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Western Animation / Oswald

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Oswald (2001-2003) is a 26-episode British-American cartoon that aired on Nick Jr.. It was created by the acclaimed American children's author Dan Yaccarino.

Taking place in Big City, Oswald follows the life of a talking blue octopus named Oswald (voiced by Fred Savage) and his pet hot-dog Weenie. Amongst Oswald's friends are the cynical penguin Henry (voiced by David Lander), the sporty sunflower Daisy (voiced by Crystal Scales), the ice-cream shop owner Johnny the Snowman (voiced by Mel Winkler), and the large-but-shy dragon Pongo (voiced by Richard Kind).

Not to be confused with Walt Disney's Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Oswald contains examples of:

  • Alliterative Title: Henry loves watching Penguin Patrol, a Show Within a Show that repeats the letter "P" in its title.
  • All-Loving Hero: Oswald. He wants to help everyone.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Leo and Egbert are twin anthropomorphic eggs.
  • Barbershop Episode: In "Henry Needs a Haircut", Henry has a feather sticking out on top of his head that won't stay down. Oswald suggests that he visit the barber, but Henry thinks it will hurt and refuses. Instead, he makes many attempts to slick the stray feather back, but nothing works. At the end of the episode, Henry finally goes to the barbershop, and finds out his haircut wasn't as bad as he thought it would be.
  • Birthday Episode: Catrina the caterpillar celebrates her birthday in one episode, and Oswald wants to make a "big, beautiful birthday cake" for her, with pink frosting and a strawberry on top. He ends up making a multi-tiered cake with a little cupcake as the top tier, but on the way to the party, all of it except the cupcake ends up falling into a lake. Fortunately, Catrina loves the cupcake.
  • The Bore: Henry dislikes unnecessary extravagance, preferring to stick to his safe, boring daily routines. Of course, excitement inevitably follow him and Oswald around when they're together.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Oswald has "Oh my gosh!".
    • Henry's motto "Slow and steady".
    • Daisy often shouts "Golly tamale!", or some other variant of it.
  • Carnivore Confusion:
    • Anthropomorphic sunflower Daisy loves eating sunflowers.
    • Steve is a tree with a woodpecker for a pet. Said woodpecker often pecks him.
  • Cue the Rain: Lampshaded by Henry in "A Sticky Situation" after everyone gets stuck in honey batter.
    Oswald: Oh my gosh! This can't get any worse!
    [It starts to rain.]
    Henry: Oswald? I think it's getting worse.
    • Justified, as it was established earlier that it would rain.
    • Subverted, as it turns out to be what gets everyone unstuck.

  • A Dog Named "Dog":
    • Subverted with Daisy, who is a sunflower.
    • Cactus Polly is a cactus.
  • Feud Episode: "Friends Indeed" has Henry and Daisy arguing with one another when Daisy mistakenly uses Henry's favorite spoon as a shovel and Henry accidentally steps on one of Daisy's plants. Oswald tries to fix the problem by cleaning the spoon and straightening the plant, but the two refuse to talk or be near each other. Oswald ends up being stuck in the middle of their conflict as they each try to get him to do things with them while avoiding the other. After Oswald is fed up with it, he ends up getting stuck on a giant centipede. Henry and Daisy work together to rescue Oswald and become friends again.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Oswald is friends with everyone in Big City, even the non-anthro animals, who he always goes out of his way to make happy. In one notable instance, he managed to satisfy some garden pests going after his tomato plants rather than resort to using poison.
  • Funny Octopus: Downplayed with Oswald. The image of a large blue octopus wearing a bowler hat, and with a pet hot dog that looks like an actual dog, is pretty amusing, but Oswald doesn't act too comedic. Instead, the show focuses more on him being a Nice Guy and Friend to All Living Things.
  • Genki Girl: Daisy is very upbeat and always ready to have some fun.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Oswald's catchphrase, "Oh, my gosh!" , as well as Daisy's "Golly tamale!"
  • Irony:
    • Oswald is an octopus who needs to wear a life-jacket to swim.
    • Henry the penguin hates getting wet.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In a world where almost everybody is polite and helpful the only real “jerk” by the show’s standards would be Henry who can be picky, fussy, pompous and reluctant to try new things. Even so, it isn’t enough to make him that bad of a guy. He truly cares for his friends and is willing to be more open-minded about things outside his comfort zone.

  • A Lizard Named "Liz": Egbert is a talking egg.
  • Mistakes Are Not the End of the World: In one episode, Daisy accidentally breaks Henry's fish vase, and even though Oswald says it would be best to tell Henry the truth, Daisy is scared Henry will be upset with her. After a couple of failed attempts at trying to make a new fish vase, Oswald reminds Daisy of other times where she made mistakes and Henry wasn't mad, convincing her to tell him what happened. Sure enough, Henry isn't upset; he actually has several other fish vases just like the broken one.
  • Never Bareheaded: Oswald near constantly wears his hat.
  • The Oner: The theme song is done in one continuous shot.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Daisy is a very tomboyish girl, who's often seen on a unicycle or rollerskates.
  • Plant Person: Daisy, an anthropomorphic sunflower, as well as Steve Tree, Cactus Polly, and a few others.
  • Pun-Based Creature: Oswald's dog Weenie is a Dachshund whose shape and coloration resemble a hot dog in a bun—in other words, she's a wiener dog.
  • Shout-Out: In the episode "Henry Needs a Haircut", Henry stared into the mirror and as he discovered the reflection of the hair sticking out on top of his head, he exclaimed "Great Scott!"
  • Show Within a Show: Henry loves watching Penguin Patrol.
  • Species Surname: Steve Tree is a tree, Andy Pumpkin is a pumpkin, Bingette Bunny is a rabbit, and Roderick Robot is a robot.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Henry's cousin Louie is just Henry with a bow-tie. They even have the exact same mannerisms, preferences, and interests.
  • Three Shorts: The Nick Jr. airings pair two 11 minute episodes together.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Daisy is an energetic and sporty tomboy whereas Madame Butterfly is a calm and motherly girly girl.
  • Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup: In "The Birdhouse", Oswald decides to build a bird house and each of his friends offer suggestions to add things that "birds like" such as painted polka dots, flowers, and bells. This results in a cluttered mess that the birds can't even figure out how to get inside. A rain storm washes away all the additions and Oswald realizes that birds like a simple bird house.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Oswald has Swizzleberry-Swirl ice cream.
    • Weenie loves vanilla dog biscuits.
    • Henry enjoys eating fish and fish-flavored foods. He also always drinks his hot cocoa with two marshmallows (it used to be with three marshmallows, but he found two was acceptable, much to Oswald's consternation as he had gone to Andy Pumpkin's candy store just to get another marshmallow to satisfy him).
    • Daisy loves peppermint tea and sunflower sundaes.
  • Two-Timer Date: The episode "The Double Date" has Oswald agreeing on going to both Daisy's pool and watching "Penguin Patrol" with Henry and spends most of the episode going back and forth between his plans. The conflict gets resolved as the three friends decided to place the pool inside Henry's apartment so they can both play in the pool and watch TV.
  • Verbal Tic: Leo has "yes, yes!" while his identical twin brother often calls people "old boy".
  • Web Games: The series had a few web-games on the Nick Jr. website in the 2000s, such as one where you give characters their food orders and another where you play with a baby Oswald.