Introducing Jack, the Cuddly Dog — Former Blues Clues Animator and Award-Winning Filmmakers Create 'Emotionally Intelligent' Baby Video

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Just in time for the holiday gift-buying season, Hello Baby Productions announced the launch of "Jack, the Cuddly Dog," a soothing new educational baby video about a curious puppy named Jack who lives in Central Park, New York City. Created for children ages six months to two years, Jack takes tykes on a voyage of discovery, exploring shapes, colors and beautiful images of nature using a combination of hand-drawn animation by former "Blues Clues" animator Paul Beard and live footage. For more information, to see a preview or to obtain a review copy go to http://www.jackthecuddlydog.com

Today, Hello Baby Productions announced the launch of "Jack, the Cuddly Dog," a new educational baby video about a curious puppy named Jack who lives in Central Park, New York City. Created for children ages six months to two years old, the yellow puppy takes tykes on a voyage of discovery of shapes, colors, babies, dogs, farm animals and beautiful images of nature. The video consists of the animated puppy interacting with live action footage and features music selections by Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn. The video recently received an endorsement from Kids First! Coalition for Quality Children’s Media. Released just in time for the holiday season, the DVD makes a great gift for babies.

According to the Hello Baby production team, "Jack, the Cuddly Dog" continues in the tradition of classic baby books such as "Goodnight Moon" or "Winnie the Pooh" because of its charming simplicity, cute animal character and its artistry. “The character of Jack was inspired by a floppy bunny stuffed animal that my daughter carries around as her best pal and ‘security blanket.’ We want "Jack, the Cuddly Dog" to evoke the same kind of feelings of safety and cuddliness for toddlers and babies as they experience the video,” said Max Reynal, Co-Creator and Co-Producer, Hello Baby Productions. “This is what we define as the emotionally intelligent aspects of the video along with the hand-drawn animation (not computer-generated like much current media for children), gorgeous music played on a real piano by a concert pianist, and live footage that we shot ourselves.”

Another concept the Hello Baby Productions team focused on is showing life at “baby-speed…” The filmmakers paced the editing so that the images do not bombard infants and young toddlers with too much, too quickly, too early in life. “At a time when life is continuously accelerating, even for babies,” says Doug Morrione, Co-Creator and Co-Producer, Hello Baby Productions, “we want to slow things down a little… Our aim is to provide a fun yet calming experience for babies and at the same time make it more enjoyable for parents.”

Making "Jack the Cuddly Dog" a reality was not easy. “We had false starts with several animators before we found Paul Beard, who worked on the popular series, 'Blues Clues,'” continues Morrione, “Paul was able to express the sweetness and open-eyed wonder of our Jack character.” Tragically, Beard passed away last April at the age of 27. The filmmakers have dedicated the video to Beard’s memory and a portion of the video’s profits will be donated to the "Paul Beard Memorial Fund" to benefit Studio in a School, an organization dedicated to arts education for children.

"Jack the Cuddly Dog – Colors and Shapes" is the first in a series of videos that will continue as Jack explores different musical genres. There are plans to release a "Jack, the Cuddly Dog" baby book and plush toy in the coming year. Hello Baby Productions is based in New York City. The principal partners of the company are Max Reynal and Douglas Morrione. Both partners have won awards for their film and TV projects, including editing work by Morrione on the Emmy awarded film, A Yiddish World Remembered, which aired on PBS, Best Documentary for the film Vacationland from the New School for Social Research, and a Gold Award for Best Dramatic Short for Reynal at the Houston Worldfest film festival among other awards.

"Jack the Cuddly Dog – Colors and Shapes" retails for an introductory price of $15.99 and is currently available online at http://www.jackthecuddlydog.com as well as at select children’s stores.

Key contact: Max Reynal Tel. 917.414.0138, E-mail: max@jackthecuddlydog.com

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