Western Animation: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
"Hi! I'm Daniel Tiger! (Grr.)"Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
is an animated children's series that began airing on September 3, 2012, on the PBS Kids
block of most PBS
stations in the United States. The program is an animated Spin-Off
of the beloved Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
and features the little 5 year old son of the Daniel Tiger character first seen on that series, as well as some other familiar characters like Prince Tuesday. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
was created by several of the creators of Blue's Clues
and is a production of their production company, Out of the Blue Enterprises. The series is animated in CGI, but uses Adobe Flash
for its song segments and also features interstitials and songs with real kids.Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
is targeted at young audiences around the age of 2-4, rather than the wider target audience of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
and carries a focus on social development and emotions. Each installment features Daniel either at home, at one of his friend's houses, or at school with his friends. The show was made with the direct involvement of the Fred Rogers Company and had been in development for six years after the company realized it could not survive without making a new show.
Fred Rogers had considered grooming a replacement before his death, but could never find someone suitable, and the creators decided not to include any character intended to represent a form of Rogers in the series for this reason. Despite this, the program contains many nods to the original show. In 2013, the program won the Parents Choice Award
The program airs weekdays and is presented in widescreen HD where available.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood features examples of the following:
- An Aesop: Often delivered in song. Curiously, all of the adults seem to know these songs. It's almost as if they're teaching them to one another. This is directly Lampshaded in "Something Special for Dad" when Mr. McFeeley sings one of the songs that Daniel's mom sung and then flashes a wink at her.
- Animate Inanimate Object: Many of Daniel's fantasy songs involve inanimate objects coming to life.
- Art Shift: From CGI to Flash animation for the song numbers.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Averted, likely because it would feel dumb to have the Funny Animals barefoot, but the humans in shoes. Inverted with the owl as he is wearing nothing but shoes. And, of course, if Daniel didn't wear shoes, then they wouldn't be able to reference Mister Rogers putting on his shoes by having Daniel do it in the show opening. Or having him take them off in the "It's You I Like" song.
- Black Best Friend: Miss Elania.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Prince Tuesday and Prince Wednesday have monogrammed belt buckles.
- But Not Too Black: Averted with Miss Elaina, who has a white mother and black father, but has a reasonably dark skin tone.
- Carnivore Confusion: Of the type that completely ignores the issue, of course. If Katerina was really a cat and Daniel was really a tiger, O the Owl would be a meal to the former and a light snack to the latter.
- Catch Phrase: For Daniel, "Grr-ific!"
- Katerina Kittycat has, "Meow Meow, Yes!"
- Miss Elaina says "Okay, toots" just like her mother.
- O the Owl's is "There's a book for that." It may be a Shout-Out to Apple's "There's an app for that."
- Chroma Key: This technique is used with real kids against a backdrop of clouds in the "When You Pretend" song. Possibly with other segments featuring real kids as well.
- Closed Door Rapport: In one episode, Daniel Jr. sings through the bathroom door, as he changes clothes and relieves himself.
- Companion Cube: Daniel has a stuffed tiger named Tigey. He can bring him to school, but he can't sleep without him.
- Cute Kitten: Admit it. Katarina Kittycat had you going "dawwwwww!" the first time you saw her.
- Daddy's Girl: Miss Elaina.
- Day of the Week Name: Prince Tuesday, Daniel's classmate Prince Wednesday, and King Friday.
- Decided By One Vote: The outcomes of two episodes about voting. Since the kids vote, the result is 3-2.
- Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: O the Owl and his family, Katerina the cat and her family (though there is apparently some debate about whether cats are nocturnal or crepuscular), Daniel Tiger and his family (tigers in areas without humans have been observed to hunt by day)
- Edutainment Show: Focused on social issues and emotional understanding, with general learning thrown in as well.
- Ending Theme: "It's You I Like (Instrumental)"
- Every Episode Ending: "Good Feeling", with lyrics refitted to suit the show's concept.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: There is a dinosaur song that has been used at least twice, even though the show has nothing to do with dinosaurs.
- Everything Talks: Daniel often slips into fantasy song numbers in which everything talks, even all of the objects in the bathroom, but this doesn't happen in his actual world.
- Fake Interactivity: The opening on each episode has Daniel asking the viewers if they'd join him at the end of the teaser. Daniel will also sometimes ask questions of the viewers and wait for an answer.
- Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Everyone buckles up in the trolley.
- First Name Basis: The kids are on this with Teacher Harriet, though she does at least get the title of "Teacher."
- Fourth Wall Observer: Daniel, and occasionally the other characters as well.
- Full-Name Basis: Daniel is often referred to fully as Daniel Tiger, rather than just Daniel.
- Furry Reminder: The animal characters seem to fall somewhere between being Civilized Animals and Funny Animals, but sometimes display animal-like tendencies like making the noises that an animal of their species would normally make ("meow meow"), or displaying other animal behaviors.
- Generation Xerox: Katerina Kittycat turned out a lot like her mother. Also, apart from being more outgoing, Daniel Jr. is his father in miniature.
- Genki Girl: Miss Elaina.
- Happily Married: Daniel Sr. and his wife. Also Lady Elaine and Music Man Stan.
- Happy Place: When Daniel has to get a shot, he's told to "close your eyes and think of something happy".
- Inspired By: "Based on the work of Fred Rogers".
- Is This Thing On?: Miss Elaina in "Daniel Shares His Tigertastic Car".
