Elinor Wonders Why
Elinor Wonders Why logo.png
Created by
Directed byKevin Micallef
Starring
Theme music composer
  • Jorge Cham
  • Daniel Whiteson
Opening theme"Elinor Wonders Why Theme" by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson, performed by Markeda McKay
Ending theme"Elinor Wonders Why Theme" (instrumental)
Composers
  • Asher Lenz
  • Stephen Skratt
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Canada
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes35
Production
Executive producers
  • Jorge Cham
  • Daniel Whiteson
  • Luis Lopez
  • Juan Lopez
ProducersSupervising producers:
  • Darin Bristow
  • Amy Robson
  • Angelica Lopez
Running time25 minutes
Production companies
  • Pipeline Studios
  • Shoe Ink
Release
Original networkPBS Kids
Picture formatHDTV 720p
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseSeptember 7, 2020 (2020-09-07) –
present

Elinor Wonders Why is an animated television series created by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson. The show premiered on September 7, 2020, on PBS Kids.[1]

Plot

The exploration-themed show encourages children to follow their curiosity, ask questions when they don't understand, and find answers using science inquiry skills. The main character, Elinor, is the most observant and curious bunny rabbit in Animal Town just north of Natural Forest, California. She introduces children ages 3–6 to science, nature, and communities through adventures with her friends Olive and Ari. Each episode includes two 11-minute animated stories, plus interstitial content, where Elinor and her classmates enjoy either Señor Tapir singing about famous nature explorers or Ms. Mole reading stories.[2]

Characters

Main

Recurring

Episodes

No.Title [3]Directed byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code [3]
1"Hiding In Plain Sight
Owl Girl"
Kevin MicallefTom Berger
Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson
September 7, 2020 (2020-09-07)102

Hiding In Plain Sight: Elinor and her pals are playing Hide and Go-Seek, but they are always spotted by the Goat twins! They observe camouflaged animals, and figure out to stay hidden, they need to camouflage themselves.

Owl Girl: Elinor can't figure out what to be for Costume Day, and wants to find out why an owl has been sleeping all morning. After exploring at night with her mom, she figures out what she wants to be for Costume Day: an owl!
Storytime: Ms. Mole tells a story about octopuses, and how they camouflage themselves.
2"Backyard Soup
Colorful and Tasty"
Kevin MicallefJorge Cham & Daniel WhitesonSeptember 7, 2020 (2020-09-07)113

Backyard Soup: Elinor is visiting her Baba and Bibi in Desert Town, and wants to make Backyard Soup! But, she can't find the ingredients! She figures out that certain plants grow in certain places.

Colorful and Tasty: Elinor, Olive, and Ari have made carrot cupcakes, but they aren't selling in the park! Everyone loves cupcakes, but what's wrong? They figure out that they need to spread the color, and the smell!
Señor Tapir's Song: Señor Tapir sings a song about Ynes Mexia, a plant enthusiast.
3"The Amazing Expandable Clubhouse
The Town Picnic"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson
September 8, 2020 (2020-09-08)101

The Amazing Expandable Clubhouse: Elinor, Ari, and Olive have new members for their club, but there's not enough room for everyone in the clubhouse! They look for help from their snail friends, Norma and Lulu. They figure out that they can expand the clubhouse.

The Town Picnic: Animal Town is having its Town Picnic, and Ari is getting impatient of waiting for Ms. Llama's ketchup. They find out that the ketchup is taking a long time to pour out of the bottle due to it being too goopy! They figure out that adding water can make things more runny!
Señor Tapir's Song: Señor Tapir sings a song about Jacques Cousteau, the inventor of scuba gear.
4"The Science of Staying Warm
The Seed of an Idea"
Kevin Micallef
Kevin Micallef & Joey So
Miklos Perlus
Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson
September 9, 2020 (2020-09-09)103
5"The House That Ants Built
Special Places"
Kevin MicallefAdam Ruben
Rachel Lipman
September 10, 2020 (2020-09-10)104

The House That Ants Built: Elinor, Ari, and Olive want to make a cushion castle, but they all try to make different things and take from each other! They look at an anthill, and discover that the ants are working together. They figure out that they should work together.

