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Western Animation / ToddWorld

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"It's a wonderful, colorful world!"

ToddWorld was an animated children's series that aired for two seasons on Discovery Kids. Based loosely on a series of popular picture books by Todd Parr, each installment of the series focused on adventures in the daily lives of the main character, Todd, his talking dog Benny and his friends Pickle, Sophie and Stella, as well as a fairly large cast of guest characters. The series focused on celebrating the uniqueness of each individual— for example, the main character enjoyed wearing underwear on his head and eating macaroni and cheese in the bathtub. Other lessons including celebrating friendship and willingness to try new things. The program was notable for its theme song, "It's a Colorful World," performed by the celebrated R&B singer Smokey Robinson, as well as nominations for both the Daytime Emmys and the Humanitas Prize.

The series aired in reruns on Qubo in the United States and is also available to many library users through a streaming service called Hoopla Digital. As of sometime in 2017, it is also available freely to stream for those subscribed to Amazon's video service, either through Prime or separately.

The show's name is officially spelled in CamelCase. Which, yes, requires extra formatting to display properly on this wiki, but it's important to be correct.

ToddWorld includes examples of the following:

  • Aesop Amnesia: The show's prevailing aesop can be summed up as "everyone is different and it's important to understand, respect and celebrate those differences." Yet in many episodes this will be forgotten. Stella is the usual offender, but it can hit just about any of the main characters.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population & Wildlife: The show's theme song is titled "It's a Colorful World," and it certainly is. The main character, Todd, is blue, two of the other main characters are yellow, and another is green. This certainly extends to the wildlife as well— Todd's talking dog, Benny, is red, yellow, blue and green in various parts.
  • An Aesop: Each story is focused on teaching one of some sort— most have some sort of social message.
  • Baths Are Fun: Todd relaxes and unwinds by eating macaroni and cheese in the bathtub. When he goes to visit his Aunt Izzie to dig for dinosaur bones, he's sad because she has no bathtub, only a shower. So Sophie invents a mobile bathtub called the "bathomobile."
  • Because I Said So: A bully's reason why everyone has to follow his rules in "Todd Takes a Stand." Todd takes issue with his rule that his turtle friend Tanner can't go on the slide. It really doesn't cut any ice with him.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Todd and his talking dog Benny both enjoy caramel-covered sardines with ketchup and coconut, while Todd and his friend Pickle both enjoy making and eating banana lima bean splits together.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Todd welcomes the viewers with "Hi, I'm Todd and this is my world" at the beginning of each story. He then summarizes what happened at the end and signs off with "See you next time. Love, Todd," but other than that, he and the other characters don't talk to the viewers.
  • Civilized Animal: Todd's dog Benny and Sophie's cat Mitzi generally act as this.
  • Cloudcuckooland: The main character eats macaroni and cheese in the bathtub and likes to wear underwear on his head, but this is no more bizarre than some of the things some of the other characters do on the show.
  • Cone of Shame: Todd's friend Sophie places Benny in this in "Itchy Itch" after both he and Todd get the titular itchy itch from itchy itch plants, a Fantastic Flora version of poison ivy.
  • Edutainment Show: Of the pro-social messages type.
  • Facepalm: A facepaw is Benny's reaction in "Benny and Sam" upon discovering that Sam (short for Samantha) is a girl, and not a boy dog like he thought.
  • Fantastic Flora: "Garden Variety Pickle" featured the kids in the main cast and Todd's dog Benny making an abandoned lot into a garden. They planted things such as glitter flowers, a flower that could eat rocks and a tree that grew several different types of dog biscuits. None of these, however, were the focus of the story. This instead, went to a small scraggly weed with no unusual properties that Pickle was caring for because he found it beautiful, the story having An Aesop about respecting how different things are beautiful to different people.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: For biking, skateboarding, or any other such activity. This extends to Benny, Todd's talking dog, as well.
    • This is even brought up in an episode after Todd and Pickle meet a daring skateboarder. After they refuse to do the dangerous trick she showed them she attempted to it herself and got hurt. Another skater, after helping her up points out hat it was a good thing she had a helmet on.
  • Fictional Holiday: In the ToddWorld universe, the characters celebrate Dirt Day, a holiday dedicated to getting all muddy and dirty.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: All of the human characters have these.
  • Friendship Favoritism: Defied. The episode "Who's Your Best Friend?" has Todd call Pickle his best friend which upsets Benny but Pickle gets upset when Todd says Benny is his best friend too and they try to make Todd choose between them. When he asks Sophie and Stella for advice, they also get upset because they think they should be Todd's best friend which causes all of his friends to argue. When Todd sees all of his favorite ice cream flavors on one ice cream cone, he realizes and teaches his friends that they are all best friends.
  • Hunger Causes Lethargy: Subverted in the episode "Water U Thinking?", where Banana the fish is frowning and sitting on her couch, and Sophie thinks she's hungry, but really she's sick from the garbage that was in her friend Finnegan's pond.
  • I Can't Hear You: In "It's OK To Talk With Your Hands," Todd and Pickle are in the lost sock room of the town sock wash looking for octopus socks for a scavenger hunt. It's very noisy and Pickle can't understand Todd, so Todd eventually gives up and says that he's just going to look for the octopus socks.
    Pickle: I can't hear you! I'm just going to look for the octopus socks!
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Many of the show's stories are titled in the format of "It's OK To..." or occasionally "It's OK Not To..." This originates from the books by Todd Parr which the show was inspired by.
