A sixth season of Chuggington (subtitled Tales from the Rails) is currently in production for delivery and is being released as of Summer 2020. It is the first season to be produced by Herschend Entertainment Studios, following their purchase of Ludorum. Michael G. Stern (Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates) serves as both head writer and co-executive producer, while Julie Phillips (VP of H.E.S.) serves as co-executive producer. Sarah Ball returns as a supervising director and voice director.
The new season has "a fresh approach with new formats, elements, and storytelling styles." New characters, expanded locations, and a musical soundtrack will be added, with some episodes being standalone, while others will be written to make up larger story arcs.
Prior to the new season, a series of 26 1.5-minute live action/animated hybrid shorts titled Discover Chuggington: All Aboard! where "live action kids globally will journey into the animated world of Chuggington" was produced to "to allow for increased audience interaction with the world and characters of Chuggington." The new series premiered on April 13th, 2020 in the US.
From Herschend's September 2019 press release:
"Season six of Chuggington will continue to delight preschoolers on A-list broadcast networks and top streaming platforms worldwide. In the new season, everyone’s favorite trio of trainees, Wilson, Brewster, and Koko, will embark upon exciting adventures that encourage teamwork, friendship, and fun, highlighted by a toe-tapping new soundtrack. Award-winning writer/producer Michael G. Stern (Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First) leads production, serving as head writer and co-executive producer.
The new season (52 x 10’) is all about discovery, getting to know the unique characters and the inner workings of the locations that make Chuggington so special. It’s a fresh celebration of the diversity, friendships, and adventures that have delighted audiences for the past ten years. To top it off, live action kids globally will journey into the animated world of Chuggington through an all-new hybrid live action / animated short format (26 x 1.5’)."
From Disney Junior's YouTube playlist:
"Let’s train together with Wilson, Koko, and Brewster as they ride the rails on exciting, new adventures of teamwork, friendship, and fun. Chug deep into unique locations like Safari Park, the Docks, Chug Patrol HQ, and the Ice Cream Factory to explore the dynamic world of Chuggington that’s home to a diverse and playful community of trains. Board relatable journeys full of humor, action, and heart, accompanied by train-tastic new songs!"
|Rock 'n' Rollers||June 29th, 2020 (USA)||1|
|Spy Train||June 29th, 2020 (USA)||2|
|The Extra Mile||June 30th, 2020 (USA)||Michael Rabb||3|
|Wilson's Broadcast Blues||June 30th, 2020 (USA)||Ryan Toyama||4|
|Sleepyhead Koko||July 1st, 2020 (USA)||Denise Downer||5|
|Odd Train Out||July 1st, 2020 (USA)||Danielle Koeing||6|
|Not From Around Here||July 2nd, 2020 (USA)||Michael G. Stern||7|
|My Hero||July 2nd, 2020 (USA)||Michael Foulke||8|
|The Mighty Koko||July 6th, 2020 (USA)||Michael Foulke||9|
|Piperactive||July 6th, 2020 (USA)||Craig Fernandez||10|
|Frostini's True Calling||July 13th, 2020 (USA)||Eva Konstantopoulos||11|
|Chug Patrol, Out of Control||July 13th, 2020 (USA)||Ryan Toyama||12|
|Wild Safari Park||July 20th, 2020 (USA)||Denise Downer||13|
|Glow Koko||July 20th, 2020 (USA)||Sarah Ball||14|
|It's Not Easy Being Clean||July 27th, 2020 (USA)||Michael Rabb||15|
|Monkey Sitting||July 27th, 2020 (USA)||Sharon Soboil||16|
|Wilson's Wag-A-Lagon||August 3rd, 2020 (USA)||Stacey J. Greenberger||17|
|The 3 Ways of the Track||August 3rd, 2020 (USA)||Bill Zide||18|
|The Fast, The Strong & The Wilson||August 10th, 2020 (USA)||Ryan Toyama||19|
|August 10th, 2020 (USA)||Craig Fernandez||20|
|Chug Encounters of the Train Kind||September 14th, 2020 (USA)||Ryan Toyama||21|
|September 14th, 2020 (USA)||Ryan Toyama||22|
TO BE DATED:
- The Great Chugger Caper
- Pumpkin Spice Chuggers
- The Art of Chug Shui
- Chug Swap/You for a Day 
In addition to forty-six episodes, two half-hour specials will also premiere as part of the season.
