SuperKitties is premiering on Disney Junior, January 11th, and we were able to get some time with Paula Rosenthal, creator and executive producer of the show.
“SuperKitties,” coming to Disney Junior in January. Created and executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Paula Rosenthal (“Sunny Day,” “Peter Rabbit”), the new series features four fierce and furry superhero kittens — Ginny, Sparks, Buddy, and Bitsy — who are on a mission to make their city of Kittydale a more caring and “pawesome” place.
BSCKids: Tell us a little bit about how you got involved in the SuperKitties television project?
Paula Rosenthal: I’m more than involved, I created and developed the series. It was the perfect storm of passion and opportunity. I’ve always loved cats, all animals in fact, but I grew up with cats. And I desperately wanted to pay homage to the comedy and campiness of the old Batman series with a pantheon of, let’s call them “unusual” villains. While there were all sorts of amazing rescue shows or superhero shows, none seemed to capture the essence of what I knew could be achieved if we somehow kluged the two. That’s how SuperKitties was conceived, but it took a village to produce what is currently on screen.
How involved were you selecting the voice actors, tell us how they were selected.
I was very involved in the choices, alongside our casting director, senior creative team and Disney Junior. Disney Junior felt strongly that our core four heroes should be played by children. They couldn’t have steered us to a better place. Kids’ voices lend a sincerity and authenticity to the roles that we might not have otherwise achieved. Under the stewardship of Co-Executive Producer, Kirk Van Wormer, the long list of talent was narrowed, and I weighed in on top contenders. Oh, and they had to sing. A wide net was also cast for the villains. This time we needed very characterful voices who could not only sing but capture the comedy and deliver nuanced performances. Our villains aren’t really bad, they’re just misunderstood and need guidance. That’s where our heroes come in.
What do you enjoy about each one of the SuperKitties and who has been your favorite supervillain so far?
I enjoy each of the SuperKitties, but I love them as a team.
Ginny is optimistic and resilient. I enjoy her can-do spirit, her vulnerability, and her leadership qualities.
Buddy’s naivete makes me laugh.
I’m a technophobe, so it’s easy to appreciate Sparks. There’s nothing he can’t invent. And I thoroughly enjoy the Sparks and Buddy brotherly bond. They are there for each other first, last, and always.
Bitsy is a spitfire. The youngest and smallest, we are really following her journey as she learns what it takes to be a SuperKitty. She’s just adorable and I truly enjoy her energy and drive.
As for a favorite supervillain, it’s a daunting task to pick a favorite given the extraordinarily talented voices that breathe life into the characters. Since I can’t relate to a (cat) burglar, or a genius rat, I’m going to go with our narcissistic diva, Zsa Zsa, followed closely by a puppy who believes he’s in conversation with a squeeze toy (Mr. Puppypaws) as I’ve occasionally found myself talking to inanimate objects. (Though I don’t think any have responded.)
What has been the best part of working with your team on this show?
I’ve been in this business a long time. er…a VERY long time. It’s rare to be surrounded by a group of people with the passion, drive, talent and energy of the team on this show. Everyone involved believes in what we are doing and how a show with kindness, heart and empathy at its core could also be wrapped in a confection of comedy goodness. The team is cognoscente of the details and work tirelessly to ensure that we deliver on the original promise of authentic cat-like behavior, because being superheroes is what our kitties do, but being cats is who they are.
What has been the hardest thing in bringing SuperKitties to television?
The journey has been a joy. The show was met with enthusiasm from the moment we brought it to Disney Junior. When so many people are invested in the success of a project, it’s inevitable that there will be a myriad of opinions and ideas to navigate. Fortunately, we’ve all been aligned, and every idea brought us to this place – and a show in which we all take great pride.
What makes SuperKitties different from other kids shows airing and why should families be tuning in.
Great messaging! Kindness and empathy are our real superpowers. Though the SuperKitties solve the big, villain-instigated problems with gadgets, they solve the “problem behind the problem” using empathy. They listen, they learn, they lend support, they never judge, and they always show kindness. Important modelling these days. But stories are also executed in a unique way. Families will want to tune in because the show is also stylized and campy. We took the superhero genre and moved it left of center to a wackier, winkier place.
Special thanks to Paula Rosenthal and you can find more info about the first episode of the show below.
AIR DATE: 01/11/2023
“The Great Yarn Caper” – The SuperKitties must figure out why someone is stealing all the yarn in Kittydale.
*Justin Guarini (“American Idol”) guest stars as Cat Burglar.
“Get the Boot” – Lab Rat invents a giant boot to smush all the flowers at the Kittydale Flower Festival.