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Animation / Tinga Tinga Tales

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Tinga Tinga Tales is a 2010 Kenyan/British 52-episode children's series based on African folk tales and aimed at the preschool demographic.

It was commissioned by The BBC for its CBeebies channel, and by Disney Channel for its Disney Junior block. Named after the Tingatinga art from Tanzania, it was made in Kenya by a studio of about 50 people.

Tropes include:

  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Almost none of the animals are their natural colour: Lion is blue, Elephant is purple, the monkeys are red, orange and yellow, Hippo is black, Giraffe is black with white spots, Warthog is green, etc.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Many of the characters are this
    • Lion is the king of Tinga Tinga
    • Hyena and Jackal are unlikeable scoundrels
    • Peacock is a proud and vain narcissist.
    • Owl is noted for her strong wisdom
    • Eagle is the regal ruler of the birds
  • Bare-Bottomed Monkey: "Why Baboon Has A Bare Bottom", as the title suggests, is all about explaining why Baboon has this trait in the first place. According to the story, the other animals were so fed up with Baboon playing tricks on them that they devised a plot to give him a taste of his own medicine, and it ended in him sliding all the way down a steep cliff on his behind, setting it on fire. By the time it was put out, all the hair on Baboon's backside was gone.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Like all the animals, Bat is very cute, but he originally acted as hellish bat for the other animals as he would scare them for fun.
  • Beauty to Beast: The fate of Warthog at the end of his episode, after accidentally getting his face prickled by Porcupine.
  • Berserk Button: Do not call Crocodile "Croc", or he'll pinch at you.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Monkey talks to the audience in the beginning of the end of every episode.
  • Bowdlerise: The story of "Why Mosquito Buzzes in People's Ears" traditionally has mosquito start a riot that causes owl to quit her job of raising the sun. In the original folktale, it is because the riot killed one of her babies and she wants revenge. Here, the owl herself is simply knocked unconscious.
  • Butt-Monkey: Tortoise is always getting stepped on and mistaken for a rock by Elephant and Hippo.
  • Carnivore Confusion:
    • The "Aardvark" episode has this. Firstly, Mama Cheetah is teaching Aardvark how to hunt an Impala, despite impalas being just as sapient as any other animal in Tinga Tinga. Also, in the same episode, Bat says he likes eating mosquitos, despite Mosquito being a character.
    • The "Jackal" episode has the Cheetahs eating "chops" of unspecified meat. It's never explained where they came from or how they are so perfectly cut.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Lion: "It is Nature's way" and "I want, never gets".
    • Elephant: "Sorry. Big head, (see,) tiny brain."
  • Censored for Comedy: The monkeys and Tortoise play with this when they're forbidden to say "run".
  • Cute Mute: Woodpecker and Parrot, until they learned how to speak.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The theme song is sung by all the animals of Tinga Tinga.
  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Bushbaby.
  • Dumb Muscle: Elephant, the strongest animal in the kingdom, often says he has a big head, but a tiny brain. Majitu the giant doesn't sound all that intelligent either.
  • Every Episode Ending: Each episode ends with Monkey Red saying "And [event that was pivotal to episode but not the main focus of it]? Well, that's a whole other story!".
  • Expository Theme Tune: The theme song explains how the land of Tinga Tinga has alot of stories to share.
  • Furry Confusion: The flies and termites are non-sapient, despite other insects, such as ants, bees, mosquitos and even fleas all being sapient.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Hippo & Tickbird, Crocodile & Lizard and Tortoise & Elephant.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of the episodes follow the pattern "Why [Animal] [Action]" or "Why [Animal] Is [Adjective]".
  • Insistent Terminology: "I'm not a monkey. I'm a baboon!"
  • King of Beasts: Lion is the ruler of all of Tinga Tinga.
  • The Klutz: Ostrich was kultzy and prone to accidents before she lost her feathers.
  • Mischief-Making Monkey: Baboon is quite a prankster. The other Monkeys not so much, although they also have their moments.
  • Medicinal Cuisine: The giraffe eats honey to cure her stomachache.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: A skunk appears in several episodes, even though skunks only live in the Americas. It's possible that Skunk is actually supposed to be a striped polecat, which is a similar mammal native to Africa, but he looks more like the striped skunk familiar to North Americans than to said animal.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: The animals fear Puff Adder because of his nasty bite. Despite this, Puff Adder is really a Nice Guy who will only ever bite if he feels frightened.
  • Monkey Morality Pose: In "Why Warthog is so Ugly?", the three monkeys did this when they saw Warthog's face after he got hit by Porcupine's quills.
  • Negative Continuity: Every episode portrays the animal of whom the episode is A Day in the Limelight to be the last to have their problems fixed. For example, tick bird is not friends with hippo in her own episode, despite already being friends with her back when hippo had fur. Likewise, Buffalo bullies Rhino for not having horns, with Rhino having a horn in the episode when Buffalo first gets his horns.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Crocodile. But since this is a show for little children, he is portrayed as The Bully rather than an actual killer.
  • Once an Episode: Monkey talking with Lion at the end of the episode appears in every single episode. (At least the US dub)
  • Ostrich Head Hiding: The "Ostrich" episode is all about this.
  • Running Gag:
    • Elephant making references to his tiny brain being clashed with his big head.
    • Tortoise getting stepped on by the other animals, usually by Elephant himself.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Averted with Snake and Puff Adder, who are both pleasant to everyone around them despite being their respective species. Puff Adder in particular doesn't like being treated as The Dreaded to all the other animals because he is a snake, to the point that he Took a Level in Jerkass as a way to cope with the hate and fear he receives. he later took Camal's advice after saving Puff Adder to make the latter mellow out from his cold behavior and become openly friendly to everyone else.
  • Same Language Dub: The show got a US dub which aired on Disney Junior. The dub only replaced voice actors of a select few characters and the episodes were pitched lower for unknown reasons.
  • Somewhere, a Herpetologist Is Crying: Crocodile swims with motions of his feet, while Real Life crocodiles use their tails.
  • Somewhere, a Mammalogist Is Crying: A little forgivable given that the series is based on old fairy tales, but can still crop up. It's odd that an elephant was given the role as Dumb Muscle (claiming to have a "tiny brain") given they're among the most intelligent animals. Likewise, some of the animals living in Tinga Tinga do not actually live in Africa, like moles (it's possible she's meant to be a golden mole, but it's unlikely given that she's purple.)
  • Toilet Humor:
    • In the "Giraffe" episode, Giraffe has "tummy trouble" and has to eat some honey to stop her runny stomach.
    • In the "Skunk" episode, Baboon gives some "smelly fruit" to Skunk as a prank, which gives him a stinky fart.
  • Toothy Bird: Tortoise has teeth for some reason.
  • Villain Has a Point: In the Monkey episode, Crocodile notes that none of the other animals seem to care that the monkeys are constantly harassing him, which is entirely true.


Video Example(s):


Why Baboon's Bottom Is Bare

After Baboon's burning backside is doused, everyone is surprised to see all the hair on his behind gone, leaving it bare.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / BareBottomedMonkey

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