Wonder Pets! is an American animated children's television series created by Josh Selig for Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block. It centers on a trio of classroom pets—Linny the guinea pig, Tuck the turtle, and Ming-Ming the duckling—who use teamwork to help animals in need. Much of the characters' dialogue is sung in the style of operetta. Each episode is set to original music by a 10-member live orchestra.
|Created by||Josh Selig|
|Developed by||Josh Selig|
|Directed by||Jennifer Oxley|
|Voices of||Sofie Zamchick|
|Theme music composer||Larry Hochman|
|Opening theme||"The Wonder Pets!"|
|Ending theme||"The Wonder Pets!" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes|
 (list of episodes)
|Executive producer(s)||Josh Selig|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Distributor||ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks|
|Original release||March 3, 2006 –|
July 20, 2013
Selig developed the idea for Wonder Pets! in between production cycles of his previous Nickelodeon show, Oobi. The series began with two animated shorts called "Linny the Guinea Pig," which acted as a pilot episode. They featured Linny going on adventures set to classical music. Selig first screened the shorts at the wrap party for Oobi's first season. The crew of Oobi was impressed with them and urged Selig to pitch them to a broadcast network. He eventually decided to send the shorts to Nickelodeon executives. Selig called Nickelodeon "a great partner," saying "They're really the company that first believed in us when we pitched Oobi, and then they believed in us again on Wonder Pets!."
The two original shorts were completed and aired in 2004. The characters of Tuck and Ming-Ming were added to form a team of hero pets for the full-length series. The first long-form episode debuted on March 3, 2006, as part of the Nick Jr. block on Nickelodeon. On December 27, 2006, the series started airing on Nickelodeon's sister channel Noggin. It ran for three seasons and 62 episodes. The first two seasons aired on Nickelodeon, while the majority of season three aired exclusively on the Nick Jr. channel.
Wonder Pets! was created by Josh Selig at his New York studio, Little Airplane Productions. Before Wonder Pets! started, he had only produced live-action works: Oobi and a short film titled The Time-Out Chair. After Oobi became a breakout success for his company, he expressed interest in producing another television show at Little Airplane. He produced two animated shorts called "Linny the Guinea Pig." At the time, he wanted the cartoon to focus on a silent guinea pig who left her classroom to go on fantastic adventures, each set to classical music. Jennifer Oxley, who had joined Little Airplane as an animator, signed on as the director of the two shorts.
Selig first screened the shorts at the wrap party for Oobi's first season. The crew of Oobi was impressed with them and urged Selig to pitch them to a broadcast network. He waited until Oobi finished production to start focusing on the shorts. He eventually decided to send the shorts to Nickelodeon executives. Selig called Nickelodeon "a great partner," saying "They're really the company that first believed in us when we pitched Oobi, and then they believed in us again on Wonder Pets!."
Nickelodeon picked up Wonder Pets! for a season of 20 episodes in 2005. Tuck and Ming-Ming were added to the cast to form a team of superhero pets, and the characters were given voices; the dialogue-free nature of the original shorts did not translate well to half-hour episodes. At the time, Selig wanted to call the show The Super Singing Power Pets!, but it was renamed Wonder Pets! because the former name was too long. Selig turned to various former crew members of Oobi to help him develop the show, including writers Chris Nee and Sascha Paladino and composers Larry Hochman and Jeffrey Lesser.
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. Jennifer Oxley considers this technique her own invention and first used it to create lifelike transitions for Little Airplane's previous works.
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 took thirty-three weeks from script to final delivery.
Each episode follows a similar structure, with many hallmarks and repeated elements. As each episode begins, schoolchildren are heard from off-screen, leaving school at the end of the day. They say goodbye to the classroom pets. The classroom is always decorated with student artwork and other items related to a given episode's particular storyline, featured animal, or geographic location. Once the classroom is empty, a pencil holder rattles to create the ringing of a telephone.
One by one, the classroom pets notice the ringing phone. As the phone rings, they put on their hats 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 different outfits, often alluding to the area of the world they will be visiting. They make a quick joke and jump back into the box, emerging again in superhero capes.
