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Film / Wee Sing

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The original nine films.
Wee Sing is a series of children's direct-to-video musical films created by two elementary music teachers, Pam Beall and Susan Nipp, consisting of various children's songs being strung together with a cohesive plot.

The series initially started out as a series of songbooks, the first of which was titled "Wee Sing Children’s Songs and Fingerplays". In 1981, the series would add audio cassette tapes to the books as companion pieces, with the books becoming more or less lyric sheets.

This was taken one step further in 1985, when the first Wee Sing video, Wee Sing Together, was produced, beginning a series of videos that continued until 1996 with the release of Wee Singdom.

These videos include:

  • Wee Sing Together (1985)
  • King Cole's Party (1987)
  • Grandpa's Magical Toys (1988)
  • Wee Sing in Sillyville (1989)
  • The Best Christmas Ever! (1990)
  • Wee Sing in the Big Rock Candy Mountains (1991)
  • Wee Sing in the Marvelous Musical Mansion (1992)
  • The Wee Sing Train (1993)
  • Wee Sing Under the Sea (1994)
  • Wee Singdom: The Land of Music and Fun! (1996)
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  • Wee Sing Favorites: Classic Songs for Kids (1996)
  • Wee Sing Favorites: Animal Songs (1996)

These films include examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Grandpa in Grandpa's Magical Toys feigns this by repeatedly calling David "Leonard," in an attempt to get the shy boy to talk by correcting him. Also played straight in Marvelous Musical Mansion when Aunty Annabella first meets Kelly: she goes through several 'K' names before she gets it right.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Shows up all over the place. It'd be easier to name characters without it.
  • Adults Are Useless: In Marvelous Musical Mansion, Auntie Annabella ends up locked outside when she's unable to come up with the answer to Doorknocker's riddle (though she does learn that no one entered or left the house through the front door, which proves that someone inside the mansion committed the crime), while Uncle Rubato solely investigates the dining room—which is the one place where nothing suspicious happened. It falls to the kids to find all of the clues and actually solve the crime.
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  • The Ageless: The end of Grandpa's Magical Toys implies that the toys in the playroom are immortal. Punchinello remarks that "he's been around a long time," and first helped Peter's grandfather—a man in his seventies—when he was Peter's age. Justified since they're toys.
  • All Just a Dream: "King Cole's Party" was all Jack's dream.
  • An Aesop: In The Big Rock Candy Mountains, Profster will spout these on a dime, much to the confusion of the other characters, until Felicity is able to explain its meaning. For the last three aesops, the other characters are now able to understand what they mean (although Bunny Foo Foo and Lisa still explain their meaning, without Profster having to depend on Felicity). However when Profster cried Tears of Joy at the fly and bumblebee's wedding, even Felicity couldn’t explain this.
  • Argument of Contradictions: Blackbirds Jack and Jill have one about whether the former of the two snores or not in The Wee Sing Train when the protagonists meet them and then have that argument again when said protagonists leave to continue their journey.
  • A Weighty Aesop: The emphasis is on health, not weight, but The Big Rock Candy Mountains still features a warning about junk food when the Fat Comic Relief Snoodledoodles eat too much candy and get stomachaches. This is despite the fact that the setting is a land made mostly of candy. The other characters enjoy a picnic of healthy foods and then have only a little candy for dessert.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In The Big Rock Candy Mountains, as per his song, Little Bunny Foo Foo is turned into a goon by the Good Fairy. His goon form is Played for Laughs, looking just like his normal form, but bright purple, with crooked ears and covered in polka dots.
  • Berserk Button: Peter Rabbit in Wee Sing Together can't stand having flies buzz around his ears.
  • Bewitched Amphibians:
    • The Wee Sing Train features a frog who claims to be a prince and is always trying to get Princess Jennie Jenkins to kiss him. Eventually she does and breaks the spell.
    • The Froogy Frogs of Sillyville in Wee Sing Sillyville talk and sing just as well as any humans.
  • Be Yourself: The overall Aesop of Marvelous Musical Mansion, as demonstrated with Andy Bandy Man—the human characters gently chide him for stealing objects from the rest of the household, saying that he is unique and special in his own way and doesn't need to take their items to be appreciated.
  • Birthday Episode: Wee Sing Together is all about Sally's stuffed animals giving her a magical, musical birthday party.
  • Blind Without 'Em: This turns out to be the reason behind Gusty the Elf's clumsiness in The Best Christmas Ever. Getting glasses makes him able to build toys again and saves Christmas.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: A Running Gag with David in Grandpa's Magical Toys, who does it both with Sailor's British accent and with Lassie and Laddie's Scottish brogue.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Outrageous!" - Jonathan from Wee Sing Together.
