Film / Wee Sing
is a series of children's direct-to-video musical films created by two elementary music teachers, Pam Beall and Susan Nipp, consisting of various children's songs being strung together with a cohesive plot.
The series initially started out as a series of songbooks, the first of which was titled "Wee Sing Children’s Songs and Fingerplays". In 1981, the series would add audio cassette tapes to the books as companion pieces with the books becoming more or less lyric sheets.
This was taken one step further in 1985, when the first Wee Sing video, Wee Sing Together
, was produced, beginning a series of videos that continued until 1996 with the release of Wee Singdom
These videos include:
- "Wee Sing Together" (1985)
- "King Cole's Party" (1987)
- "Grandpa's Magical Toys" (1988)
- "Wee Sing in Sillyville" (1989)
- "The Best Christmas Ever" (1990)
- "Wee Sing in the Big Rock Candy Mountains" (1991)
- "Wee Sing in the Marvelous Musical Mansion" (1992)
- "The Wee Sing Train" (1993)
- "Wee Sing Under the Sea" (1994)
- "Wee Singdom: The Land of Music and Fun!" (1996)
- "Wee Sing Favorites: Classic Songs for Kids" (1996)
- "Wee Sing Favorites: Animal Songs" (1996)
These films include examples of:
- Acting for Two: In King Cole's Party, The actors who play Jack, Jill, Mary, and Little Boy Blue also play the children at the beginning and end of the video who are having the story read to them by their dad. The actor who plays Old King Cole, also plays the dad who is reading the story to the children, but this is not revealed until the end.
- In ''Marvelous Musical Mansion", Uncle Rubato and Aunty Annabella share actors with Ruben and Rachel, who are supposedly their ancestors.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Shows up all over the place. It'd be easier to name characters without it.
- The Ageless: The end of Grandpa's Magical Toys implies that the toys in the playroom are immortal. Punchinello remarks that "he's been around a long time," and first helped Peter's grandfather—a man in his seventies—when he was Peter's age. Justified since they're toys.
- All Just a Dream: "King Cole's Party" was all Jack's dream.
- Sally's birthday party in Wee Sing Together may or may not be this.
- An Aesop: In The Big Rock Candy Mountains, Profster will spout these on a dime, much to the confusion of the other characters, until Felicity is able to explain its meaning. For the last three aesops, the other characters are now able to understand what they mean (although Bunny Foo Foo and Lisa still explain their meaning, without Profster having to depend on Felicity).
- Birthday Episode: Wee Sing Together.
- Catchphrase: "I knew that" - Scott from "Wee Sing in Sillyville", and "Sing-a-ling-a-ling!" by Singaling in all his appearances.
- Christmas Episode: The Best Christmas Ever.
- Creator Cameo: Beall and Nipp show up in Marvelous Musical Mansion as bird watchers.
- Series composer Cal Scott makes various appearances, usually voicing a puppet, throughout the series.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: A mild example in The Big Rock Candy Mountains. Profster, while not mean, is incredibly prim and unimaginative. The gang persuades him to loosen up while looking for shapes in the clouds; he eventually catches on and starts singing "Grizzly Bear."
- Fantastic Racism: The conflict of Wee Sing in Sillyville.
- The Fantastic Trope of Wonderous Titles: Most of the titles of the Wee Sing films fall under this trope, particularly Wee Sing in The Marvelous Musical Mansion.
- Follow the Bouncing Ball: Two more tapes were made recycling songs from the previous videos with this feature.
- Genre Throw Back: Pam Beall and Susan Nipp basically did this, focusing on beloved songs and chants from their childhood. The videos quickly followed and helped their popularity spread.
- Grand Finale: Wee Singdom, which features a bunch of characters from past Wee Sing videos coming together to sing songs together.
- Green Aesop: The second half of Under The Sea turns into this, with a song all about cleaning up trash in the ocean.
- Knew It All Along: "I knew that" is basically Scott's Catchphrase in Wee Sing in Sillyville. To the point where Sillywhim ask him, "But you knew that, right?" and then...
- Living Toys: The focus of Grandpa's Magical Toys (obviously), Wee Sing Together, and Wee Sing Train. Played with in regards to Marvelous Musical Mansion, which features living music boxes.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The adults sometimes have this reaction because they're not privy to what happens in their kids' worlds. In Big Rock Candy Mountain, Lisa's mom has this reaction. Subverted by Grandpa in Grandpa's Magical Toys; his ability to stay young at heart may mean he believes, or even knows, his toys can come to life. Also subverted by Uncle Rubato and Aunty Annabella, who openly use a magical hand gesture to activate his music boxes.
- Meaningful Name: Some of the characters in Marvelous Musical Mansion are named after musical terminology that's appropriate to their characters:
- Rubato means "played freely and loosely," and Uncle Rubato has the power to levitate, freeing himself from gravity's pull.
- The Tap-A-Capella Singers are all named different indicators for tempo and volume: Ally Allegro (quickly), Lawrence Largo (slowly), Flo Fortissimo (loudly), Peter Pianissimo (softly).
- Motor Mouth: The Dutch Girl from Grandpa's Magical Toys.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Whether or not it's intentional, the Cookie Jar in "Grandpa's Magical Toys" sounds quite a bit like James Earl Jones.
- Nostalgia Filter: Most people who watch these videos again years later, whether they be babysitting, have kids of their own, or rediscover them on YouTube will probably have these on.
- Nursery Rhyme: King Cole's Party centers around the characters from most of these rhymes coming together to celebrate 100 years of peace under King Cole's rule.
- The Other Darrin: Wee Singdom replaces all but two of the returning characters' original actors. Only Little Bunny Foo Foo and Sillywhim retain their original actors.
- Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism
- Tears of Joy: Profster sheds these during the Fly and Bumblebee's wedding in The Big Rock Candy Mountains, leading to this exchange.
Snoodle: Why are you crying?
Profster: I always cry when I'm happy.
Doodle: Well, what do you do when you're sad?
- Verbal Tic: Uncle Rubato in Marvelous Musical Mansion has a tendency to add the word "marvelous" into his sentences.
- Writing Around Trademarks: The reason for Tusky's name change in Wee Singdom. According to Beall and Nipp, a "Tusky the Elephant" was already trademarked prior to Wee Sing Train. The holders of the original copyright agreed to not press charges as long as the name was changed should he make any reappearances, hence why he's called Trunky in Wee Singdom.