Jim Henson's Pajanimals
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|Jim Henson's Pajanimals|
|Also known as||The Pajanimals|
|Created by||Jeff Muncy|
|Directed by||David Gumpel|
|Opening theme||"Pajanimals Theme"|
|Composer(s)||Michael and Patty Silversher|
|Country of origin||
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||52|
3 minutes (2008)|
11 minutes (2011–2013)
The Jim Henson Company|
4Kids Entertainment (2008)
Sixteen South (2011–2013)
Nick Jr. (UK and Ireland)
|Picture format||16:9 480i (SDTV) (2008), 4:3 1080i (HDTV) (2011–2013)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||November 2, 2008– present|
Jim Henson's Pajanimals (a portmanteau of the words Pajamas and Animals) is a children's TV series created by Jeff Muncy. It airs on Sprout in the United States and Nick Jr. in the United Kingdom. The Pajanimals are characters that were made by Jim Henson's Creature Shop at The Jim Henson Company.
Premise and production
The show is about the Pajanimals, four friendly animals who share the last moments of playtime before bedtime, sing songs, and learn a valuable lesson by traveling to whimsical lands. The characters are Apollo, Sweetpea Sue, Squacky, and Cowbella.
The show, originally co-produced by 4Kids Entertainment, debuted in 2008 as a series of ten three-minute-long music video shorts that aired as part of The Good Night Show overnight block on Sprout. The Jim Henson Company later partnered with Northern Irish production company Sixteen South (the producer of Sesame Tree) to produce a full-length series of 52 11-minute-long episodes (also paired as 26 22-minute-long episodes) of Pajanimals that debuted in 2011 on Sprout. The full-length TV series shows the Pajanimals doing some playtime before getting ready for bed. It also introduces some character exclusive to this show who the Pajanimals go for bedtime advice or any other problems. At the end of the episode, the TV show exclusive-character the Pajanimals visit would tell the viewer the moral of the episode.
- Apollo (performed by John Kennedy in the U.S. version and Michael Winsor in the UK version) - A friendly green and purple dog who is the leader of the group. He enjoys watching the night sky and playing with his rocket. He loves his rocket flashlight and sometimes sleeps with it. When they fly through the sky, his bed is a rocket ship.
- Squacky (performed by Victor Yerrid in the U.S. version and Alexander Littler in the UK version) - An energetic, excitable, blue and yellow duck that spoke in a frontal lisp in the music videos, but not in the TV series. He sleeps with a blankie which doubles as his cape whenever he pretends to be Super Squacky. He often adds "squack" to words when he speaks, like "squacksolutely" for "absolutely." When they fly through the sky or dive into the Big, Blue Sea, his bed is a submarine.
- Sweetpea Sue (performed by Donna Kimball in the U.S. version and Gabrielle Illesley in the UK version) - A quiet and smart pink and orange horse with buck-teeth. She is the oldest of the group. She has a stuffed daisy pillow named Daisy Puff that she always sleeps with. When they fly through the sky, her bed is a hot air balloon.
- Cowbella (performed by Alice Dinnean-Vernon in the U.S. version and Isobel Cross in the UK version) - A purple cow who loves princesses, unicorns, and all sorts of girly things. She had an Italian accent in the music videos, but she does not have it in the TV series. She sleeps with a stuffed unicorn named Princess Lucy. When they fly through the sky, her bed is a carriage.
- Mom - An unseen character who is the mother of the Pajanimals. She also sings the "La-La-Lullaby" song at the end of (almost) every episode.
- Dad - An unseen character who is the father of the Pajanimals.
- Bedtime Bunny (performed by Donna Kimball) - A sleepy white rabbit. She lives in the Land of Hush and often falls asleep during conversations. The Pajanimals would often go to her for bedtime advice when they ride Sweetpea Sue's bed or Cowbella's bed to her. Whenever a loud noise is made, Bedtime Bunny will widen her eyes and fall to the ground.
- Jerry Bear (performed by Victor Yerrid) - A yellow bear. He lives in the Friendly Forest. The Pajanimals would often go to him for bedtime advice when they ride Squacky's bed, Cowbella's bed, Apollo's bed, or Sweetpea Sue's bed to him. He would often give bear hugs to the Pajanimals.
- Moon (performed by Michael Winsor) - A bespectacled nightcap-wearing personification of the moon that is found in the night sky. The Pajanimals would often go to him for bedtime advice when they ride Apollo's bed to him.
