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Western Animation / Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks

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Ferny: Dragons only eat princesses locked away in towers.
Molly: I'm a princess! Someday, I'll be a queen.
Ferny: You're a goner.

Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (simply Jakers! in Europe) is a CGI-animated children's television show produced by Entara Ltd. and Mike Young Productions which ran in the United States on PBS Kids from 2003 to 2008 and on Univision, dubbed in Spanish, from April 2008 to September 2010. It has been broadcast in Ireland on RTÉ's children's block, The Den, and in the UK on CBeebies. Adored by networks worldwide, the series has been dubbed in Spanish, Scottish Gaelic, German, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Italian.

Jakers! Ye'd do well to stop yer babblin' and show these dear readers why in the name of the great Begorrah this fine little show is worth shakin' a stick at!

Nostalgic Narrator extraordinaire Piggley Winks lives in the suburban United States note  with his daughter, Ciara, and her three children, Meg, Sean, and Seamus. The series is a frame story in which the tales of Grandpa Piggley's boyhood days in rural Ireland, which Piggley often relates when his grandchildren are in need of a lesson, construct the outer frame. As Grandpa's stories unfold, the audience enters the inner frame and travels to Raloo Farm in the village of Tara, where eight-year-old Piggley lives with his parents and little sister Molly. When he's not attending to farm chores or schoolwork, he's busy hatching dragon's eggs, turning donkeys into racehorses, searching for the legendary Salmon of Knowledge, and sneaking a piece of Mammy Winks' apple pie. Grandpa Piggley often reminds his grandkids that the world of his childhood was one in which the hurly-burly of modern conveniences never distracted him from a mischievous eight-year-old's Call to Adventure. Piggley is accompanied on his exploits by his two best buddies, Fernando "Ferny" Toro and Dannan O'Mallard. The three rely on their imaginations and childlike ingenuity to turn an ordinary world into an utterly fantastic one.

Jakers! is not without its Edutainment Show conventions; Piggley and his friends must occasionally recruit the help of adults, who are willing to step in and administer Aesops when things go wrong.

The series' subplot involves Wiley, a wisecracking sheep who has been imported from America to join the flock at Raloo Farm. He is considerably more intelligent, aware, and curious than the rest of the sheep, and thus considers himself the Only Sane Man. Wiley tries desperately to coax his flock to participate in "high culture"; singing, dancing, filmmaking, and anything else that might add a little pizzazz to a life of munching grass. His voice might sound familiar.

The show has won six Emmy awards, which include Oustanding Children's Animated Program, Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program, Individual Achievement in Production Design, and Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition.

Well, Janey Mack! Ye can't forget the most important part!

All of the characters are anthropomorphic farm animals, which leads to much Furry Confusion, especially considering that some of these characters live on farms on which they tend to... well, farm animals. Just go with it.

Jakers, troper! The other most important part!

Oh, yes. You're probably going to recognize a few of the voice actors. Believe it.

