A Little Curious is an animated edutainment show running from 1998 to 2000 on HBO Family. The series centers on a group of household objects discovering and exploring all the amazing aspects of the world around them.
Episodes usually focused on three simple subjects that interweave with each other. Our cast of colorful characters includes:
- Mop: An artistic teenaged mop. She's usually obsessed with changing her hairstyle.
- Mr. String: An intelligent yet high-strung piece of string that can turn himself into any form reflecting what's on his mind.
- The Shoe Family: A family of shoes. Comprised of Mr. and Mrs. Shoe and their children, Lacey and Mary Jane.
- Doris the Door: A wise ol' door that swings from being energetic to tired. She fancies herself in knock-knock jokes and memories of her bygone childhood.
- Little Cup: An adorable small glass of punch who's possibly the most curious out of all the group.
- Plush: A stuffed dog that behaves like anything but the normal pet.
- Pad and Pencil: A presumably French couple consisting of a drawing pad and a #2 pencil.
- Bob the Ball: A lively bouncy ball that serves as our host.
The show is unique in that it boasts a wide variety of animation styles. Stop-motion, claymation, hand drawn, CGI. You name it, A Little Curious did it. Live-action is also utilized, whether with or without the characters.
While only two seasons were produced, the show has been airing reruns non-stop for over a decade (though this can be attributed to HBO's general neglect of their family-oriented programming). Not bad for a preschool show of this scope.
A Little Curious features examples of:
- Camera Abuse: The very first segment of "Hit, Miss, Bump" shows Plush playing a game of golf. He hits the ball hard enough that it crashes into the screen and breaks it.
- For Doris, she has Oy! My achin' hinges!
- Mr. String would usually end his paranoid observations by stating they would be terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE!
- Cool Big Sis: Mop acts as this to the younger characters, particularly Bob, Little Cup, and the Shoe children.
- Cover Version: While having a slew of original songs, the show sometimes did its own versions of retro hits like We Got the Beat and TURN TURN TURN!.
- Clip Show: Some of the episodes that focus on certain characters are often segments from previous episodes.
- A Day in the Limelight: A lot of the shorts focus on a certain character's interaction with the given subject.
- Dog Stereotype: Plush is a happy, kid-friendly Beagle plushie.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Pad and Pencil are two love-struck lovers with French accents.
- Grand Finale: Most episodes are about simple concepts like up and down, but the last episode, "A Little Curious About Life", touches on existentialism, childbirth, death, and other concepts not normal for the series.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Bob and Little Cup.
- "I Am" Song: Each character has songs about themselves that would play regularly. The second season had a different set of character songs.
- Insane Troll Logic: Mr. String's fears can dip into this at times. For example, eating a bowl of oatmeal would somehow result in the world not having any more beans.
- Nervous Wreck: Mr. String's shtick is that he's a ball of nerves.
- Nuclear Family: The shoe family fits this trope quite nicely.
- Shout-Out: In one segment, Mop looks in a puddle and changes her hairstyle. One of them is based on Leia from Star Wars, with Mop even mentioning it's based on a "space princess".
- The Unintelligible: Plush doesn't speak, at least not in coherent sentences.