Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

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Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.jpg
GenreChildren's television series
Educational
Created byTodd Grimes
Based onOrdinary People Change the World
by Brad Meltzer
Written by
  • Julia Daly
  • Jiro C. Okada
  • Charles Johnston
  • Jennifer Daly
  • Desmond Sargeant
  • Meghan Read
  • Lakna Edilima
Directed byCory Bobiak
Voices of
  • Aidan Vissers
  • Zoe Hatz
  • Wyatt White
Theme music composer
Opening theme"Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum Theme"
Ending theme"Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum Theme" (instrumental)
Composer(s)Meiro Stamm
Country of origin
  • Canada
  • United States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (26 segments)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Jennifer Bradley
Editor(s)Meghan Read
Tom Hastings
Running time22 minutes (11 minutes per segment)
Production company(s)Brown Bag Films
9 Story Media Group
DistributorPBS
9 Story Media Group
Brown Bag Films
Release
Original networkPBS Kids (USA)
TVOKids (Canada)
Picture format720p (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseNovember 11, 2019 (2019-11-11) –
present

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum is a Canadian-American flash-animated children's television series that premiered on November 11, 2019, on PBS Kids.[1] The series is produced by 9 Story Media Group. It is a concept of the children's book series written by Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos, named Ordinary People Change the World.[2] The series involves Xavier Riddle with his friends, Yadina, Brad, and Berby, at the Secret Museum, and help from historical heroes, who are depicted in the series as children.[3]

Overview[edit]

The series involves Xavier Riddle with his sister Yadina Riddle and their friend Brad. In each episode, a problem or difficulty is encountered. They go to the Secret Museum, to time travel to the past, to observe, interact, and learn from the historical heroes. They then return to the present, and use their experience to solve the problem.[2][4]

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

  • Xavier Riddle (voiced by Aidan Vissers) – Xavier is the leader of his group with his sister Yadina and their friend Brad. He appears to be an excitable kid who is eager to go back in time and meet various historical figures. He is described as a kid who loves everything (especially art and basketball), but lives for adventures.
  • Yadina Riddle (voiced by Zoe Hatz) – Yadina is Xavier's sister. She seems to be eager to explore the secret museum and learn about various historical figures. She carries a stuffed turtle around with her named Dr. Zoom. She is quite talented, whether it be with books or with balls. Although Yadina is very extroverted (not a wallflower at all), she is only six years old. This means that she can be very honest with just about anyone, and sometimes even blunt. For example, Yadina dislikes meanness of any kind, and if anyone is not being friendly to another, Yadina will let them know exactly what she thinks of their behavior. When faced with conflict, Yadina is an expert at making others understand a situation from someone else's perspective, which ultimately requires empathy, self-awareness, and self-regulation. She also has a habit of making bad puns, which she fruitlessly tries to explain to Xavier and Brad.
  • Brad Scott (voiced by Wyatt White) – Brad tends to be the most nervous and neurotic of his friends and suffers from several allergies. He is sometimes hesitant to go on adventures since travelling back in time makes him dizzy. Brad is quite partial to butterflies, as well as action heroes and is a relatively good artist who enjoys drawing comic book stories. He is described as having "delusions of averageness", and is apprehensive over everything. His friends, Xavier and Yadina, encourage him to live a little and to try new things. He suffers from imposter syndrome.

Major characters[edit]

  • Berby – Berby is a time machine-like robot who lives at the Secret Museum. Berby helps Xavier, Yadina (and Dr. Zoom), and Brad travel back in time. Berby does not speak much, but makes robotic beeping sounds, and is good friends with the kids and Dr. Zoom. She also functions as the museums curator and ensures all of the exhibits are taken care of and in the right places.

Episodes[edit]

Each episode of Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum runs for half an hour. They consist of two 11-minute stories based on famous historical heroes around the world in the past.[5] There may be an interstitial segment between the two main stories, in which Berby, and either Xavier, Yadina, Brad, or Dr. Zoom, are shown doing something fun together.

