|Created by||Josh Selig|
|Developed 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 –|
October 17, 2016
Wonder Pets! is an American educational animated 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 developed the idea for Wonder Pets! while working on his previous show, Oobi. The series began with two animated shorts called "Linny the Guinea Pig," which acted as a pilot episode. They featured Linny going on adventures set to classical music. Selig first screened the shorts at the wrap party for Oobi's first season. The crew of Oobi was impressed with them and urged Selig to pitch them to a TV channel. He eventually decided to send the shorts to Nickelodeon executives. Selig called Nickelodeon "a great partner," saying "They're really the company that first believed in us when we pitched Oobi, and then they believed in us again on Wonder Pets!."
The two original shorts were completed and aired in 2004. The characters of Tuck and Ming-Ming were added to form a team of hero pets for the full-length series. 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 Nickelodeon's sister channel Noggin. It ran for three seasons and 62 episodes. The final episode aired on October 17, 2016. The first two seasons aired on Nickelodeon, while the majority of season three only aired on the separate Nick Jr. Channel.
Each 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 created by Josh Selig, the co-founder of 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 company, Selig expressed interest in producing another television show. He produced two animated shorts called "Linny the Guinea Pig." At the time, he wanted the cartoon to focus 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 first screened the shorts at the wrap party for Oobi's first season. The crew of Oobi was impressed with them and encouraged Selig to pitch them to a television channel. Selig waited until Oobi finished production to start focusing on the shorts. He eventually decided to send the shorts to Nickelodeon executives. Selig called Nickelodeon "a great partner," saying "They're really the company that first believed in us when we pitched Oobi, and then they believed in us again on Wonder Pets!."
Nickelodeon picked up Wonder Pets! for a season of 20 episodes in 2005. 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 the time, Selig wanted to call the show The Super Singing Power Pets!, but it was renamed Wonder Pets! because the former name was too long. Selig turned to various former crew members of Oobi to help him develop the show, including writers Chris 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.
|Save the Wonder Pets!||April 24, 2007||"Save the Wonder Pets!", "Save the Caterpillar!", "Save the Crane!", "Save the Sea Lions!", "Save the Kangaroo!", "Save the Hedgehog!" and "Save the Crocodile!" |
|Save the Unicorn!||September 11, 2007||"Save the Unicorn!", "Save the Penguin!", "Save the Swan!", "Save the Puppy!", "Save the Three Little Pigs!", "Save the Owl!", "Save the Bullfrog!" and "Save the Poodle!" |
|Save the Reindeer!||October 2, 2007||"Save the Reindeer!", "Save the Goldfish!", "Save the Baby Birds!", "Save the Camel!", "Save the Ants!", "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 Duckling!", "Save the Kitten!", "Save the Chameleon!", "Save the Platypus!", "Save the Sheep!" and "Save the Hermit Crab!"|
|Save the Nursery Rhyme!||June 3, 2008||"Help the Cow Jump Over the Moon!", "Save the Hound Dog", "Save the Griffin!", "Save the Rooster!", "Save Little Red Riding Hood!", "Save the Turtle!", "Save the Panda!" and "Save the Mouse!" |
|Save the Bengal Tiger!||September 9, 2008||"Save the Bengal Tiger!", "Save the Ladybug!", "Save the Sea Turtle!", "Save the Gecko!", "Save the What?", "Save The itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Ollie to the Rescue!" |
|Save the Nutcracker!||October 7, 2008||"Save the Nutcracker!", "Save the Old White Mouse", "The Adventures of Bee and Slug!", "Save the Pangaroo", "Save the Cricket", "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 Goslings", "Save the Visitor", "Save the Tree" and "Save the Elephant" |
|Happy Thanksgiving||June 9, 2009||"Save The Armadillo", "Here's Ollie", "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 Pony Express!", "Help the Easter Bunny!", "Save the Visitor's Birthday Party!", "Save Humpty Dumpty!", "Save the Meerkats!", "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 show's only game was released on October 27, 2008, in the United States.
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.