Dear Tim and Moby,Could you describe Brainpop here?From, troper
Great question, troper! Well, Brainpop
is an educational website that uses numerous web cartoon series to teach children (Grade school through high school) different concepts ranging from the Pythagorean theorem to Martin Luther King to The Beatles
to the urinary system.
The most prominent, and likewise popular, of these series is the "Mysteries of Life" cartoons, which follow Tim and Moby as they answer fan-mail, explaining a different educational concept with each one. Tim is a teenage boy and the main character of the series. Moby is his orange robot.
Other recurring characters are Cassie and Rita, two of Tim's friends who appear in many "Mysteries of Life" videos, along with having a series of their own. There is also Bob, a lab rat who appears in several shorts.
There is a Brainpop Jr. section, which is for younger children, and features many expies
of the main site's characters. Instead of Tim, the main character of the series is a young girl named Annie. Instead of answering letters of a topic, she asks questions about the topic, and, obviously, she answers them herself! Oh, and Moby appears there too with a slightly different personality. Moby's alternate continuities can probably be chalked up to Rule of Funny
And it costs money.
This website features examples of the following:
- A Boy and His X: A boy and his orange robot.
- Adorkable: Tim
- Art Evolution: Tim & Moby looked horrible when they first appeared in 1997. In 1998, Tim looks much like an adult and Moby looks much better. For the 1999-2000 season, Moby got straighter lines.
- Babies Make Everything Better: "Pregnancy" shows a grown-up, married Tim and Rita with two children.
- Black Bead Eyes: Any human and animal character.
- Blush Sticker: Tim in the "Stress" video... Although in that case it was due to, well, stress.
- Butt Monkey: Tim himself.
- Continuity Nod: In the Fractions episode, many of the robots from other videos on the site, such as Little Jimmy and the Cycloids from the Capitalization video and the Hillbot from the Country Music video, show up at Moby's birthday party.
- Distaff Counterpart: Cassie and Rita would be this to Tim and Moby. Cassie is more like Moby, with Rita being more of the Tim.
- Double Take: At the beginning of one video, Tim has one when he sees a portrait of Moby wearing a suit, only to discover that Moby was actually imitating it.
- Edutainment Show: One that is FUNNY!
- Expressive Shirt: Tim's shirt, as it has a picture that is always related to the episode's subject.
- Five-Episode Pilot: 3 pilot episodes were animated by Jack Zander in late-1997, before the show came in 1998.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Lampshaded at the end of the "Metric vs Imperial" movie. Tim explains that we use the decimal system because we have ten fingers and raises both hands up to show ten... only to realize that he's missing two.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Happens a lot, especially in earlier episodes.
- Hypno Pendulum: Used in one of the older comics (the one about sleep), on Cassie.
- Hypocrite: Tim in the "Plagiarism" video. It turns out Moby had written his entire speech on his blog beforehand.
- I Ate WHAT?: In the Fractions video, after eating a piece of Moby's cake:
Tim: Three-quarters of a cup of...motor oil?
Tim: I have to... go to the... bathroom.
(Tim runs to the bathroom, then we hear spitting sounds)
- Intelligible Unintelligible: The robots speak in beeps, but humans can understand them.
- Iris Out: Done at the end of the episode about The Beatles, when Tim covers his ears after he, Moby and a Captain Ersatz robot band called The Robots were about to play a song, but all the robots start playing horribly once again. The camera iris stops to allow Tim to say "Oh forget it!" and then closes entirely.
- Several of their other movies end like this.
- It's Pronounced Tro-PAY: According to Tim, it's pronounced "Tolk-een".
- Jerkass: Moby can be this sometimes.
- See the Digital Etiquette episode.
- Medium Blending: The early episodes made common use of oil pastels, and crayons during scenes that didn't show Tim & Moby, rather than cut-out animation (which was used for the first 3 seasons).
- Mood Whiplash: In the midst of all of the quirky and amusing Brainpop videos are ones that deal with subjects like death, mourning, and extinction. The mourning episode is the biggest Tear Jerker of all, as it ends with a long, silent tribute to Naomi Kadar, who was a very essential member of the Brainpop crew.
- Naked People Are Funny: In the puberty episode, we see Tim briefly in the shower saying "Whoa." This was while Tim was talking about boys' penises becoming bigger.
- Up to Eleven when Tim and Moby become stranded on a island named "Nude Island".
- Oh, Crap: Tim, upon finding out that he has to talk about periods.
- Once per Episode: In each episode, Tim receives from Moby a letter asking about the episode's subject, and he reads it out loud. It was followed by him explaining information about the subject.
Tim: They're gone, huh? I didn't even know you had a vagus nerve!
(Moby reveals a Las Vegas slot machine in his compartment)
- In the "Word Problems" episode, Moby said he's going to watch "Kung Fu Cowboys", leaving Tim alone. Instead, he watches "Kong Fu Cowboys"!
- "I think we should use our potential energy to make kinetic energy and run away!"
- "Maybe that's the reason why robots aren't allowed at baseball games".
- Shipper on Deck: See Babies Make Everything Better.
- The bus driver in the "Back to School" video wears a Star Trek uniform.
- In the "Capitalization," "Clauses," and "Multiplication" videos, Energon cubes from Transformers are mentioned.
- At the beginning of the "Robots" video, Moby is seen playing with R2-D2 and C-3PO figurines.
- Troll 2 is referenced by name in one video.
- Moby says something about a flying spaghetti monster in the Dark Matter video.
- Tim sings a song to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger" while going to feed his pet lizard.
- Straight Man and Wise Guy: Tim and Moby.
- This Is Wrong on So Many Levels: The "Problem Solving Using Tables" episode (when aired on TV).
- Vocal Evolution / Early Installment Weirdness: Tim sounded quite different in older videos, and he talked faster because back then dial-up was common.
- Whole Episode Flashback: In the "Back to School" episode, Tim slides away many props from earlier episodes such as a breast pad from the "Period" episode, 3D glasses from the "Vision" episode, a mask from the "Skeleton" episode, a letter from the "Heart" episode, and the hat from the "Hair" episode. (Hence, this episode is from 1999).
- Writing Lines: Tim does this at detention at the end of the "Daylight Saving Time" video.