By Mark Sottnick, Founder and Executive Producer of Rabbit Ears, and creative force behind our growing library of Rabbit Ears classic stories.
On a recent program on Oprah’s brand new network Diane Sawyer said that the secret to success is “curiosity”.
“I read once, which I loved so much, that this great physicist who won a Nobel Prize said that every day when he got home, his dad asked him not what he learned in school but his dad said, ‘Did you ask any great questions today?’ And I always thought, what a beautiful way to educate kids that we’re excited by their questions, not by our answers and whether they can repeat our answers.”
— Diane Sawyer
We at Ruckus and Rabbit Ears couldn’t agree more. No skill, no trait is going to be as important for success in this century as curiosity and imagination. And nothing builds this skill more than great stories, well told. Great stories open a young mind to worlds and opportunities beyond their everyday experience. A great story opens the child’s imaginative power.
Long before there was a Rabbit Ears, my wife Doris (pictured with myself at the left) and I dreamed of reviving the lost art of storytelling. We were both teachers and knew the power and beauty of a well-told story. Convinced that we could produce entertainment that would be a powerful force for young children’s imaginations, we started Rabbit Ears from our kitchen table.
Our premise is simple: We begin with classic stories that have brought joy and meaning to generations of children and create a script that breathes new life into the original tale, with language that challenges and delights curious young minds.
Then we invite renowned musicians such as Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Branford Marsalis and Elvis Costello to compose and perform wonderful music to accompany the tales. Finally, we choose gifted artists to illustrate each story with rich and colorful images.
We believe that quality entertainment can infuse children with an appreciation of literature, art and music that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Digitizing these classic stories as apps has brought even greater accessibility to our library. With modern technology, kids can take and watch them anywhere. The apps expand on a child’s already growing imagination with the new read-and-record function, which also allows a parent or loved one to read stories to their children from a distance. The video feature, combined with the text, provides choices for children, creating a whole new dimension to these classic stories.
We at Rabbit Ears believe that viewers of all ages will appreciate the craftsmanship and the sheer joy of our stories. We hope that you and your family will be entertained for countless hours by these extraordinary adaptations of the world’s best beloved tales.
Most of all, we believe that the stories will spark the imaginations of your child and foster the innate, active, inquisitive, curiosity that is most certainly the key to success in this century.
Mark Sottnick is co-founder of Rabbit Ears. He has an MFA in film from Yale University where he collaborated with the Yale Child Study Center on varied media projects.