Special Places: Ari has lost his new super bouncy ball! He and his friends look around, and they track where Ari has been throughout the whole day. They figure out that to keep something safe, you should put it in a special place.
Storytime: Ms. Mole tells a story about ants, and if ants have families.
6"The Tomato Drop
Look What I Can Do"
Kevin MicallefKaren Moonah
Dave Dias
September 14, 2020 (2020-09-14)105

The Tomato Drop: Animal Town is having its Tomato Festival, and Elinor, Ari, and Olive are participating in the Tomato Drop! But, they can't keep the tomato from smushing! They figure out that they can use something as a chute to keep the tomato from smushing.

Look What I Can Do: The kids are learning how to play soccer, but Elinor and Ari aren't as good as the others. Elinor can't kick the ball as far, and Ari keeps catching the ball with his hands! They figure out that everybody has their own special ability.
Señor Tapir's Song: Señor Tapir sings a song about Louis-Sébastien Lenormand, the inventor of the parachute.
7"The Lizard Lounge
Feathers"
Kevin MicallefJorge Cham & Daniel WhitesonSeptember 15, 2020 (2020-09-15)106
8"Bird Song
No Need to Shout"
Kevin MicallefJorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson
Kate Barris
September 16, 2020 (2020-09-16)107
9"Ms. Mole's Glasses
Elinor Stops the Squish"
Kevin MicallefRachel Lipman
Karen Moonah
July 13, 2020 (2020-07-13) (PBS Kids Video)
September 17, 2020 (2020-09-17)
108
10"Speed Racer
One of These Goats"
Kevin MicallefAdam Ruben
Kate Barris
September 21, 2020 (2020-09-21)109
11"Leave It to Ari
Snow Friend"
Kevin MicallefJorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson
Katherine Sandford
September 22, 2020 (2020-09-22)111
12"Wind in the Web
The Pokey Plant"
Kevin MicallefJorge Cham & Daniel WhitesonSeptember 23, 2020 (2020-09-23)112
13"Bubble House
The Syrup Tree"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson
September 28, 2020 (2020-09-28)114
14"The Paper Trail
Bath Time"
Kevin MicallefKaren Moonah
Adam Ruben
September 29, 2020 (2020-09-29)115
15"Make Music Naturally
Light the Way"
Kevin MicallefKate Barris
Tom Berger
November 2, 2020 (2020-11-02)116
16"These Sneezes
Ari's Lucky Shirt"
Kevin MicallefDave Dias
Michael Foulke
November 9, 2020 (2020-11-09)117

These Sneezes: When trying to carry flowers in the park, Olive suddenly sneezes. They wonder why they sneeze. The figure out that they sneeze to keep irritating things out of your nose.

Ari's Lucky Shirt: Ari wants to wear his lucky shirt for today's soccer game, but it's too small! He and his friends find out that Ari's growing, and he needs to wear his green shirt.
Señor Tapir's Song: Señor Tapir sings a song about Lydia Bourouiba, a scientist who wanted to find how sneezes move.
17"Follow That Roly Poly
Rain, Rain Don't Go Away"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Rachel Lipman
November 16, 2020 (2020-11-16)118
18"Water You Doing?
Thinking About Blinking"
Kevin MicallefKate Barris
Paul Moncrieffe
November 23, 2020 (2020-11-23)119
19"Feed the Birds
Señor Tapir Says Adios"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson
April 21, 2022 (2022-04-21)[4]110
20"Butterfly Babies
Elinor's Circus"
Kevin MicallefRosemary Mosco
Karen Moonah
March 15, 2021 (2021-03-15)120

Butterfly Babies: While exploring the park, Ari and Olive explain to each other about caterpillars and butterflies. When a butterfly lands on little Miri's nose, it makes Elinor wonder: what do butterfly babies look like? They figure out that butterfly babies are actually: caterpillars!

Elinor's Circus: Elinor, Ari, and Olive are having their own circus! But, neither of them are good at their acts. How can they get better? With the help of Siggy Squirrel, they figure out that what they need is balance.
Señor Tapir's Song: Señor Tapir sings a song about Fred and Norah Urquhart, two scientists who wanted to know where butterflies go during migration.
21"Zig Zag Plant
Butterfly Drinks"
Kevin MicallefJorge Cham & Daniel WhitesonMarch 16, 2021 (2021-03-16)121
22"Frozen Fish
Pirate Treasure"
Kevin MicallefAdam Ruben
Tom Berger
March 17, 2021 (2021-03-17)122
23"Burrowing Owl Girl
Olive's Tree"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Michael Foulke
March 18, 2021 (2021-03-18)123

Burrowing Owl Girl: Elinor is spending the day with her Bibi, and she fins an owl that doesn't act like a normal owl. She and Bibi notices that things look different, but they're still the same thing. She figures out that it was a burrowing owl she saw, and that she doesn't know everything about owls.

