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Western Animation / Wild Animal Baby Explorers

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"If we look all around, who knows what we might see? Come join our team!"

Wild Animal Baby Explorers is a series once aired weekdays on many PBS stations and also available on home video. The series aims to teach very young audiences about animals and nature through a group of young animals that explore the world around them. The series blends mediums by using CGI animation for the main animation, Adobe Flash for the characters' Imagine Spots and actual footage of nature from the archives of National Wildlife Foundation as the characters get out into nature and explore. The series is based on an early property, a magazine called Wild Animal Baby and was preceded by an earlier home video property also called simply Wild Animal Baby featuring mostly the same characters, but without Sammy the Skunk.

The series was presented in widescreen HD where available. The complete series is now available on a 4-DVD set under the title The Lovable Learning World of Animals.


Wild Animal Baby Explorers features examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Izzy the owl is the only example, as a blue owl. The others all have normal coloring for their type of animal.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Sammy the skunk often lets loose with a spray when upset about something. This is treated as being a minor thing at most, rather than the big stink it ought to be.
  • Catchphrase: Skip's "Never fear, I have Explora-gear!" Also, "fascinating." Miss Sally has "Out and about, over and out!" Izzy often says "Say it, don't spray it!" The interstitial segments featuring real kids and adult nature guides have "Be out there!"
  • Cuteness Proximity: The explorers often find the animals they explore to be cute, especially the baby ones, and want to pet them. They have to be reminded by Miss Sally or their fellow explorers that wild animals are, well, wild, and therefore shouldn't be touched, only observed.
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  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal: Izzy the owl.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In many of the earlier installments, Benita has a very odd character model - much larger eyes and a differently shaped head. It seems as if they were trying to make her cuter, but the overall appearance comes off as if they had taken an incomplete CG render and plopped in into the finished show. Curiously, even in these earlier installments, Benita's later character model is still seen in the show's opening sequence. Additionally, the opening theme tune doesn't sound quite as fast-paced and the character's names aren't called out loud when they appear on-screen.
  • Edutainment Show: Mostly teaches kids about animals, but also often promotes basic Aesops and pro-social values. In any case, each episode contains a lot of facts about animals, and not just the standard stuff either. Even adults watching are likely to pick up a few things they didn't know before.
  • Every Episode Ending: The explorers imitate something done by one of the animals they saw in the episode, then sing a song about how great they are, followed by a brief concluding segment.
  • Expressive Ears: Skip the rabbit, to a limited degree
  • Funny Animal: The cast members are basically this, given their speech, use of technology and their general concerns of exploring and learning. They're Wild Animal Baby Explorers because it's wild animals that they're exploring, not they themselves that are wild animals.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Skip the rabbit
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: There is at least a slightly different variation for each character:
    • Skip the Rabbit wears shorts but no shirt.
    • Sammy the Skunk wears overalls but no shirt.
    • Izzy the Owl wears only an aviator cap and goggles.
    • Benita the Beaver wears a tee shirt but no pants.
    • Miss Sally the Salamander wears a vest but no pants.
  • Imagine Spot: Usually at least Once per Episode, presented in Adobe Flash
  • Iris Out: The standard ending, usually zooming in a character's face before going to the credits.
  • Malaproper: Sammy the Skunk is this, but only because he's younger than the other characters and therefore is still learning the right words.
    Skip: We are a looking at a hippopotamus.
    Sammy: Hippo... bottomus? Hipsomonoplus?
    Skip: We can also just say "hippo."
  • Medium Blending: The main characters and environment are presented in CGI. It's not exactly high-budget CGI, but it does the job. Adobe Flash is used to present the Imagine Spot segments in thought bubbles overtop the CGI environment, while live-action footage from the archives of the National Wildlife Foundation is used to show the animals that the Wild Animal Baby Explorers observe. There are also live-action interstitial segments featuring real kids and adult guides.
  • The Mentor: Miss Sally
  • Minimalist Cast: Plenty of real-life animals are explored on the show, but the only actual characters seen are Skip the rabbit, Sammy the skunk, Benita the beaver, Izzy the owl, and their mentor, Miss Sally, the salamander. That's it.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: Izzy the owl knows a lot of things, but isn't always a good sport when he gets something wrong or has to admit he doesn't know something.
  • Running Gag: Sammy the Skunk randomly playing hide-and-seek with the other characters and they never quite know when he's going to do it.
    Benita: Sammy just loves-loves-loves to hide! And we love-love-love to find!
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Many of the animals explored on the show are very rare. One installment, about flightless birds, includes footage of the kakapo, which has only 123 known adult individuals as of June 2016 and is considered critically endangered. Given that the show ended airing new episodes in 2012, it's very possible one or more of the animals seen on it is now extinct.
  • Series Continuity Error: In "In the Swim," the Explorers don't recognize tadpoles and don't know that they grow into frogs. However, they learned all about this just a few episodes before in "Big Change." Additionally, in "The Name Game," the Explorers are asked to identify a seahorse by comparing it with a picture of a horse. They, however, had seen seahorses in at least one previous episode, so it should be immediately recognizable to them anyway.
  • Strictly Formula: The Explorers are outside doing something when one of them wonders something related to animals. They decide to go exploring and sing the song "Let's explore, more and more / There's so much to do and see! (Wild Animal Baby!) / Let's explore, there's fun galore / In making new discoveries." They begin exploring and at some point meet up with Miss Sally, their mentor, who has useful info for them. Sometime during the exploration, Sammy the skunk hides and they have to find him. Eventually, the exploration comes to an end and they say "Out and about, over and out!" They then talk about what their favorite thing they saw was on the exploration and then one of them prompts the others to imitate something they saw one of the animals they explored doing. As they do this, recap footage begins playing of animals explored in the episode as a Bragging Theme Tune of sorts plays, talking about their exploration and how they're "the greatest bunch in history." After a brief coda, the episode ends.
  • That Cloud Looks Like...: The Explorers do this in the opening of "Colorful Coral Reefs." When Benita says that she sees a rainbow forest, they realize that it's no longer the clouds being talked about, but rather the subject of the story's title, kicking off the day's exploration.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: As already mentioned, only in the latter installments. The earlier ones don't have it. Specifically, it begins in the second season.