On Saturday, March 1, Sedthee Thai Restaurant in Glendale, California hosted an 800 pound gorilla of sorts. Said behemoth, Curious George, was the honoree at the wrap party for Seasons 7-9 of the corresponding PBS Kids/Universal Animation Studios traditional 2D series. Cast and crew feted with abandon, much like the mischievous monkey star of the show.
The current televised episodic version of Curious George is based on the 1930s-60s French children's book series by H.A. Rey and Margret Rey. Much of the aforementioned, Emmy-winning cast and crew collaborated on George since the early 2000s. 2006 marked the theatrical release of the feature film by Universal and Imagine Entertainment. The first season of the TV series launched a few months later. The series enjoyed Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Children's Animated Program every year since 2007; it won two statues for that particular honor.
In addition to multiple cycles of the series, Universal also produced one direct-to-video sequel (2009) of the movie. Rumors about a second DVD sequel abound. In the meantime, Universal announced a brand new theatrical feature film by Chris Meledandri and his team at Illumination Entertainment, the creative force behind Despicable Me. The release date of that movie is yet to be determined, and the production team is unrelated to the TV series personnel. However, the point is that Curious George remains a primate on a mission to conquer Hollywood, one title at a time.
About the TV series, Design Manager Paul Trandahl quipped during the wrap party, "So many talented people contributed to Curious George. A lot of them are here tonight. I guess it takes a village to raise a monkey."
In addition to schmoozing, eating, and drinking, the Curious George cast and crew engaged in musical appreciation at the recent wrap event. Guests swayed to the dulcet tunes of folk singer Cassandra McGrath, daughter of series Supervising Director Jeff McGrath.