© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kids Have A New Obsession: 'CoComelon'

SUSAN DAVIS, HOST:

If you know this sound...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: CoComelon.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVIS: ...You probably have a toddler in your life. That's the opening to "CoComelon," an animated musical children's series that centered around a young boy named JJ, his family and their day-to-day activities, like eating their vegetables and going to school. It's also one of the most popular children's programs in the world right now.

Meghan Sheridan is the senior creative executive for "CoComelon" at Moonbug Entertainment. And she joins me now. Welcome to the program.

MEGHAN SHERIDAN: Thank you so much for having me, Susan.

DAVIS: So "CoComelon" started on YouTube. It's now expanded onto Netflix. But could you quantify for the uninitiated just how popular "Cocomelon" is right now?

SHERIDAN: Yes. I'm happy to report that "CoComelon" is the No. 1 kids' channel on YouTube. And then for Netflix, we have been in the top 10 of all of Netflix's shows, including adult shows for the last year.

DAVIS: "CoComelon" has a very clear aesthetic, right? Like the characters are very wide-eyed. They move in a very deliberative fashion. It's almost entirely set to music. But a lot of the songs are repetitive melodies with new lyrics. And I'd like you to talk about the decision-making in order to appeal to that young eye.

SHERIDAN: (Laughter) I know. We talk about the CoComelon magic almost every day at Moonbug Entertainment. And I think it's a combination of the music, storytelling and animation. For the music itself, it is intentionally at a pace that is slower and on the wavelength of a child - and also, from a directorial perspective, think about the camera always staying with our kid characters. So we make sure that the stories look and feel like they're from a child's perspective.

And we intentionally soften all of the corners of the universe. Everything feels a bit bubbly, like if you landed on a hard surface, you would actually bounce back. Our goal is really to make the world itself a safe, friendly, wholesome and engaging place to be.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YES YES VEGETABLE SONG")

KRISTEN PRINCIOTTA: (As Mom, singing) Peas, peas - it's time to eat your peas.

AVA MADISON GRAY: (As JJ, singing) Yes, yes, yes. I want to eat my peas.

DAVIS: There's also a truth about a lot of good kids' programming, is that kids love it, and it drives their parents crazy. And I think there is a truth here about "CoComelon" in that it's become a bit of a meme at times on TikTok about parents, you know, driving them a little bit crazy, having to listen to the "CoComelon" music. But they do it because their kids love it so much. Any words to any reluctant parents out there (laughter) - how do you get them to sort of get on board?

SHERIDAN: Sure. Well, what I'll say is that our entire team spends a lot of thoughtful time crafting a takeaway for parents and kids alike, that it will serve as a toolkit for parents within their own lives. Whether that be modeling a skill, like helping your child transition from a crib to a little-kid bed or whether it's helping your child get dressed in the morning because they refuse to get dressed, parents should feel good when they're watching that we work with educational consultants. And even if they hear the music a million times...

DAVIS: (Laughter).

SHERIDAN: ...They can know that we are intentionally instilling nourishing values into the content itself.

DAVIS: That's Meghan Sheridan. She's senior creative executive behind the children's program, "CoComelon." Thanks so much for your time.

SHERIDAN: Thank you so much, Susan.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "YES YES VEGETABLE SONG")

PRINCIOTTA: (As Mom, singing) Carrots, carrots - it's time to eat your carrots.

GRAY: (As JJ, singing) Yes, yes, yes. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.