Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Toot & Puddle

Go To
"Let's go!"note 
"A boomerang flies... but always returns... home where it belongs!"
Toot and Puddle, before Toot leaves on an adventure

Toot & Puddle is both an animated television series and a series of picture books by Holly Hobbie. The series is focused on two anthropomorphic pigs, Toot and Puddle. The two live together in Woodcock Pocket (also known as Pocket Hollow), but Toot loves to travel around the world, while Puddle more often likes to stay at home. Every once in a while, however, they do like to travel together. When at home, they are often joined in adventures by their Cousin Opal, a young girl of about 5 years in ageNote , as well as their many neighbors. There is also a bird named Tulip who more-or-less lives at their home, though she is often out flying.

The original Toot & Puddle picture book was first released in 1997. Since there, there have been a number of others, as well as adaptation books of stories from the television series. The animated adventures of the two began in 2006 with the release of the 45-minute Christmas Special I'll Be Home for Christmas by National Geographic Kids. This was followed nearly two years later with the release of the television series, also by National Geographic Kids, in partnership with the Canadian animation studio Mercury Filmworks and the Canadian preschool channel Treehouse TV.

In the United States, the show aired on Noggin. The entire television series has been made available on YouTube by National Geographic Kids. A subscription is required, but those who have never watched it before are allowed a free two weeks, if you have an account setup with Google for subscription purposes. Also, the DVD special I'll Be Home for Christmas is apparently out of print now, but you can still get it on Ebay or Amazon for a new or used copy.

