|Created by:||Josh Selig|
|Developed by:||Josh Selig|
|Directed by:||Jennifer Oxley|
|Voices of:|| Sofie Zamchick|
|No. of seasons:||3|
|No. of episodes:||42 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s):||Viacom Media Networks|
|Running time:||22 minutes|
|Production company(s):||Little Airplane Productions|
|Original channel:|| Nickelodeon |
|First shown in:||March 3, 2006|
|Original run:||March 3, 2006 – July 20, 2013|
Wonder Pets! is an American animated children's television series. It debuted March 3, 2006, on the Nick Jr. block of the Nickelodeon cable television network and Noggin (now Nick Jr.) on August 31, 2006. It won an Emmy Award in 2008, 2010 and 2012 for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition in the United States.
History and formatEdit
The Wonder Pets! television series was created by Josh Selig for Little Airplane Productions. The show was first seen as a short Nick Jr.'s film series called Linny the Guinea Pig, in which a guinea pig named Linny traveled into space and under the ocean. Ming-Ming Duckling and Turtle Tuck were created when the show was expanded and called The Super Singing Power Pets!. The title was later shortened to Wonder Pets. The show's main characters are three elementary school classroom pets — Linny the Guinea Pig, Turtle Tuck, and Ming-Ming Duckling. They are presented as a trio of heroes who rescue baby animals as they demonstrate the benefits of teamwork.
The animation style used to create Wonder Pets! is called "photo-puppetry", and was created for the series to allow animators to manipulate photographs of real animals. It also uses drawn objects (not characters), so the total presentation could be considered animated mixed-media.
A good deal of the dialog is sung, so the show has been likened to operetta or singspiel. A 10-member live orchestra performs each episode, sometimes including other instrumentalists skilled in music from the region to which the pets are traveling during the episode. Completing each episode takes thirty-three weeks from script to final delivery.
- Linny the Guinea Pig (voiced by Sofie Zamchick in the US version and Meisha Kelly in the UK version) is a guinea pig who is the leader of the Wonder Pets. As a superhero, she wears an orange-yellow cap and a blue cape. Linny appears to be the most educated of the group, often providing different zoological and geographical information to the others. She is usually the one to remind the group about teamwork or other values and offer praise. She leads Ming-Ming and Tuck in most of the show's primary songs and usually has the responsibility of starting the "Flyboat". Linny's catch phrase is "This calls for some celery!", usually declared at the conclusion of each adventure. Before Wonder Pets, Linny starred in a few three-minute shorts on Nick Jr. titled Linny the Guinea Pig, where Linny would explore different environments such as the ocean and outer space.
- Tuck Turtle (voiced by Teala Dunn in the US and Catherine Holden in the UK) is a young turtle. He is described as sensitive with an emotional connection to living things and the heart of the group. As a superhero, he wears a white French sailor's cap, blue Aquasocks, and a red cape. Tuck is empathetic, often desiring to give the rescued animals a hug or keeping them company while Linny and Ming-Ming put their rescue plan into action. He also has keen observational skills, spotting things from a distance, which often garners him the compliment, "Good eye, Tuck!". In "Tuck & Buck", his cooler older cousin Buck comes to the Wonder Pets Schoolhouse for a visit.
- Ming-Ming Duckling is 3-years-old, and is an overconfident young duck. As a superhero, she wears a leather pilot's helmet, goggles, and a green cape. Unlike the other Wonder Pets, she has the ability to fly. She can also speak "bird", allowing her to talk to other birds that the Wonder Pets encounter. Ming-Ming also believes that her great-grandfather was an eagle. Ming-Ming sometimes tries to take on big problems by herself and in one episode ("Save the Duckling") she even becomes the animal that needed rescuing. Ming-Ming often provides comic relief in the show, and is the Wonder Pet mostly likely to use irony and mild sarcasm. In "Kalamazoo!", during school holiday she visits her Aunt Eleanora at a local petting zoo. Ming-Ming is voiced by Danica Lee in the United States version, and Kaya Alexander in the UK version. When Lee auditioned for the role, she pronounced her "R" sounds as "W" sounds like a child would speak (as in "This is Se-wious!"). The producers said that Lee's speech impediment had an endearing quality and that young children commonly mispronounce certain sounds. Danica Lee has been nominated twice, in 2007 and 2008, for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.
