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Creator / Pinkfong

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In 2010, the South Korean media company SmartStudy was founded. At the exact same time as their inception, they branched into the educational market. With a combination of classic nursery and playground songs, fairy tales, interpretations of Aesop's Fables, crafts, and puppet videos, they created a collection of animations for children. Using a pink fox mascot that they created in the pastnote , the brand Pinkfong (핑크퐁) was born. While the brand, which consisted of animations and phone apps, was a success in Asia, the rest of the world was not as enthused.
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And then came 2015. What started with simply an animated cover of a classic campfire song soon became a juggernaut of a series: "Baby Shark". While the original version of the song would see heavy success, it was the "dance version" of the same video, released in 2016, that would become even bigger, racking billions of views to the point of eventually reaching the record of being the highest-watched YouTube video of all time.

Soon, the Baby Shark brand would grow further in terms of Pinkfong's repertoire. Remakes of their original nursery rhymes and original songs adapted with the characters, merchandise, and the eventual creation of two cartoons: Baby Shark Brooklyn Doo Doo Doo and Baby Shark's Big Show!. Baby Shark would also eventually get his own channel, rereleasing compilations of the songs, along with new reinterpretations of songs first.

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Despite the popularity of Baby Shark, the brand's title character was still no slouch in the media department either. Pinkfong Wonderstar, a show focusing on Pinkfong and his friends, was also created. One of these friends, Hogi the Hedgehog, would eventually get his own channel, with a heavier focus on educational topics.

Other major recurring series from the Pinkfong brand include "Ten Little Kids" (ten best friends that get into adventures with each other, paired with counting songs most of the time) and "Cotomo Cats" (three kittens that sing songs related to the cultures of the world). Meanwhile, the trend of their version of "Baby Shark" has caused some heavy crossovers with other franchises, such as World of Warcraft, BT21 UNIVERSE, and Just Dance. The song also found an adapted use in various hand-washing lessons during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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Pinkfong videos provide examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Ten Little Kids, with the exception of Boo, all have brightly colored skin that in no way resembles real skintones.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife:
    • The Shark Family all are colors that real sharks don't come in: Baby Shark is yellow, Mommy Shark is pink, Daddy Shark is blue, Grandma Shark is orange, and Grandpa Shark is green.
    • The Dinosaur series have various dinosaur types in all colors you can imagine.
  • Animal Gender-Bender: A recurring character in the "Baby Shark" series is a male anglerfish with the design of a female one. In real life, female anglerfish are significantly bigger than males.
  • Animesque: Some of the older videos, namely the fairy tale and fable ones, contain designs that draw from anime in their appearances. The fable ones pull from a more "cartoony" style, while the fairy tale ones are more traditional.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Pinkfong’s original design as Fong was a much more cartoony fox that resembled a gag character more than a mascot. He was eventually softened, getting a larger face and his star. His star was originally white and on his stomach, before turning yellow, and then eventually turning into his necklace’s charm.
    • The Baby Shark characters were originally flatter and less expressive. Mommy Shark originally had lipstick and eyelashes that she eventually lost and Grandma Shark was originally coral-colored instead of orange. Daddy Shark also originally lacked notches in his tail and dorsal fin.
    • The art style of the franchise itself shifted from flat outlined characters to much more lively lineless designs.
  • Breakout Character: Baby Shark and his family, thanks to the popularity of his song, became so popular, that they became mascots as much as Pinkfong for the brand.
  • Christmas Songs: There are a variety of Christmas songs released by Pinkfong, most often original ones sung to the tune of classic Christmas songs or a Christmas-themed song sung to the tune of a classic.
  • Ear Notch: Or rather, fin notches. Daddy Shark's later design gave him notches in his tail and dorsal fin to not only further differentiate his design, but also create a "tougher" one as well. Ironically, most iterations of him with a personality have ones that are actively against fighting and violence.
  • Educational Song: Many of the songs, the Ten Little Kids and Cotomo Cats songs especially, teach counting and global facts, respectively. There are also other songs that are about various functions of the body as well.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The "Baby Shark" songs sometimes include an electric eel, a species of fish that only is a freshwater-dwelling one.
  • Playground Song: Some of the songs are classic playground songs, such as "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt", "Johnny, Johnny, Yes Papa", and, most famously, "Baby Shark".
  • Red Is Violent: In the Dinosaur series, the Tyrannosaurus rex is represented as a red dinosaur with blue stripes and seeing in the series as the great menace of the Dino World as his real counterpart.
  • Seldom-Seen Species:
    • Some of Baby Shark's friends used in the videos include a pilot fish (William, the orange fish that regularly appears in the series. Real pilot fish don't look like this, however.), a Dumbo Octopus, and a bull shark (specifically, a one-eyed albino one, in reference to the news article of a baby one being fished up).
    • The song "Ocean ABC" gives an alphabetical list of various sea creatures, including some rarely-seen ones, such as isopods, molamola, and x-ray fish.
  • Self-Parody: The video "Krahs Ybab" is a sped up and warped animation that parodies the original "Baby Shark" video.
  • Threatening Shark: Zigzagged, Baby Shark and his family are terrifying to most, purely because most of the characters are fish that are afraid of being eaten. They're friendly sharks by default, but they still need to eat and can't survive on plants, friendliness or not.
  • To the Tune of...: A majority of the songs are reinterpretations of classic nursery rhymes and kid songs with new lyrics.
  • Unconventional Food Usage: In "Have You Ever Seen Santa's Beard?", Santa Claus tries to wear cotton candy, bananas, and noodles as a fake beard when his actual beard runs away.

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