Olive's Tree: Olive loves her special tree in the park. When it falls down, she is really sad. She and her friends figure out that the tree will still have a role in the park as a wildlife tree.
Señor Tapir's Song: Señor Tapir sings a song about Roseli Ocampo, an explorer who wanted to know if life lived everywhere.
24"Speedy Swimming
Strawberry Jam"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Rosemary Mosco
June 7, 2021 (2021-06-07)124
25"To Bee or Not to Bee
Turtle Crossing"
Kevin MicallefMichael FoulkeJune 8, 2021 (2021-06-08)125
26"Big Trees
Baby Steps"
Kevin MicallefJorge Chem & Daniel Whiteson
Katherine Sandford
June 9, 2021 (2021-06-09)126
27"Follow Your Nose
Leaf Charms[5]"
Kevin MicallefJorge Cham & Daniel WhitesonJune 10, 2021 (2021-06-10)127
28"A Change of Art
Litterbug[6]"
Kevin MicallefAdam Ruben
Michael Foulke
September 6, 2021 (2021-09-06)128

A Change of Art: Elinor, Olive, and Ari are at art class with Mr. Lion, but they're out of paint! They find that grass and berries can make paint-like items. They figure out that you can use things from nature to make art.

Litterbug: There's litter in the park, and the kids want to help Mrs. Hippo get rid of the litter. But, there's even more around the town! Elinor figures out that the cause of the litter is her, Olive, Ari, and Mrs. Hippo.
Señor Tapir's Song: Señor Tapir sings a song about Sada Mire.
29"The Unsinkable Lynx
Rocky the Rock"
Kevin MicallefRosemary Mosco
Katherine Sandford
September 7, 2021 (2021-09-07)129

Note: This is Elinor Wonders Why's 1st Anniversary.
30"Echo Location
Ears to You"
Kevin MicallefJorge Chem & Daniel Whiteson
Tom Berger
September 8, 2021 (2021-09-08)130
31"Olive's Library
Nature Walk"
Kevin MicallefJorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson
Katherine Sandford
September 9, 2021 (2021-09-09)131
32"Butterfly Library
More Than One Right Way"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Kate Barris
January 17, 2022 (2022-01-17)132
33"Underground Soup
Dandy Dandelions"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Karen Moonah
January 18, 2022 (2022-01-18)133
34"A Moth Mystery
Just Peachy"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Tom Berger
January 19, 2022 (2022-01-19)134
35"A Garden for All
Band of Explorers"
Kevin MicallefMichael Foulke
Karen Moonah
January 20, 2022 (2022-01-20)135
36"The Little Drummer
Rest is Best"
Kevin MicallefLaura Sams & Robert Sams
Rosemary Mosco
April 19, 2022 (2022-04-19)[7]136
37"Elinor's Fishy Friend
Do the Crane Dance"
Kevin MicallefKatherine Sandford
Jorge Cham
April 20, 2022 (2022-04-20)[8]137
38"A Wonderful Journey (Part 1)"Kevin MicallefJorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson & Katherine SandfordApril 18, 2022 (2022-04-18)[9]138
39"A Wonderful Journey (Part 2)"Kevin MicallefJorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson & Katherine SandfordApril 18, 2022 (2022-04-18)[9]139
40"A Wonderful Journey (Part 3)"Kevin MicallefJorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson & Katherine SandfordApril 18, 2022 (2022-04-18)[9]140

Development

Development of the show began in 2017, when Cham and Whiteson were approached by PBS. PBS found Cham's comic, Piled Higher and Deeper, online and asked if he was interested in pitching to them. "I reached out to Daniel, and what inspires us beyond science is our children," Cham recalled. "They are curious, and it motivated us to create the show."[10] Cham cites Pogo and Calvin and Hobbes as inspiration for the show's visual design, which he described as "something that felt natural and calming, as opposed to overloaded or frenetic."[2]