This series contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The show's website features trading cards of each of the characters on which information such as the characters' hobbies, secrets, and favorite foods is given. The series takes great care in developing its characters, but some of these details are never even hinted at, especially those associated with characters who only appear for one or two episodes.
  • An Aesop: This is an Enforced Trope due to the show's younger audience, with several episodes having quite serious morals, despite the comedy:
    • "The Salmon of Knowledge": Don't put off studying, and don't take myths at face value.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Molly, when she gets in the way of the trio's serious adventuring.
  • Antidisestablishmentarianism: The word was referenced in the episode "For Whom the Bells Troll", when one of Piggley's grandsons uses the "Bet you I can spell it!" trick on the other. He spells "it" thus: "I-T".
  • Arcadia: The rural Irish village of Tara, particularly Piggley's home on Raloo Farm.
  • Art Shift: In The Salmon of Knowledge, the scene in which Piggley explains the origin of the eponymous salmon is animated in a rather Seussian style. The same can be said for the scene in Milk Melodrama in which he relates the legend of a remarkable cow that produced blueberry-flavored milk.
  • Artistic License – History: In "Teacher Creature", when Piggley has an Imagine Spot of Mr. Hornsby overworking him and Ferny (with Dannan Peeling Potatoes while wearing a Dunce Cap), Mr. Hornsby asks the boys, "What was William Shakespeare's middle name?". Answer: He never had a middle name.
  • Bad Ol' Badger: Hector MacBadger, as he is The Bully of the show, though not without some Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments.
  • Baseball Episode: Dannan's American cousin, Gaddy, introduces the gang to her country's favorite pastime.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Some are barefoot, some are not. Among them in the main cast are Ferny and Hector.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Ferny becomes quite bitter in Picture Perfect after Piggley breaks his promise not to share an embarrassing photo.
  • Catchphrase: "Jakers!" is derived from an Irish expression meaning "Wow!" or "Amazing!"
  • Cheerful Child: Molly.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In Donkeys Into Racehorses, Piggley's teacher Mr. Hornsby assigns an essay requiring the students to write about the meaning of the Irish proverb "You can't make a racehorse out of a donkey". Piggley spends the weekend attempting to turn his donkey into a racehorse.
  • Cool Old Guy: Grandpa Piggley. He's still quite the rock-and-roll guitarist fifty-some-odd years after he learned to play.
  • Disappeared Dad: Ciara's husband and the father of her children is never even mentioned. According to Word of God, her marital status is kept vague so she can be perceived in any role: married, divorced, or widowed.
  • Dissimile: From Donkeys Into Racehorses:
    Don Toro: This horse of yours, Piggley; does it already run fast?
    Piggley: I wouldn't exactly use the word "fast".
    Ferny: Or "run".
    Dannan: Or "horse".
  • Framing Device: Every episode is told in flashback by an adult Piggley to his grandchildren.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Ferny's particularly good with animals, as is Hector MacBadger; we learn of Hector's Hidden Heart of Gold in the episode New Best Friends.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Piggley and his family; also, Mr. Hornsby in the supporting cast.
  • Furry Confusion: Being a World of Funny Animals, it is common that non-anthropomorphic animals appear in the show. However, in the episode, Salmon of Knowledge, there is a scene showing a non-anthropomorphic cow and the show already features a cow character named Ferny Toro.
  • Gentle Giant: Don't let Don Toro's intimidating stature or badass voice fool you; he's a big softie to whom the kids often turn for advice. Piggley describes him as "a huge man with an even bigger heart".
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Dannan wears only a blouse, sweater, and bow. Among the supporting characters that fit this trope are bird characters Mr. McGandry and Gosford, as well as Fergal O'Hopper the rabbit.
  • Honorary Uncle: Ferny is one to Piggley's grandchildren. His present-day counterpart comes for a visit in the double-episode Wish Upon A Story.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Hector MacBadger often says Piggley's last name, Winks, as "Dinks/Dink".
  • Market-Based Title: Simply Jakers! in European markets.
  • Missing Mom: Ferny's mom. While it's initially unclear whether or not she's simply not around, it's eventually revealed that she died.
  • The Moving Experience: In one episode the gang is led to believe that Don Toro is preparing to move back to Spain when he and Ferny are only going away to Dublin for the weekend.
  • Mr. Imagination: Piggley, past and present.
  • Oireland: Piggley's childhood home.
  • Only Sane Man: Wiley considers himself this among the rest of the sheep in his flock.
  • The Parent-Produced Project: The episode Mi Galeon revolves around Don Toro getting a little too excited about building a model boat with Ferny; he builds an elaborate, beautiful, fully-functional Spanish galleon, while Ferny's friends' models are crude and clearly kid-produced. The episode ends with An Aesop about the fact that even parents make mistakes sometimes.
  • Peeling Potatoes: Piggley's Imagine Spot in "Teacher Creature" has Dannan being forced to do this while wearing a Dunce Cap.
    • Referenced in "Fir Not".
      Mr. Winks: (pretending to scold Piggley, Ferny, and Dannan) A lifetime of peeling potatoes is too good for the likes of you!
  • Pet Baby Wild Animal: Molly's pet fawn, Sweets, but how the two first met is never revealed, though.
  • Punny Name: Almost every character's name identifies what animal he or she is.
  • Puppy Love: "Ferny Gets A Crush" involves Ferny getting a huge crush on his classmate Millie Pelly. Piggley and Dannan try to help him woo her, but he learns that he's better off trusting his own instincts. Millie feels the same way about Ferny.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Dannan lives with her grandma, although she mentioned her mother once.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Meg's part of the story in the first part of "Wish Upon a Story".
  • Suddenly Speaking: In later episodes, Shirley, a sheep in Wiley's flock who had given birth to a lamb in Growing Pains, is able to talk; Wiley even assumes the role of her Henpecked Husband. She is voiced by Joan Rivers.
  • Teacher's Pet: Dannan and Gosford are in constant competition for this role.
  • Title Montage: The intro entirely consists of episode clips.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: The theme song introduces Piggley and his friends.
  • Toros y Flamenco: Don Toro, Ferny's father, is a native of Spain. The other characters' Small Reference Pools are evident when they throw a surprise party for him and the decorated venue evokes both this trope and Spexico.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Piggley, Ferny, and Dannan.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Every episode has two plots - one with Piggley and pals, and one with Wiley and the sheep.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Dannan's known among her friends for being absolutely fearless... except when it comes to the spooky wailing ghost that's supposedly taken up residence in Piggley's barn in Song of the Banshee.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Every episode is this.
  • Women Are Wiser: Dannan often acts as the voice of reason when the boys' ideas become a little far-fetched. Though she's willing to participate, she's always the first to consult a book, whether she and the gang are building model boats or hunting down a legendary creature.

Alternative Title(s): Jakers