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Film: Wee Sing
It all started with two elementary music teachers, Pam Beall and Susan Nipp, who bonded over favorite childhood songs they wanted to share with their children and students. Realizing that they couldn’t remember all the words or even some of the melodies, they began a long and difficult search through collections of children’s songs. Slowly they discovered that the music from their childhood and that of their parents was being forgotten. In an effort to preserve it, they decided to create a book filled with favorite children’s songs to help not only themselves but all interested families share the joy of music together, titled "Wee Sing Children’s Songs and Fingerplays".
Pam and Susan continued to develop new titles for the Wee Sing series after their first book became an enormous success. In 1981, they broke new ground in children’s publishing with the addition of audiocassettes to their established songbook collection. This was taken one step further in 1985, when the first Wee Sing video, "Wee Sing Together", was produced, beginning a series of direct-to-video musical films that continued until 1996. They were then followed by two less successful sing-along videos made up of recycled songs from the previous videos.
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)
These films include examples of:
- Acting for Two: In King Cole's Party, the actors and actresses 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 ''Wee Sing in the Marvelous Musical Mansion", the actor and actress who play Uncle Rubato and Aunty Annabella also play Ruben and Rachel.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Melody Mouse, Sally Smith, Minkey Monkey, Susie Smith, Meecey Mice, Marvelous Musical Mansion, Aunty Annabella, Alley Allegro, Lawrence Largo, Flo Fortissimo, Peter Pianissimo, Meter the Mouse, Farmer Fran, Ottie the Otter, and Stella Starfish.
- 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.
- 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: Profster will spout these on a dime, much to the confusion of the other characters until Felicity is able to explain its meaning.
- Birthday Episode: Wee Sing Together
- Christmas Episode: The Best Christmas Ever.
- 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.
- Knew It All Along: "I knew that" is basically Scott's Catchphrase in Wee Sing in Sillyville. To the point where characters ask him, "But you knew that, right?" and then...
- Living Toys: The focus of Grandpa's Magical Toys (of course!). Also in Wee Sing Together, with Melody Mouse and Hum Bear being Sally's escort to her birthday celebration in Wee Sing Park. Subverted in Wee Sing in The Big Rock Candy Mountains with the Snoodle Doodles. Lisa's other Big Rock Candy Mountain friends, like Felicity and Profster, may be versions of her toys as well.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The adults in the videos 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.
- 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 best fits this trope.
- 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. Just in case you don't believe us...
- 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 the birthday of, well, Old King Cole.
- Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism
- Tears of Joy: Profster sheds these during the Fly and Bumblebee's wedding in Wee Sing 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?