    • "I knew that" - Scott from Wee Sing in Sillyville.
    • "This calls for muffins!' - the Muffin Man from Grandpa's Magical Toys.
    • "Superrific!" by Tusky/Trunky the Elephant.
    • "Sing-a-ling-a-ling!" by Singaling in all his appearances.
  • Christmas Episode: The Best Christmas Ever.
  • Christmas Elves: Aforementioned Christmas Episode revolves around Gusty the Elf having trouble making toys for Santa (he needs glasses). The elves are human sized, but have quirky names and voices and Pointy Ears, and at least two of them, Poofer and Dermie, have magical powers.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Wee Sing in Sillyville revolves around groups of these. The Spurtlegurgles wear yellow, the Twirlypops wear blue, the Jingleheimers wear (and their friends the Froogy Frogs are) green, the Bitty-Booties wear red and Pasha wears purple. The Aesop they have to learn is that even though they like different colors, they can all be friends.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Refreshingly averted as the main moral of The Big Rock Candy Mountains. In the "real world," Lisa's friends all leave when she starts being overly controlling about what to do, and she whines that they're in the wrong for not following her lead ("Why don't they want to play what I want to play?"). In the Big Rock Candy Mountains themselves, the Meecy Mice repeatedly protest Little Bunny Foo-Foo's rough treatment and make it explicitly clear that they don't like what he's doing, but he refuses to hear it and keeps badgering them until he's magically punished by the Good Fairy. Both Lisa and Little Bunny Foo-Foo (and, by extension, the audience) learn that if someone is uncomfortable with your behavior and raises a complaint about it, you should definitely listen to what they have to say and respect their boundaries and wishes.
  • Cool Old Guy: Old King Cole and the Crooked Man in King Cole's Party, Grandpa in Grandpa's Magical Toys and Uncle Rubato in Marvelous Musical Mansion.
  • Creator Cameo: Beall and Nipp show up in Marvelous Musical Mansion as bird watchers.
    • Series composer Cal Scott plays many roles throughout the series, usually voicing a puppet.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: A mild example in The Big Rock Candy Mountains. Profster, while not mean, is incredibly prim and unimaginative. The gang persuades him to loosen up while looking for shapes in the clouds; he eventually catches on and starts singing "Grizzly Bear."
  • Disability Tropes: In The Best Christmas Ever, one of the carolers that visit the family uses a wheelchair.
  • Easily Forgiven: Little Bunny Foo Foo in Big Rock Candy Mountains is quickly forgiven for bopping the Meecy Mice on the head once he explains why he did it and apologizes, as is Andy Bandy Man for stealing in Marvelous Musical Mansion. Of course in Bunny Foo Foo's case, he had already been punished enough by being turned into a goon.
  • Excuse Plot: The videos are mainly showcases for songs, with only simple plotlines to string them together. Some, such as The Best Christmas Ever and Marvelous Musical Mansion, are more plot-driven than others, though.
  • Exploding Closet: An offscreen example in Wee Sing Together:
    Jonathan: I'm gonna go to my closet and get some clothes! (runs off)
    Sally: Jonathan's closet?! (covers her ears)
    (loud crash)
  • Fantastic Racism: The conflict of Wee Sing in Sillyville, where none of the different groups of Sillyville citizens will talk to anyone who wears different colors than they do.
  • The Fantastic Trope of Wonderous Titles: Most of the titles of the Wee Sing films fall under this trope, particularly Wee Sing in The Marvelous Musical Mansion.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: The second part of Marvelous Musical Mansion becomes this type of mystery when various musical items go missing. The fact that Andy Bandy Man is accidentally left awake after he performs and is clearly shown envying the other music boxes makes it easy for kid viewers to solve the mystery along with the characters. There's also a liberal amount of clues sprinkled throughout the film, including Andy being the only person not missing something he needs for his performances, a sentient piano playing his theme when Alex asks if it knows anything, and the musical staircase playing the notes AB-DB, or ANDY BANDY, over and over.
  • Fear of Thunder: Everyone in Wee Sing Together goes through this when a thunderstorm interrupts Sally's birthday party. They deal with it by singing, of course.
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball: The Wee Sing Favorites duology recycled songs from previous videos with this feature. No lyrics onscreen, though.
  • Genre Throw Back: Pam Beall and Susan Nipp basically did this, focusing on beloved songs and chants from their childhood. The videos quickly followed and helped their popularity spread.
  • Girlish Pigtails:
    • Sillywhim, in keeping with her exuberant Woman Child character.
    • Several of the little girls in the series – Sally in Wee Sing Together, Jill in King Cole's Party, Biffy Bitty Booty in Wee Sing in Sillyville, Nellie in The Best Christmas Ever and Casey in The Wee Sing Train – have them too.
  • Grand Finale: Wee Singdom, which features a bunch of characters from past Wee Sing videos (minus the ones from Wee Sing Together, King Cole's Party, The Best Christmas Ever and The Marvelous Musical Mansion) coming together to sing songs.