- Ollie is a gray domestic rabbit that visits the Wonder Pets' school from time to time. He first appears in the episode, "Save the Skunk!". In "Adventures in Wonderland!", he plays the role of the White Rabbit and "In the Land of Oz" he plays the role of the Wizard of Oz. In "Ollie to the Rescue", he tries to create his own team the Thunder Pets consisting of himself and his toys, Rock and Mr. Frog as they do not disagree with him. However he is a terrible rescuer and ends up needing to be rescued by the Wonder Pets along with the Chipmunk he was trying to save. In one episode, it is revealed he lives in a burrow with his mother, little sister, and baby brother. Ollie was originally voiced by T.J. Stanton in "Save the Skunk!", "Ollie to the Rescue", "Here's Ollie!", but is now performed by Cooper Corrao in the United States version.
- Ginny is Linny's grandmother who appears in "Save the Old White Mouse!" and "Happy Mother's Day!". In "Save the Old White Mouse!", while Linny is visiting Ginny at the nursing home another elderly resident, a white mouse named Bernie who Ginny is friends with gets stuck inside a clock and Linny calls upon her friends to help rescue him and introduces Ginny to his friends whom Ginny reveals she had been told about by Linny in letters to her. She also appears in "Happy Mother' Day!" where Linny and his friends go to wish her a happy Mother's Day.
- Baby Kitten is a Kitten that lives in Venice, Italy that the Wonder Pets save in "Save the Kitten" after it becomes trapped on a piece of driftwood floating in the canal. Baby Kitten also appears in "Happy Mother's Day" with its mother.
- Mama Cat is the mother of Baby Kitten that lives in Venice, Italy. In "Save the Kitten", she thanks the Wonder Pets for saving her baby by giving them some of her famous pizza which the Wonder Pets add their Celery to. She also appears in "Happy Mother's Day!", along with Baby Kitten.
- The Visitor is an extraterrestrial being who speaks some English, as shown in his two major appearances ("Save the Visitor!" and "Save the Visitor's Birthday Party!"). He also appears in "A Job Well Done!" in a photograph.
- Baby Dragon is a wingless dragon from the magical land located in a book inside the classroom. He first appears in "Save the Unicorn" chasing the Wonder Pets as they are trying to save a Baby Unicorn named Uni who's horn was stuck in a tree. After freeing Uni the Wonder Pets try to flee from him but they eventually discover that he is Uni's best friend and reveals he was chasing the Wonder Pets only to inform them of his friend's plight. He later appears in "Save the Dragon", where the Wonder Pets return to the magical land to save him after he gets stuck on a cloud.
- Uni is a baby Unicorn from the magical land located in a book inside the classroom. She first appears in "Save the Unicorn" where the Wonder Pets rescue her after she gets her horn stuck in a tree. She is best friends with Baby Dragon and in "Save the Dragon" she becomes worried about her friend when he gets stuck on a cloud but the Wonder Pets return to save the day once again.
- Magical Butterfly is a butterfly from the magical land located in a book inside the classroom. It assists the Wonder Pets by acting as their guide in the magical land in "Save the Unicorn" and "Save the Dragon".
- Little Bee is a bee who appears in the series. Little Bee first guest stars in the Episode "Save the Bee!" where the pets shrink down to bug size, thanks to their shrinking machine, to help her collect flower nectar and make honey for the first time. She later made an appearance in "Save the Glowworm!" where she is friends with a cricket and a glowworm named Lucy, who is trying to find a talent. Her last appearance was in "The Adventures of Bee & Slug!", where she and a slug named Slug help watch the Flyboat, but then ends as an out-of-control joyride due to them sitting inside it when they weren't supposed to.
- Wingo Starfish is a pink star fish who appeared in "Save the Beetles". Linny, Tuck, Ming-Ming, and Wingo Starfish all dress as the Beatles to go rescue the Beetles.
Each episode follows a similar structure, with some variation, in terms of the storyline and the musical form.