Toot & Puddle includes examples of the following:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The special I'll Be Home for Christmas is this of the original book, adding in a number of new subplots and other material to fill a 45 minute special.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Toot often refers to Puddle affectionately as "Puds."
  • All There in the Manual: It is never stated on the show proper that Opal is Puddle's cousin, but in the book Charming Opal.
  • Alternate Continuity: The book Charming Opal and the animated television story "Opal's Looth Tooth" tell rather different stories of Opal losing her first tooth. In the book, Opal loses her tooth when she, Toot and Puddle are playing at Pocket Pond and Toot has to find it at the bottom of the pond. Then, later, Puddle dresses as the tooth fairy to leave a quarter under Opal's pillow. The animated story focuses mainly on Opal's worries about her loose tooth, i.e. "What if it never comes out?", "What if I lose it?", "What if a new tooth never grows?", etc. She finally ends up losing it in a piece of bread at dinner, then the group hurries to go to bed so that the tooth fairy can come. Opal wakes up the next morning, happy to find her quarter.
  • Animated Adaptation: The original books were by Holly Hobbie and sometimes Douglas Hobbie. The animated special I'll Be Home for Christmas was the only direct adaptation. The television series uses characters and concepts from the books, but the stories presented were written for the television series.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Toot, Puddle and Opal all appear much more porcine in the original books. They also sometimes appear entirely naked, something that never is seen on the television show, save maybe once when Puddle is having a bath to relieve his poison ivy.
  • Art Evolution: "I'll Be Home for Christmas", which was a special commissioned before the series was made for TV, had a rather crude art style and pathetic character designs, plus a dull color scheme. Come the TV series, and the character designs were refined to make them appear cuter, and the color palette became more vibrant and brighter, and it's all changed ever since.
  • Artistic License Geography: In "Friends in the City," Toot and Puddle visit the Statue of Liberty on the final boat of the day and observe it amidst a beautiful sky filled with stars. But given the bright lights of New York City, that shouldn't be possible, and the version of New York City that they visit appears to be just as filled with tall buildings that would surely be lit up at night.
  • Artistic License Sports: "Old and New" has the characters repairing a shuttlecock using feathers from a feather duster. While the shuttlecock is not used for any official sports, it still wouldn't work: not only would that have changed the aerodynamics of the shuttlecock (ie changed the weight, size and balance), the feathers aren't even of the same size and type to begin with. Furthermore, feather duster feathers are usually soft as to not scratch the item it's being used on, while shuttlecocks tend to be made out of rough and hard feathers to reduce air resistance.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Toot and Puddle are both this. However, Dr. Ha Song, who is also a pig, wears footwear, as does Otto, a turtle.
  • Bowdlerize: Possibly the reason that Toot & Puddle live in Woodcock Pocket in the original books and in the special I'll Be Home for Christmas, but live in Pocket Hollow in the animated television series. Except that in "Robinson Toot," they slip up and Toot indicates that he needs to send a postcard "all the way to Woodcock Pocket." Although this could mean simply that Pocket Hollow is a burg within the larger Woodcock Pocket.
    • Likewise, in Old and New, the characters called a Shuttlecock a birdie, perhaps for the same reason as above. However, it should be noted that "birdie" is an accepted synonym for "shuttlecock".
  • British Royal Guards: In "The Scarecrow," Toot travels to London and encounters a couple of these. He tells one of them that he likes his costume, which gets him a wink, and he poses for a picture next to the guard. He later purchases an outfit that lets him dress up just like one and wears it to a costume party back home in Pocket Hollow. They later resurface in "It's a Mystery" in which one of them is Toot's friend, Ronald. He won't talk or otherwise respond while he's on duty, but Toot and Puddle later visit him at his home and he serves them a full English tea.
  • Calling a Rabbit a "Smeerp": As noted in the Bowdlerize entry above, a shuttlecock a birdie. Likewise, calling a sketchbook a drawing diary in the titular episode.
  • Cartoon Creature: Commander Betty from the episode Astronaut Camp is a borderline case. She's presumably meant to be an alligator or crocodile given the association with Florida where the episode takes place, but her design doesn't look much like one.
  • Catchphrase:
    • In "Free-Falling Friends," the skydiving instructor Webber has one: "Flip, flop, fly!"
    • Toot and Puddle, particularly Toot, have "A boomerang flies / But always returns / Home where it belongs!" and "The more places you go, the more things you know."
  • Character Title: Featuring the two pigs who are the main characters of the show. While there are a number of other characters who are fairly regular, these two are the only ones who appear in every episode.
  • Cheerful Child: Opal is bright, usually has a big smile, and is always up for a day of fun.
  • Christmas Special: I'll Be Home for Christmas was actually the first installment of the series, released directly to DVD and also aired seasonally on Nick Jr. back when it was known as Noggin. It was based on the book by the same name and featured Toot traveling to Scotland to visit his grandmother for her 100th birthday, while Puddle stayed home with Opal and the two decorated in the hope that Toot would be back in time for Christmas.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: This is true of all of the puppies in the special I'll Be Home for Christmas, except for "Golden," named such because "Silence is golden."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: I'll Be Home for Christmas was a special commissioned before the series was made for TV. As such there are some notable differences between it and the TV series, including a different animation style and art design, different voice actors, and a different feel of pacing that includes an unusual frequency of scene changes. Additionally, Tulip was sliding all over the place on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism.
