Katie and Orbie

Katie and Orbie

Orbie (left) and Katie (right)
Genre Children's television series
Created by Ben Wicks and Susan Wicks
Written by Mary Mackay-Smith
Directed by Lee Williams
Voices of Chris Wightman
Amanda Tripp
Narrated by Leslie Nielsen
Composer(s) Edmund Eagan
Country of origin Canada
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 78 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Sheldon S. Wiseman
Producer(s) Mark Edwards
Weldon Poapst
Running time 26 minutes
Original network Family Channel
Original release 1994–2002

Katie and Orbie is a Canadian animated television series aimed at preschoolers, originally broadcast in Canada from 1994–2002 by Family Channel and later aired in the United States on PBS from 1996–1997 and on Disney Channel from 1997–2000. In Canada, the series aired uninterruptedly on Family Channel and (beginning on 2007) Disney Junior (formerly called Playhouse Disney) until December 31, 2012. The series has also aired in several countries around the world.


The animated series is based on a series of four environment-themed children's books titled Katie and Orbie Save the Planet, illustrated by Canadian cartoonist Ben Wicks and written by his daughter Susan Wicks, which were published in 1991.[1] In 1993, Lacewood Productions adapted the characters into an animated series which was originally in production until 1996, being revived five years later by Amberwood Entertainment and then ending in 2002. Contrary to the original books, the series isn't strictly environment-themed, having stories that range from having a new pet or helping their friends, to address themes like children with divorced parents, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, one of the few series aimed at preschoolers to do so.

The theme song was written by Edmund Eagan and performed by his niece, Mireille Eagan.

Unlike most TV series, the animation on Katie and Orbie was made in a technique referred to by producer Sheldon Wiseman as "picture-mation" similar to an electronic storybook, instead of coming to life, also, none of the characters actually speak, so a variety of sound effects are used during the stories, with a narrator telling the story. The series was narrated by Leslie Nielsen.

Main characters

The family's surname was never mentioned. They also possess a cottage on the shore of a lake (which was bought by Wayne's parents) in which they occasionally spend time, especially in the summer.

Friends and other characters

First appearance: I Don't Want to Be Different, but formally introduced on The Day Chance Found a New Home
First appearance: Andy's Birthday Present
First appearance: The Day Arthur Smacked Katie
First appearance: Yee Ping
First appearance: Everybody Counts, but formally introduced on Kyra, a later episode.
First appearance: Does It Have Eggs In It?
First appearance: The Pow-Wow
First appearance: Andy's Birthday Present, but formally introduced on Drumsticks, a later episode.
First appearance: The Babysitter
First appearance: Puppy Love
First appearance: Belkis
First appearance: Charisse
First appearance: Tom's Pool Party
First appearance: The Story Dress
First appearance: The New Baby

A handful of other minor characters appeared during the series, among them an Indian girl named Sasha, a deaf girl named Lulu and the main characters' great uncle named David.


Lacewood Productions began work on the series in 1993, creating thirteen half-hour episodes, which debuted in 1994 on Family Channel and quickly became a success, prompting Lacewood to create two further seasons in 1995 and 1996. In the third season, the series switched to digital ink and paint for coloring.

In 1997, Lacewood Productions closed down and was taken over by Paragon Entertainment. In 2000, Amberwood Entertainment, a studio founded by Sheldon Wiseman after Lacewood's closure, acquired some of its assets from Paragon, including the series, and alongside Entertainment Rights began production of 26 more episodes, which debuted on the Family Channel the next year. However, in 2002 after the sixth season the series definitely ended production.

A total of 234 individual stories were produced, three per each half-hour episode. Each episode also had two interstitial segments titled Did You Know? which tells viewers small pieces of information regarding several subjects, such as plants, food, animals, the body and arts. These segments are narrated off-screen by Katie (voiced by Amanda Tripp).

Each episode is structured by the opening theme, the first story, a Did You Know? interstitial segment, the second story, another Did You Know? interstitial segment, the third story and the closing credits.


From 2007 until 2012, both Family and Disney Junior only showed the series during overnight hours. Presumably, it was still aired on those channels in order to fulfill the Canadian content rules, being eventually replaced with newer Canadian series like Stella and Sam. Only the last two seasons were in rotation on both channels in later years.

Other countries that have aired the series at some point include Hungary, Iceland, Norway and South Africa.

DVD releases

Seasons 1, 4, 5 and 6 were available on DVD on the online store of the now-defunct Canadian retailer Express Media; however, seasons 2 and 3 were not.

Two DVDs were released in Australia in 2010 with season 6 episodes.


  1. "Kid's and Nature". Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  2. Scott Moore (28 January 1996). "PBS GIVES PRESCHOOLERS A READ ON THEIR WORLD". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  3. "Nickelodeon UK Schedule -- 6/18/1994 to 6/24/1994". Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  4. Nisse, Jason (September 10, 2000). "Boom, boom! Now we've got Orbie". The Independent. London.
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-BZmrbUiTY Opening for the Spain dub of the series
  6. Stéphane CLEMENT. "Planète Jeunesse - Katie et Orbie". Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  7. cacelo (21 November 2011). "Je Découvre Et J'apprends La Vie Avec Katie Et Orbie (Coffret 5 Dvd) de Group, Carrere - Achat et vente DVD Zone 2, neuf ou d'occasion sur PriceMinister". Retrieved 8 May 2016.

External links

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