American Red Cross
Prepare with Pedro
When an emergency strikes, do you know what to do? This is the question that the American Red Cross’s Youth Preparedness Group poses to 5-8 year olds, with a musical kids series starring their beloved mascot, Pedro the Penguin. And when they came to Duke & Duck back in 2020, asking us to write, direct, cast, record, design, animate, and compose original songs & music for this series, what could we say but – Pedr-OH YEAH!
Pedro Prepares for a Home Fire
Pedro Prepares Coping Skills
Pedro Prepares for a Wildfire
Power Outage PSA
Pedro Prepares for an Earthquake
A Hand Wash Story
Pedro Goes to a Shelter
It all started with development. Together with our Red Cross partners, we first embarked on the all-important task of shaping Pedro’s character. Knowing we wanted Pedro to be a relatable proxy learner for our young audience, we chose to emphasize our tuxedo-clad friend’s curiosity, sensitivity, silliness, and tendency to break into song & dance. From there, it was research time. With every story covering a different emergency topic from earthquakes, to power outages, to house fires, each episode’s creation began with us taking a penguin-style deep dive into the 3 biggest safety messages and prioritizing them within the structure of each story.
From there, it was time for some fun with design & script writing. Based on existing learning materials from the ARC, we designed a robust stable of charming & diverse human characters — a different group of friends for Pedro to learn with during each episode. And moving in tandem with design, we molded our scripts from outline to teleplay, keeping the stories as simple & easy-to-understand as possible while wedging open the door to our viewers’ minds with fun! Talent contests, treasure hunts, and cooking shows all helped wrap our curriculum material with fun & engaging packaging.
Singuin Along with Pedro the Penguin!
Then came songwriting, voice casting, and animation. Recognizing that songs are the best way to cement key lessons in our viewers’ long-term memory, we wrote unique lyrics for embedded & stand-alone songs for each video — all with an emphasis on simplicity and catchy-ness for easy recall. We also cast and directed our pool of actors (children and adults) focusing on their ability to convey a range of emotions and that trickiest of talents: singing!
Finally, with our team of animators, we took these musical numbers & stories and brought them to life using charming 2D character animation. From broad full-body dance moves to close-up emotional acting moments, our animation team let their talents shine, creating an animated series for audiences young and old to learn from and enjoy again and again.
All episodes are in Spanish too!
Creative Development Duke & Duck
Series Director, Producer, Writer Michael Capbarat
Art Director Katie Trayte, Hannah Churn
Animation Director Conner Troxclair, Hannah Churn
Designer Eri Hashimoto, Katie Trayte, Hannah Churn, Mon Nguyen-Vo
Animator Conner Troxclair, Todd Churn, Diane Shaher, Guilherme Gurian, Tom Mathieson
Character Rigging Bianca Duffeck, Sarah Zattar
Music Designer Andrew Ecklund
Sound Designer The Chicken