Wimzie's House is a Canadian preschool puppet series that ran for 65 episodes from 1995-1996 on YTV, and ran in the USA on select PBS stations from 1998-2000. It can currently be seen in America on a channel called Kids Unlimited that is on demand only and offers large amounts of episodes at a time of semi-obscure educational kid's shows for free if it comes with your on demand service. It can also be seen on This TV
, a subnetwork that airs on many cable providers and over-the-air in some markets.
The show was about a five year old dragon bird girl named Wimzie whose parents worked all day, so her grandma Yaya ran a mini daycare center. The charges of the daycare are Wimzie, her 18 month old brother Bo, a 5 year old Goblin named Jonas who loves science, his 3 year old sister Loulou who loves to be with the bigger kids, and a four year old troll named Horace who isn't very bright.
In each episode they learn lessons and flip over to semi-related songs out of the blue twice an episode
. As a bonus, the songs are presented in letterbox widescreen; the show is presented in 4:3 full-screen. (Though not always.)
In 1999 The Jim Henson company issued a lawsuit against the company, claiming the characters looked too much like Muppets (despite the fact that a number of Henson people, including puppet builder Jim Kroupa, worked on this series), though an Urban Legend
has surrounded the lawsuit for years that the real reason behind the lawsuit was because they didn't want to be connected to what they considered to be an inferior show
- Absentee Actor: Rousso and Graziella were often absent from episodes, though this can be explained by both of them having demanding jobs that require them to spend a lot of time away from homme (Rousso even explained this in a show bumper that being a fireman, he works all kinds of crazy hours). Graziella was absent a lot more frequently, but it wasn't uncommon to at least see her leaving for work at the beginning of an episode, or returning home from work at the end.
- Aesop: This series was full of them.
- Affirmative Action Girl: Wimzie.
- Be Yourself: One of the show's episodes is called this and is about this.
- Big Eater: Horace. So much, an episode was made in which the other kids tease him about his eating habits, saying he'll become as big as a dinosaur... after he breaks a chair, he goes on a non-stop exercise kick and tries to stop eating altogether.
- Canada, Eh?: Produced in Canada in cooperation with the CBC.
- Cartoon Animal: While it's established that Wimzie is half-dragon/half-bird (Rousso is supposed to be a dragon, Graziella is supposed to be a bird), it's never said what kind of creatures Jonas and Loulou or Horace are supposed to be, though some has assumed they're frogs or something with a similar appearance.
- Cute Little Fangs: Bo.
- Deadpan Snarker: Despite her feisty nature, Wimzie actually can let a few zingers rip from time to time.
- Doesn't Trust Those Guys: One episode dealt with the issue of trust (and lack thereof).
- Embarrassing Nickname: An episode deals with Wimzie's disdain for her father's nickname for her - "Whizzy".
- Imagine Spot
- Inter Species Romance: When you consider that Wimzie and Bo's father is (supposed to be) a dragon, while their mother is (supposedly) a bird.
- It Was All A Dream: One episode focused on Wimzie avoiding Jonas at all costs, because she had a nightmare the night before where he tormented her about not really being her friend.
- Mad At A Dream: Deconstructed in the episode, "You're Not My Friend," in which Wimzie has a nightmare that Jonas was never her friend, and never liked her, and the next day during daycare, Wimzie is very hostile and abrasive towards Jonas, leaving him very confused and rather sad, since he's unaware that she's getting back at him for hurting her feelings in her dream. In the end, when he does finally learn about it, he tells her it was All Just a Dream.
- Meaningful Name: Ya Ya (alternatively spelled Yia Yia) actually does mean "grandmother", it's Greek.
- Meganekko: Loulou
- Muppet: In fact, the puppets were actually designed and built by a former Muppet builder.
- Nerd Glasses: Jonas and Loulou.
- No Fourth Wall: Usually the main storyline of the episode does (with rare occasions), however, there are other little inserts in the episodes where the characters speak directly to the audience.
- Noir Episode: Not an actual episode of the show, however PBS frequently featured a promo for the series that was done in film noir style.
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: Wimzie uses "Fantabulous" an awful lot.
- One episode had Wimzie and Loulou coming up with their own foreign language that only they can understand.
- Puppet Shows
- Shown Their Work: As noted, a few people who were previously associated with The Jim Henson Company worked on this show including puppet builder Jim Kroupa, writer Norman Stiles, and songwriter Christopher Cerf; some people who worked on Canadian Sesame Street (an import of the original Sesame Street, but with some inserts replaced with locally-produced Canadian inserts) worked on this show also.
- Sibling Seniority Squabble: Not necessarily seniority, but Jonas and Loulou are prone to squabbling over things that are rightfully theirs (ala their own mother).
- Signature Laugh: Just about each of the characters have their own.
- Six Man Band:
- The Swear Jar: In "Don't Say That Word," Yaya institutes this with the word "stupid" with one cent going into a "charity cup" each time it's said. Only Wimzie's little brother Bo is exempt because A.) He's only 1 1/2 and B.) He doesn't have any money.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Naturally, as one of the main thrusts of the show is teaching kids to recognize and express feelings.
- They Who Must Not Be Seen: There are a number of characters that are mentioned the entire series, none of whom are ever seen on screen, including next-door neighbor Mrs. Ferris, and Wimzie's other-other best friend Mitzi Moonstar (who lives down the street).
- Title Drop: For some reason, Yaya answers the phone with "Hello, this is Wimzie's House."
- Tom Boy And Girly Girl: This could apply to Wimzie and Loulou.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: In one episode, Wimzie and the gang are visited by Horace's identical cousin, Morris, who was a bit more abbrasive than Horace, causing him to feel slighted when Morris kept playing with his friends.