Once dressed, they assemble a flying vehicle called the "Flyboat" from classroom objects: a 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 opt for a different mode of transportation by adjusting the Flyboat. Usually, the pets encounter an 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 always fail on the first few attempts. The danger escalates, prompting Ming-Ming to sing, "This is se-wious!" Suddenly, the Wonder Pets remember how they solved the problem in the classroom and realize that the rescue has a similar solution. They have to work together to achieve the rescue. Once the animal is saved, its parent or other relative appears to give grateful thanks to the Wonder Pets. The pets celebrate with a celery snack. The rescued animal's parent sometimes adds a bit of regional food or insists on a regional preparation. The pets fly back to the classroom and wordlessly return to their cages as their hats and capes come off. The Flyboat automatically disassembles upon landing. Ming-Ming is always the first one to get back in her cage, Tuck is the second, and Linny is the last. A musical riff relating to the episode's rescue is played as Linny takes a bite out of the celery in her cage and winks at the camera, thus ending the episode.
- Linny the Guinea Pig (voiced by Sofie Zamchick) is a guinea pig who is the leader of the Wonder Pets and the oldest of the three. As a superhero, she wears an orange cap and a blue cape. Linny is the most educated of the group, often providing information about the different animals and environments that the pets encounter. Linny is usually the one to remind the group about teamwork and offer praise. She has the responsibility of starting and driving the Flyboat. Linny's catchphrase is "This calls for some celery!", said at the end of each adventure. She always carries some celery with her and brings it out to celebrate after every successful mission.
- Turtle Tuck (voiced by Teala Dunn) is a turtle and the second oldest of the Wonder Pets. He is sensitive with an emotional connection to living things and the heart of the group. As a superhero, he wears a white sailor's cap, blue Aquasocks, and a red cape. Tuck is empathetic, often wanting to give the rescued animals a hug or keeping them company while Linny and Ming-Ming put their rescue plan into action. He has keen observational skills and can spot things from long distances, which usually garners him the compliment, "Good eye, Tuck!". He has an older cousin named Buck, whose cool demeanor and many skills make Tuck jealous.
- Ming-Ming Duckling (voiced by Danica Lee) is an overconfident duckling and the youngest of the three. As a superhero, she wears a leather pilot's helmet with goggles and a green cape. Unlike the other Wonder Pets, she can fly and speak "bird," allowing her to connect with other birds that the Wonder Pets encounter. Ming-Ming often provides comic relief in the show, and is the Wonder Pet mostly likely to use irony and mild sarcasm. Her family comes from a petting zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and she visits them on occasion. She speaks with a prominent rhotacism, pronouncing "r" sounds as "w" (as in her catchphrase "This is Se-wious!").
- Ollie (voiced by T.J. Stanton and Cooper Corrao) is a gray rabbit who considers himself the fourth Wonder Pet. He is self-centered and often unintentionally annoys the Wonder Pets when he visits their classroom. He has his own superhero team, the "Thunder Pets," consisting of himself and his toys. He is a terrible rescuer and invariably needs help from the Wonder Pets whenever he tries to save something. He lives in a burrow outside of the Wonder Pets' schoolhouse with his mother, sister, and baby brother.
- Ginny (voiced by Anne Meara) is Linny's grandmother. She lives in a nursing home with a white mouse named Bernie. Like Linny, she is self-confident, a natural leader, and loves celery.
- The Visitor is an extraterrestrial being who lives on a far-away planet. He resembles a purple frog-like creature with two antennae and one foot. He knows a few English phrases but can only speak in short fragments. He crash-lands on Earth in "Save the Visitor" and needs the Wonder Pets' help to fly back to space. He becomes a good friend of theirs and invites them to his party in "Save the Visitor's Birthday Party".
- Little Bee and Slug are a pair of bug friends. Little Bee is a young bumblebee who is just learning how to make honey for her hive. Slug is a green garden slug who wears the top of an acorn as a hat. Little Bee first appears in "Save the Bee" and "Save the Glowworm". She and Slug appear as the main characters of "The Adventures of Bee & Slug!" and "Bee & Slug Underground!".
