ZDF believes that an essential aspect of its task is to provide a varied and top-quality range of children’s programs. Children’s broadcasting takes place on two different platforms: within the main ZDF program on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and on the Kinderkanal, the Children’s Channel that is run in association with ARD and has been broadcasting with great success since the beginning of 1997.
ZDF’s children’s programs offer child-oriented, publicity-free, informative and innovative viewing which also aims to transmit social competence and media skills. Attractive genres and themes address all children to the age of 12, and hope to inspire them to join in and reflect about the themes of the programs. These include a great many animated and real-life series, feature films, fairy tales, magazine programs, information broadcasts, specials and in-house productions. In addition to many first airings, the broadcaster also offers children’s classics such as “Maya the Bee” and “Pippi Longstocking.”
ZDF Studios not only secures programs on the international market but is also actively engaged in the worldwide search for coproduction partners to execute international projects. For example, H2O: JUST ADD WATER is a worldwide hit series coproduced with Australian partner Jonathan M. Shiff, where real girls are suddenly turned into mermaids with incredible powers over water! Another smash hit series from down under is “Dance Academy”, the story of 15-year old Tara who has dreamt of being a dancer ever since she was a little girl. When she makes it into the National Academy of Dance - the best school in the country – it is a dream come true.
For children of pre-school age there is the animated series "IGAM OGAM", the wonderfully cute Stone Age girl, whose cheeky games can sometimes go awry. Or "Laura’s Star", in which a 5-year-old girl has a magic friendship with a star, presenting the outside world from a child’s point of view.
The second series of "THE JUNGLE BOOK" is currently in production for children of 6 – 10 years of age. Produced by Indian children’s animation company DQ Entertainment, THE JUNGLE BOOK brings to life the story of Mowgli, the boy raised in the jungle by wolves, based on the classic tale by Rudyard Kipling. Plus, the new addition of SHERLOCK YACK from France’s Mondo TV is a unique 2D animation where the children are the real detectives!