Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks
Ferny: Dragons only eat princesses locked away in towers.
Molly: I'm a princess!
Ferny: You're a goner.
in Europe) is a CGI-animated
children's television show produced by Entara Ltd. and Mike Young Productions which ran in the United States on PBS Kids
from 2003 to 2008 and on Univision, dubbed in Spanish, from April 2008 to September 2010. It has been broadcast in Ireland
's children's block, The Den
, and in the UK on Cbeebies
. Adored by networks worldwide
, the series has been dubbed in Spanish, Scottish Gaelic, German, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Italian.
Winks lives in the suburban United States note
with his daughter, Ciara, and her three children, Meg, Sean and Seamus. The series is a frame story
in which the tales of Grandpa Piggley's boyhood days in rural Ireland
, which Piggley often relates when his grandchildren are in need of a lesson, construct the outer frame. As Grandpa's stories unfold, the audience enters the inner frame and travels to Raloo Farm in the village of Tara, where eight-year-old Piggley
lives with his parents and little sister Molly. When he's not attending to farm chores or schoolwork
, he's busy hatching dragon's eggs, turning donkeys into racehorses, searching for the legendary Salmon of Knowledge, and sneaking a piece of Mammy Winks' apple pie.
Grandpa Piggley often reminds his grandkids that the world of his childhood was one in which the hurly-burly of modern conveniences never
distracted him from a mischievous eight-year-old's Call to Adventure
. Piggley is accompanied on his exploits by his two best buddies
, Fernando "Ferny" Toro and Dannan O'Mallard. The three rely on their imaginations and childlike ingenuity to turn an ordinary world into an utterly fantastic one.Jakers!
is not without its Edutainment Show
conventions; Piggley and his friends must occasionally recruit the help of adults, who are willing to step in and administer Aesops
when things go wrong.
The series' subplot involves Wiley, a wisecracking sheep who has been imported from America to join the flock at Raloo Farm. He is considerably more intelligent, aware and curious than the rest of the sheep, and thus considers himself the Only Sane Man
. Wiley tries desperately to coax his flock to participate in "high culture"; singing, dancing, filmmaking, and anything else that might add a little pizzazz to a life of munching grass. His voice might sound familiar.
The show has won six
Emmy awards, which include Oustanding Children's Animated Program, Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program, Individual Achievement in Production Design and Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition.
Well, Janey Mack! Ye can't forget the most important part!
All of the characters are anthromorphic farm animals
, which leads to much Furry Confusion
, especially considering that some of these characters live on farms
on which they tend to... well, farm animals
. Just go with it.
Jakers, troper! The other most important part!
Oh, yes. You're probably going to recognize a few of the voice actors. Believe it.
This series contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The show's website features trading cards of each of the characters on which information such as the characters' hobbies, secrets and favorite foods is given. The series takes great care in developing its characters, but some of these details are never even hinted at, especially those associated with characters who only appear for one or two episodes.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Molly, when she gets in the way of the trio's serious adventuring.
- Antidisestablishmentarianism: One of Piggley's grandsons uses the "Bet you I can spell it!" trick on the other. He spells "it" thus: "I-T".
- Arcadia: The rural Irish village of Tara, particularly Piggley's home on Raloo Farm.
- Art Shift: In The Salmon of Knowledge, the scene in which Piggley explains the origin of the eponymous salmon is animated in a rather Seussian style. The same can be said for the scene in Milk Melodrama in which he relates the legend of a remarkable cow that produced blueberry-flavored milk.
- Baseball Episode: Dannan's American cousin, Gaddy, introduces the gang to her country's favorite pastime.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animals: Some are barefoot, some are not. Among them in the main cast are Ferny and Hector.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Ferny becomes quite bitter in Picture Perfect after Piggley breaks his promise not to share an embarrassing photo.
- Catch Phrase: "Jakers!" is derived from an Irish expression meaning "Wow!" or "Amazing!"
- Cheerful Child: Molly.
- Comically Missing the Point: In Donkeys Into Racehorses, Piggley's teacher Mr. Hornsby assigns an essay requiring the students to write about the meaning of the Irish proverb "You can't make a racehorse out of a donkey". Piggley spends the weekend attempting to turn his donkey into a racehorse.
- Cool Old Guy: Grandpa Piggley. He's still quite the rock-and-roll guitarist fifty some-odd years after he learned to play.
- Dissimile: From Donkeys Into Racehorses:
Don Toro: This horse of yours, Piggley; does it already run fast?
Piggley: I wouldn't exactly use the word "fast".
Ferny: Or "run".
Dannan: Or "horse".
- Friend to All Living Things: Ferny's particularly good with animals, as is Hector MacBadger; we learn of Hector's Hidden Heart of Gold in the episode New Best Friends.
- Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Piggley and his family; also, Mr. Hornsby in the supporting cast.
- Gentle Giant: Don't let Don Toro's intimidating stature or badass voice fool you; he's a big softie to whom the kids often turn for advice. Piggley describes him as "a huge man with an even bigger heart".
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Dannan wears only a blouse, sweater and bow. Among the supporting characters that fit this trope are Mr. McGandry, Fergal O'Hopper and Gosford.
- Honorary Uncle: Ferny is one to Piggley's grandchildren. His present-day counterpart comes for a visit in the double-episode Wish Upon A Story.
- The Moving Experience: The gang is led to believe that Don Toro is preparing to move back to Spain. He and Ferny are only going away to Dublin for the weekend.
- Mister Imagination: Piggley, past and present.
- Oireland: The home of Piggley's childhood.
- Only Sane Man: Wiley considers himself this among the rest of the sheep in his flock.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Piggley can be downright nasty to Ferny, particularly in the episode Ferny Wears the Star, in which it is clear that Piggley isn't used to not being the leader.
- Parental Abandonment: We never learn the whereabouts of Dannan's parents.
- The Parent Produced Project: The episode Mi Galeon revolves around Don Toro getting a little too excited about building a model boat with Ferny; he builds an elaborate, beautiful, fully-functional Spanish galleon, while Ferny's friends' models are crude and clearly kid-produced. The episode ends with a rather heartwarming Aesop about the fact that even parents make mistakes sometimes.
- Punny Name: Almost every character's name identifies what animal he or she is.
- Raised by Grandparents: Dannan lives with her grandma.
- Slice of Life
- Suddenly Voiced: In later episodes, Shirley, a sheep in Wiley's flock who had given birth to a lamb in Growing Pains, is able to talk; Wiley even assumes the role of her Henpecked Husband. She is voiced by Joan Rivers.
- Teacher's Pet: Dannan and Gosford are in constant competition for this role.
- Title Theme Tune
- Toros y Flamenco: Don Toro, Ferny's father, is a native of Spain. The other characters' Small Reference Pools are evident when they throw a surprise party for him and the decorated venue evokes both this trope and Spexico.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Piggley, Ferny and Dannan.
- Why Did It Have to Be Banshees: Dannan's known among her friends for being absolutely fearless... except when it comes to the spooky wailing ghost that's supposedly taken up residence in Piggley's barn in Song of the Banshee.
- Women Are Wiser: Dannan often acts as the voice of reason when the boys' ideas become a little far-fetched. Though she's willing to participate, she's always the first to consult a book, whether she and the gang are building model boats or hunting down a legendary creature.