- Baby Dragon and Uni are two magical creatures who live in a storybook in the Wonder Pets' classroom. Baby Dragon is a wingless dragon, and Uni is his best friend, a unicorn. They first appear in "Save the Unicorn," in which the Wonder Pets try to help Uni when her horn is stuck in a tree. After freeing Uni, the Wonder Pets try to flee from Baby Dragon, but they discover that he is Uni's best friend. They make a second appearance in "Save the Dragon," in which the Wonder Pets return to the storybook land to save Baby Dragon after he gets stuck on a cloud.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||20||March 3, 2006||September 28, 2007|
|2||20||October 19, 2007||December 8, 2009|
|3||22||February 11, 2009||September 3, 2016|
Toys and merchandisingEdit
In March 2008, Fisher-Price began distributing a line of official Wonder Pets! toys in the United States. Toys include the Flyboat, figurine playsets, and plush animals. These figurine playsets have each Wonder Pet saving a different baby animal. These include Linny saving a baby penguin, Tuck saving a baby bluebird, and Ming-Ming rescuing a kitten. In addition there is a whale playset for the tub. Nickelodeon Universe, a theme park inside Minnesota's Mall of America, also has a children's ride dedicated to the Flyboat.
In other mediaEdit
|Save the Wonder Pets!||April 24, 2007||"Save the Wonder Pets!", "Save the Caterpillar!", "Save the Crane!", "Save the Sea Lions!", "Save the Kangaroo!", "Save the Hedgehog!" and "Save the Crocodile!" |
|Save The Unicorn!||September 11, 2007||"Save the Unicorn!", "Save the Penguin!", "Save the Swan!", "Save the Puppy!", "Save the Three Little Pigs!", "Save the Owl!", "Save the Bullfrog!" and "Save the Poodle!" |
|Save the Reindeer!||October 2, 2007||"Save the Reindeer!", "Save the Goldfish!", "Save the Baby Birds!", "Save the Camel!", "Save the Ants!", "Save the Egg!" and "Save the Flamingo!" |
|Save the Dinosaur!||February 12, 2008||"Save the Dinosaur!", "Save the Pigeon!", "Save the Dragon!", "Save the Beaver!", "Save the Bee!", "Save the Squirrel!", "Save the Dolphin!" and "Save the Chimp!" |
|Save the Beetles!||April 22, 2008||"Save the Beetles!", "Three Wonder Pets and a Baby!", "Save the Duckling!", "Save the Kitten!", "Save the Chameleon!", "Save the Platypus!", "Save the Sheep!" and "Save the Hermit Crab!"|
|Save the Nursery Rhyme!||June 3, 2008||"Help the Cow Jump Over the Moon!", "Save the Itsy Bitsy Spider!", "Save the Griffin!", "Save the Rooster!", "Save Little Red Riding Hood!", "Save the Turtle!", "Save the Panda!" and "Save the Mouse!" |
|Save the Bengal Tiger!||September 9, 2008||"Save the Bengal Tiger!", "Save the Ladybug!", "Save the Sea Turtle!", "Save the Gecko!", "Save the What?", "Save the Goslings!" and "Ollie to the Rescue!" |
|Save the Nutcracker!||October 7, 2008||"Save the Nutcracker!", "Save the Old White Mouse", "The Adventures of Bee and Slug!", "Save the Kangaroo", "Save the Cricket", "Save the Cow" and "Save the Skunk" |
|Join the Circus!||February 24, 2009||"Join the Circus", "Save the Rat Pack", "Fiddler Crab on the Roof", "Save the Armadillo", "Save the Visitor", "Save the Tree" and "Save the Elephant" |
|Ollie's Slumber Party||June 9, 2009||"Here's Ollie", "Save the Hound Dog", "The Amazing Ollie!", "Help the Monster!", "Save the Cool Cat and the Hip Hippo!", "Tuck and Buck", "Save the Dancing Duck!", and "Save the Dalmatian!"|
|The First Rescue||April 5, 2010||"How It All Began", "Happy Mother's Day!", "Save the Sun Bear!", "Save the Mermaid!", "Save the Visitor's Birthday Party!", "A Job Well Done!", and "Save the Rhino!"|
|Save The Skunk Rocker||December 18, 2013||"Save The Skunk Rocker", "Save The Rock Lobster", "Help Little Bo Peep", "Help The Lion Cub", "Save The Bat", "Save The Donkey", "Save The Honey Bears", "Climb Everest" "Save the Raccoon", "Save the Loch Ness Monster", "Save the Black Kitten", and "Save the Yak, The Pig, and the Dancing Bear!|
|Season 1||October 26, 2015 (Amazon exclusive)||"Save the Dolphin!", "Save the Chimp!", "Save the Unicorn!", "Save the Penguin!", "Save the Sea Lions!", "Save the Kangaroo!", "Save the Caterpillar!", "Save the Crane!", "Save the Duckling!", "Save the Kitten!", "Save the Pigeon!", "Save the Dinosaur!", "Save the Cow!", "Save the Skunk!", "Save the Swan!", "Save the Puppy!", "Save the Tree!", "Save the Elephant!", "Save the Panda!", "Save the Mouse!"|
Books (Wonder Pets! series)Edit
- Arranged in publication date order.
