Ready Jet Go! is a CGI animated television series produced by Wind Dancer Films. It was created by animator Craig Bartlett and premiered in the United States as part of the PBS Kids block on February 15, 2016. The series is produced in cooperation with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The show is aimed at kids ages 3 to 8. On August 17, 2016, PBS Kids announced that Ready Jet Go! has been renewed for a second season, which premiered on April 2, 2018. It was most likely discontinued.
Earth science and astronomy take center stage in this animated series from PBS Kids. Two neighborhood kids -- Sean and Sydney -- befriend the new kid on the block, Jet Propulsion, who just happens to be an alien from planet Bortron 7. Together they explore the solar system and how it affects the planet, while also learning about friendship and teamwork. The series features live-action interstitials with astronomer Dr. Amy Mainzer.
- Jet Propulsion (voiced by Ashleigh Ball), the star of the show and an alien from Bortron 7. He is the leader of his group, and is eager to learn about Earth, although his tendencies to act before he thinks get him into some scrapes every now and then. He must keep his alien identity a secret or else he could become a celebrity.
- Sean Rafferty (voiced by William Ainscough (season 1, early season 2), Grady Ainscough (mid season 2), Glen Gordon (Moon Face/Lone Star 2 - Rocket Kids! and One Small Step)), one of Jet's best friends. He is a big fan of science, and prefers to do things the old-fashioned way. He often gets dragged into space against his will by the other characters, and more often than not, serves as the voice of reason.
- Sydney Skelley (voiced by Dalila Bela (season 1), Vienna Leacock (season 2)), another one of Jet's best friends. She is a science-fiction geek and adores the Commander Cressida franchise. She's an ambitious go-getter and has a very kind personality. Her tendencies to think on the creative side instead of on the logical side often clash with Sean's ideals, but otherwise they get along fine.
- Mindy Melendez (voiced by Jaeda Lily Miller), another one of Jet's best friends. She is 4 years old, which means she can't go into space with the other kids yet. She is very curious about science and her questions are often what moves the episodes along. She can also be quite sassy and has no problem with pointing out the shortcomings of others.
- Sunspot Propulsion, Jet's Bortronian pet, and a kind of dog-bunny-raccoon-cat-kangaroo hybrid. He is very helpful, loyal to the other kids, and can pull objects out of thin air. He often serves as a deus ex machina and plays many instruments.
- Celery Propulsion (voiced by Meg Roe), Jet's mother. She often takes the kids into outer space, and is always happy to do so. She is very knowledgeable about space.
- Carrot Propulsion (voiced by Kyle Rideout), Jet's father. He prefers to stay home instead of go to space, although he does go into space from time to time. He has a tendency to cook weird foods. He can be quite silly, but he sometimes provides good advice for the kids.
- Face 9000 (voiced by Brian Drummond), a computer. He can be summoned at any time, and is always happy to answer the kids' science questions. Towards the end of the first half of the season, he gets an upgrade.
- Dr. Rafferty (voiced by Keegan Connor Tracy), Sean's mother. She is one of the smartest scientists at the Deep Space Array, and is also very knowledgeable in regards to science.
- Dr. Bergs (voiced by Brian Drummond), Dr. Rafferty's co-worker, and another scientist at the DSA. He has a love of caffeine and pastries, but often provides useful information for the kids.
- Jet 2 (character) (voiced by Ashleigh Ball), Jet's robot clone who has been used for a number of functions.
- Beep and Boop, twin rover sisters. Beep lives at the DSA, while Boop lives on Mars.
- Mitchell Peterson (voiced by Spencer Drever (season 1), David Raynolds, (season 2), Dylan Schombing (One Small Step)), the other kid who lives in the main cul-de-sac. He is often seen spying on the other kids, and wants to find out if the Propulsions are aliens. He has a tendency to act rudely, but it's only to hide his insecurities about being a loner. Eventually, the other kids accept him as their friend.
- Cody, Mitchell's mutt and accomplice.
- Mr. Peterson (voiced by Ian James Corlett), Mitchell's father. He is often the judge/referee of competitions around Boxwood Terrace, and is the self-appointed safety officer for the neighborhood. He has a tendency to act snobbishly, and often clashes with Carrot.
- Dr. Melendez (voiced by Meg Roe, Ashleigh Ball in My Fair Jet), Mindy's overprotective mother, who is not seen, but often heard calling to her. She is Dr. Rafferty and Bergs' boss.
- Uncle Zucchini (voiced by Ian James Corlett), Jet's uncle. He is Celery's brother, and can be dimwitted at times. He is a Bortronian garbageman.
- Moonbeam, Uncle Zucchini's pet, and Sunspot's counterpart.
- Zerk (voiced by Ashleigh Ball (in Earth Mission to Moon, Meg Roe onwards), Jet's cousin, who is heard talking to Jet over the wristphone in two episodes. He then appears in Back to Bortron 7, Zerk Visits Earth, and Asteroid Belt Space Race. Is initially competitive and a braggart.
- Dr. Skelley (voiced by Brenda Crichlow), Sydney's mother, introduced in the season 1 finale. She is a robotics engineer, and a fan of Commander Cressida franchise.
- Lillian (voiced by Amelia Shoichet-Stoll), Mindy's friend. She likes to play with dolls and is a girly girl. She appeared in The Grandest Canyon, and makes two cameos afterwards. She then appears in part one of Mindy Turns Five.
