramay Falls. “Shimmer and Shine” features a social-emotional curriculum highlighting the importance of teamwork, resilience and overcoming obstacles. The series, which is #1 in its timeslot, airs regularly weekdays at 11 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. Regarding the upcoming season, the official press release reads:
The second season of “Shimmer and Shine” will introduce new characters, including Zeta (Lacey Chabert, “Party of Five,” “Mean Girls”), a power-hungry sorceress who uses potions and spells to scheme against the genies; Nazboo, Zeta’s loyal pet dragon; Samira, a kind genie princess; Roya, Samira’s beautiful pet peacock; and Kaz, Zac’s new genie and friend. The new episodes feature CG animation and will be set entirely in the genie world of Zahramay Falls.
What’s more, Nickelodeon and Fisher-Price, a subsidiary of Mattel Inc., have teamed up to debut the first-ever “Shimmer and Shine” toy line at this year’s New York Toy Fair known as TIA. The collection includes basic and deluxe doll assortment and accessories featuring dolls such as Shimmer and Shine, Wish & Spin, and Shimmer and Shine Magic Flying Carpet as well as plush based on the genie pet characters, Tala and Nahal. Products will be available in the USA in July.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Fisher-Price on this adorable girls’ toy line that brings the magical world of ‘Shimmer and Shine’ to life,” said Jennifer Caveza, Senior Vice President, Toys, Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “Based on our newest preschool series, ‘Shimmer and Shine’ toys are designed to inspire girls’ imaginations and make their genie wishes come true.” Nickelodeon has teamed up with the following partners on additional products that will be available later this year:
• Apparel, Accessories, Costumes and Dress Up from Just Play, Party City, Spirit Halloween, Global Brands Group, Freeze, Children’s Apparel Network, Bentex, C-Life, Handcraft, High Point, F.A.B. Starpoint, Accessory Innovations, Global Design Concepts, ACI, Berkshire.
• Arts & Craft from Alex Brands.
• Games and Puzzles from Cardinal and University Games.
• Home Goods from Baby Boom, Franco, ZAK, Thermos.
• Party and Stationery from Bullseye Playground, DecoPac, Party City, and MediBadge.
• Publishing and Home Entertainment from Random House Children’s Books, Bendon Inc., Studio Fun, Phoenix International and Paramount Home Entertainment.
Additionally, Nickelodeon’s “Shimmer and Shine Enchanted Carpet Ride” app, which is inspired by the series, helps preschoolers with basic math concepts, shapes, patterns and symmetry, all while taking a magic carpet ride through the land of Zahramay Falls. The app–which ranked #2 in the Educational Apps category upon its release–is available now on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Needless to say, all this success is thrilling to the people behind the show’s magic.
“I love sparkly things, art and fashion so working on ‘Shimmer and Shine’ has been a dream for me,” Farnaz Esnaashari-Charmatz, the show’s creator, stated during a recent phone interview. Farnaz has always loved creating things and grew up enjoying shows like “I Dream of Genie”. She has worked with Nickelodeon for several years, having been inspired to create animation since seeing “Toy Story” whilst in high school, Farnaz interned for Nickelodeon right out of Cal State college and subsequently went on to land a full time job with the organization. Since then, she has worked on several shows but “Shimmer and Shine” is her first broadcast concept.
“The idea for ‘Shimmer and Shine’ came from brainstorming sessions where we sought to find shows about resilience,” Farnaz explained. “We also did research about what children respond to. Personally, I love glitter and genies as does my little girl. I used those interests to develop the show.” Even though she created the show, she has a dedicated team of writers who pen the episodes which have received rave reviewed from parents and kids alike.
“Shimmer and Shine” takes place in a unique and highly imaginative world that requires the writers to think up original languages, creatures and landscape. The mythology of the genie culture is due to be explored deeper in season two, something that Farnaz hopes will make the show even more appealing for viewers. She stated, “We want to show how the magic works in the genie world and explain a little more about where they come from. There will also be way more genie characters in season two! We want to make kids really believe in that world and willingly embrace it.”
Farnaz readily admits that the best part of working with children’s media is seeing the effect her content has on children. “I love googling ‘Shimmer and Shine’ and seeing videos and photos of children interacting with my characters. It’s so rewarding to see them responding so well to something we’ve created. It’s wonderful to be able to spread that kind of joy.” In ten years, Farnaz hopes to still be working in children’s media, perhaps even create a second show. “I want to keep growing and learning and finding ways to entertain people–and finding ways to dig deeper into the dynamics of ‘Shimmer and Shine’ is definitely what I want to focus on now.”
When asked about what advice she would give to those aspiring to enter the children’s animation industry, Farnaz stated matter-of-factly, “Be willing to start at the bottom and work your way up. You will not start at the top and you will need to be willing to do menial tasks at first. Stay humble, soak up as much knowledge as you can and treat everyone with kindness. If you do all that and are good at your job then you are very likely to do well.”
To learn more about “Shimmer and Shine” visit their official website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.