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Western Animation / LeapFrog

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This page contains tropes that applies to the DVD releases. For the toys, see Franchise.Leap Frog.

LeapFrog regularly releases DVDs featuring animations of the characters its franchise created.

So far, 15 DVDs has been released. The first title, Letter Factory, was released way back in 2003. It was followed by The Talking Words Factory in the same year, The Talking Words Factory 2: Code Word Caper and Math Circus in 2004, (Learn to Read at) The Storybook Factory in 2005.

This was followed by a two year hiatus and then A Tad of Christmas Cheer in 2007. Then the series went into another two year hiatus before the next video. During this hiatus, the three main characters (and Edison) were completely redesigned and many of the supporting were Brother Chucked or Put on the Bus.

Upon returning from the hiatus, the first video released was Let's Go to School in 2009. This was followed by Math Adventure to the Moon in 2010. This was followed by The Amazing Alphabet Amusement Park and Numbers Ahoy in 2011.

In 2012, it appears that Leapfrog had gotten tired of Leap, Lily and Tad and decided to focus on Scout and his friends instead (not surprising, as at that time, Scout and Violet were Leapfrog's cash cow and toys from the company of that period primarily featured the two puppies). The result was the first two Scout and Friends video, Phonics Farm and Numberland, following a new continuity. This was followed by Adventures in Shapeville Park and The Magnificent Museum of Opposite Words in 2013.

Leapfrog has since proceeded to put Scout and his friends on the bus and brought back Leap, Lily and Tad in the 2014 video The Letter Machine Rescue Team, which also marks an art shift to CGI. Two other CGI DVDs have since been produced.

LeapFrog provides examples of:

