Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks
|Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks|
Title card (Series 1 and 2)
|Created by||Mike Young
|Starring||English language version:
|Theme music composer||Harriet Schock|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||52 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Entara Ltd.
Mike Young Productions
|Distributor||The Program Exchange|
|Original run||September 1, 2003 – January 23, 2007|
Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (or Jakers in Europe) is an animated half-hour children's television series. The show is animated using computer-generated imagery and broadcast in the United States on PBS Kids (English) from 2003 to 2008.
The word "jakers" was originally a euphemism for "Jesus" in much of Ireland during the 1950s and 1960s and was an exclamation of surprise, delight, dismay, or alarm. Piggley and his father use it to express their delight when they discover something on their adventures.
Jakers! takes place in two different settings, in two different time periods.
In the present time (the frame story), Piggley Winks lives in the United States of America (or England, according to different versions) and tells stories of his childhood in a rural area in the south of Ireland to his three grandchildren. In flashback, he is seen as a child, playing with his friends and going to school in rural Ireland in the mid-1950s. Most of the main characters are anthropomorphic animals—including Piggley and his family, who are all pigs. However, there are normal, non-anthropomorphic animals in the show as well.
Piggley Winks, aged 8 (later 9), lived with his parents Padrig and Elly (whose design changes after first few episodes) and his younger sister Molly at Raloo Farm in Ireland during the 1950s. His best friends are Dannan O'Mallard, a duck who lives in a hut by a pond with her rarely seen grandmother, and Fernando Toro, known as Ferny, a young bull who lives with his father, the Spanish blacksmith Don Toro in the village of Tara. His rival is the main antagonist, Hector McBadger.
Piggley lives his everyday life on the farm as a normal child, going to school, helping his parents, taking care of his sister, and having adventures, almost always followed by his friends. He has always been interested in stories and legends, and his fertile mind and mischievous spirit put him in many unpredictable situations, like believing fairies turned Ferny into a bug, trying to hatch a supposed dragon's egg, using the Salmon of Knowledge to pass the school exam, and even trying to capture the legendary Fir Darrig.
Each story also features a subplot featuring Wiley, the sheep (voiced by Mel Brooks). As the only sheep in the flock who can talk, he believes he is their natural leader, and tries to get the other sheep to do all kinds of things (singing, racing, playing sports, acting, etc.), with varying degrees of success. He is later assisted by his mate, a female sheep named Shirley (in earlier seasons, Shirley could not talk, and in the episode "Growing Pains" gave birth to a lamb, later named Little Baa).
A running gag on the show is that Wiley's subplot and the Piggley plot would collide (example in "Sheep on the Loose", where Wiley runs away and Piggley has to find him, as the shepherd).
CommonSenseMedia explain that at the end of each episode there is a live-action segment, in which "group of children talk about their own experiences and feelings, reflecting on what the episode has been about".
Piggley lives with his three grandchildren, the twins Sean and Seamus, and their older sister Meg, and their mother Ciara, Piggley's daughter. Whenever the children have a problem, Piggley tells them one of his childhood stories as a moral lesson. The grandchildren are able to identify exaggerations in his stories.
CommonSenseMedia gave the show a rating of 4 starts out of 5, commenting "The animation is lovely, the characters are amusing and cute, and the lessons are so gently presented that it really is a pleasure to learn them."
- Humanitas Award Children's Animation Category for "The Gift" Written by Sindy McKay, Dennis Haley & Marcy Brown (2007)
- Humanitas Award in the Children's Animation Category for "Waking Thor" Written by Kelly Ward and Cliff McGillivray (2005)
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Animated Program (2006)
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program - Maile Flanagan (2006)
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction & Composition (2005)
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual in Animation - Milk Melodrama (2005)
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual in Animation - Production designer (2004)
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual in Animation - Storyboard artist: All Night Long (2004)
- Bafta Awards for Best Animated Series in the International Category (2005)
- Chicago International Film Festival Gold Hugo Award in the Animated Series Category (2005)
- Chicago International Film Festival Silver Hugo Award in the Animated Series Category (2004)
- Webby Award for PBS/Jakers! Website (2005)
- Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award in the Television Category (2004 & 2006)
- Genesis Commendation Award from the Humane Society of the United States (2004)
- New York Festivals Gold World Medal Award in the Animation category for Youth/Young Adult Programs (2006)
- Prix Jeunesse Web Prize Winner (2004)