Wonder Pets! logo
|Created by||Josh Selig|
|Developed by||Josh Selig|
|Directed by||Jennifer Oxley|
|Theme music composer||Salim-Sulaiman|
|Country of origin||United States|
|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|
|First shown in||March 3, 2006|
|Original release||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 the same day. It won an Emmy Award in 2008, 2010 and 2012 for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition in the United States.
History and format
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.
Debuted on March 3, 2006 on the Nick Jr. block and on Noggin on August 31, 2006, ended on July 20, 2013.
The Flyboat is the primary mode of transportation in the series. The main base is a red flying disc with 4 blue and yellow wheels, it has 3 lights: 1 green, 1 orange and 1 purple; the Flyboat has a clear plastic bottom where 5 gears, that are possibly part of the engine, are visible. The Flyboat's rocket boosters are 2 felt marker caps that are controlled by a green Popsicle stick that when lifted up makes boosters point down, which allows the Flyboat to hover in the air. Lastly, the boat has a mast made out of blue Erector pieces with a marble on top and a sail (the color, design, and print varies) with the Wonder Pets logo on it. Usually, Linny pilots the Flyboat, but there are episodes where Ming-Ming or Tuck pilot it instead. Most other modes of transportation are a variation of the Flyboat and primarily use the same components such as the Flysub, which is basically a modified Flyboat capable of traveling underwater or modify it to fit a specific theme tied to the theme of the episode such as The Circusboat in "Join the Circus!". In "Save the Raccoon", the Flyboat breaks down during their rescue of a Baby Raccoon stuck in a Recycling Bin and find that its gears have come loose, forcing them to create a new vehicle called the Flycycle from recyclable materials in order to save the Baby Raccoon. In "Save the Loch Ness Monster", it is shown that the Flyboat can be converted in a sail/motor boat by changing the position of the wheels and the boosters, called the Boat-Boat. In "Three Wonder Pets and a Baby", Linny decides to create Babyboat, using a red Baby carriage as its main base instead of the Flyboat's red disc. The Wonder Pets have trouble building it at first as they are all trying to do everything at the same time so Linny suggests that they build it step-by-step and this solution to build the Babyboat would later inspire them of how to deal with pacifying the crying Baby Piglet. In "Ollie to the Rescue", Ollie creates his own version for his Thunder Pets team, which he calls the Ollieboat. He uses the Flyboats red flying disc as its main base and a carrot for a mast. However, Ollie is a poor flyer and requires the Wonder Pets assistance to fly the Ollieboat out of the classroom.
Toys and merchandising
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.
Books (Wonder Pets! series)
- 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 Wonder Pets|
|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)
October 27, 2008 (US)|
April 3, 2009 (AUS)
|System(s)||Nintendo DS, Wii|
The show's only game was released on October 27, 2008, in the United States and on April 3, 2009, in Australia for the Nintendo DS.
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 the future.
- Wonder Pets - TVGuide.com
- "Wonder Pets! In the Land of Oz". Zap2it.com. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
- 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.
- Edward Wyatt, "Nickelodeon's 'Wonder Pets' Offers Operetta for Preschoolers", New York Times, March 28, 2006. pg. E.1.
- Morton, Rebecca, Youngster, 7, racks up acting, modeling credits , Great Media News, gmnews.som, August 20, 2008
- "Wonder Pets Goes Opera Beatles". www.today.com. NBCNews.com. April 17, 2008. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
- 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!
- Official website
- Wonder Pets! at the Internet Movie Database
- Wonder Pets! at TV.com
- Wonder Pets! at TV Guide
- Entertainment Weekly interview of creator Josh Selig
- Gothamist interview of Josh Selig