Jay Jay the Jet Plane
JayJaytheJetPlanelogo.jpg
Also known asJay Jay (for short)
GenreChildren's television series
Created by
  • David Michel
  • Deborah Michel
Written by
Starring
Voices of
Narrated by
  • John William Galt (pilot series)
  • Chuck Morgan (US)
  • Michael Donovan (US)
  • Brian Cant (UK)
Theme music composerStephen Michael Schwartz
Parachute Express
Opening theme"Gee, How I Love to Fly" (1994–1996); "Jay Jay the Jet Plane Theme Song" (1998–2005)
Ending theme"Gee, How I Love to Fly" (Reprise) (1998–2000); "Jay Jay the Jet Plane Theme Song Instrumental" (1998–2005)
Composers
  • Craig Dobbin
  • Brian Mann
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes62 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • David Michel
  • Bruce D. Johnson
  • William T. Baumann
  • Chris Walker
ProducerDavid Michel
Running time25 minutes
Production companies
Distributor
Release
Original network
Picture formatNTSC
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original release
  • Pilot series:
  • December 13, 1994 (1994-12-13) – October 29, 1996 (1996-10-29)
  • Television series:
  • November 2, 1998 (1998-11-02) – November 25, 2005 (2005-11-25)

Jay Jay the Jet Plane is an American live-action/CGI-animated musical children's television series which aired on The Learning Channel, PBS Kids and Smile.[1] The series aired for a total of 4 seasons and has 62 episodes. The series is centered on a group of aircraft that live in the fictional city of Tarrytown and takes place at the Tarrytown Airport. The episodes were commonly distributed in 25-minute-long (without commercials) pairs, with one header sequence and one end credit for each pair. Each episode contains one or more songs.

The theme song and many of the other songs were written by well-known children's singer/songwriter Stephen Michael Schwartz and sung by his popular musical group, Parachute Express. The series was created by David and Deborah Michel and was intended to be educational to teach life and moral lessons to children.

History

Original Series

Early episodes using physical models ('Pilot Series')

In late 1994, a short live-action series was produced at AMS Production Company in Dallas, Texas, with real model plane characters, and handcrafted human characters; they had the same personalities as in the later series. This original series was narrated similarly to the first twelve seasons of Thomas & Friends, or Theodore Tugboat.[2] Three videos were released: Jay Jay's First Flight in December 1994, Old Oscar Leads the Parade in February 1995, and Tracy's Handy Hideout in October 1996. This original series was narrated by and features the voices of John William Galt. These three were known as the "pilot series".

CGI and live-action-based episodes

On November 2, 1998, the CGI-animated/live-action series premiered on The Learning Channel as part of the Ready Set Learn block. Voice actress Mary Kay Bergman provided the original voice of Jay Jay, Herky, Savannah, and Revvin Evan. After her death, Debi Derryberry and Donna Cherry replaced her.

In 2005, new episodes were produced featuring additional characters, including the red Latina plane Lina. Each episode begins featuring a Jay Jay's Mysteries segment in which Jay Jay and Lina explore things that may be mysteries to the intended age group, such as how planes fly, and how the five senses are used. The mysteries segment is followed by a story that comes from the third season episodes of the series, so in effect, the new series repackages previously broadcast content on the subchannel networks Qubo and Smile. It aired on Channel 5 and Tiny Pop in the UK.

In 2019, Yippee TV became the exclusive streaming service of Jay Jay the Jet Plane.[3]

Reboot

Promotional announcement image, depicting the new design of Jay Jay.
Promotional announcement image, depicting the new design of Jay Jay.

A new reboot of the series titled The New World of Jay Jay the Jet Plane has been confirmed through Trilogy Animation Group's website.[4] Unlike the original series, the characters' faces are completely redesigned, and made to look more cartoony. Like the original series, however, it will be CGI-animated[5] and started streaming on Peacock on June 20, 2022.

Production

The series was produced by Venice, California-based production company Modern Cartoons at their soundstage in Oxnard, California, United States. Unlike Thomas & Friends, this series used a variety of cutting edge animation techniques:[6]

The complex mathematical and CGI issues were solved by Frank Ford Little, Ph.D.

Several proprietary software systems were used:

Characters

Starting in the pilot series, every character and model plane is voiced by John William Galt.

The young and adult planes and road vehicles are CGI characters, while the humans are live-action actors.

Relationship words for the airplane characters refer to being in loco parentis for purposes of upbringing, and education, not for biological parenthood. The story says that (some of) the airplane characters were made in factories.

Some of the stories describe characters as doing actions offscreen that would need foldaway arms (e.g. Big Jake digging holes), but those arms are never seen onscreen.

Aircraft

Young planes

Adult planes

Road vehicles

Humans

Animals

New characters

Mentioned characters

Places

Sometimes, the young and adult planes taxi on the town streets.

Episodes

Main article: List of Jay Jay the Jet Plane episodes

Season Episodes Originally aired (United States dates) Original network
First aired Last aired
Pilot series 12 December 13, 1994 (1994-12-13) October 29, 1996 (1996-10-29) Direct-to-video
1 12 November 2, 1998 (1998-11-02) December 21, 1998 (1998-12-21) TLC
2 14 January 4, 1999 (1999-01-04) March 14, 2000 (2000-03-14)
3 14 June 11, 2001 (2001-06-11) July 20, 2001 (2001-07-20) PBS Kids
4 10 September 5, 2005 (2005-09-05) November 25, 2005 (2005-11-25)


Reception

Common Sense Media gave the series a four out of five stars, saying, "Parents need to know that this series offers young fans life lessons such as valuing friends, overcoming shyness, and learning to like yourself. Kids will enjoy the often funny antics of 6-year-old Jay Jay and his friends. Don't be surprised if you catch your preschooler singing along with the show's simple songs."[7]

References

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 442–443. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ Amazon.com Jay Jay's First Flight VHS. ASIN 6303398499.
  3. ^ "Jay Jay the Jet Plane". Yippee TV.
  4. ^ "Animation Studio | Trilogy Animation| Orange County | United States". Trilogy Animation.
  5. ^ "resume". Denis Morella Animation Portfolio.
  6. ^ "Practical MoCap: Motion Capture for TV". Creative Planet Network. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  7. ^ "Jay Jay the Jet Plane - TV Review". www.commonsensemedia.org. October 19, 2009.