Entertainment One (eOne), Hasbro’s global entertainment studio, announced April 19 as the US premiere date of its all-new 3D CGI-animated series, “PJ Masks Power Heroes,” an evolution of the original “PJ Masks” series that made its successful Disney Junior debut in 2015 and has since surpassed 19.5 billion global lifetime views on YouTube. Premiering at 7 p.m. EST/PST on Disney Junior and the same day on Disney+, this new iteration will introduce the franchise’s first character with a disability, Ivan, also known as Ice Cub.
“The introduction of Ice Cub further advances the portrayals of characters with disabilities and demonstrates our continued efforts toward more inclusive kids programming,” said Olivier Dumont, President, Family Brands at eOne. “It’s our wish that the PJ Masks crew will represent a hero for every child.”
“PJ Masks Power Heroes” showcases the series’ original beloved characters Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko and the addition of six new diverse ”Power Heroes” who are ready to discover even more nighttime and crime-fighting adventures. Fans will also see new vehicles like the Power Q, new locations including an Ice World and Outer Space, and a reboot of the popular “PJ Masks” theme song to bring nostalgia and enjoyment for the next generations of kids and their families.
In the April 19 hour-long premiere special entitled “Heroes Everywhere”, an asteroid heads for earth, with the power to turn our heroes into villains. But help arrives from an unexpected source. “PJ Masks Power Heroes” introduces Ivan, or Ice Cub, who is a wheelchair user and uses crutches during the day, and in his night hero-mode, his upper body strength is intensified to stabilize his movement on a snowboard.
Ice Cub is voiced by actor Nylan Parthipan, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of two. “I am excited to see how an inclusive show such as PJ Masks will impact the lives of kids,” said Parthipan. “I hope more kids with disabilities watch Ice Cub and think they can be anything they dream to be.”
The original “PJ Masks” series also introduced its first Asian and Black heroes with An Yu in season 3 and Newton Star in season 4, respectively. By expanding the hero cast to represent a wide range of personalities, physicalities and diverse backgrounds, “PJ Masks” aims to teach the lesson that working together and supporting one another is integral as preschoolers begin to navigate new social relationships.