- Eggplant (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain), Jet's aunt who is a travel writer just like Carrot and Celery.
- Face 9001, Face's younger brother. He resembles Face, but he is orange. He likes to be cocky and argue with his brother. Only appeared in A Kid's Guide to Mars.
- Spinach, Celery's cousin who was heard talking to her in Sunspot and the Great Red Spot
- Mrs. Peterson, Mitchell's mother who was heard talking to him in Mindy's Moon Bounce House, but not shown. In Detective Mindy, she loses her sunglasses.
As seen at the start and end of the program in PBS broadcasts, the show is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ABCMouse.com, and viewers like you. Osmo funded the show in 2017. A cooperative agreement with the US Department of Education funds the show as of 2017 (this sponsor is only seen in Season 2 prints), and as of 2017, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting sponsor mentions the Ready to Learn grant, which the Ready Jet Go! series was developed under. As of 2018, Kumon funds the show. An instrumental of How Come the Moon Has Craters? (Song) plays during the funding credits. Jet announces the credits. In 2016-2017 prints, he says "Excelsior!", after saying "Thank you!", but in August 2017-present prints, he doesn't say "Excelsior!" anymore.
After the show was cancelled in 2019, it hadn't seen anymore content being made for it. However, in 2021, the show had a 'fandom boom' on social media platforms, with more posts talking about the show, more fan art, and uploads of the show's international dubs.
In early July 2021, PBS aired a marathon of Back to Bortron 7 and One Small Step to gauge the audience. These specials did well in the ratings, and their official YouTube uploads have thousands of views. Around the same time, they opened a new online shop for the series with brand mew merchandise, including shirts in adult sizes. Seemingly a nod at the show's notable teen and adult demographic.
In August 2021, Jaeda Lily Miller uploaded some photoshoots on Instagram. Craig Bartlett commented on the post, calling Miller as 'Mindy' and saying 'See you soon!' Miller replied with "5, 4, 3, 2, 1!", the lyrics to the iconic Takeoff! song.
That same month, Bartlett announced that he was recording new songs for the series, with series composer Jim Lang returning, as well as Ashleigh Ball. Vienna Leacock is reprising her role as Sydney.
All of these point to a continuation for the series. It could be Season 3, or a feature film.
Awards and nominations
- The show was awarded a Common Sense Seal by Common Sense Media.
- The show was awarded the Parents Choice Silver Honor in 2017, and again in 2018.
- Jaeda Lily Miller was nominated for a Young Entertainer Award for her role as Mindy in 2017.
- David Raynolds was also nominated for the same award for his role as Mitchell in 2018.
- The show's Space Explorer app was nominated for a Kidscreen Award and so was the show's minisite on pbskids.org.
- The show's Space Scouts app won a Webby Award.
- Cynopsis Kids Imagination Awards:
- 2017: Nominated for Best Use of Music in a Kids Series, Educational Series/Special – STEM, Mobile App – Preschool, Preschool Series, and won Song for a TV Series/Special/Movie, tied with Splash and Bubbles.
- 2018: Won Best Use of Music in a Kids' Series, tied with Wonderama, Online Game tied with with The Loud House: Lights Out, and was nominated for Preschool Series or Special.
- Back to Bortron 7 was nominated for an EMA award for Children's Television.
- As mentioned at 21:22 in this video, Craig Bartlett initially conceived Ready Jet Go! as an animated buddy sitcom entitled Lenny and Nate. It would involve Lenny, who is an alien from another planet who coincidentally looks like a human. He had a human friend, Nate, who was extremely stubborn and refused to believed that Lenny was an alien. However, everyone else in the town just accepted it. Additional sources confirm that Lenny and Nate were both 13 years old and had to face the traumas of the 8th grade. Nate is from a chaotic household, of which he is the nucleus. He used to have a friend named Dirk, but after Dirk starts going to 9th grade, he ditches him and Nate befriends Lenny instead. Dirk has a little sister, Ronnie, who, has an unrequited crush on Nate, but Lenny has a crush on her, resulting in a love triangle. Also, Lenny was said to be a 13-year-old version of the Hey Arnold! character Curly. It would be set in Washington like RJG!, but in Seattle instead of the fictional Boxwood Terrace. It was pitched to Cartoon Network in 2004, but was rejected. Years later, the show was revamped to be educationally appropriate for PBS, teaching about astronomy and earth science, resulting in Ready Jet Go!, the series we have today. In addition, Lenny evolved to become Jet and Nate evolved to become Sean, except the stubbornness was reduced and the Earth kids made it their mission to befriend and protect Jet instead. It is unknown if Dirk and Ronnie evolved to become any characters in the Ready Jet Go! series.
- A reference to the show was made in an episode of another PBS show, Molly of Denali. In the episode "Mollyball", Trini suggests that there may be aliens on another planet who play basketball. Trini shares the same voice actress as Sydney Skelley, Vienna Leacock. Sydney hangs out with an alien, Jet Propulsion, and has been to other planets before.
- There has never been an episode that premiered in January, September, or November.
- Apart from the United States, the show also aired in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Africa, Latin America, Brazil, Portugal, Norway, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Israel, the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, China and Hong Kong. See Other Languages for more information.
- The show is recorded at Kozmic Sound in Vancouver, British Columbia.
- The show has many different animation studios attached to it.
- A working title for the show was Jet Propulsion.
- Mindy was not in the show's initial pilot, and she was added to appeal to younger audiences.