- Limited Wardrobe: Most of the characters always wear the same set of clothes; Daniel has three sets of pajamas, though it feels a bit odd if the show opens with them wearing pajamas, given that he was just shown putting his shirt and shoes in the show intro.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Daniel Tiger, his various animal friends and parents, human friends and their parents and a human teacher. Bonus points for Daniel being an actual tiger. The whole thing is pretty much Lamp Shaded in the story "Same and Different." Daniel feels he's different from his friends because he has a tail, at least until he realizes Katerina has one too. The human characters all end up together in a photo, with the animal characters characters lined up together also. And Miss Elaina points out quite candidly that her skin color is different from Prince Wednesday's, though Teacher Harriet notes it's the same as hers.
- Market-Based Title: The Canadian CBC broadcast as well as the ABC broadcast in Australia are titled "Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood"
- Mythology Gag: Ubiquitous.
- For starters, Daniel sleeps in a trolley bed, and has models of his classmates' homes.
- Miss Elaina calls people "toots," which is very out-of-date-slang, but her mother was known to do this.
- Nephewism: O the Owl's only visible family is his uncle X.
- Nobody Poops: Averted. Since the target audience is very young children who might still need to learn the finer points of potty training, the show makes sure to tackle the issue directly. They even have a song about the matter:
If you have to go potty, stop! And go right away. / Flush and wash and be on your way!
- One Steve Limit: With two Daniel Striped Tigers, things can get very confusing very quickly.note
- Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females
- Parent Ex Machina: Subverted. The kids are left alone to play, but the adults will say something like "call me if you need anything". The adults are usually in earshot, and will interject if needed.
- Potty Dance: "Prince Wednesday Goes to the Potty" & "Daniel Tiger Goes to the Potty"
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In "The Neighborhood Votes".
Mom Tiger: It's hard when you don't get what you want.
Daniel and Katerina: Yes! It! Is!
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Daniel Jr. Takes after his daddy, also ridiculously cute as a cub. He's joined later by his little sister, Margaret, and Katerina Kittycat. Awww...
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Friday and Prince Wednesday.
- Series Continuity Error:
- One episode has Daniel Sr. getting a letter from his own father, Grandpere...but in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood it was established Grandpere is NOT his father, there was an entire arc dedicated to the fact that Daniel was an orphan, he did not have a father growing up and was jealous of his friends for having one! Grandpere isn't even his Grandfather cause there was another arc depicting how Daniel did not have a Grandfather either and wished for one. It was even the basis for an opera!note
- Also, on this show, Prince Tuesday is a teenager while Daniel Sr. is a full-grown adult. But in the 1979-2001 run of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Daniel Striped Tiger and Prince Tuesday were the same age and went to school together. In the earlier 70's episodes, Daniel was older than Tuesday, but not by that much.
- Lady Elaine seems to be... much younger-looking, prettier and with a more feminine, far less gravely voice than she was before, along with a much lighter attitude. Getting married and having a daughter may explain her lightened attitude, no idea on her appearance shy of retconning. Although a previous Mister Rogers episode did establish that she was destined to live to be 250 years old, so perhaps she manages that by finding ways to become young again every so often?
- And also King Friday XIII. On the original show he was pompus, self-centered, loved to give speeches so he could hear himself talk, and had that 'I am the king, what I say goes' attitude. In this version he's much more cheerful, the speeches are much shorter,he sounds more jolly, and in one episode he even danced out of a room while singing and doing 'jazz hands'! In the original show that would be beneath him!
- Shout-Out: When cooking soup for Mom Tiger in "Mom Tiger is Sick," Mr. Daniel Tiger adds "Just a little Mrs. Salt and some Mr. Pepper." While it was Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper on Blue's Clues, it still seems very close, especially when consider that Angela C. Santomero has a story credit on the episode.
- Sick Episode: "Daniel Gets a Cold / Mom Tiger is Sick"
- Signing Off Catchphrase: Daniel likes to nuzzle your screen and say "ugga-mugga!" That was what his father would say when parting with Lady Aberlin.
- Slice of Life: Imagination sequences? Check. Mundane daily conflicts? Check. Characters going about their daily life? Check. Yep, one of them shows.
- Species Surname: Daniel and most of the other animal characters.
- Spin-Off: Of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
- Spin-Offspring: A variation: Most of the families are straight examples, but X the Owl becomes an uncle, and King Friday and Queen Sarah have another son.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: A main thrust of the program is to teach children how to handle their emotions, so this is heavily, heavily employed. Expect the characters to talk regularly about how they are feeling, the adults to praise them for doing so, and to encourage them to do so if they don't. There's even an episode called "Daniel Uses his Words / All Aboard!" which specifically deals with this; it also reveals that when Daniel doesn't use his words, he gets growly instead.
- Third-Person Person: Prince Wednesday does this sometimes.
- Three-Month-Old Newborn: Daniel's baby sister Margaret is introduced in the second season; she is essentially this, if not exaggerated. She is soon shown crawling, even doing a bit of walking, and wanting to play with her big brother.note
- Time Skip: The whole point of the show actually is to show the characters from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, now grown up, married, and with children of their own.
- Title Theme Tune: Set partially to the tune of the original Mister Rogers' Neighborhood theme song. "Would you be mine? Could you be mine?"
- Verbal Tic: Most of the kids inherited them from their parents.
- You Mean Xmas
- Thank You Day is essentially Thanksgiving. Everyone gathers in the Enchanted Garden to thank each other for being helpful, and the neighborhood has a potluck dinner. Thank You cards are hung on a tree. Even Grandpere joins in.
- On February 9, 2015, the show is doing "Love Day," just like Blue's Clues / Blue's Room did. This being essentially Valentine's Day.
- Youthful Freckles: Prince Wednesday's cousin, Chrissie, has these.