  • Green Aesop: Under The Sea teaches the importance of not polluting the ocean with garbage.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: This turns out to be Andy Bandy Man's motive in Marvelous Musical Mansion Aunty Annabella forgot to magically freeze him after his performance, so he was awake to watch the kids heap praise on the other three music boxes and Meter Mouse, who lives in the grandfather clock. He comes to doubt his own talents and decides to steal items from the others to prove that he is just as special as they are.
  • Grumpy Bear: Hermit Crab in Under the Sea.
    • Profster of Big Rock Candy Mountains is also a mild version, but he's more stuffy and overly prim than grumpy.
  • Happily Adopted: Susie in The Best Christmas Ever and Benji in Marvelous Musical Mansion are different ethnicities than their parents and siblings. This fact isn't emphasized; it just discreetly normalizes adoptive families. Benji even exclaims "It must run in the family!" when he finds himself able to do magic just like his adoptive aunt and uncle do.
  • Honorary Aunt: Aunty Annabella in Marvelous Musical Mansion insists that family friend Kelly call her "Aunty A." just like her nephews do.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Big Rock Candy Mountains, Felicity the Unicorn calmly translates Profster's first pearl of wisdom as a lesson in being patient...only to immediately start screaming in excitement as Lisa, Snoodle, and Doodle teleport to meet the group.
  • Interspecies Romance: The fly and bumblebee that get married in The Big Rock Candy Mountains.
  • Kid Detective: Kelly in Marvelous Musical Mansion.
    Alex: Do you have to make a mystery out of everything?
    Kelly: Life is a mystery, Alex.
  • Knew It All Along: "I knew that" is basically Scott's Catchphrase in Wee Sing in Sillyville. To the point where Sillywhim ask him, "But you knew that, right?" and then...
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: In Marvelous Musical Mansion, Uncle Rubato's music box collection includes a one-man band, a tap-dancing group of a cappella singers, a quintet orchestra, and...a ballerina. The last definitely makes an impression as the only box not centered on music and song in some way, although she does sing while she dances. Tellingly, it's the ballerina's scarf that gets stolen during the mansion's crime wave, which also stands out as the only purely decorative item that goes missing (and makes Uncle Rubato's claim that she can't dance without it seem a little silly).
  • Living Toys: The focus of Grandpa's Magical Toys (obviously), Wee Sing Together, and Wee Sing Train. Played with in regards to Marvelous Musical Mansion, which features living music boxes.
  • Malaproper:
    • Aunty Annabella in Marvelous Musical Mansion.
    • The jester in King Cole's Party is also prone to Spoonerisms .
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The adults sometimes have this reaction because they're not privy to what happens in their kids' worlds. In Big Rock Candy Mountain, Lisa's mom has this reaction.
    • Subverted by Grandpa in Grandpa's Magical Toys; since Punchinello helped Peter's grandfather when he was a child; he seems to know the toys are alive and remembers Punchinello as an old friend.
    • Also subverted by the parents in The Best Christmas Ever, who go with the kids to Santa's workshop, and by Uncle Rubato and Aunty Annabella in Marvelous Musical Mansion, who openly use a magical hand gesture to activate his music boxes.
  • Meaningful Name: Some of the characters in Marvelous Musical Mansion are named after musical terminology appropriate to their characterization:
    • Rubato means "played freely and loosely," and Uncle Rubato has the power to levitate, freeing himself from gravity's pull.
    • The Tap-A-Capella Singers are all named for different indicators of tempo and volume: Ally Allegro (quickly), Lawrence Largo (slowly), Flo Fortissimo (very loudly), Peter Pianissimo (very softly).
    • The cheerful rodent who chimes the hour in the grandfather clock is Meter Mouse. Meter is the tempo at which a piece is played—in other words, both musical meter and Meter Mouse mark the time.
  • Misplaced Accent: Dutch Girl from Grandpa's Magical Toys. She dresses in a traditional Dutch outfit, but sounds like she's from Brooklyn.
  • Motor Mouth: Again, Dutch Girl from Grandpa's Magical Toys.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Whether or not it's intentional, the Cookie Jar in "Grandpa's Magical Toys" sounds quite a bit like James Earl Jones.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Most people who watch these videos again years later, whether they be babysitting, have kids of their own, or rediscover them on YouTube will probably have these on.
  • Nursery Rhyme: King Cole's Party centers around the characters from most of these rhymes coming together to celebrate 100 years of peace under King Cole's rule.
  • Oh, Crap!: In Big Rock Candy Mountain, Little Bunny Foo Foo does this after he realizes he just bopped the Mincy Mice for a 3rd time despite being warned.
    Foo Foo: What's the problem? (Looks at his hand and it dawns on him) Oops!
