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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Catch Phrase:
- 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".
- 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!".
- 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!"
- Loads and Loads of Characters: 52 of them receive episode focus.
- 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 apears in every single episode.
- 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.