In addition to Alpha Group's new toyline, a massive marketing effort is being put in for Season 6. As stated in a press release, "the brand reintroduction will also be supported with refreshed and all new creative assets, a special minihub website (launched February 2020, with the kids' site set for a March 30th launch), broadcaster support, direct-to-consumer campaigns, promotional events, and global brand partnerships."
At Brand Licensing Europe 2019, Herschend met potential new partners across key catagories including publishing, secondary toys, puzzles and games, food and drink, sleepwear, apperal, and bedding.
The relaunched toyline was revealed at London Toy Fair 2020, before a larger and more elaborate display was shown at New York Toy Fair 2020.
The official website was relaunched in mid-February, with the new kids site set for relaunching in early April; the site was originally intended to launch March 31st at 12am, but the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a week-long delay.
A new app titled Ready to Roll! was released on April 8th, featuring several elements from the new season; these included new US voices and selections of music from the new season.
The new website officially launched on April 10th, 2020 at 10am EDT, marking the first public showcase of the series' new branding. The site and first Discover Chuggington: All Aboard! short were shown in "Milan's Chuggington Site Launch Celebration", a official collaboration between Herschend and The MilanToon Channel on YouTube. Later in the day, an official press release was released announcing its official airdate and confirming a Summer release for Season 6.
After airdates were confirmed via television guides weeks prior, the first promo for the season, now under the subtitle Tales from the Rails premiered Tuesday, June 23rd during the Disney Junior block on Disney Channel.
On July 7th, it was announced that Herschend would be partnering with Union Pacific and Safe Kids Worldwide on a national partnership to promote rail safety. The program commences in August, and will include "a Chuggington-themed PSA campaign, dedicated website, branded in-school safety folders and activity sheets, and social media campaign."
- Originally, the season was announced with an order of fifty-two 10-minute episodes; the final order is forty-six 10-minute episodes and two half-hour specials.
- Production on the season began in May 2019; Herschend will oversee the series' writing staff and completion, while Ludorum Enterprises Ltd. (with a new subsidiary Chuggington Productions Ltd.) will oversee production itself, with many key personnel from the original five seasons returning.
- This will mark the first season to produced without Sarah Ball serving as head writer; she has returned as the supervising director and an occasional writer, and voice directs several episodes (and presumably the UK dub).
- This will also mark the first season not to feature the original US dub voices, as a full recasting of the US dub has been done.
- Marketing materials shown at New York Toy Fair 2020, as well as the launch lineup for the Alpha Group toylines and the premiere of the Discover Chuggington: All Aboard! shorts, revealed the Depot, the Ice Cream Factory, the Safari Park, and the Docks will be among the season's main locations.
- A line of die-cast vehicles (giving the trainees temporary new designs) has been confirmed to tie into one of the episodes.
Behind the Scenes
- ↑ https://www.instagram.com/p/B-zeu1JDoRs/
- ↑ http://www.licensingcorner.com/character-entertainment/herschend-entertainment-studios-appoints-alpha-group-as-global-master-toy-partner-for-chuggington-animated-series/
- ↑ http://kidscreen.com/2019/09/10/herschend-gets-chuggington-back-on-track/
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 https://www.animationmagazine.net/uncategorized/discover-chuggington-all-aboard-shorts-sneak-peek-new-herschend-series/
- ↑ https://www.licensing.biz/herschend-entertainment-with-alpha-group-were-bringing-chuggington-to-life-like-never-before/
- ↑ https://www.videoageinternational.net/2019/12/09/news/new-season-of-chuggington-to-debut-on-disney-junior/
- ↑ https://tvlistings.zap2it.com/overview.html?programSeriesId=SH03537453&tmsId=SH035374530000&from=sl&aid=gapzap
- ↑ https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelo-cola-321ab962/
- ↑ http://www.herschendenterprises.com/files/091019_NewsRelease_HESStaffChanges_SeasonSix_FINAL.pdf
- ↑ https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryantoyama/?src=aff-lilpar&veh=aff_src.aff-lilpar_c.partners_pkw.123201_plc.adgoal%20GmbH_pcrid.449670_learning&trk=aff_src.aff-lilpar_c.partners_pkw.123201_plc.adgoal%20GmbH_pcrid.449670_learning&clickid=37UzArUKzxyOWfrwUx0Mo3cmUkizb8Vz0Sql1c0&irgwc=1
- ↑ http://www.hudsonagency.net/uploads/6/0/4/0/60403493/ryan_toyama_writing_credits_as_of_20190910.pdf
- ↑ https://www.totallicensing.com/licensing-classic-properties-re-imagined-properties/
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/user/AngelDaddyJames/about