|Created by||Josh Selig|
|Directed by||Jennifer Oxley|
|Voices of||Sofie Zamchick|
|Theme music composer||Larry Hochman|
|Opening theme||"The Wonder Pets!"|
|Ending theme||"The Wonder Pets!" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes|
 (list of episodes)
|Executive producer||Josh Selig|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production companies||Little Airplane Productions|
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|Original release||March 3, 2006 –|
March 9, 2016
Wonder Pets! is an American educational animated preschool children's television series produced by Little Airplane Productions. The series follows a trio of classroom pets—Linny the Guinea Pig, Turtle Tuck, and Ming-Ming Duckling—who use teamwork to help animals in need. Most of the characters' dialogue is sung in the style of operetta. Each episode is set to original music by a 10-member live orchestra.
Josh Selig and Jennifer Oxley developed the idea for Wonder Pets! while working on their previous show, Oobi. The series started out with two animated shorts called "Linny the Guinea Pig", which acted as pilot episodes. To animate them, Oxley created a style of animation called "photo-puppetry" that uses photos of real objects and moves them using Adobe After Effects. The shorts featured Linny going on adventures set to classical music. In 2003, Little Airplane screened the shorts at the wrap party for Oobi's second season. The shorts caught the attention of Nickelodeon, who picked up the shorts to air in between shows on the Nick Jr. block.
The two original shorts were aired throughout 2003 and 2004. For the full-length series, the characters of Tuck and Ming-Ming were added to form a team of hero pets. Tuck was created using photos of Jennifer Oxley's own pet turtle (a red-eared slider). The first long-form episode debuted on March 3, 2006, as part of the Nick Jr. block on Nickelodeon. On March 3, 2006, the series started airing on Noggin as well. It ran for three seasons and 62 episodes. The final episode aired on March 9, 2016. The first two seasons aired on Nickelodeon, while the majority of season three only aired on the separate Nick Jr. Channel.
Each episode (two separate eleven-minute segments or a single twenty-two-minute episode) follows a similar structure, with many hallmarks and repeated elements. As each episode begins, children are heard from off-screen, leaving school at the end of the day. They say goodbye to the classroom pets. The classroom is always decorated with student artwork and other items related to a given episode's particular storyline, featured animal, or geographic location. Once the classroom is empty, a pencil holder rattles to create the ringing of a phone.
One by one, the classroom pets notice the ringing phone. As the phone rings, they put on their accessories (a hat for Linny, shoes and a sailor's cap for Tuck, and aviator goggles for Ming-Ming) 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 Turtle and Ming-Ming Duckling. They all jump into a box filled with fabric scraps and jump back out wearing different outfits, often alluding to the area of the world they will be visiting. They make a quick joke and jump back into the box, emerging again in superhero capes.
Once dressed, they assemble a flying vehicle called the Flyboat. In some episodes, the Wonder Pets opt for a different mode of transportation by adjusting the Flyboat. Usually, the pets encounter an 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 always fail on the first few attempts. The danger escalates, prompting Ming-Ming to sing, "This is sewious!" Suddenly, the Wonder Pets remember how they solved the problem in the classroom and realize that the rescue has a similar solution. They have to work together to achieve the rescue. Once the animal is saved, its parent or other relative appears to give grateful thanks to the Wonder Pets. The pets celebrate with a celery snack. The rescued animal's parent sometimes adds a bit of regional food or insists on a regional preparation. The pets fly back to the classroom and wordlessly return to their cages as their hats and capes come off. The Flyboat automatically disassembles upon landing. Ming-Ming is always the first one to get back in her cage, Tuck is the second, and Linny is the last. A musical riff relating to the episode's rescue is played as Linny takes a bite out of the celery in her cage and winks at the camera. Other pets have winked at the camera including Tuck in Save the Rhino, Ming-Ming in Back to Kalamazoo and In The Land Of Oz and Ollie in Ollie to the Rescue and The Amazing Ollie. Another episode or the end credits then begin.
Main article: List of Wonder Pets! episodes
The series debuted on March 3, 2006, on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||20||March 3, 2006||October 20, 2007|
|2||20||October 19, 2007||March 19, 2009|
|3||22||April 22, 2009||October 17, 2016|
Wonder Pets! was produced by Little Airplane Productions. Before Wonder Pets! started, Little Airplane had only produced live-action works, like Oobi and a short film titled The Time-Out Chair. After Oobi became a breakout success for the studio, its co-founder Josh Selig expressed interest in producing another television show. Little Airplane produced two animated shorts called "Linny the Guinea Pig." The shorts focused on a silent guinea pig who left her classroom to go on fantastic adventures, each set to classical music. Jennifer Oxley, who had joined Little Airplane as an animator, signed on as the director of the two shorts.