  • Aesop:
    • In (Learn to Read at) The Storybook Factory, the lesson is that you should take your time and be patience if you want things to get done quickly.
    • In "The Letter Factory", Tad learns that every letter makes different sounds.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: There's Scout the green puppy, Violet the purple puppy, and Eli the blue cat. Other animals, however, are more or less the colors that you'd expect them to be.
  • Anthropomorphic Typography: The first episode, Letter Factory, involves the protagonist, Tad, learning his alphabet at a factory that produces anthropomorphic letters. The next couple of episodes focus on using said letters to make words, before shifting to numbers in Math Circus, where anthropomorphic numbers perform circus acts of adding and subtracting. The series goes through a few reboots, from using tad and Lily in a different style of episodes teaching the same concept, then focusing on Scout and his friends going through the same concepts, and finally a CGI cartoon focusing on Tad, Leap, and Lily learning the same concepts.
  • Art Evolution: A major one that crosses with Art Shift between A Tad of Christmas Cheer, and Let's Go To School!. Also many noticeable minor improvements from Letter Factory right up to A Tad Of Christmas Cheer.
  • Art Shift: The Letter Machine Rescue Team marks a shift to full CGI from the past DVDs' Flash Animation.
  • Breakout Character: Professor Quigley, who was originally designed as the teacher of the original DVDs, went on to get his own (short-lived) game series on the Leapster L-Max, containing Letters on the Loose and Counting on Zero.
  • Call-Back: In The Magnificent Museum of Opposite Words, the guests of the museum at the time of opening consists of characters from previous DVDs Phonics Farm, Numberland and Adventures in Shapeville Park
    • For an example of a brother and sister, Mr. Polecat shows Tad and Lily.
  • Christmas Special: A Tad Of Christmas Cheer
  • Continuity Nod: In (Learn to Read at) The Storybook Factory, Quigley brings up Tad's adventures at the Letter and Talking Words Factories.
  • Cool Old Guy: The E Trainer is shown to be one as he is seen teaching the E letters to make the "eh" sound. Later, he is seen in the Letter Sound Presentation.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: In The Letter Machine Rescue Team, many of the letters have these, so though sometimes the appearance of it depends on what angle they're shown at.
  • Distant Duet: Tad has a heartbreaking one with Mrs. Frog in A Tad of Christmas Cheer
  • Expressive Ears: In the Scout and Friends videos, Penny certainly has them. Possibly some of the others as well.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: In the Scout and Friends videos, notice how Axel automatically puts seatbelts on the characters during the "I'm With You Scout" song.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Everyone in the Learning videos are this trope, not counting the baby versions of Leap, Lily and Tad in toys.
  • Happy Place: In A Tad of Christmas Cheer, after Edison fails to send Tad back to his proper reality following his It's a Wonderful Life wish, the two discover that Tad tore himself out of the picture of his family and they literally need to find the torn piece. Tad is ready to race to find it, but then he turns back to find Edison floating in the air with his eyes closed and chanting to himself. Edison explains that he was in his happy place.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: In Scout and Friends: Adventures in Shapeville Park, mice called "measure mice" are used as part of a song number about measuring. "Look at Penny jump / How far can she go? / We can use the measure mice and then we'll know / Line them up and count them up, place them end-to-end! / Her jump is two mice long! That's how long!" The mice were cute and the song was catchy, but the problem was that no real-world units were given to relate just what "two mice" was. Some felt this may have been done to avoid having to get into confusion between metric and imperial units, but more than one reviewer and commenter on felt the idea of measuring with mice was somewhat bizarre.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: One-off character Dash in Adventures in Shapeville Park can't use his back legs and requires aid in the form of an "animal wheelchair". He can also run very fast.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot:
  • Jerkass: Played for Laughs. The N Trainer was very rude to Professer Quigley as the former refuses to let the latter listen to the "nn" sound.
    N Trainer: No, no, no! Not noon, not near 9 o'clock, no next November! Not now! NOT EVER! NEVER!!
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In Letter Factory, Professor Quigley takes Tad to the V room, where the V letters are vibrated to help them learn their sound. Tad doesn't take well to the vibrating.
    Tad: I think I'm gonna vuh, vuh... get sick!
  • Little Brother Is Watching: In A Tad of Christmas Cheer, after Tad wishes a world in which he never existed and nobody knows him, he discovers that his older brother Leap is now a wimp and his brother and friends are now ruled over by the bully Parker Pig. It turns out that Leap became who he was because Tad looked up to him and so he stood up to him. When Tad shows up in the new reality, his presence briefly inspires Leap to stand up to Parker again, but then he tells Tad to leave because he doesn't know him and therefore can't keep standing up for him.
  • Lost Voice Plot: In The Talking Words Factory 2: Code Word Caper, Mr. Websley lost his voice when he got himself inside the Silent E machine. So Tad and his siblings had to find a way to get his voice back from the machine.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In (Learn to Read at) The Storybook Factory, while everyone was making a play of "The Three Little Pigs", Tim accidentally turns the switch of an enormous fan (which was used when Dot took the role of the Big Bad Wolf blowing down the brick house) to VERY HIGH, causing a massive tornado to go into the factory, and sending everyone flying and screaming. That is, everyone except Casey, Della, and Dan, since they (in light of them playing the titular pigs of the story) were all inside the brick house. Luckily for Dot, the minute she got sent flying as well, she was caught by her brother Dan and was let inside the brick house for her safety. Unfortunately, when Leap manages to finally turn the fan off, the set ends up being a complete mess.
  • No Antagonist: Unless you count Parker Pig as one in A Tad Of Christmas Cheer. Averted with Numbers Ahoy!. And then zig-zagged back with the Scout and Friends DVDs
  • Running Gag: Two words: "Needs salt." From Quigley's popcorn and Tad's tea in Letter Factory, to Quigley's walnuts in The Talking Words Factory, to Lily's ice cream in Math Circus.
  • Slice of Life: The Scout and Friends titles.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In The Amazing Alphabet Amusement Park, Edison is accidently flung into 3 batches of cotton candy and to atop the Amazing Alphabet Ferris Wheel, and gets stuck there due to the cotton candy being too sticky. In real life, cotton candy can get sticky if left in moist air conditions for too long.
  • Sticky Situation:
    • Invoked in The Talking Words Factory, where A, E, I, O, and U are transported from the Letter Factory supply haul and run through a machine that converts them into vowels, being coated in as many adhesive materials as possible to emphasize their nature of holding words together. This was later brought up in Code Word Caper.
    • In The Amazing Alphabet Amusement Park, Edison gets himself stuck atop the Amazing Alphabet Ferris Wheel in some old cotton candy, and spends most of the episode stuck there.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Pretty much every now and then in the DVDs.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: "I'm with You, Scout!" in the Scout and Friends titles
  • Vine Swing: In Letter Factory, the O room features O's that swing on vines and yell "ooooo-OOOOO-ooooohh!", Tarzan-style.
  • Walk Into Camera Obstruction:
    • Numbers Ahoy: with the biggest shark of 3; at the end of their song, the biggest shark makes a big smile and swims toward the camera as its teeth fill up the screen.
    • Scout does it at the start of the "Being a Puppy" song.
  • Who's on First?: A variation in Letter Factory when heading to the U Room.
    Quigley: Tad, this room is for U.
    Tad: Me?
    Quigley: Not me! U!
    Tad: Who?
    Quigley: Uh, never mind. Let's go inside.
    Tad: You?
  • You Talkin' to Me?: In A Tad of Christmas Cheer, Tad tells his fairy godbug Edison that he's cuckoo and Parker asks him "Are you talkin' to me? Well, I don't see nobody else, so you must be talkin' to me." He says that he's talking to Edison and at that point, Edison reveals that nobody else can see him. "That's probably not good," deadpans Tad.


Video Example(s):


Letter Sounds

Tad sings a song about the sounds the letters make, backed up with living letters.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnthropomorphicTypography

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