Special Agent Oso (2008) is a children's animated television series currently airing on Disney Junior and seen for a couple of years when that programming block was still known as Playhouse Disney. It's about Oso, a "unique stuffed bear" who is a secret agent working with some kind of nondescript agency, along with his training helpers, Wolfie and Dottie, and his trusty talking mapPaw Pilot. Other characters include Mr. Dos, a deep-voiced man who only talks through Oso's watch, and Rapide and Whirlybird, a talking train and a talking helicopter, respectively.Basically, it's James BondmeetsDora the ExplorermeetsWinnie-the-Pooh.The new Disney Junior block includes a short show called Special Agent Oso: Three Healthy Steps in which Oso observes as real-life children take three healthy steps to complete some sort of physical activity, such as jumping rope, swinging on a swing or fixing a salad.
Adults Are Useless: The adults on the show don't seem to help their children but rely on Oso to help them.
Artistic License - Geography: Pay attention to the two different locations on the globe that are shown when the camera zooms out of a shot of a kid in need of help, then zooms in on where Oso is. Then ask yourself, "how did he get from Europe to North America in just a couple of minutes BY CAR?!" Or better yet, how is it that Oso makes it from the moon to help a kid in a matter of minutes?
Artistic License - Physics: Oso is in a rocket when it collides head-on with a huge rock. Instead of the rocket crashing, it shoots halfway through the rock.
Blatantly toyed with, in that he always forgets the lecture in question when it's actually INTENDED to be used, and only remembers it when something only vaguely related comes up.
Christmas Episode: "The Living Holiday Lights," which also covers Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.
Crossover: "The Manny with the Golden Bear" had Handy Manny and his tools show up to help out when Oso has to help a kid who has a broken bike. Presumably relatively easy to finagle, since not only do both shows air on Disney Junior, but both are produced by Disney Television Animation. They're also both CGI and have reasonably similar looks.
Edited for Syndication: The episode You Only Start Preschool Once and License to Sled are edited when airing on Playhouse Disney in the United Kingdom. Bizarrely, it is never explained why.
Four-Fingered Hands: A curiosity with this one. The human characters on the series are normally depicted as having the normal number of fingers. In "The Manny With the Golden Bear," (Handy Mannycrossover) however, they sport four-fingered hands. This is presumably because the human characters on Handy Manny have only four fingers and it would have been odd to have to draw Manny with five.
In "From China from Love," Oso is helping a kid to use chopsticks and there's a lot of talk about the fingers being used to hold them. Oso notes that he himself has only four fingers and one of the kids tell him that that's okay: he's a stuffed bear. Out of the mouths of babes.
Grand Finale: "Thundersmall," potentially, in which Oso manages to solve the problem after everyone is shrunk by Wolfie's shrink ray and he is promoted to a full agent.
Idiot Hero: Arguably, Oso. He's supposed to the special agent helping the kids out... only every time it ends up being the opposite way around (because Oso forgets all of his instructions and struggles in the most basic tasks... like turning on a flashlight).
Well, he is "Oh so special" after all.
He does get a bit better (YMMV on this one) in a few more recent episodes.
Out of Order: The episode "Thundersmall" has a definite feeling of a season finale if not a series one, yet it was aired in January 2012 with other episodes following, with the final one not airing until May in the United States.
Parental Bonus: One of the show's songs, released on the CD "Playhouse Disney: Let's Dance," (the final CD before they became Disney Junior) is a parody of the main theme of the original Shaft.
Race Against the Clock: EVERY episode, to the point where completion of the given 'task' must be done in less than twenty seconds.
Magic Countdown: These scenes tend to take a fair bit longer than expected, even with Paw Pilot counting down throughout. The countdown is in sight, it just seems to work in magical molasses time in order for Oso to finish Just in Time.
Running Gag: As Oso is riding Whirlybird and approaches his destination, he makes some comment which Whirlybird misinterprets, causing him to suddenly drop Oso, resulting in Oso having to use his parachute.
Samaritan Syndrome: A mild example - Oso often receives invitations to dinner or such from the parents of the kids he just helped, but he can't stay because he has to go back and finish his training exercise.
Strictly Formula: Oso does a training assignment and fails. He is then called away to help a child by Mr. Dos and Paw Pilot assigns Oso "three special steps" to complete the task. Paw Pilot then starts singing about the mission as a strange music video is shown. When he arrives, Oso follows the steps carefully when helping the child, needing the audience's help for very simple tasks. As the final step is completed in the nick of time, Oso returns to complete his training exercise, using the knowledge he got from his mission to earn his training award. Oso then receives a special assignment digi-medal for helping the child. The episode finishes off with a corny one-liner.
Talking Animal: And talking trains, and talking planes... Let's just say "it's childrens' television" and leave it at that.