Poko (TV series)
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Poko was a stop motion TV series about a young boy, his pet dog, and his toy monkey. Produced in Canada by Halifax Film, a DHX Media Company, Poko was created by Jeff Rosen, It began production in 2003 and ended in 2006 after three production cycles. Poko is still broadcast in Canada on CBC Television in the Kids' CBC programming block, is still broadcast in Turkey on Yumurcak TV and in Australia by ABC. It is narrated by actor and dancer Cory Bowles.
- Poko (voiced by Cory Bowles) is a little boy. Every day he plays in his bedroom, or out in his backyard. Poko, however, has a magic finger. When he says "Poko pippity pop!" he can draw objects, which then become real, by tracing in the air with his finger. Poko often encounters obstacles and gets cranky or upset, but then cheers up with the help of an unseen narrator.
- Minus (–) is Poko's pet dog. He is very playful, and often causes trouble. Minus is named for the sign minus (–). Although he can't always understand what is going on, he sometimes shows much more human-like behaviour, such as being able to walk on his hind feet, play soccer, or dance. He is named for his ability to erase Poko's creations from existence (when they aren't needed anymore or he doesn't like them) by using his nose like an eraser. His silly antics often cause Poko to laugh and say "Silly Minus!"
- Mr. Murphy is Poko's stuffed toy monkey, usually just sits around. He can sometimes be seen to have moved his hands (such as to shrug, or cover his eyes), but is never seen actually moving.
- Bibi is a young girl who is Poko's friend. She comes over sometimes to have a play date with Poko. Bibi can use her magic sticker book in a way that resembles Poko's ability, by opening the book to a sticker of an object and then making that object real.
(Bibi first appeared in the second season)
There are two episodes in each show. The first one is indoors, after Poko wakes up. The second is outdoors, in the garden. In both, Poko encounters a problem, but usually overcomes it after observing a smaller creature (such as a bird, ladybug, worm, etc.) solving a similar problem.
Also beneficial to children, the narrator helps Poko to name and understand his feelings, and find appropriate ways to deal with them: for example, on some occasions, when Poko has become angry at Minus, he has gone and given a blast on his tuba to release his frustration. Another common solution is for Poko to give Mr.Murphy a hug. In this way, the show suggests positive methods of dealing with problems.When this happens they usually sing..."hug a monkey...hug him tight...hug him till you feel alright". Poko does either that, or, if Mr. Murphy isn't available, Poko releases his frustration by doing a dance called "The Poko Polka". He also has choices to release his frustration. Either spend time alone on his swing, or shake his frustration out.
In the second season, a new segment was added called "Poko's Playhouse", in which Poko and Minus perform for a stuffed toy audience on a "Grand Ole Opry" type play-stage, with children singing a background song.
These are thirty second shorts where Poko and Minus (and sometimes Mr.Murphy) play against a monocolour background. They may be swimming, surfing, riding an imaginary Roller coaster, or doing other activities.
In the middle of each show in season one, Poko reads a Mighty Murph story. Each one is made using Macromedia Flash, in cartoon style, and involves a baby Mr. Murphy in some dilemma, such as being hungry, or having nowhere to play. He then imagines he is Mighty Murph (a superhero who is parodied as Superman as Mighty Murph can be seen doing a scence which a reference to the Superman (Fielscheir animated series).), and flies around to find a solution to his problem. His search is fruitless, and he realizes the best place is just where he is, as his own self with his mother. The stories are told by the narrator.
The show follows the same sequence every time:
- Title sequence
- Poko wakes up
- Indoor episode
- Play sequence
- Mighty Murph story (season one); Poko's Playhouse (season two)
- Play sequence
- Outdoors episode
- Play sequence
- Ending sequence
- Gemini - Best Pre-School Program (2004)
- ACT Award - Grand Prize (2007)
- ACT Award - Animation Age 3-5 (2007)
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