  • One Steve Limit: Averted across the videos; Sally and Jonathan in Wee Sing Together and the family in The Best Christmas Ever share the last name Smith.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: A very mild version occurs in Marvelous Musical Mansion—Doorknocker the sentient doorknocker insists that the only people who can enter the house are those who solve his riddles. Thankfully, the solutions to said riddles are "spin around in a circle" and Uncle Rubato's cat's name.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Implied with Sally's birthday party in Wee Sing Together.
  • Really 700 Years Old: In King Cole's Party, King Cole has reigned over his kingdom for 100 years. He doesn't look or act a day over 50.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: Only "disaster" in the mildest sense: in Wee Sing in Sillyville, the Sillyville citizens finally overcome their Fantastic Racism when Sillywhim, whom they all like, hurts her ankle, and they all contribute ribbons, scarves and bowties to bandage it, making them realize how well all their colors go together.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: As you might expect from a children's video series based on nursery rhymes, this is a very popular trope.
    • The Spurdlegurgles of Sillyville speak exclusively in rhymes; it also doubles as Finishing Each Other's Sentences, as there are four of them, and they simply pass the rhyme from one to the next.
    • The stuffed animals of Grandpa's Magical Toys largely speak in rap.
    • Doorknocker in Marvelous Musical Mansion both only talks in verse and gives rhyming riddles to anyone who tries to enter the house.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Humpty Dumpty in King Cole's Party.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Mark and Clark in Wee Sing Together and the Jingleheimers in Wee Sing in Sillyville.
  • Sleepyhead: Jack-in-the-Box in Grandpa's Magical Toys and the Hatrack in Marvelous Musical Mansion.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: Largely of the Animate Inanimate Object model. It's most apparent in Marvelous Musical Mansion: virtually everything in the titular house is alive, but the degree of its "humanity" is heavily dependent on how human it looks. The music boxes (or to be technical, the figures on the music boxes), photos, and suits of armor look the most human-like and are all capable of movement and speech; the doorknocker and hat rack are human-object hybrids who can talk, but don't move much; and the grand piano, stairs, and dining room chairs lack all human features, have virtually no mobility (the piano can play itself and the chairs can lean backward, but that's about it), and don't speak at all except for playing a few notes.
  • Spanner in the Works: In Marvelous Musical Mansion, Meter Mouse awakens in the middle of the night to sound his hourly gong and discovers it missing, then hears someone running around inside the drawing room. He shouts at the noise, causing the thief to tumble from the stairs and fail in their attempt to steal something from the Rhythm Machine; this interference provides the humans the clues they need to solve the crime the next day.
    • Similarly, in the same movie, Cadenza playfully bats at a small object when the kids find themselves stumped by the mystery at hand. It's Andy Bandy's missing shoe, which proves to be the clue that ties everything together.
  • The '80s & The '90s: These films are VERY 80s and 90s.
  • Tears of Joy: Profster sheds these during the Fly and Bumblebee's wedding in The Big Rock Candy Mountains, leading to this exchange.
    Snoodle: Why are you crying?
    Profster: I always cry when I'm happy.
    Doodle: Well, what do you do when you're sad?
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: Santa's elves do this in their group songs throughout The Best Christmas Ever.
    "Gusty!" "Poofer!" "Dimpie!" "Snooter!" "Munchie!" "Thooner!" "THAT'S US!"
  • Totally Radical: A few of the films include an updated "cool" version of one of the children's songs featured. Examples include the remixed "I'm A Little Teapot" in Wee Sing Together, the hip-hop take on "Down by the Bay" in Sillyville, and the stuffed animal carousel's rap rendition of "Mockingbird" (called "Hambone") in Grandpa's Magical Toys.
  • Translator Buddy: In Big Rock Candy Mountains, Felicity the Unicorn serves as one of these for Profster. It's a rare case because Profster actually speaks English—it's just that everything he says is a vague moral lesson, and it falls to Felicity to help the rest of the group understand how it applies to their current situation.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Uncle Rubato in Marvelous Musical Mansion has a tendency to add the word "marvelous" into his sentences.
    • Dermie in The Best Christmas Ever says everything twice.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: King Cole in King Cole's Party casually pals around with all his subjects and servants. Several funny moments come from the queen's attempts to make him behave more regally. He also loves the humble gifts Jack, Jill, Mary and Little Boy Blue bring to his party more than any of the priceless treasures others bring.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The reason for Tusky's name change in Wee Singdom. According to Beall and Nipp, a "Tusky the Elephant" was already trademarked prior to Wee Sing Train. The holders of the original copyright agreed to not file any claim as long as the name was changed should he make any reappearances, hence why he's called Trunky in Wee Singdom.


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