Disney Channel to Air Primetime Special Featuring NASCAR Champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Handy Manny Big Race" on March 20

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

February 10th, 2010

via press release:

START YOUR ENGINES AS HANDY MANNY AND THE TOOLS HIT THE MOTOR SPEEDWAY IN THE NEW PRIMETIME SPECIAL, "HANDY MANNY BIG RACE," FEATURING NASCAR CHAMPION DALE EARNHARDT JR.,

SATURDAY, MARCH 20 ON DISNEY CHANNEL

-- Wilmer Valderrama, Lance Bass and Cast Perform New Original Song --

-- Preschoolers Invited to Design their Own Race Car at PlayhouseDisney.com

for Chance to Have it Appear on Air --

Playhouse Disney's hit Emmy-nominated series, "Handy Manny," puts the pedal to the metal with the premiere of the series' second primetime special, "Handy Manny Big Race," starring Wilmer Valderrama and guest starring NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. and N'Sync's Lance Bass, SATURDAY, MARCH 20 (7:00-7:25 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney Channel. In this exciting primetime event for preschoolers and parents, Manny and the tools hit the motor speedway as a pit crew for the highly anticipated Wood Valley 500. The announcement was made today by Earnhardt and Valderrama at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Earnhardt said: "My 4-year-old niece is a huge 'Handy Manny' fan, so when Disney Channel approached me about doing this role, I did it with her in mind. It was fun doing it, and being 'Chase Davis' for a while. I know Kennedy will enjoy seeing me on her favorite cartoon."

Valderrama said: "Like NASCAR racing, 'Handy Manny Big Race' is something the entire family can enjoy together. I am so excited that we incorporated one of America's favorite pastimes and the legendary Dale Earnhardt, Jr. into the world of 'Handy Manny. '"

In the special, Valderrama, Bass (who recurs on the series as surfer-dude Elliot) and the cast of Tools perform the new song "One Step at a Time." A music video for the song will premiere Saturday, March 6 on Disney Channel and online at Disney.com/HandyManny. In addition, PlayhouseDisney.com will give preschoolers the opportunity to decorate their own race car for the chance to have it featured on air during the premiere broadcast of "Handy Manny Big Race."

A full-length preview becomes available on Disney Channel On Demand on Saturday, March 13. Select mobile providers will also simulcast the special in conjunction with the television premiere. Beginning Sunday, March 21, the special will be available at Disney.com/HandyManny and on a variety of mobile VOD distributors.

In "Handy Manny Big Race," Manny and the tools help Elliot fix up his used race car to enter the big Wood Valley 500 race. The car turns out better than expected and everyone is ready to race – except Elliot, who's too nervous to drive. Famous race car driver Chase Davis (voiced by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) steps in to help, but Elliot's nerves get the best of him. With the tools as his pit crew, Manny gets behind the wheel in an attempt to win the race for the entire team.

A Top 10 TV series with preschoolers age 2-5, the Emmy-nominated "Handy Manny," which is set in a multicultural, multi-generational community and follows a curriculum that models problem-solving, is available in over 140 countries and in 23 languages (Source: NTI, U.S. ratings, most current, ranked among preschool geared programs with minimum 10 telecasts. 2009/10: 9/28/09-1/17/10). The first primetime special, "Handy Manny Motorcycle Adventure," delivered the series' largest Total Viewer audience ever (Source: NTI, U.S. ratings, 10/4/09).

In addition to imparting life lessons about working together, communication and setting goals, the series also teaches viewers Spanish words and phrases and exposes them to aspects of Latin Culture.

Starring are Wilmer Valderrama as Manny, Carlos Alazraqui as Felipe, Dee Bradley Baker as Turner, Grey Delisle as Flicker, Nika Futterman as Stretch and Squeeze, Tom Kenny as Mr. Lopart and Pat, Kath Soucie as Dusty, Fred Stoller as Rusty and Nancy Truman as Kelly.

The series' cultural consultant is Marcela Davison Aviles, president and CEO of Mexican Heritage Corporation. Language specialist Dr. Rose Marie Garcia Fontana is the series' language consultant. Rick Gitelson is executive producer and story editor of "Handy Manny," which is a production of Nelvana Limited in association with Disney Channel.

"Handy Manny" airs weekdays at 9:00 a.m., ET/PT and weekends at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., ET/PT during Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney programming block for preschoolers. The series carries a TV-Y parental guideline.

Playhouse Disney, seen in a daily programming block on Disney Channel U.S. and on 21 Playhouse Disney channels around the world, encourages preschoolers to imagine and learn through original series, short-form and acquired programming that include song, movement and entertainment. Guided by an established curriculum, Playhouse Disney supports multiple areas of child development: physical, emotional, social and cognitive; thinking and creative skills as well as moral and ethical development through carefully constructed themes, storylines and endearing characters.

 
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