- Josh Selig (2008-01-08). Teamwork Saves the Day!: Book and Beanie Baby Gift Set. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-4797-4.
- Little Airplane Productions; Jennifer Oxley (2008-07-29). Flyboat Adventures. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-4742-4.
- Josh Selig (2008-07-29). Go, Wonder Pets!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-4723-3.
- Josh Selig (2008-07-29). The Wonder Pets Save the Dinosaur!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-4724-0.
- Jennifer Oxley; Little Airplane Productions (2008-07-29). Let's Count Baby Animals!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-6393-6.
- Josh Selig (2008-07-29). Good Night, Wonder Pets!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-6154-3.
- Melinda Richards (2008-07-29). The Wonder Pets Save the Hedgehog!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-4727-1.
- Billy Lopez; Little Airplane Productions (2008-08-26). Save the Bengal Tiger!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-6495-7.
- We Can Help!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2008-08-26. ISBN 978-1-4169-6865-8.
- Wonder pets!: save the reindeer!. 2008-10-07. ISBN 978-1-4169-6174-1.
- Heather R. Tilert (2008-10-21). Ming-Ming Saves the Day: Follow the Reader Level 1. Simon Scribbles. ISBN 978-1-4169-6459-9.
- Jennifer Oxley (2008-10-28). Let's Find Colors!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-5824-6.
- Josh Selig; Little Airplane Productions (2008-12-16). The Wonder Pets Love You!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-6457-5.
- Josh Selig; Melanie Pal; Little Airplane Productions (2008-12-23). Join the Circus. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-7581-6.
- Kermit Frazier; Little Airplane Productions (2009-01-06). Save the Tree!: Little Green Nickelodeon. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-5111-7.
- You Can Fly, Bumblebee!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2009-01-27. ISBN 978-1-4169-7107-8.
- Billy Lopez; Little Airplane Productions (2009-01-27). Save the Egg!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-7103-0.
- Tone Thyne (2009-02-10). ABC Party. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-7104-7.
- Josh Selig (2009-03-24). My Family Loves Me!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-7515-1.
- Clark Stubbs (2009-06-23). Let's Discover Shapes!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-7196-2.
- Save the Three Little Pigs!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2009-06-23. ISBN 978-1-4169-7198-6.
- Sascha Paladino; Little Airplane Productions (2009-06-23). Off to School!. Simon Spotlight. ISBN 978-1-4169-7197-9.
- Save the Visitor!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2009-06-23. ISBN 978-1-4169-7868-8.
- Baby Beaver Rescue. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2009-07-14. ISBN 978-1-4169-8499-3.
- Save Little Red Riding Hood!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2009-07-14. ISBN 978-1-4169-8566-2.
- Happy Halloween, Wonder Pets!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2009-08-04. ISBN 978-1-4169-7982-1.
- Save the Beetles!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2009-09-22. ISBN 978-1-4169-9019-2.
- The Wonder Pets Save the Nutcracker!: A Play-Along Storybook. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2009-10-06. ISBN 978-1-4169-9016-1.
- Billy Lopez (2010-01-26). Ming-Ming's Favorite Things. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-9062-8.
- Laura Brown (2010-02-09). Let's Play Outside!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-9022-2.
- Tone Thyne; Little Airplane Productions (2010-02-09). Let's Play the Opposites Game. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-8507-5.
- The Baby Bird Rescue!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2010-02-09. ISBN 978-1-4169-9077-2.
- Floppy's First Sleepover. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2010-06-08. ISBN 978-1-4169-9756-6.
- Melinda Richards (2010-06-08). Flyboat to the Rescue!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4169-9752-8.
- This Is Serious!: Recycling to the Rescue! / Little Green Nickelodeon. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. 2010-06-08. ISBN 978-1-4424-0231-7.
- Michael Scanlon (2010-08-31). How We Met!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4424-0654-4.