  • Edutainment Show: The show presents basic sciences and geographical facts, as well as moral issues, in a Slice of Life manner that's friendly towards toddlers and pre-schoolers.
  • Elephants Are Scared of Mice: In I'll Be Home for Christmas, the boarding of Toot's train home is delayed by an elephant who doesn't want to be left alone in jumbo class. He's afraid that a mouse might sneak in. When Toot expresses disbelief that a big guy like him would be terrified by a small mouse, the elephant responds "What can I say? It's genetic." Toot agrees to ride with him to watch for mice. Sure enough, one does show up, but the elephant is sleeping at the time, and Toot indicates as much to the mouse so that it can move on peacefully.
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: In the special I'll Be Home for Christmas, Toot's Uncle Bertie is an accomplished bagpiper. The sound of his bagpipe playing later saves some lost puppies, who were born on the bagpipes. Though not before Toot tries first:
    Uncle Bertie: That's a good theory, the only problem is the awful noise you're making is apt to scare them back to Scotland.
  • Exact Words: Dr. Ha Song never did say that the coin was lucky. It was just his favorite coin.
  • Expressive Ears: An unusual type— if Toot's ears wiggle, it may mean that snow is on the way. Also, most of the pigs, and possibly other characters are shown demonstrating it more normally in the special I'll Be Home for Christmas.
  • Facepalm: Puddle does it in "Desmond's First Snow" when Toot says he can feel for sure in his ears that it's going to snow after already having been wrong once before.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Any character seen riding anything such as a bicycle or go-kart is never seen without a helmet. As is typical for a series such as this, all such helmets have holes for the ears to stick out, in order to keep that feature distinctly visible.
  • Feather Fingers: Calvin the Trash Duck has them.
    • Tulip in I'll Be Home For Christmas.
  • Fist Bump: Toot and Puddle do one just before Toot leaves for an adventure by himself.
  • Fourth-Wall Portrait: Toot and Puddle have a very realistic looking portrait or painting hanging in their bedroom. What's more, it's a picture of a man with a beard and a distinguished hat, even though they live in a World of Funny Animals.
  • Free-Range Children: Toot and Puddle are able to travel the world freely with no adult supervision.
  • Funny Background Event: There's one in "Free-Falling Friends" in which the squirrel sky-diving instructor, Webber, keeps approaching to enter the plane but gets blown back from the wind created by the engine due to it catching the bag with his parachute, while in the foreground, Puddle tells Toot that he's decided not to skydive. Webber finally solves the problem by packing the parachute in such a way that it can't catch the wind.
  • Gaslighting: Unintentional and played for laughs in Year Of The Pig. The entire Pocket Hollow's attempt to hide the fact that they're planning a surprise Chinese New Year party for Dr. Ha Song unintentionally exposed him to Chinese music and the aroma of dumplings, and then denying it, which has him questioning sanity.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Toot & Puddle live together in Woodcock Pocket / Pocket Hollow. They are two male pigs, but they are just good friends who often do things together, though Toot often goes off traveling the world on his own.
  • Growling Gut: Happens to Toot in "It's Mine", Puddle in "Tulips for Tulip" and Opal in "Swing Shift" after skipping breakfast.
  • I Can't Hear You:
    • In "Toot & Puddle's Camp Out," as Toot and Puddle are searching for their perfect campout spot, a strong wind kicks up. Puddle tells Toot that "It's too windy here," but Toot replies that he can't hear him because it's too windy. The wind then catches his backpack and blows into a bush.
    • In "Free Falling Friends," when Toot is skydiving, he thinks he hears Puddle on the ground telling him to "send some cheese." When he finally lands, he asks him why he was saying that. It turns he was reminding him to "bend your knees," something that the skydiving instructor had taught.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: In the book The One and Only, a new girl named Jane (usually known as "Bubbles") comes to Opal's school and starts following her, copying everything she does and dressing like her. Toot and Puddle tell Opal that it's a compliment, but Opal doesn't like it. Then, she has to make a decision about whether or not to help the new girl.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: The characters aren't normally shown to have teeth, but Opal's loose tooth is shown in the book Charming Opal and her full upper teeth, including the loose one, are shown in the television story "Opal's Looth Tooth." Also, both Toot and Puddle flash full, toothy smiles at her in this story to show that they grew all their teeth back after losing them.
  • Leitmotif: Desmond, a kangaroo, has a twangy, Australian sort of theme that often plays when his character is on the scene.
  • Lens Flare: The effect is simulated in "Haleakala Sunrise" when Toot & Puddle view a sunrise from near the top of Haleakala in Hawaii.
  • Limited Wardrobe: In the animated series, at least, the main characters are almost always seen wearing the same clothes, at least those that wear clothes anyway. Toot is identifiable by his bright yellow shirt and brown/khaki shorts or pants. Puddle normally wears a white shirt with black stripes and a blue jumper. Opal wears a mostly pink dress.
  • Magic Feather: In "Puddle's Lucky Clover," Puddle upturns his and Toot's house looking for his lucky clover, then searches for a near one when he can't find it. He wants it because he feels it helped him win last year's beanbag toss, and he wants to win this year's one. Toot tells him from the start that what he needs it to practice. Otto tells him as much too, but he's still not convinced. Dr. Ha Song agrees to let him borrow his favorite coin. After Puddle wins that years beanbag toss, Dr. Ha Song tells him that he never said the coin was "lucky." It also turns out he lost it anyway, which leads him to realize he never needed it.