As each episode begins, viewers hear the school children, off-screen, leaving school at the end of the day. They say goodbye to the classroom pets. Once the classroom is vacant, a pencil holder rattles to create the ringing of a telephone. Often, the classroom will be decorated with student artwork or other items related to the storyline, particular animal or geographic location of that episode.
One by one, the classroom pets wordlessly notice the ringing phone. Up to this point in the episode, they have acted like normal animals and not said a single word. However, as the phone rings, the Wonder Pets get dressed and make their way towards the phone while singing their opening verses.
The Wonder Pets answer the phone and find that an animal is in trouble somewhere. Linny, the Guinea Pig, explains the situation to the other two: Tuck, the turtle and Ming-Ming, the duckling. They all jump into a box filled with fabric scraps and jump back out, wearing various different outfits, often alluding to the area of the world they will be visiting. They make a quick joke then jump back into the box and emerge in their Wonder Pets capes.
Once dressed, they assemble a flying boat called "The Flyboat" from classroom objects: a flying disc for a body, felt marker caps as rocket exhausts, a marble, wheels, the mast, and a sheet of paper for the sail. In some episodes, the Wonder Pets will instead opt for a different mode of transportation such as sub called the "The Flysub", which they will construct using additional objects in the classroom or they will modify the Flyboat in some way either out of necessity (such as replacing one of the pieces of the Flyboat with something else) or some other reason. Usually, the Wonder Pets encounter some sort of obstacle before leaving the classroom. The solution is invariably similar to the action they will need to take to save the animal in trouble.
When saving the animal, the Wonder Pets often fail on the first few attempts. Then the danger escalates, prompting Ming-Ming to once again sing, "This is se-wious!" Suddenly, the Wonder Pets remember how they solved the problem in the classroom and realize that the rescue has the same solution. Then they have to work together to achieve the rescue.
Once the animal is saved, a parent or other relative often comes out of nowhere to give grateful thanks to the Wonder Pets for saving its baby. The Wonder Pets celebrate with a celery snack, which the rescued animal's parent sometimes adds to with a bit of regional food, or they insist on a regional preparation. Then they fly back to the classroom.
They wordlessly return to their cages until the next episode. The Flying boat also disassembles by itself. Linny is always the last one to get back in her cage, and her cape and cap come off. A music style having to do with that day's rescue is played, as Linny takes a bite out of the celery in her cage and winks towards the camera as the closing credits begin.
Some episodes do not involve rescues, but instead feature the Wonder Pets doing things with friends (such as Ollie, Floopy the Elephant, and the Visitor) and family (Linny's Granny, Tuck's cousin Buck, and Ming Ming's Aunt Eleanora). This may involve helping them as they normally would during rescues.
- Main article: List of Wonder Pets episodes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Wonder Pets – TVGuide.com" . TVGuide.com. Retrieved on November 27, 2016.
- ↑ "Wonder Pets! In the Land of Oz" . Zap2it.com. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved on November 28, 2016.
- ↑ Heffley, Lynne (March 3, 2006). "Unchained melodies: In scoring the kids' show 'The Wonder Pets!,' top-notch composers get a warm and fuzzy feeling" . Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 3, 2006. Retrieved on January 11, 2011.
- ↑ Jennifer Oxley. "Meet the Creators of Wonder Pets!" . nickjr.com. Retrieved on November 28, 2016.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 http://www.nickjr.com/wonder-pets/about-wonder-pets/wonder-pets-characters_ap.html
- ↑ Robert Lloyd (March 3, 2006). "'Wonder Pets!' to the rescue" . Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on November 28, 2016.
- ↑ Edward Wyatt. "Nickelodeon's 'Wonder Pets' Offers Operetta for Preschoolers" . March 28, 2006. Retrieved on November 28, 2016.
- ↑ Morton, Rebecca. "Youngster, 7, racks up acting, modeling credits", gmnews.som, Great Media News, August 20, 2008. Retrieved on November 28, 2016.
- ↑ "Wonder Pets Goes Opera Beatles" . NBCNews.com (April 17, 2008). Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved on November 28, 2016.
|Nick Jr. original programming|