- Josh Selig (2010-09-07). We Are Thankful!. Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-1-4424-0677-3.
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||April 10th, 2007|
In addition to the DVDs and books, the show's self-titled track, Wonder Pets!, was released on April 10, 2007. The soundtrack features songs from the show itself, including the main self-titled theme song.
All songs are performed by the Wonder Pets unless otherwise noted.
- The Wonder Pets
- Poor Baby Squirrel (Ming-Ming/Voiced by Danica Lee)
- The Caterpillar's Song
- Oh Sheep-eee-hooo
- Tickle the Whale
- To Be Free
- Hold On Pigeon
- Fruit Salad
- City Garden Rap
- Hug A Hedgy
- The Oasis
- Hola Hermit Crab
- Wee-Wee Pee-Pee Tinkle
- Brown Cow Down
- Wonder Pets We Love You
- The Wonder Pets (Instrumental) (Wonder Pets Orchestra)
|Publication date||October 27, 2008 (U.S.)|
April 3, 2009 (AUS)
|System(s)||Nintendo DS, Wii|
On July 6, 2016, the first 20 episodes were made available for streaming on the Noggin video service. The remaining episodes will most likely be added to the app in two years. The remaining two seasons(42 episodes) were released on the app on February 7, 2018. All three seasons of the series (62 episodes in total) are also available to buy on Amazon Video.
- Crump, William D. (2019). Happy Holidays—Animated! A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Cartoons on Television and Film. McFarland & Co. pp. 343–344. ISBN 9781476672939.
- Wonder Pets - TVGuide.com
- "Wonder Pets! at Nick Animation". Nickelodeon Animation Studio. 2015. Archived from the original on November 13, 2019.
Original run: 03/03/06 - 07/20/13
- "Kids' Corner Q&A: Wonder Pets!'s Josh Selig". Entertainment Weekly. April 22, 2007. Archived from the original on April 6, 2015.
- "Little Airplane soars with Wonder Pets!". Animation World Network. April 18, 2007. Archived from the original on June 25, 2016.
- "Animation Solo to Studio". Animation Magazine. February 23, 2007. Archived from the original on April 15, 2015.
- "Linny the Guinea Pig: Space and Ocean". Tribeca Film Festival. 2005. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016.
- "The Heartbeat of Little Airplane: An interview with Jeffrey Lesser". Kidscreen. March 24, 2009. Archived from the original on March 20, 2011.
- Heffley, Lynne. "Unchained melodies: In scoring the kids' show 'The Wonder Pets!,' top-notch composers get a warm and fuzzy feeling". Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA. 2006-03-03. Accessed: 2011-01-11. (Archived by WebCite at WebCitation.org)
- Jennifer Oxley, "Meet the Creators of Wonder Pets!"
- Robert Lloyd, "'Wonder Pets!' to the rescue", Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif.: Mar 3, 2006. pg. E.29.
- Morton, Rebecca, Youngster, 7, racks up acting, modeling credits , Great Media News, gmnews.som, August 20, 2008
- Video, Toys "R" Us television commercial
- "New attraction spotlight: Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America", March 11, 2008
- Freisen, Eric, DVD Review:Save the Wonder Pets!, BlogCritics Magazine, April 21, 2007
- Save the Unicorn Wonder Pets DVD, Amazon.com
- Save the Reindeer!, Wonder Pets, Amazon.com DVD
- Save the Dinosaur!, Wonder Pets DVD, Amazon.com
- Save the Beetles Wonder Pets DVD, Amazon.com
- Save the Nursery Rhyme, Wonder Pets DVD, Amazon.com
- Save the Bengal Tiger, Wonder Pets DVD, Amazon.com
- "Wonder Pets! Save the Nutcracker!": Saving A Nutcracker Is Mistewious, Review, Toon Zone, October 10, 2008
- Wonder Pets Join the Circus, Wonder Pets DVD, Amazon.com
- Wonder Pets!: Ollie's Slumber Party: DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video June 9, 2007
- Wonder Pets: The First Rescue | DVD Review | The Dirty Shirt June 23, 2010
- Wonder Pets! book page from Simon & Schuster
- Wonder Pets: Wonder Pets!: Music Retrieved from Amazon.com on Nov. 26th, 2010.
- IGN: Wonder Pets! Save the Animals!