  • Man in a Kilt: Upon waking up for his first morning in Scotland in the special I'll Be Home for Christmas, Toot finds some clothing laid out that he finds rather odd. His Uncle Bertie says that it's for him, but Toot isn't so sure about a wearing a "skirt." Uncle Bertie presents his own kilt and asks if it looks like a skirt to him. "A little," admits Toot. But after being a shown a book of Scottish heroes wearing their kilts, he takes to it.
  • Meaningful Name: In I'll Be Home for Christmas, Toot names a group of puppies Yipper, Nipper, Yapper, Snapper, Clapper and Golden. The last one is so named because he's quiet and "Silence is golden."
  • Mondegreen Gag:invoked In I'll Be Home for Christmas, a group of sheep performs "Fa'owre, my hinny, fa'owre, fa'owre," which translates as "Fall asleep, my honey. Fall asleep, fall asleep." Toot performs it as "Fire away, my ninny, fire away, fire away!" before finally deciding to simply hum.
  • Mythology Gag: Around 40:20 in the special I'll Be Home for Christmas, a display board is shown in Toot and Puddle's house with a photo tacked to it showing Toot, Puddle and Opal as they appeared on the cover of the picture book Wish You Were Here.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Averted with Commander Betty, from Astronaut Camp, who is a crocodile but not the least bit mean.
  • New Friend Envy: Two episodes of the show deal with this trope:
    • "The Amazing Maze" has Toot and Puddle going on a trip together in Ireland. While they are there, they are planning on looking for a four-leaf clover but meet a new friend named Wally. When Wally wants to play with them, Toot immediately agrees and brushes off his plans with Puddle, which hurts Puddle's feelings and causes him to not want to spend time with them very much or learn new things about Ireland. He gets more upset whenever Toot has fun with Wally and talks about how much fun they have together. Near the end of the episode, he confesses to Toot that he thought that Wally was Toot's new best friend but Toot reassures him that nobody can take Puddle's place as his best friend and the three end up playing together. Toot also finds a four-leaf clover for Puddle before they leave.
    • "Desmond Bounds In" has Desmond, a friend of Toot's from Australia moving to Pocket Hollow who quickly gets along with Toot and Puddle's other friends due to his knowledge of things from Australia and his funny stories. In preparation for an apple jubilee, they all make apple juice with Desmond showing everyone a fun way to make it. This causes everyone else to choose to have Desmond show them how to make cinnamon apple crisps over Toot's famous apple pie, which Toot is immediately upset over and spends the next day moping about it and feeling left out of the travel stories. He confesses to Puddle that he thinks everyone likes Desmond better than him because Toot is usually the one with the funny stories and fun ideas but Puddle reassures him that Toot still is and it's because Desmond is the new guy and that it's exciting to meet a new friend but no matter what, it doesn't change that Toot is a great friend too. Toot ends up teaching everyone how to make apple dolls instead which all the friends love and Desmond admits that Toot is a big reason why he moved to the area.
  • Precious Puppy: In I'll Be Home for Christmas, a dog at the mansion of Toot's grandmother gives birth to a load of adorable puppies. What really makes this weird is that the dog and pups have absolutely no anthropomorphism in a series where pretty much every other animal displays anthropomorphism of some type. It seems they really are just a litter of cute puppies.
  • Pretty Butterflies: The episode Bye Bye Butterfly has toot visit Mexico and visits a park where the monarch butterflies migrate to.
  • Quacking Up: Calvin the Trash Duck, who appeared in the episode "Recycle Cycle".
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The female flight attendant who is always heard speaking as Toot / Toot & Puddle's plane travels to another country always speaks in rhyme. A typical example: "As we land in Majorca, we hope it's been a good trip. To enjoy our island, we offer this tip. Take a stroll down our streets to the edge of the sea, try the apples and oranges, they're delicious, you'll agree."
  • Santa Claus: Towards the end of I'll Be Home for Christmas, Toot is guided home in a blizzard by an individual with a sleigh who is strongly implied to be Santa Claus.
  • Scenery Porn: The look of the show is gorgeous and many of the backgrounds are extremely lush and detailed. It's also clear that a lot of effort has gone into things like lighting and shadows.
  • Short-Runner: The Animated Adaptation. One special in 2006, and 26 episodes in 2008, and it ends there.
  • Slice of Life: The show is about as slice of life as it gets. Basic conflicts includes deciding on which costume to wear on Halloween, finding things to do while it's raining, and camping out in one's backyard.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism / World of Funny Animals: The show is definitely a more unusual example. The entire cast is animals, however, they fall at various stages along the map. Toot, Puddle and the other talking pig characters are pretty much Funny Animals and many of the other characters are too. However, Toot & Puddle live with a bird named Tulip who is generally shaped like a bird and can fly, but can still talk and is completely sentient. Certain animals, such as elephants or cows, tend to be drawn more animal-like and may sometimes perform their animal functions- but are still fully sentient nontheless and can hold meaningful conversations with the protagonists, such an elephant who gives rides around India. However, the elephant still gets paid for doing this job and has her own life off-duty. Then on the deep end, we have bats in "Otto's Blackout" who can't speak English, but Toot has no problem communicating with them. Also, the special I'll Be Home for Christmas has Opal being distracted by a cute little woodland bunny who hops away into its hole.
