|Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks|
|Developed by||Mike Young|
John Over (season 3)
|Directed by||John Over (seasons 1 and 2)|
Jeff Gordon (season 3)
|Theme music composer||Geoff Levin|
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Mike Young (seasons 1-2)|
Stephanie Gougeon (seasons 1-2)
Louisa Stretton (season 1)
Daniel Isman (season 3)
Liz Young (season 3)
Bill Schultz (co-executive (seasons 1-2), season 3)
Cary Silver (line)
Liz Young (supervising, seasons 1-2)
Mike Young (supervising, season 3)
Peter Anderson (creative associate)
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Production companies||Entara Ltd.|
Mike Young Productions
|Original network||PBS Kids (US)|
CBBC and CBeebies (UK)
RTE Two (Ireland)
|Picture format||HDTV (720p)|
|Original release||September 7, 2003 –|
January 24, 2007
Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (or simply Jakers in Europe) is a computer-animated children's television series. The series was broadcast on PBS Kids in the United States, and on CBBC and CBeebies in the United Kingdom. It was also broadcast in Australia on ABC Kids. The series ran for 3 seasons and 52 episodes total from September 7, 2003 to January 24, 2007, with reruns airing through August 31, 2008. Reruns aired on the Qubo television network from June 30, 2012 (alongside Taste Buds, Artzooka! and Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs) to March 26, 2017.
The show chronicles the boyhood adventures of Piggley Winks, an anthropomorphic pig from Ireland, and how he relates these stories to his grandchildren as a grandfather in the modern day. Many of the stories takes place on the Winks family's farm, Raloo Farm, located in the village of Tara. The word "jakers" was originally a euphemism for "Jesus" in much of Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s, and was an exclamation of surprise, delight, dismay, or alarm. Piggley and his father exclusively use it to express their delight when they discover something on their adventures. Notably, the show contains voiceover work by the actors Joan Rivers and Mel Brooks.
Jakers! takes place in two different settings, in two different time periods.
In the present time (the frame story), Piggley Winks lives in the United States (or Great Britain, according to different versions) and tells stories of his childhood in a rural area in the south of Ireland to his three grandchildren. In flashbacks, he is seen as a child, playing with his friends and going to school in rural Ireland in the mid-1950s. Most of the main characters are anthropomorphic animals—including Piggley and his family, who are all pigs. However, there are normal, non-anthropomorphic animals in the show as well.
Piggley Winks lived with his parents Pádraig and Elly and his younger sister Molly at Raloo Farm in Ireland during the 1950s. His best friends are Dannan O'Mallard, a duck who lives in a hut by a pond with her rarely seen grandmother, and Fernando "Ferny" Toro, a young bull who lives with his widowed father, the Spanish blacksmith Don Toro in the village of Tara. Piggley's rival is the main antagonist, Hector McBadger.
Piggley lives his everyday life on the farm as a normal child, going to school, helping his parents, taking care of his sister, and having adventures, almost always followed by his friends. He has always been interested in stories and legends, and his fertile mind and mischievous spirit put him in many unpredictable situations, like believing fairies turned Ferny into a bug, trying to hatch a supposed dragon's egg, using the Salmon of Knowledge to pass the school exam, and even trying to capture the legendary Fir Darrig.
Each story also features a subplot featuring a sheep named Wiley (voiced by Mel Brooks), who lives at Raloo Farm with his flock. As the only sheep in the flock who can talk, he believes he is their natural leader, and tries to get the other sheep to do all kinds of different things (singing, racing, playing sports, acting, etc.), with varying degrees of success. He is later assisted by his mate, a female sheep named Shirley (in earlier seasons, Shirley had no lines; also, in the episode "Growing Pains" gave birth to a lamb, later named Little Baa).
A running gag on the show is that Wiley's subplot and Piggley's plot would collide (e.g. in "Sheep on the Loose", Wiley runs away and Piggley, as the shepherd, tries to find him).
CommonSenseMedia explains that at the end of each episode there is a live-action segment, in which "group of children talk about their own experiences and feelings, reflecting on what the episode has been about".
An elderly Piggley lives with his daughter Ciara and her three children, the twins Seán and Séamus, and their older sister Meg. Whenever the children have an issue, Piggley tells them one of his childhood stories as a moral lesson. The grandchildren are able to identify exaggerations in his stories.
The original American accents of Ciara and her children have been dubbed with English accents for broadcast in the United Kingdom.
Main article: List of Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks episodes
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||26||September 7, 2003||June 27, 2004|
|2||14||September 5, 2004||January 30, 2005|
|3||12||September 18, 2006||January 23, 2007|
Jakers! was originally conceived by Denise Fitzpatrick based on her experiences on a farm as a young girl in rural Ireland. The original name for her character and the show she planned to adapt him to was originally titled Piggley Pooh, which caused a cease and desist letter by The Walt Disney Company due to the planned show sharing the same name as the Winnie the Pooh series. Despite countersuing and having the European Court side with the Fitzpatrick's, their lawyer decided that changing the name of the show and chatacter would be better to avoid future copyright issues. Eventually, this led to Piggley Pooh becoming Piggley Winks.
After the name change, production on the show began in March 2002, under the title of The Curley Tales of Piggley Winks. Denise's husband, Frances, helped produce the show through his company, Entara, while the show was executively produced by Mike Young and animated by his studio Mike Young Productions, which at the time was handling international distribution for the series. Notably, the show was rendered in high definition, being the first cartoon to do so at the time.
Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks was shown on CBeebies and CBBC in United Kingdom from 2004 up until early 2011. It first aired in the United Kingdom on the CBBC Channel on September 6, 2004, as part of the Animadness block, and later was repeated on CBeebies from February 13, 2006, on the BBC One strand at 3:25pm, but it didn't air on the CBeebies Channel until March 19, 2007, when the scheduling of CBeebies was changing, and Qubo, and PBS Kids, and PBS Kids Sprout in United States.
9 Story Media Group currently distributes the series.
Reruns on PBS Kids continued to air until August 31, 2008. However, PBS Kids Sprout aired this series in 2005, but was taken off after July 3, 2008.
Univision's Planeta U carried the show as part of the block's inaugural lineup from its launch on April 5, 2008, to August 28, 2010.
|Piggley Gets Into Trouble||July 18, 2006||
|School Days in Tara||July 18, 2006||
|Sheep on the Loose||October 31, 2006||
|Spooky Storytellers||August 28, 2007||
|Treasure Hunt on Raloo Farm||February 19, 2008||
|Wish Upon a Story||January 14, 2014||
|Legends of Raloo||January 14, 2014||
|Rock Around the Barn||January 14, 2014||
|School Days in Tara||24 October 2005||
|Treasure Hunt on Raloo Farm||10 April 2006||
|Spooky Storytellers||23 October 2006||
|Piggley Gets Into Trouble||5 March 2007||
|Sheep on the Loose||22 October 2007||
CommonSenseMedia gave the show a rating of 4 stars out of 5, commenting "The animation is lovely, the characters are amusing and cute, and the lessons are so gently presented that it really is a pleasure to learn them."
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