Gabby’s Dollhouse premieres today on Netflix! If you have a preschool aged child, you’re going to want to share this with them. I had the opportunity to sit down with the Executive Producers, Traci Paige Johnson and Jennifer Twomey to chat about this adorable show.
It was a pleasure to chat with these two and screen the first few episodes of this adorable show. It is geared towards the preschool age and the executive producers, as Moms, have made this show fun and engaging.
About Gabby’s Dollhouse
From celebrated preschool creators and executive producers, Traci Paige Johnson and Jennifer Twomey, DreamWorks Gabby’s Dollhouse is a mixed-media preschool series with a surprise inside! Follow Gabby as she unboxes a surprise before jumping into a fantastical animated world full of adorable cat characters that live inside her dollhouse. Join the adventure when Gabby’s Dollhouse premieres on Netflix January 5.
Gabby’s Dollhouse emphasizes a growth mindset, inspiring kids to turn their missteps and mistakes into something creative and beautiful. True to Gabby’s signature phrase “we failed fantastically,” every episode encourages flexible thinking and imaginative problem-solving through resilience and resourcefulness. Through DIY crafting projects, baking recipes and brain games, every room of Gabby’s Dollhouse is filled with exciting activities and magical adventures to keep kids engaged and entertained.
Interview with Traci Paige Johnson and Jennifer Twomey
Chatting with these two was SO much fun! I also had the opportunity to share this opportunity with Sofie, our newest little one, too!
Do you have a favorite episode, DIY or craft?
Jennifer – “One of my favorite episodes is the hiccup episode where Gabby has the hiccups. We’ve all had the hiccups in our lives so we really pushed ourselves to come up with fun and unique ideas for that episode that felt quirky and unique. We’re always trying because there are so many preschool shows out there and everyone has done the birthday show or the pirate show. So, we found a way to how does Gabby do it differently? I feel like hiccups really epitomizes that with all of the different things she tries to get rid of her hiccups. They all just feel a little wacky and crazy and unique. But also with the growth mindset, she doesn’t give up! No matter if something fails, she never gives up!”
Traci – “One of my favorites is upcoming, it hasn’t dropped yet. Its called “Cakey’s Cousins” and its all about hanging out with your cousins. At the beginning of the set, we have live kittens on set! Which we just shot, we had 6 kittens on set, it was fun! And then Gabby unboxes little cupcake cousins who come into the dollhouse for a playdate. Cakey has everything all planned out you know the way its going to go.
Of course it doesn’t go as planned. Putting my producer and Mom hat on, I have things all planned out for my kids like making cookies and all but then havoc ensues and things do not go as planned. They all still end up having fun, of course, but the never give up mentality is there again! I just love the art of Cakey just rolling with it and saying its okay because we are making great memories!”
Laila does a fantastic job as Gabby! You all truly got a good one. How was the casting process for her?
Jennifer – “When we were casting for Gabby, Dreamworks put out the casting call, a wide net, all over the country. We saw over 1,000 girls for Gabby. But when we saw Laila, she had this connection and there was something just so natural about her. we felt that she could really connect with kids. It didnt feel like she was acting. She felt really natural and that she was playing and we just wrapped 27 episodes shooting here in NY with her and she is just amazing. She is a great kid.”
Traci – “She embodies the whole growth mindset and humor and talk about self confidence. Laughing at herself when she makes mistakes. Animation wise, she translates so well. She has these amazing eyebrows that are so interactive. She’s never done voice over before but she has knocked it out of the park!”
Was there a favorite thing that you got to bring in from your childhood to Gabby’s Dollhouse?
Jennifer – “For me it was the dollhouse. It is THE thing that I loved and remember so vividly as a child. Going into the dollhouse, creating these worlds, bringing my brother’s car into the dollhouse. My little glass animal collection. We both loved miniatures as kids.”
Traci – “Yea, I would say the miniatures. As a kid, I loved collecting all those little mini Hello Kitty erasers and stuff like that. Even making out of play dough miniature bacon and eggs and fruit bowls. Then to combine all of that together is just a dream come true. I have 3 boys so being able to play in the dollhouse is the best part.”
About Traci Paige Johnson
Traci continues to be a pioneer in the world of children’s television for over 25 years. Breaking through with her signature style of animation and creativity, Traci burst on the seen as the Co-Creator of Nickelodeon’s “Blue’s Clues.”
Not only creating the stories, characters and signature look of the show, but also directing and voicing the show’s star, Blue! She went on to Co-Create and act as Creative Director for PBS’s hit show “Super Why!” and Amazon’s “Creative Galaxy” where she invents all the handmade crafts that families can create together at home.
She currently acts as Creative Director for “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” having been integral in creating the look and feel of The Land of Make- Believe.
In addition to receiving a Peabody, multiple Parents Choice awards, and Emmy nominees, Traci continues to win awards and downloads for her food adventure series “Yummiloo,” “Screentime with Ash & Ollie,” and “Addison the Invention Detective” which is currently in its second season of production with the CBC.
She’s so excited to play in the world of “Gabby’s Dollhouse” as she loves cats, all things miniature, and knows it’s the shows that radiate heart that become the hits.
About Jennifer Twomey
As a Creator, Showrunner, and Development Executive, Twomey has been a leader in preschool television for over 20 years. She is a Peabody Award winner, a multiple Emmy Award nominee, and recipient of Gold and Silver Parents Choice Awards. As Co-Creator and Show Runner, of Nickelodeon’s top rated preschool series, “Team Umizoomi,” Jen guided the creative content of over eighty episodes through scripting, storyboard, design, animation, editing, and music production while also worked with Nickelodeon’s consumer products department, marketing, digital, and network executives to ensure creative consistency across all platforms.
As an Executive Producer, Writer, and Music Supervisor of Nickelodeon’s landmark show, “Blue’s Clues,” Jen was instrumental in the development and success of the breakthrough series. Jen worked as a Senior Production and Development Executive for Nickelodeon Preschool Television, overseeing current series and developing new content.
While there, she launched Jack’s Big Music Show and was Showrunner for over fifty live action music videos helping to establish Nickelodeon’s preschool music brand. She worked with co-production partner Sesame Workshop on the development and production of the Emmy Award-winning series The Upside Down Show.
Twomey is Co-Creator of the Emmy-nominated series “Super Why,” which airs on PBS. She is also Co- Creator of Amazon’s preschool hit “Creative Galaxy”. Jen’s childhood love of dollhouses combined with her passion to create unique content for preschoolers make playing in Gabby’s Dollhouse a dream come true.