Five SDGs will be incorporated into the Thomas & Friends™ television series and an upcoming movie.
Sesame Street Muppets have incorporated sustainable development themes into their programming over the years as well, including on education about proper latrine use and sanitation.
A collaboration in early 2017 involved Smurfs characters that encouraged children, young people and adults to learn about the SDGs.
14 October 2017: The UN and the children’s toy company Mattel, Inc., have announced the most recent partnership to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into storylines for children’s shows. The Thomas & Friends™ children’s television series and a movie that will premier in Summer 2018 will incorporate five SDGs.
The five SDGs that will be incorporated into the Thomas & Friends™ series are: SDG 4 (quality education) SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), and SDG 15 (life on land). Related storylines will also be included in the movie titled, ‘Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie™’, which is expected to premier in Summer 2018. [UN Press Release]
Sesame Street Muppets have incorporated sustainable development themes into their programming over the years as well. In 2014, for example, Raya was introduced as a new Sesame Street Muppet who would engage with children on proper latrine use and sanitation in Bangladesh, India and Nigeria. Raya called for “more toilets in schools” and reminded everyone to wear shoes when they go to the toilet and wash their hands. In 2016, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Sesame Workshop joined with pianist Lang Lang to produce a public service announcement in China on the importance of access to quality early childhood development. [Sesame Workshop Press Release]
In February 2017, the UN, UNICEF and the UN Foundation announced a collaboration with the Smurfs characters for an educational campaign that encouraged children, young people and adults to learn about the SDGs. The campaign took place in the lead up to International Day of Happiness, which is celebrated on 20 March. [UN Press Release]