  • Imagine Spot: In "It's OK To Lose Your Mittens," Todd's talking dog Benny has a couple in which he imagines Todd yelling at him for losing his favorite mittens and replacing him with a new dog.
  • Interspecies Adoption
    • In "Platyroo" Todd and his friends try to help a lost platypus named Pedro find his mother. They all think that Pedro's mother is a platypus like him, but his odd description leaves them confused. At the end, they find out that she's actually a kangaroo. We also learn that Pedro has a pig for a little brother. In the same episode, Todd sees a frog in a family of ducks, and a bunny whose parents are penguins.
    • Sophie's cat Mitzi adopted a group of abandoned puppies in one episode.
    • In another episode, a mouse can be seen pushing its baby elephant in a stroller.
  • Keep Away: Todd loves playing keep away with his talking dog Benny, though not so much in "The Art of Change" when Benny takes a paintbrush of his and tries to keep it away from him because he wants him to play, even though Todd is trying to work on a mural.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Todd's dog, Benny, meets a dog named Sam and they play together in the mud, so he never really gets a good look at her. When they meet later, Benny is shocked she's a girl— "Sam" is short for Samantha. He thinks that he can't play with a girl, but learns differently. "Benny has a new friend now. Girls make great friends and so do boys!"
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: In "Pickle's Smelly Socks," Pickle overhears his friends talking about said socks and think they don't want to be his friend anymore when really they just can't take the smell of his socks anymore.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Played with - in "Super Sophie," Todd creates a superhero outfit for Sophie that is a reasonable disguise - most notably covering up her hair-stalks that she uses to fly that are her most recognizable feature and an obvious dead giveaway. Despite this, her general appearance is still enough that everyone, especially Stella, eventually pieces it together, especially since the voice she uses really isn't all that dissimilar from her normal voice.
  • Record Needle Scratch: In "Shoe In," the group encounters a caterpillar who is cold in the snow because he doesn't have enough money to buy shoes for his many feet. All but one of them agree that they can look for some of their old shoes to give to him. They then turn to resident fashion-plate, Stella, resulting in this.
    • It also happened earlier in the episode, after they bring up the idea of a "shoe drive" and Pickle took the term literally.
  • Robot Dog: In "Dog's Day," Sophie invents one named Dempsey that can say "hello" in 58 different languages, fly, and predict the weather. Todd's dog Benny is very jealous of him until Todd tells him that he loves him regardless of what he can or can't do.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There's a beetle named Twingo who speaks using The Beatles references and seems to have the power to make others speak this way too when talking to him.
    Twingo: Help. I need somebody to help me cross this stream. It's so wide and vast.
    Pickle: We can work it out. Climb into my hand. I'll help you across.
    Twingo: You've really got to hold on to me. ... I got over it with a little bit of help from my friend.
    • In "Super Sophie," the scene changer with the wing logo that represents superhero identity is displayed in a similar way and with a similar musical theme as the bat logo seen in Batman.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: Todd ends each story by summarizing the story's moral and then telling us "See you next time. Love, Todd."
  • Sugar Bowl: The entire town of ToddWorld
  • Talking Animal: Every animal character talks.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Todd's talking dog, Benny, does this in the opening of "Itchy Itch."
    Benny: Dog of the Year? Me? You really think I'm the best dog in the world so you're giving me this prize? This is so unexpected. And the Benster thanks you. I'd especially like to thank my best friend Todd.
  • Title Montage: With the exception of at least two clips, the intro is entirely made up from various episode clips.
  • Thick-Line Animation: All of the characters and backgrounds are drawn as black lines with bright colors inside.
  • Three Shorts: The series follows the ABA format, with the B segments being the "ToddWorld Music Video Jukebox".
  • Tickle Torture: In "Pickle's Problem," when Pickle keeps running out on everyone because he doesn't want them to know he needs glasses (though they don't know this is why), Todd suggests that they tickle him until he talks. After a few more suggestions, Todd finally suggests that they could simply just ask him why, since they haven't actually tried doing so.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sophie and Stella, although they do dabble in the opposites hobbies at times.
  • Vague Age: The main characters all seem to largely conduct their own affairs, roaming freely throughout ToddWorld, handling their own baths and scheduling activities and stuff. Yet they're also very childlike, often engage in pastimes generally enjoyed by children, and in "Snack Happy," Stella mentions having a special tuna sandwich that her mom made her. While there are adults on the show, the only parent that's ever seen is Sophie's cat, who is an adoptive mother of puppies.
  • Visible Odor: In "Todd Builds a Fort," Benny digs up a buried cream doodle from 1969 which he says is "still fresh." Todd grabs and throws it away, saying that it isn't, and one of the ways you can tell is that it has visible stink lines emanating from it. The same is true in "Pickle's Smelly Socks" in which Pickle has a problem with terrible sock odor, but nobody wants to tell him.
  • Water Is Dry: When the characters are wet, usually their hair does not stick down, nor do their clothes show any sign of wetness. A good example of this was best visible during their Dirt/Water Day celebration, where they were constantly showered with water. It washed off the dirt but didn't effect anything else.
    • There are rare instances of this not being in effect however, such an early episode when Sophie bobbed for apples. Her pigtails hung down to expose her ears, then after drying her hair it temporarily turned into a afro.
  • X-Ray Vision: Vark the alien from Glick has three eyes, one of which is an x-ray eye, which makes him especially good at hide-and-seek and lets him see through things like doors and furniture.