Kid-Friendly Star Trek Animated Series In Development, Animated ‘Short Treks’ Coming This Year

The universe of Star Trek TV series continues to expand, with the news that more animated Trek content is coming.

Kid-friendly Star Trek animated show in the works

The Hollywood Reporter got an interview with Alex Kurtzman today where he spilled the beans on new Trek content. He has plans for at least one more animated series in addition to Star Trek: Lower Decks, the animated comedy from Rick and Morty and Short Treks “The Escape Artist” writer Mike McMahan. This second series would be kid-focused, and unlike Lower Decks, may not be on CBS All Access.

Kurtzman contrasted the two animated series, saying:

“There’s other animated things that we’re building that are an entirely different perspective and an entirely different tone [from Lower Decks],” Kurtzman said of the kids-focused series — which could land elsewhere beyond CBS All Access. “What’s exciting about it is not only looking at each animated series as what’s the different tone, but what’s the different technology we can apply to these things so that visually they’re entirely different?”

There was no indication yet on who else is involved in the kid-friendly series, when or where it would be set, or when it is expected to be released.

Kurtzman also gave some more details on the approach they are taking for Lower Decks, saying:

“[Lower Decks] is totally different from anything we’re doing on any of these other shows and we decided to tell that story and make those people the heroes,” Kurtzman said. He noted that while Lower Decks is an animated comedy, the series — nor any of the other Trek series in the works — will “never” laugh at it. “It’s embracing and loving of all the tropes of Star Trek but it’s never laughing at it.”

Animated Short Treks coming into ever-expanding Trek TV Universe

CBS Chief Creative Officer David Nivens mentioned last month that there will be more Short Treks. Today, Kurtzman told THR that CBS has ordered two mini-episodes, both of which will be animated, to debut in the spring after season two of Star Trek: Discovery finishes.

2018 saw an 8-month gap between the Discovery season one finale and the first episode of Short Treks. It seems for 2019, CBS is trying to keep the Trek content flowing to help ensure fans stick around on CBS All Access. With all the shows in development, it appears that CBS is sticking with its goal of having “a Star Trek something on all the time on All Access.”

In the THR interview, Kurtzman elaborated on his approach to expanding the CBS Trek TV Universe:

“Our goal is to not only expand the definition of Star Trek and what has qualified as traditional Star Trek, but also to tell stories that are both self-contained in a very short period of time that also connect to the larger picture of what we’re doing, not only in Discovery but in the world building of Trek in general, and you get to tell these very intimate, emotional stories that are side stories to characters. So you get the benefit of the experience in and of itself but then when you watch Discovery you’ll see that these were all setting up things in the world of season two.”

But no plans for Kirk

Of course, the introduction of Spock, played by Ethan Peck, into the second season of Discovery – and the development of a new series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart returning to the role of Jean-Luc Picard – has some wondering what other classic Trek characters may show up. Kurtzman was asked if we might see a young Lieutenant Kirk at some point in Discovery:

“What Kirk was doing at this particular time is another question but we don’t have any immediate plans [for the character], I have not spoken to Shatner about it.”


Star Trek: Short Treks is available in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV.

Keep up with all the Short Treks and Upcoming TV Projects news at TrekMovie.

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The animated Short Treks may give us a first glimpse of what to expect from any animated shows. It’s a good way for CBS to test the waters but would they shelve the show if the Short isn’t well received? I vaguely remember reading that CBS has already ordered 2 seasons of Lower Decks.

Sorry for not having the time to read the linked article :-)
Maybe you’re right and the animated Short Treks are not related to Lower Decks and this newly announced kid-friendly animated show. I just thought it might make sense for CBS to try out the formula with a cheaper-to-make short format.

Yay! The non-CBSAA animated Trek for all audiences sounds great! Thanks, Alex!

i hope they still put it on all access other wise i have no way to see it

I watched the animated show The Ray on CW Seed. Pretty good stuff. If the new animated Star Trek is of that level then I have high hopes.

Isn’t that animated Constantine show on CW Seed? CW showed one episode of it.

A revamp of the Filmation series, followed by further episodes would be rather wonderful.

Agreed. Do that and the computer games.

As long as the director isn’t color blind, these should be pretty good.

*apply salve directly to burn

Actually that story is apocryphal. Irv Kaplan was in charge of the color and he was not color blind, he just had an interesting color aesthetic.

If I were them, I would be looking closely at Lucasfilm’s Clone Wars, Rebels and Resistance TV series. Both for their good qualities (maintaining consistency with the film continuity, getting voice actors who can do credible impressions, imaginative settings and original-character story arcs) and bad (occasionally too kiddie-oriented, stiff character animation).

I’d want it to be cinematic, with well-planned shots, continuity with either the Discovery or Kelvin look-and-feel, the same attention to sound effects, etc, but maybe adding a dose of realism with motion-captured characters? (I mean, if you watch the Clone Wars, nobody seems to be able to run down a corridor without looking like they have Muppet legs).

And scripts written by the same teams that would write for a live-action show.

they should also look at the pokemon anime also much like the star wars animated show they keep with constitance both in the story in each series but the animation is also really good and the messages that anime sends which each theme song fore each series does lay out

I found Clone Wars and Rebels surprisingly well done. Resistance? Eh… Not so much. I think it was aiming at an even lower age group than the others perhaps.

I understood the quote about not just different tones, but also different technologies to mean that they will try out different animation styles with the different animated shows. So one might be more stylized, another more realistic. We’ll see. I just hope it’s nothing like some of the cartoons aimed at really young children with CGI that looks like someone did it on his home computer after going through a few online tutorials as the only training.

Interesting. Interesting. Kid friendly animated show. OK. My own kid would be way too old so I don’t have that excuse. :) So I’m going to have to check it out on my own. From a curiosity standpoint of course.

And I don’t see what Shatner would have to say about including a Lt. Kirk on Discovery or some other show. He wouldn’t be involved at all unless they wanted him to book end the episodes somehow. And I really don’t see Shat agreeing to that.

I didn’t get the Shatner answer either. I don’t know why they wouldn’t check in with him to see what he would be willing to do. Seems like it would generate a good amount of interest

Well, my guess is that they would talk to him about his character even if they wouldn’t actually cast him.

Sweet! Having more than just a jokey animated Trek is great news!

Agreed. I would consider the original animated series to be kid friendly and yet I wouldn’t consider it as comedy and it was very enjoyable

Jesus the Trek news is flying today!!!! :)

Yeah another animated Trek show sounds fine IMO! There is really only so many live action shows you can have so it would make sense to have an animated show and actually aimed at kids. The Star Wars shows are great because it has introduced a new generation to that franchise and expanded the universe at the same time because its all still canon to the films. I don’t watch them personally but I KNOW how popular they have become with the fanbase in general. Most SW fans seem to think the animated shows are a better representation of SW then the movies has been so that is high praise.

So I think it would work perfectly to get younger kids into Trek, especially if its not going to be on AA. I mean that line up is already pretty dire, the stuff for kids is non-existent so it would make sense to put it somewhere that’s more accessible and already kid friendly like the Cartoon Network.

Its really exciting to hear we will get both animated and live action Short Treks! I guess those things were a pretty big hit. At least for probably the money they cost. And yeah think how easy it will be to turn out 15 minute animated shorts? And they can do ANYTHING with them, that’s what makes them fun. They don’t have to be set around just one crew, time period or even universe. The Shorts in reality could be an anthology series and expand Trek in a way the live action Shorts can’t do as much because they still have to worry about money for set designs and my guess is they don’t want to over spend the money. With animation they can do anything!

They would still have to do set design for an animated show but production is much cheaper if you don’t actually have to build those sets for real.

Wow so much new Star Trek news in the past few days. Thank you to for compiling all the coolest info and putting it on one site for us fans to check out. Much appreciated!!

FINALLY. If we’re gonna indoctrinate the youth into our ranks we need to throw them a bone every once in a while. This is why Star Wars has legions of fans compared to us — they cater to the kids. Why aren’t we?? Thank you Alex

If the kid friendly show is anything like the Voltron reboot on Netflix, this will be amazing.

Oh boy, all this talk of making things fit with Star trek, embracing the tropes of Star Trek, expanding Star Trek etc.. Here’s one to ponder: JUST MAKE STAR TREK..! :-D

Great to see that all involved in ‘Trek are trying to get the next generation (pardon the pun) interested into a historic show.

I might have missed it, but where does he say the series would be kid-friendly? I have wondered how many at CBS have wanted something from Trek that could compete in a sense with what Star Wars has had with Clone Wars and Rebels.

Great! I’m not a huge fan of animated stuff in general, but the kids definitely are. Anime has become very popular among them and Star Wars definitely keeps them excited by making those animated shows. So it’s a good idea to do the same…

However, I doubt, there will be any difference in viewership between that “kid-friendly” show and Lower Decks. Those hooked on the kid show will for sure check out the “adult” show as well. It’s not as if anyone can prevent them from doing so these days. And parents most certainly won’t care about holding back an animated Star Trek show.

There might be a difference in viewership between that kid-friendly show and Lower Decks if one is on CBS All Access and the other is released elsewhere.

I hope Nickelodeon would pick up the new kid-friendly “Star Trek” series.

I always liked the animated show back in the ’70’s (when I was 9-10 years old), so I guess this is cool.

My late grandfather was even one of the animators on the original cartoon, though he couldn’t remember much of it as he worked on a number of Filmation cartoons and it didn’t spark any special memory for him as it was just another job for him at the time among many; look for “Larry Silverman” under the animators in the end credits. When I was young, I asked him for whatever he could get me from the animated cartoon; he got me a number of paper sketches of the Enterprise and crew, and a few cels, which he told me he had to sneak out of Filmation, because they wouldn’t let the artists take any of the materials. Being a kid whose attention span was short, I lost most of them, but I may have 1 cel or 2 and a few items somewhere in storage, but I haven’t a clue where.