  • Surprise Party: In "Year of the Pig," when Dr. Ha Song is homesick because he's not able to visit China for Chinese New Year, Toot, Puddle and their friends throw him a surprise Chinese New Year party complete with Chinese dumplings, Chinese music, paper lanterns and a dragon dance featuring a dragon costume they made themselves.
  • Three Shorts: It followed the ABA format when it aired on Noggin in the US- a story, followed by the interstitial "Boomerang Song," followed by another story. The episodes offered on YouTube as well as the airings in Australia, UK and Canada are presented as individual stories. When actually aired in the three shorts format, the rule was usually if not always that one story would be about Toot (and occasionally both Toot and Puddle) traveling the world, with the other story about an adventure at home in Pocket Hollow.
  • Time Skip: Puddle's Lucky Clover appears to take place over a year after The Amazing Maze, since in that episode, Toot finds a lucky clover for Puddle.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Toot & Puddle, Toot & Puddle! Let's go!"
  • Token Human: In I'll Be Home for Christmas, the character who appears to be Santa Claus has his face mostly covered by a scarf. Nevertheless, what little can be seen of it appears human, which would make him the only human character ever seen in any incarnation of the series.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Opal is a young Genki Girl who is full of energy, fearless, and always up for an adventure. She also wears a pink dress and enjoys doing ballet.
  • Totally Radical: The characters, particularly Toot, will sometimes say "Gee whilikers!" which surely went out of fashion sometime around the 60s.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The special I'll Be Home for Christmas has an A Plot with Toot visiting his grandmother in Scotland for her 100th birthday and a B Plot (though just barely B) of Puddle remaining home in Woodcock Pocket and preparing for Christmas with their young cousin, Opal. The two plots eventually draw together as Toot struggles to get home in a snowstorm. The special is notable for its fairly rapid frequency of scene changes, such that generally no more than two minutes is spent within the A plot before jumping back to the B plot and vice versa.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Puddle sometimes exclaims "Ah, thunderbugs!" when frustrated or upset.
  • Vague Age: Toot and Puddle live together on their own and do stuff like travel the world. Yet they seem to have a childlike quality about them and sometimes don't seem to know stuff that an adult should already know. For example, in "The Legend of Pocket Hollow," when Otto tells Puddle that a story of his is "just a legend," Puddle asks what a "legend" is. And they're apparently young enough to be able to ride a carousel without getting chased off. There's also the fact that neither of them stand much taller than cousin Opal, who is a clearly a young little girl, and in I'll Be Home for Christmas, Toot's aunt and uncle are both quite a bit wider and taller than him. On the flipside, however, the two are often have Opal stay over at their home and are responsible for her while she's there.
  • Vocal Evolution: "I'll Be Home for Christmas" has both Toot and Puddle having deep voices but by the time of the TV series, their voices are higher and sound more childlike.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Several of the books are actually named after songs. You Are My Sunshine, Let It Snow and I'll Be Home For Christmas are perhaps the most obvious ones, while Top of the World and Wish You Were Here are less so, and The One and Only is probably so obscure that you had to look it up upon reading thisnote . It has also carried over to the Western Animation, several episodes were named after songs as well.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Where the heck is Woodcock Pocket / Pocket Hollow? Apparently it's somewhere in the United States, and somewhere far enough north that a good coating of snow is expected for Christmas. Where exactly, is never specified though. And whereas Pocket Hollow was created for the series, everywhere else visited on the show is a Funny Animal analogue of somewhere in the real world, be it India, France, the Netherlands, etc. There's a possibility that Pocket Hollow isn't even in the United States, since in "Doors, Drawers & Floors"note , Toot claims that he got a snow globe from "New York City, USA". If they were American, they wouldn't have mentioned "USA" or just mentioned "New York" instead as it will be understood that the location is domestic/in-country. However, when they talk about about visiting Castorville in "Putting The Art In Artichoke," they did not mention USA. "Bye Bye Butterfly" even teases the viewer with the shots of a maple leaf in several scenes. However, the special I'll Be Home for Christmas (which was commissioned before the television series) is very firm about it being in the United States. Toot's Aunt Peg, who is from Scotland, tells him that one of her most marvelous trips ever "was to your amazing Grand Canyon." Later, it's made even more explicit, when Aunt Peg says that Toot has come "all the way from America." Finally, the plane that Toot arrives home on arrives in Boston and he travels home from there. The original Toot & Puddle picture book also makes it clear with Toot sending Puddle a postcard addressed to "Woodcock Pocket, U.S.A."
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In Charming Opal, Puddle dresses up as the tooth fairy, hoping he can sneak into Opal's room and leave a quarter for her in exchange for her tooth. He ends up being too late, because he and Toot fall asleep and by the time they wake up, it's morning. Turns out it doesn't matter, though; the tooth fairy came anyway.
  • You Don't Look Like You: In I'll Be Home for Christmas, Uncle Bertie looked nothing like how he'd look in the TV episode "Being Green".

"We saw great sights! We made new friends! Now we're heading home, as our journey ends!"


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Toot And Puddle


Haleakala Sunrise

Lens flare need not involve an actual lens, or even actual light source to cause the flare. Animation will sometimes simulate it as an effect familiar to viewers, such as seen here to emphasize the beauty of the sunrise in "Haleakala Sunrise" from "Toot & Puddle."

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / LensFlare

Media sources: