Jake and the Never Land Pirates (Series premiere in February, Disney Channel)
Yo, ho, ho! It's a pirate's life for David Arquette, who voices a parrot named Skully in this new animated preschool show about a crew of kid buccaneers and their adventures outwitting the legendary Captain Hook.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell us about Skully.
Arquette: He's a silly little talking bird, but he's sweet and looks out for the kids.
TV Guide Magazine: Are you digging doing voice-over work?
Arquette: To convey the world the animators have built — I love it. It allows me to express myself in a different way as an actor, to be larger than life. Plus, Peter Pan makes an appearance in a couple of episodes, and I've always liked him. At Disneyland, I love going on the Peter Pan ride; it's my favorite.
TV Guide Magazine: The show is also very musical. Will you get to sing at all?
Arquette: A little bit! It's fun.
TV Guide Magazine: Have you gotten any feedback on the show from your 6-year-old daughter, Coco?
Arquette: She loves princesses, and there's a Little Mermaid-like character in the show, so [she thinks] that's cool. She likes it a lot. I always look for things that I know she'll enjoy.
Power Rangers Samurai (Series premiere 2/7, 8/7c, Nickelodeon)
It's morphin' time again! And a new generation of teen heroes is primed to kick some bad-guy butt. Kid viewers (and even some grown-ups) are going to flip for Rangers Jayden (Red), Kevin (Blue), Mia (Pink), Emily (Yellow) and Mike (Green) as they harness the elements of nature — fire, water, sky, forest and earth — in their battle against evil. While updating the series, Elie Dekel — president of Saban Brands, owners of the mega-popular Power Rangers franchise — says they have been "careful to keep the DNA of the show consistent, so you can look forward to more of the fun, humor, heart and intense, somewhat silly action that has been a trademark for years." Go, go, Power Rangers!
Wild Kratts (Weekdays, PBS, check local listings)
Lions and tigers and bears... Oh, my! School-age animal lovers will get a thrill watching the latest television creation from Chris and Martin Kratt, the zoologist siblings behind the popular PBS series Kratts' Creatures and Zoboomafoo. This time around, the brothers get animated, too, which is supercool, says Chris. "We can go places and see things that you just can't in real life." In the cartoon, the guys travel the world for encounters with creatures that are familiar (crocodiles, worms, a platypus and pigeons) and some not so familiar (a conehead katydid, a tiger quoll and the recently discovered colossal squid). "Each episode is like a mini-movie, and the animal characters are teaching kids science while on a wild adventure-comedy ride," says Martin. "We want to introduce viewers to amazing animals and encourage them to do things to save their fellow creatures." The added bonus comes when parents and teachers — whom Chris describes as being "blown away by what comes out of their kids' mouths about animals" — approach them
on the street. Now that's something to crow about.