- Mr. Happy Birthday (performed by Josh Elwell) - A dark blue and yellow porcupine who is the mascot of all birthdays. He lives in Birthday Land. The Pajanimals would occasionally go to him for birthday advice when they ride Sweetpea Sue's bed or Cowbella's bed to him. Mr. Happy Birthday has a tendency to mispronounce the word Pajanimals. A running gag in the show is that his quills tend to pop any nearby balloons that touch them.
- Ellie Octopus (performed by Sarah Lyle) - A purple octopus that lives in the Big Blue Sea. In her first appearance in "An Octopus Hug," Sweetpea Sue was afraid of octopi until she met Ellie. The Pajanimals would often go to her for bedtime advice when they ride Squacky's bed to her. Ellie would always give the Pajanimals "octopus huggles."
- Coach Whistler (performed by Paul Currie) - A dark blue walrus coach who lives in the Land of Play. The Pajanimals would often go to him for bedtime advice when they ride Squacky's bed, Sweetpea Sue's bed, or Cowbella's bed to him. Coach Whistler is always big on team spirit.
- Edwin (performed by Paul Currie) - An orange-skinned, bespectacled man who lives in Storybook Land. The Pajanimals would often go to him for bedtime advice when they ride Cowbella's bed to him. Edwin plays different roles during the Pajanimals' visits to Storybook Land.
- Granny Pearl (performed by Donna Kimball) - An elderly green sea turtle who lives in the Big Blue Sea. The Pajanimals would often go to her for bedtime advice when they ride Squacky's bed to her. She is a replacement for Ellie Octopus who is absent in the 2nd season.
- Hank and Frank (performed by Victor Yerrid and Paul Currie) - Two brown beaver brothers. They live in the Land of Build-It where they work as construction workers. The Pajanimals would often go to them for bedtime advice when they ride Squacky's bed or Apollo's bed to them.
- Stick to the Plan - Sweetpea Sue helps her fellow Pajanimal friends to follow the steps in getting ready for bed; first taking a bath, then brushing their teeth and finally putting on their pajamas.
- Stay in Bed (Put On Your Sleepy Head) - Squacky has the squirmies and wants to get out of bed, but his fellow Pajanimals remind him that nighttime is for sleeping.
- Nighttime Playtime - The Pajanimals sing about their "lovies" that help them to get to sleep at night.
- How Do I Know if It's Morning Time? - Squacky wants to get out of bed and play, but can't because it's not yet morning (which annoys all of the other Pajanimals).
- Goodnight to Mom - The Pajanimals sing fondly of their mom and dad and imagine what they might be doing at night.
- Sleeping Makes Me Feel Alright - The Pajanimals sing a song about how sleeping at night help gives one enough energy for the next day.
- Night Will Sing Us All to Sleep - When Apollo is bothered by nighttime sounds, his friends help him to hear how the noises can become a soothing lullaby. The Pajanimals sing about sounds they hear at night. Cowbella sings about a clock ticking, Squacky sings about water dripping in the bathroom, Sweetpea Sue sings about the wind blowing through the leaves, and Apollo gazes out at the moon singing about the sounds all around them.
- Lights in the Dark - Apollo is afraid of the dark, so his fellow Pajanimals share with him the things that light their way at night. Cowbella gazes out at the moon, Squacky shows how he makes shadow puppets with his nightlight, while Sweetpea Sue sings about how the dark help calms and comforts her.
- Let's Make Our Bodies Tired - The Pajanimals do fun exercises to tire themselves out before bedtime and sing a song where they "jiggle, jumble and jump".
- A Scary Dream - When Cowbella has a nightmare, the other Pajanimals try to calm her though song by explaining that it's just a dream, a "story in your head".
- La-La-Lullaby – The Pajanimals sing their signature song to learn about how earth sleeps and how to comfort yourself with a lullaby.
Season one (2011–2012)
- Blankie in the Laundry – Squacky is disappointed when his blankie is in the laundry, because he feels he's got nothing to hug.
- A Super Sweet Night – Following a party, Cowbella ends up eating too much candy from her goodie bag and has too much energy in her. When this prevents Cowbella from sleeping, the Pajanimals turn to Bedtime Bunny for help.
- Tomorrow is Brand New – Apollo hasn't been having a good day lately which includes hitting his head on Sweetpea Sue's bed, his block tower being knocked down by Squacky, and his rocket ship sheets are still in the laundry. When all of this ends up making Apollo mad and sad at the same time, the Pajanimals turn to the Moon for help.
- Super Squacky – Squacky is excited to see the superhero movie "Fantastic Splash" tomorrow. When Squacky is too excited to fall asleep, the Pajanimals turn to Bedtime Bunny for help.
- The Not-So Great Outdoors – Squacky is scared of the outdoors and doesn't want to go outside at all. To solve this problem, the Pajanimals turn to Jerry Bear for help.
- Dream a Happy Dream – Cowbella is worried about having a nightmare and plans not to sleep. When this continues to bother Cowbella, the Pajanimals turn to Jerry Bear for help.
- A Colorful Problem – Apollo and Cowbella each like the color purple and want the purple crayon. When Apollo and Cowbella don't want to share the same color, Squacky and Sweetpea Sue turn to Jerry Bear for help.
- Night Will Sing Us to Sleep – Sweetpea Sue is bothered by loud noises like Squacky playing his drums too loud. When a thunderstorm at night bothers Sweetpea Sue, the Pajanimals turn to Jerry Bear for help.
- Missing Mom and Dad – Sweetpea Sue is missing her Mom and Dad when going to sleep because they seem far away to her. In order to help Sweetpea Sue, the Pajanimals turn to the Moon for help.
- Light in the Sky – Squacky has developed a fear of the dark even in his mind. When Squacky has a hard time sleeping because of this, the Pajanimals turn to the Moon for help.
- Home Sweet Home – The Pajanimals are preparing to go on an airplane to Aunt Tilly's house for a week tomorrow. When Sweetpea Sue is worried about leaving home, the Pajanimals turn to the Moon for help.
- The Rocket Ride – The Pajanimals are anxious to go to the Fun Park tomorrow. Apollo is finally tall enough to ride the rocket ride, but he soon confesses that he is afraid of the ride. To help him overcome his fear, the Pajanimals turn to Bedtime Bunny for help.
- A Present for Mom – Apollo is worried that his painting wouldn't be a good present to give to his mom on her birthday tomorrow. When this continues to bother Apollo, the Pajanimals turn to Mr. Happy Birthday for help.
- Happy Birthday Sweetpea Sue – Sweetpea Sue's birthday is tomorrow and she is worried that the attendees of her birthday party won't have any fun, that there would run out of cake, or nobody would like Strawberry Pop. When this continues to bother Sweetpea Sue, the Pajanimals turn to Mr. Happy Birthday for help.
- Apollo's Special Day – Cowbella was jealous when Apollo's birthday is tomorrow and doesn't feel like attending. The Pajanimals turn to Mr. Happy Birthday for help.
- An Octopus Hug – Sweetpea Sue becomes afraid of octopi. To help her get over her fear of octopi, the Pajanimals take Squacky's bed to the sea where they meet Ellie Octopus.
- No Bath for Me – Cowbella is itchy from going to the beach. When she refuses to take her bath because she thinks it will not be fun, the Pajanimals turn to Ellie Octopus for help.
- Share Day – Share Day is at school tomorrow and Sweetpea Sue is nervous about sharing Daisy Puff with the class. When this continues to bother Sweetpea Sue, the Pajanimals turn to Ellie Octopus for help.
- Puppy Love – The Pajanimals are given a job by their parents to take care of their grandparents' puppy Fluffy for the next day. When the Pajanimals are unsure of how to take turns taking care of Fluffy, they turn to Coach Whistler for help.
- Winning Isn't Everything – Apollo is disappointed that he keeps losing every race. When this continues to bother Apollo, the Pajanimals go to Coach Whistler for help.
- Try, Try Again – The Pajanimals are going to be taught how to play baseball tomorrow by their father. The problem there is that Apollo is nervous at the fact that he won't do well at baseball. To help Apollo with his problem, the other Pajanimals turn to Coach Whistler for help.
- Game Day – Squacky finds himself addicted to a hand-held video game. This proves to be a problem when the others Pajanimals want Squacky to play with them tomorrow, and Squacky has a hard time sleeping. The Pajanimals turn to Coach Whistler for help.
- Under the Bed – Squacky's new ball "Ballie" rolls under his bed, but he's afraid to go under the bed to get it due to a "monster living under the bed." He can't sleep, so the Pajanimals go to see Edwin (who is pretending to be a knight) to learn about facing their fears.
- Queen for a Night – Cowbella has been a little bit bossy lately yet claims that she wants the others to listen to her. The Pajanimals end up turning to Edwin (who is pretending to be a King) for help.
- House of Pancakes – The Pajanimals found out from their mom that they will have waffles instead of pancakes for breakfast tomorrow, which upsets Sweetpea Sue because she doesn't like trying new things. When Sweetpea Sue is bothered by this, the Pajanimals end up turning to Edwin (who is pretending to be the Royal Chef) for help.
- I'm Sorry, Really Sorry – Cowbella accidentally gets paint on Sweetpea Sue's Daisy Puff which angers Sweetpea Sue. When Sweetpea Sue doesn't want to forgive Cowbella for this incident, Apollo & Squacky go to see Edwin (who is pretending to be the Royal Magician) for help and see that Edwin also has a problem when he accidentally turned the Royal Baker into a frog.
Season two (2012–2013)
- The Wonderfully Different Squacky – When Apollo, Sweetpea Sue, and Cowbella notice that Squacky is the most different out of the entire gang, Squacky becomes worried and dislikes the fact that he is far different from the others. When this continues to bother Squacky, the Pajanimals turn to Granny Pearl for help.
- Time Out for Two – Cowbella and Squacky end up fighting and their mom ends up sending them to their time out corners to calm down. When Cowbella and Squacky do calm down and worry that their mom is still angry with them, Sweetpea Sue & Apollo turn to Bedtime Bunny for help.
- Off To My School Adventure – Apollo and Sweetpea Sue start school tomorrow and Sweetpea Sue starts to get nervous enough to not be able to sleep. When the Pajanimals turn to Jerry Bear for help, they end up learning about the same experience that Jerry Bear had when he first met Otis Owl at Woodwork School and they had become friends ever since.
- A Laugh a Minute – Squacky puts on a magic show and Sweetpea Sue laughs at Squacky because she thinks his tricks are silly which makes Squacky sad. When Squacky is still sad at bedtime and Sweetpea Sue is still laughing about it, Apollo and Cowbella turn to Bedtime Bunny for help.
- Snow Business – When the Pajanimals see it snowing at their house, they want to go outside in the snow. But they can't because it's almost bedtime. At bedtime, Pajanimals can't sleep because they have to wait till tomorrow to play in the snow. When they don't want to wait, the Pajanimals turn to Bedtime Bunny for help.
- Oops – Squacky gets excited for being able to sleep without a diaper as part of a plan he worked on with his Dad. He ends up getting sad after having an accident by wetting his bed when he had drank a lot of water and did not go to the bathroom before bed. When this starts to bother Squacky, the Pajanimals turn to the Moon for help.
- Let's Play Together –When Cowbella and Squacky learn about the card game Steps and Stairs (which Apollo and Sweetpea Sue learned in school), they learn that Steps and Stairs is for big kids making them mad and sad at the same time. When this continues to bother Cowbella and Squacky, the Pajanimals turn to Coach Whistler for help.
- Special Things – Squacky doesn't want his blankie to be used for a pirate sail in Apollo's pirate game as Squacky considers his blankie special. When this continues to bother Squacky and Apollo, Sweetpea Sue and Cowbella turn to Granny Pearl for help.
- Sing a Pajanimal Song – The Pajanimals form a band yet Apollo hasn't been practicing with the others. When Apollo forgets the parts of the band's song and gets frustrated, the Pajanimals turn to Edwin (who is pretending to be a King) for help at the same time when his Royal Band doesn't show up.
- Spooky Costumes – When the Pajanimals tell Cowbella that they are real scary ghosts, skeletons, and other spooky things, Cowbella gets scared to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. When this starts to bother Cowbella, the Pajanimals turn to Edwin (who is pretending to be a knight) for help.
- Ouch – While riding on his scooter, Apollo falls off and scrapped his elbow. This causes Apollo to not want to ride on his scooter again. When this continues to bother Apollo even to the part where he is afraid of getting injured riding his scooter again, the Pajanimals turn to Coach Whistler for help.
- I Was a Baby – Squacky is disappointed that he is the youngest while the other Pajanimals can do things that he can't. When this continues to bother Squacky, the Pajanimals turn to Granny Pearl for help.
- Team Fort – Apollo and Squacky end up in a fight with Cowbella and Sweetpea Sue when it comes to building a fort out of each other's things. When this continues to bother the Pajanimals, they turn to Hank and Frank for help.
- Off to Work They Go – The Pajanimals want to go to the park tomorrow with Mom. Yet Mom and Dad are going to work tomorrow and Aunt Sally will be coming over to babysit the Pajanimals. When this continues to bother the Pajanimals with them wondering why Mom and Dad have to work, they turn to Hank and Frank for help.
- Mountains of Messiness – After a pillow mountain made by the Pajanimals collapses from Cowbella's twirly-whirl, the Pajanimals had to clean up the mess before bed. Cowbella doesn't feel like they don't want to clean up until Princess Lucy is buried under all the fallen pillows. When Cowbella doesn't want to wait until tomorrow to find Princess Lucy, the Pajanimals turn to Hank and Frank for help.
- One Teacup, Two Friends – Cowbella and Sweetpea Sue are having a tea party where they inherited two teacups from their grandmother. CowBella gets a blue one and SweetPea Sue gets the red one. However, SweetPea Sue's cup is broken, and Cowbella refuses to share. When this continues to bother them, Squacky & Apollo turn to the Moon for help.
- Mom Is Amazing – Tomorrow is Mother's Day and the Pajanimals want to make it special. When Sweetpea Sue thinks of a plan of doing all the chores for Mom, she finds that it's a lot of work. When this worries the Pajanimals, they turn to the Moon for help.
- The Cow's Meow – When playing "House," Cowbella wants to play the cat, Princess Kitty-Kitty, instead of a puppy much to the objection of Sweetpea Sue. When Cowbella and Sweetpea Sue get into an argument enough to make Sweetpea Sue frustrated, Squacky and Apollo turn to Jerry Bear and Otis Owl for help.
- No More Bullies – Apollo is depressed when some of the bigger kids had made fun of his big ears and that they won't let him play with them. When Apollo is still bothered by this, the Pajanimals ride Sweetpea Sue's bed to the Friendly Forest, where they turn to Jerry Bear and Otis Owl for help.
- We're Going Camping – The Pajanimals are going on a family camping trip tomorrow and practice in preparation for the camping trip. Squacky, Cowbella, and Sweetpea Sue learn from Apollo that they will sleeping outside. When Squacky, Cowbella, and Sweetpea Sue are uncomfortable at the idea of sleeping outside, Apollo turns to Jerry Bear and Otis Owl for help.
- The Dentist Jitters – When the Pajanimals are playing "doctor," Sweetpea Sue is told by her dad that she has a dentist appointment tomorrow. When Sweetpea Sue is still nervous about her trip to the dentist, the Pajanimals turn to Edwin (who is pretending to be the Royal Dentist) for help.
- I Can Do It Better – Apollo and Sweetpea Sue end up competing each other in different games in order to be the best at everything. When Apollo and Sweetpea Sue continue to compete against each other, Squacky and Cowbella turn to Hank and Frank for help.
- Mind Your Manners – The Pajanimals are told by the mom that their grandma is coming over for breakfast tomorrow morning and that they must use their best manners at the table. When the Pajanimals are unsure what would be considered good manners, the Pajanimals turn to Edwin (who is pretending to be a king) for help at the time when he is hosting a royal banquet.
- Accidents Can Happen – Cowbella is told by her mother to try potty training again following her last "accident." She accidentally wets herself when she doesn't make it to the bathroom in time. When Cowbella is still depressed at this, the Pajanimals turn to Granny Pearl for help.
- Joy to the World – The Pajanimals are celebrating Christmas. Squacky really hopes he gets the new Fantastic Splash Super Sub and is so excited that he can't sleep. The Pajanimals turn to The Moon (who is wearing Santa Claus's hat) for help.
- Pajanimal Dance Party – The Pajanimals get ready quickly way before bed and decides to have a dance party before bed. During bed, they end the night differently by singing "La La Lullaby."
- Victor Yerrid - Squacky, Jerry Bear, Hank Beaver
- Sarah Lyle - Ellie Octopus
- Michael Winsor - Moon
- Donna Kimball - Sweetpea Sue, Bedtime Bunny, Granny Pearl
- John Kennedy - Apollo
- Alice Dinnean-Vernon - Cowbella
- Paul Currie - Coach Whistler, Edwin, Frank Beaver, Otis Owl
- Josh Elwell - Mr. Happy Birthday
A Common Sense Media review says "This soothing series combines delightful tales and melodic songs to give families the opportunity to relax and unwind before diving into bedtime routines.