In 2004, Cookie Jar Entertainment hired me to develop a musical show for preschoolers in which the main characters each represented a different instrument. I suggested we treat the band as "glam rockers" who live in a psychedelic rehearsal space and everything seemed to flow from there. We spent some time developing the concept and assembling a terrific production team, then presented our ideas to CBC in the hopes of getting some development money. Lightning must have struck because we walked out of that meeting with a 26-episode order. Over the next three years we produced 65 half-hour episodes. I was the show-running producer. I also directed 39 episodes and wrote 3 episodes plus a feature screenplay that wasn't produced.
Shortly after launching on CBC, Feldmans took us on a cross-Canada mall tour, and then a soft-seat theater tour. In our third year of being on the Disney Channel in the US, Feld Entertainment (producers of Disney on Ice, Barnum & Bailey Circus, etc.) produced an 80-city US tour and then repeated it the following year. I co-wrote the show with Carl Lenox and Daniel Franklin, and co-directed it with David Connolly, who also choreographed. The show sold out three performances at Madison Square Garden in New York and went on to play at Staples Center in LA, Sony Center in Toronto, Disney World in Florida, and many other venues across the US and Canada.
Toys & Record Sales
About half way through our run, Mattel signed on to produce a toy line. What an incredible experience watching our quirky little children’s show take on a life of its own. When our album and DVD came out we had a month-long run of being the #1 seller on Amazon.ca.
Once we reached 65 episodes of the live action series, CBC expressed an interest in changing the format of the show. Having just watched the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, I proposed we create an animated spin off in which a real life fan joins their favorite rockers in a psychedelic place called the Doodle-net and together they go on an adventure. CBC seemed to like that idea and so the Doodlebops Rockin’ Road Show was born. We made 26 episodes as a co-production with teams in Toronto, Argentina and Germany.
The original show can still be found on YouTube. We shot it in an old movie theater that had been converted into a television studio called Pie In The Sky. There wasn’t enough room to build all our sets at once, so we block shot the whole series, shooting all the scenes we needed for each set at once. Then we’d take a week off, tear down the old set and build the next, then go back and shoot all the scenes for that. We didn’t have enough money to shoot a real concert in our first season, so the concert scene at the end is just another set in the same studio. I shot the audience insert shots at a live show that Kids’ CBC happened to be hosting in Winnipeg one weekend.
Category Creative Media
Date 2004 - 2008
Guests of honour at the Disney World parade.
We made 26 episodes of the animated spin-off, The Doodlebops Rockin' Road Show.
Season One - Episode One
An episode of the spin-off, The Doodlebops Rockin' Road Show
You know people are watching when you're mentioned on The Simpsons.