Season 1 (2019–present)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code [a]
11"I Am Johann Sebastian Bach"
"I Am Marie Curie"
Cory BobiakWritten by : Jennifer Daley
Storyboard by : Cory Bobiak
Written by : Amy Brown
Storyboard by : Firas Momani
November 12, 2019 (2019-11-12)101
22"I Am Mary Shelley"
"I Am Harry Houdini"
Cory BobiakWritten by : Meghan Read
Storyboard by : Craig Taillefer
Written by : Desmond Sargeant
Storyboard by : Hong Qi
November 13, 2019 (2019-11-13)102
33"I Am George Washington"
"I Am Susan B. Anthony"
TBATBANovember 14, 2019 (2019-11-14)109
44"I Am Isaac Newton / I Am Golda Meir"Cory BobiakWritten by : Amy Brown
Storyboard by : Sean Janisse
Written by : Amy Brown
Storyboard by : Stephanie Ramone
November 18, 2019 (2019-11-18)106
55"I Am Winston Churchill / I Am Cleopatra"Cory BobiakWritten by : Jiro C. Okada
Storyboard by : Alex Greychuck
Written by : Lakna Edilima
Storyboard by : Firas Momani
November 19, 2019 (2019-11-19)107
66"I Am Catherine the Great / I Am Tomioka Tessai"Cory BobiakWritten by : Jiro C. Okada
Storyboard by : Sean Janisse
Written by : Meghan Read
Storyboard by : Stephanie Ramone
November 20, 2019 (2019-11-20)108
77"We Are the Wright Brothers / We Are the Brontë Sisters"TBATBANovember 27, 2019 (2019-11-27)111
88"I Am Mark Twain / I Am Abigail Adams"TBATBANovember 27, 2019 (2019-11-27)112
99"I Am Julia Child / I Am Neil Armstrong"TBATBANovember 27, 2019 (2019-11-27)113
1010"I Am Helen Keller / I Am Alexander Graham Bell"Cory BobiakWritten by : Meghan Read
Storyboard by : Alex Greychuck
Written by : Lakna Edilima
Storyboard by : Firas Momani
December 2, 2019 (2019-12-02)103
1111"I Am Florence Nightingale / I Am George Washington Carver"Cory BobiakWritten by : Charles Johnston
Storyboard by : Sean Janisse
Written by : Jiro C. Okada
Storyboard by : Craig Taillefer
December 9, 2019 (2019-12-09)104
1212"I Am Leonardo da Vinci / I Am Amelia Earhart"Cory BobiakWritten by : Charles Johnston
Storyboard by : Alex Greychuck
Written by : Jennifer Daley
Storyboard by : Firas Momani
December 16, 2019 (2019-12-16)105
1313"I Am Zora Neale Hurston / I Am Charles Dickens"TBATBADecember 23, 2019 (2019-12-23)110
1414"I Am Jackie Robinson / I Am Anna Pavlova"TBATBAJanuary 20, 2020 (2020-01-20)114
1515"I Am Mary Leakey / I Am Alexander Hamilton"TBATBAJanuary 21, 2020 (2020-01-21)115
1616"I Am Theodore Roosevelt / I Am Eleanor Roosevelt"TBATBAJanuary 22, 2020 (2020-01-22)116
1717"I Am Lou Gehrig / I Am Marie Owens"TBATBAJanuary 23, 2020 (2020-01-23)117
1818"I Am Madam President"TBATBAMarch 16, 2020 (2020-03-16)118
1919"I Am Harriet Tubman / I Am Abraham Lincoln"TBATBA2020119

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Movie: I am Madam President[edit]

A TV special titled Xavier Riddle and the Secret Movie: I am Madam President aired on March 16, 2020. In the special, Yadina, who dreams of becoming president one day, realizes all the presidents were men.[6] She questions if she can still be president, even though it is something no girl has done yet. The trio visit the Secret Museum, where a five-part star is shown to them. They travel to different periods in time, where they meet women who are attempting to do something that has never been done before. Yadina learns from them on what is needed to do something that has never been done before, as she attempts to complete the star.

Production[edit]

Brad Meltzer has been writing novels, nonfiction, television and comic books for over 50 years; his children’s books were his favorite. He wrote the book Ordinary People Change the World and began a series based on the book named the Ordinary People series in 2014 with I Am Abraham Lincoln, I Am Amelia Earhart, I Am Rosa Parks, and I Am Albert Einstein.[7]

The series is produced by 9 Story Media Group's animation division, Brown Bag Films. 9 Story's Chief Creative Officer Angela Santomero states that Xavier Riddle lets kids know they have "the curiosity and adventurous spirit to change the world". Meltzer added to that statement: "When my own kids watch this series, I get to see them realize that there’s extraordinary within the ordinary."[8]

Broadcast[edit]

The series ran on TVOKids in Canada on December 10, 2019.[9] And The Series Ran With Nat Geo Kids Latinoamérica And Nick India On July 12, 2020

Criticism and Reception[edit]

Joyce Slaton of Common Sense Media gave Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum a mixed review. She stated that "the show makes many historical inaccuracies, which makes it odd for a TV show that wants to make history come back alive for kids." She also stated that "the show's tendency to play too fast and loose with the historical facts is confusing, and that 'Go for it!' is an unlikely motto for Amelia Earhart, who deceased in 1937 and didn't complete her solo Atlantic flight as a grade school student, as Xavier depicts." George Washington Carver did have a secret garden as a child, in which he learned important lessons that impacted his career in botany. But, as Slaton states, "it's a real stretch to imagine him having to defend plants from renegade soccer players in 19th century Missouri," and that "the show seems to overlook his importance as an activist for ex-slaves and champion of sustainable agriculture, instead boiling his messages down to 'take care of plants and you'll take care of the earth.'" [10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2020 Annie Awards Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum Nominated [11]
2020 Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing for an Animated Program Pending [12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 9 Story files the copyright for the episodes under groups, rather than separate episodes, as seen here:
    • "Public Catalog". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved February 23, 2020.

References[edit]

Attribution:

External links[edit]