Netflix Announces Upcoming Motown Show for Kids
Long ago, I was a wedding DJ. The challenge of being a wedding DJ is finding that one song that can get the whole dance floor active. Audiences range from 1 to 100, come from all sorts of musical culture backgrounds, and are at various levels of intoxication throughout an evening; so the challenge is always changing. If I was ever looking for an easy win, I would play a Motown song. Everyone likes Motown.
Netflix is keying into this universal fact by launching an as yet unnamed children’s program built around classic Motown hits from groups like Jackson 5, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, and more (Motown has an enormous catalog of hits to choose from). The animated show will follow the adventures of Ben, an eight year old boy with the ability to bring street art to life. Alongside his friends, Ben is poised to learn valuable life lessons to themes presented in classic Motown songs. The series will showcase the power of creativity, music and friendship.
The announcement indicates the songs in the series will be covers of the original recordings, brought up to date for a modern children’s audience. While the originals are amazing, for five or six year old kids those originals must sound alien at this point, so the update is understandable. Popular acts will likely be used to bring the songs to new life. The Netflix series Beat Bugs (Premiering August 3) features covers of Beatles tunes by modern artists as well.
The show will be directed by Josh Wakely, who is also heading up Beat Bugs. Wakely will be working side by side with none other than music legend Smokey Robinson to bring the Motown project to life. Having the singer of “The Track of My Tears” working on the production will add something extra special to the final product. These are great songs and, done well, the show is going to be a real crowd pleaser.