The character of Elinor was inspired by Cham's own daughter, Elinor.[1] Cham said "She was about 4, which is just at that perfect age where she really does wonder why, all the time. Any answer you give her, she’ll (have) a follow-up question, another why."[11] Cham and Whiteson went with animals as the show's characters to make them "appealing but also relatable at the same time", and to "highlight their range of skills and abilities."[1]

Broadcast

The series premiered on PBS Kids in the United States on September 7, 2020, as a sneak peek by showing the first 2 episodes, before regularly airing new episodes on September 8.[12] Some episodes are available on Amazon Prime Video in the United States.[13]

PBS International has licensed the series to Canada, Latin America, Finland, Israel, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates via Knowledge Network, Discovery Kids, Yle, Hop!, SVT and E-Junior, respectively.[14] The series airs on Australia on the PBS Kids channel, which was started as a venture with Foxtel in July 2021.[15]

Home video

In early 2021, the series began to release its episodes on PBS Kids compilation DVDs.[16]

Graphic novel series

Elinor Wonders Why: Hiding in Plain Sight, described as one of two launch titles for a graphic novel series based on the show, was announced in February 2022.[17] Two titles, Hiding in Plain Sight and Forest Giants, will release on September 6, 2022.[18][19]

Reception

Starr Rhett Rocque of Fast Company wrote, "This clever series...encourages curiosity."[20]

Awards

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2021 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Preschool Children’s Animated Series Elinor Wonders Why Nominated [21]
2021 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing Team for a Preschool Animated Program Elinor Wonders Why Nominated [21]

References

  1. ^ a b c Rocque, Starr Rhett (September 7, 2020). "How a physicist and a robotics engineer created 'Elinor Wonders Why' to teach young kids science". Fast Company. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Murphy, Jackson (September 10, 2020). "INTERVIEW: "Elinor Wonders Why" Creators on New PBS Program". Animation Scoop. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "ELINOR WONDERS WHY Episode Descriptions". pressroom.pbs.org. June 26, 2020. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "Feed The Birds". wgte.org. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  5. ^ "Digital Lesson Leaf Hunt!". PBS Learning Media. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "Digital Lesson Litterbug Clean Up". PBS Learning Media. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "The Little Drummer/Rest Is Best". wgte.org. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  8. ^ "Elinor's Fishy Friend/Do The Crane Dance". wgte.org. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c "Elinor Wonders Why: A Wonderful Journey: Episode 0 | Schedules | WGTE". www.wgte.org. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  10. ^ Gomez, Adrian (September 1, 2020). "PBS show by NM grad premieres next week". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  11. ^ Hughes, Mike (September 7, 2020). "Wonder-ful Elinor sparks new cartoon series". Mike Hughes On TV. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  12. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (May 29, 2019). "PBS KIDS Announces 'Elinor Wonders Why' for Fall. 2020". Animation Magazine. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  13. ^ Prange, Stephanie. "Episodes of 'Alma's Way,' 'Hero Elementary' and 'Elinor Wonders Why' Heading to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in January". Media Play News. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
  14. ^ "Elinor Wonders Why Expands Global Reach". aNbMedia. April 19, 2021. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  15. ^ "PBS Kids Launches Channel in Australia". aNb Media, Inc. July 14, 2021. Retrieved February 26, 2022. The new channel from Foxtel includes the Australian premieres of Fred Rogers Productions’ puppet series Donkey Hodie and STEM-based animated show Elinor Wonders Why.
  16. ^ "PBS KIDS: 15 Sports Stories". May 18, 2021 – via Amazon.
  17. ^ Maughan, Shannon. "Fall 2022 Children's Sneak Previews". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved February 26, 2022. Elinor Wonders Why: Hiding in Plain Sight by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson, one of two launch titles for a graphic novel series based on the TV show about an inquisitive rabbit exploring the natural world...
  18. ^ Cham, Jorge; Whiteson, Daniel (September 6, 2022). Elinor Wonders Why: Hiding in Plain Sight (listing). ISBN 978-1525306198.
  19. ^ Cham, Jorge; Whiteson, Daniel (September 6, 2022). Elinor Wonders Why: Forest Giants (listing). ISBN 978-1525306204.
  20. ^ Rocque, Starr Rhett (September 7, 2020). "How a physicist and a robotics engineer created 'Elinor Wonders Why' to teach young kids science". Fast Company. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  21. ^ a b "2021 Daytime Nominees (Children's / Animated) – The Emmys". theemmys.tv. Retrieved February 26, 2022.