PBS' 'Let's Go Luna!' takes kids on a globe-spanning tour - Albuquerque Journal

PBS’ ‘Let’s Go Luna!’ takes kids on a globe-spanning tour

LOS ANGELES — Carmen, Leo and Andy are globe-trotters to envy, jumping from Paris to Nairobi to New Orleans and beyond in the company of a tour guide who knows her way around: Luna the moon.

PBS’ animated series “Let’s Go Luna!” is a road trip aimed at giving viewers age 4 to 7 a glimpse of the world’s people and cultures beyond their own familiar corner.

The series, which debuts Wednesday (check local listings for times), will visit all seven continents and 19 cities. Antarctica is the stop for a special Christmas episode airing Dec. 10.

PBS joined with Emmy Award-winner artist and writer Joe Murray (“Rocko’s Modern Life,” “Camp Lazlo”) to fill a social-studies need for its young audience, and the result is lively, fun and — don’t tell the kids — educational, since it’s public TV.

Carmen, a butterfly from Mexico, Australian wombat Leo and Andy, a frog from the United States, are buddies traveling with Circo Fabuloso, a performance troupe run by their parents. The group’s fourth wheel is Luna, whose nightshift duties makes her available for daytime adventures. As created by Murray and voiced by Judy Greer, Luna is a joyful — even madcap — companion.

In the first episode, her exuberant dancing unleashes minor chaos in Mexico City as she joins the children’s emergency search for a substitute band to entertain the president.

There are mariachis to meet, a tour of the city and a dash of hiccup-causing salsa flavoring the story, a taste of what’s to come as the series hopscotches around the world with clever, engaging animation.

Skeptics contended that young viewers would be at sea over the show’s concept, said Linda Simensky, vice president of children’s programming for PBS.

“We’ve been told a number of times that kids wouldn’t really understand global awareness,” with a perspective limited to their town and perhaps where relatives live, she said, adding, “We took that as a challenge.”

While history, geography, anthropology and more are folded into the series, the result is what Simensky calls a “very simple” concept: People do a lot of the same things all over the world, just in different ways, or they do different things to get to the same point.

“That sort of compare-and-contrast approach works well for this age group,” said Simensky, who knows her audience. She’s been at PBS since 2003, developing series including “Wild Kratts” and “Odd Squad,” and previously worked at the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

Murray made the jump from network to public TV for “Let’s Go Luna!” and found it a welcome change. As the father of a toddler and a 5-year-old he’s familiar with the barrage of ads targeting young TV viewers, and as a creator recalled one network’s request that he work on a fast-food spot (he said no).

“I started feeling more and more that this wasn’t really the place for me at this point of my career,” he said of network TV.

For “Luna,” produced by 9 Story Media Group, Murray has resources, including early childhood advisers, an anthropologist to vet cultural depictions and composers schooled in international music.

Each of the central characters was given a specific interest to explore in their travels. Carmen, whose mom conducts the circus orchestra, is musical; Leo, a chef’s son, is a foodie; Andy is an artist.

Episodes will be available across PBS Kids streaming platforms, including the PBS Kids video app. The series, in the works for about three years, was inspired by Murray’s own family travels.

“My wife is from Belgium and my kids have spent a lot of time in Europe. We could see the advantage of having kids be more exposed culturally to other places,” he said. “I thought America was especially kind of sequestered.”


Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber .

Home » Journal North » PBS’ ‘Let’s Go Luna!’ takes kids on a globe-spanning tour

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
APD reviewed every 2022 police shooting. Here are the ...
ABQnews Seeker
New equipment and training are among ... New equipment and training are among the actions proposed by the Albuquerque Police leadership group.
Meteorologists say El Niño typically brings wetter weather to ...
ABQnews Seeker
With the departure of La Niña, ... With the departure of La Niña, New Mexicans can expect to see lower temperatures and wetter weather in wintertime, a meteorologist said.
At 41, Holly Holm continues to evolve as a ...
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque's Holm, who at age 41 ... Albuquerque's Holm, who at age 41 has signed a six-fight contract extension with the UFC, soundly defeated Yana Santos — a mere kid of ...
Police: Albuquerque movie theater staff wrestled loaded assault rifle ...
ABQnews Seeker
An Albuquerque man was charged with ... An Albuquerque man was charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm into a licensed liquor establishment and negligent use of a deadly weapon in connection ...
FBI raid nets 100,000 fentanyl pills, 16 pounds of ...
ABQnews Seeker
One of the men arrested "was ... One of the men arrested "was found to be in possession of an incredible amount of drugs," a motion reads.
A basketball decision: Josiah Allick opens up on opting ...
ABQnews Seeker
Josiah Allick, a fan favorite who ... Josiah Allick, a fan favorite who many assumed would be back for the Lobos, entered the transfer portal. In his own words, he tells ...
After March snowstorms, Ski Santa Fe extends season
ABQnews Seeker
March snowstorms boded well for local ... March snowstorms boded well for local ski slopes. Ski Santa Fe on Friday announced that they will be extending their season through Sunday, April ...
Yodice: High-octane starters made All-Metro basketball selections simple
ABQnews Seeker
One final bow to prep basketball ... One final bow to prep basketball today as the Journal presents its All-Metro selections for the 2022-23 season.
Stansbury, Dems call on Buttigieg to increase train regulations
ABQnews Seeker
U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, D-N.M., and ... U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, D-N.M., and two other Democratic representatives wrote to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, calling for stricter regulations after a hazardous train ...
Readers chime in on confusion over flashing yellow turn ...
ABQnews Seeker
According to the federal Manual on ... According to the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a "study found converting circular green permissive left-turn displays to flashing yellow arrow improved ...