Two of the most prominent stars in BBC television are now lending their voices to the Disney Channel to educate children about poetry. Check out Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith, Downton Abbey‘s Michelle Dockery, and others as they read poems for Disney Junior.
BBC America posted the videos online yesterday of the segments that will be airing on Disney Junior this weekend and later in January. Each poem is prefaced by a collection of children describing what poetry is, which are all a part of the “A Poem Is…” series. A few of the upcoming segments will feature stars from Doctor Who and Downton Abbey.
We all know that the Doctor is good with children, so it’s no surprise that Matt Smith is one of the stars reading a poem on Disney Junior. Fittingly, the poem he reads is called Once They All Believed in Dragons by Jack Prelutsky, which touches on how people’s sense of whimsy has been lost over time. Who better to read something like that than the 11th incarnation of the Doctor?
The video corresponding to Smith’s reading features clips from Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Hercules, and a few others. On Saturday, January 5 at 8:55 a.m. EST you can watch Smith narrate a traditional folk song “De Colores,” and on January 19 at 7:55 a.m. EST he will be reading the Prelutsky poem above.
Downton Abbey‘s Michelle Dockery reads A Pleasant Day by Eliza Lee Cabot Follen, which will air this Sunday, January 6 at 8:55 a.m. EST. BBC America points out that “Downton fans might want to consider her presentation an appetizer” before the season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey in the states.
A Pleasant Day is a sweet poem about enjoying the day with friends and loved ones, and features many scenes of Disney films, including Bambi, The Aristocats, and Beauty and the Beast. Dockery’s reading of this particular poem has already appeared in the U.K., but the American audience will be in for a treat.
Another Doctor Who star who has previously read for Disney Junior is Catherine Tate, or as many of us fondly remember her, Donna Noble. She reads a poem by Hilaire Belloc entitled The Frog, which shows scenes from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.
Other notable past participants in Disney Junior’s “A Poem Is…” series are Kenneth Branagh, Ashley Jensen, Billy Connolly, and Richard E. Grant.
We love seeing these notable actors giving their talents to fun projects like this.