Josh Selig and Jennifer Oxley first screened the shorts at the wrap party for Oobi's second season. The shorts eventually caught the attention of Nickelodeon, who picked up the shorts to air in-between shows and eventually commissioned a full season of 20 long-form episodes. Tuck and Ming-Ming were added to the cast to form a team of superhero pets, and the characters were given voices; the dialogue-free nature of the original shorts did not translate well to half-hour episodes. At first, the show was called The Super Singing Power Pets!, but it was renamed Wonder Pets! because the former name was too long. Many former crew members of Oobi moved onto the show, including writers Christine Nee and Sascha Paladino and composers Larry Hochman and Jeffrey Lesser.
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. Jennifer Oxley considers this technique her own invention and first used it to create lifelike transitions for Little Airplane's previous works.
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 took thirty-three weeks from script to final delivery.
|Nick Jr. Favorites 5||March 13, 2007||"Save the Duckling!"/"Save the Kitten!"|
|Save the Wonder Pets!||April 24, 2007||"Save the Wonder Pets!", "Save the Sea Lions!", "Save the Kangaroo!", "Save the Caterpillar!", "Save the Crane!", "Save the Hedgehog!" and "Save the Crocodile!" |
|Nick Jr. Favorites 6||August 7, 2007||"Save the Cow!"/"Save the Skunk!"|
|Save the Unicorn!||September 11, 2007||"Save the Unicorn!", "Save the Penguin!", "Save the Three Little Pigs!", "Save the Owl!", "Save the Swan!", "Save the Puppy!", "Save the Bullfrog!" and "Save the Poodle!" |
|Save the Reindeer!||October 2, 2007||"Save the Reindeer!", "Save the Camel!", "Save the Ants!", "Save the Goldfish!", "Save the Baby Birds!", "Save the Egg!" and "Save the Flamingo!" |
|Save the Dinosaur!||February 12, 2008||"Save the Dinosaur!", "Save the Pigeon!", "Save the Dragon!", "Save the Beaver!", "Save the Bee!", "Save the Squirrel!", "Save the Dolphin!" and "Save the Chimp!" |
|Save the Beetles!||April 22, 2008||"Save the Beetles!", "Three Wonder Pets and a Baby!", "Save the Chameleon!", "Save the Platypus!", "Save the Duckling!", "Save the Kitten!", "Save the Sheep!" and "Save the Hermit Crab!"|
|Save the Nursery Rhyme!||June 3, 2008||"Help the Cow Jump Over the Moon!", "Save the Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Save Little Red Riding Hood!", "Save the Turtle!", "Save the Griffin!", "Save the Rooster!", "Save the Panda!" and "Save the Mouse!" |
|Save the Bengal Tiger!||September 9, 2008||"Save the Bengal Tiger!", "Save the Gecko!", "Save the What?", "Save the Ladybug!", "Save the Sea Turtle!", "Save the Goslings" and "Ollie to the Rescue!" |
|Save the Nutcracker!||October 7, 2008||"Save the Nutcracker!", "Save the Pangaroo", "Save the Cricket", "Save the Old White Mouse", "The Adventures of Bee and Slug!", "Save the Cow" and "Save the Skunk" |
|Join the Circus!||February 24, 2009||"Join the Circus", "Save the Rat Pack", "Fiddler Crab on the Roof", "Save the Armadillo", "Save the Visitor", "Save the Tree" and "Save the Elephant" |
|Ollie's Slumber Party||June 9, 2009||"Here's Ollie", "Save the Hound Dog", "The Amazing Ollie!", "Help the Monster!", "Save the Cool Cat and the Hip Hippo!", "Tuck and Buck!", "Save the Dancing Duck", and "Save the Dalmatian!"|
|The First Rescue||April 5, 2010||"How It All Began", "Happy Mother's Day!", "Save the Sun Bear!", "Save the Mermaid!", "Save the Visitor's Birthday Party!", "A Job Well Done!", and "Save the Rhino!"|
|Season 1||October 26, 2015||"Save the Dolphin!", "Save the Chimp!", "Save the Unicorn!", "Save the Penguin!", "Save the Sea Lions!", "Save the Kangaroo!", "Save the Caterpillar!", "Save the Crane!", "Save the Duckling!", "Save the Kitten!", "Save the Pigeon!", "Save the Dinosaur!", "Save the Cow!", "Save the Skunk!", "Save the Swan!", "Save the Puppy!", "Save the Tree!", "Save the Elephant!", "Save the Panda!", and "Save the Mouse!"|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||April 10, 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.
|Publication||October 27, 2008 (U.S.)|
The Wonder Pets! Save the Animals! is an video game released on October 27, 2008 in North America exclusively 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 two years. The remaining two seasons (42 episodes) were released on the app on February 7, 2018. All three seasons of the series (62 episodes in total) are also available to buy on Amazon Video. In March 2021, the series was added to Paramount+.
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.