Showcasing the hallmarks of great Disney storytelling -- fantasy and wish fulfillment -- Disney Junior's animated series "Doc McStuffins" tells the story of a nurturing six-year-old girl who can talk to the stuffed animals and toys that she cares for in her playhouse clinic. When Doc puts on her stethoscope, something magical happens; toys, dolls and stuffed animals come to life and she can communicate with all of them, including the toys belonging to her friends and other neighborhood kids.
Created and executive-produced by Humanitas Prize and Emmy Award-winning Chris Nee (writer on "Little Bill" and producer of "Deadliest Catch: Crab Fishing in Alaska") and directed by Emmy-winning Norton Virgien ("Rugrats"), "Doc McStuffins" is a production of Dublin, Ireland's Brown Bag Films in association with Disney Channel. The Hollywood Health & Society division of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center serves as its health and medical consultants, advising on basic health issues that are relevant to young kids and families.
Assisting Doc at the clinic are her much-loved stuffed animal friends: Stuffy, an exceedingly proud dragon; Lambie, her cuddly best friend; Hallie, a jolly and caring hippo nurse; Squeakers, an alarmist squeaky fish toy; and Chilly, a snowman who spends a lot of time getting check-ups at the clinic. Whether it's a case of loose stitching, low batteries or a blow-up toy who has sprung a leak, Doc and her pals are there to lend a helping hand, while imparting to young viewers the importance of taking care of oneself and others.
"Doc McStuffins" exemplifies Disney's brand values of celebrating one's family and appreciating diversity and difference. Doc's mom is a doctor who can be counted on to help Doc with her "diagnoses," and her dad is a chef who whips up healthy treats for Doc and her four-year-old little brother, Donny. Like a lot of younger siblings, Donny looks up to his sister and, although he is not aware of Doc's ability to talk to her toys, he knows she's the best healer for stuffed animals and toys around.
Each episode features two 11-minute stories in which Doc and her friends diagnose the situation and nurture the toy in need. The characters and featured themes are relatable to young viewers and are designed to ease kids' trepidations about everything from a doctor's visit to removing a splinter. Many of the stories directly address the kinds of issues that parents face with their young children when it comes to health, hygiene and medical care. In one episode, Doc's Jack-in-the-Box patient, Little Jack, is scared about getting a check-up. Doc (with help from Stuffy, Lambie, Hallie, Chilly and Squeakers) reassures him that Big Jack, his dad, will be with him the whole time, and ultimately she diagnoses him with a case of "Can'tpop-it is," which she records in The Big Book of Boo Boos.
Music plays a prominent role in "Doc McStuffins," with each episode featuring an original song that conveys the health lesson that Doc and her friends learn that day. Some of the song titles include "Be Good to Your Tummy," "Get Your Sleep On" and "Wash Your Hands." In every episode, Doc and her helpers also sing "The Check-Up Song," an upbeat tune that is intended to assist parents in easing their child's fears of getting a check-up, as well as the "I Feel Better" song once the issue has been resolved for the "patient."
The "Doc McStuffins" voice cast includes: Kiara Muhammad as Doc; Loretta Devine as Hallie; Lara Jill Miller as Lambie; Robbie Rist as Stuffy; Jess Harnell as Chilly; Jaden Betts as Donny McStuffins; Kim Brooks as Mom McStuffins; and Gary Anthony Williams as Dad McStuffins. The series' theme song is performed by the star of Disney Channel's hit series "A.N.T. Farm" and Hollywood Records recording artist, China Anne McClain.