Where's Wally?: The Animated Series

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Where's Wally?
Format Animated series
Created by Martin Handford
Developed by Rowby Goren
Written by David Schwartz
George Atkins
Evelyn A-R Gabai
Bill Matheny
Rowby Goren
Creative director(s) Mike Gornall
Starring Townsend Coleman
Jim Cummings
Brad Garrett
Julian Holloway
Dave Workman
Composer(s) Michael Tavera
Country of origin United States
Canada
United Kingdom
No. of episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Martin Handford
Andy Heyward
Peter Orton
Producer(s) Peter Aries
Editor(s) Richard S. Gannon
Trudy Alexander
Kris Glispin
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Sei Young Animation Co., Ltd.
The Waldo Film Company
DIC Entertainment
Hit Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
(United States)
ITV (CITV)
The Children's Channel
(United Kingdom)
Original run September 14, 1991 – December 14, 1991

Where's Wally?: The Animated Series (redubbed Where's Waldo?: The Animated Series in the United States and Canada) is a joint venture between American/Canadian/British animated television series production, distributed by DIC Entertainment and The Waldo Film Company. The television series aired on CBS Kids for one season (1991–1992) and later reaired on Nickelodeon.

The show follows the adventures of Wally and his dog Woof, who were already established stars of the Where's Wally picture book series. The "Where's Wally?" TV Show brought the gangly man in the striped shirt and ski cap to Saturday morning TV. The cartoon "Where's Wally?" went beyond the books' original concept, giving the characters depth and giving reasons for their adventures.

Wally and his dog Woof travel to distant lands, solving mysteries and lending a helping hand wherever they could. With the help of his magic walking stick, Wally could travel through space and time or travel to far off magical lands. Often sent by Wizard Whitebeard to help solve a puzzle, or mysteries, "Where's Wally" was a 1/2 hour puzzle of clues and riddles.

The evil Wally lookalike Odlaw was the show's villain, constantly plotting to steal Wally's magic stick. In each episode Odlaw would team up with the other villains from the far-off lands to help get the magic stick, while Wally and Woof teamed up with other land's "good-guys" to help with their problems.

Wally stayed true to the books' premise by means of the "Wally's Minutes," during which the screen froze for a full minute so the viewer at home could try to find Wally. This kind of segment aired twice per episode.

The distribution rights to the show are currently held by HIT Entertainment.

Awards[edit]

The Where's Wally cartoon was nominated for the "1992 annual Young Artist Award" for Outstanding New Animation Series but lost the award to Back to the Future: The Animated Series (also on CBS). The show lasted only one season on CBS airing 13 episodes between September 14, 1991 and December 14, 1991, before being cancelled because of low ratings (as a result of direct competition from NBC's juggernaut Saved by the Bell). Reruns of the episodes aired on CBS until September 5, 1992. Unverifiable rumors appeared stating that the show's return was expected in the late 1990s with expectations of Morgan Freeman voicing Wally.

Merchandise[edit]

In 1992, Little, Brown and Company released two Wally books based on the adventures and characters from the Where's Wally TV Show. Fun with Wally and More Fun with Wally, featured print versions of many of the "Wally Minute" freeze-frame scenes, along with new puzzles and things to spot in each picture.

International changes[edit]

To meet the needs of international viewers in the USA and Canada, a second audio track was recorded using the same vocal actors – the name "Wally" was replaced entirely with "Waldo", the name of the books' character in the USA and Canada. Other international versions were produced dubbed in entirely in German, French, Italian, Japanese and other languages (many times with Wally's name being changed to match that country's name from the original books).

Characters[edit]

  • Wally: Wally is the star of the "Where's Wally?" series. The character is known for his distinct wardrobe of a red and white striped shirt, blue jeans, brown boots, red and white striped socks, glasses, and his red and white bobbled hat. He has traveled all over the world, through time, and to distant magical lands. Wally isn't the only one like him; he comes from the Land of Wallys, which is a land filled with Wallys just like him. Wally is always ready for an adventure with his walking stick in hand, and trusty dog Woof by his side. His favorite hobbies are reading and collecting things from his many travels. The character's age is unknown and his height is described as "tallish" and weight as "lightish". Wally has a happy-go-lucky attitude and is often seen with a smile on his face. Wally first appeared in 1987 in the book Where's Wally?. Over the years Wally's appearance changed only slightly (see below).
  • Woof: Woof is Wally's dog and good friend. Woof originally belonged to Wilma, but over the years became Wally's dog. Woof comes from the Land of Woofs, which is a land full of dogs like him. Like his owner, Woof sports a red and white bobbled hat, glasses, and a red and white striped suit. Woof sets off with Wally on his travels with his bone, but always seems to lose it. Woof is shy and easily scared. He gets so scared at many of the places he travels to that he hides, leaving only his tail showing. In the classic Wally books, only Woof's tail can be spotted. Woof first appeared in 1990 in Where's Wally: The Ultimate Fun Book.
  • Wizard Whitebeard: The magical Wizard Whitebeard often visits Wally with one of his many magical scrolls (something he always ends up losing). The Wizard is recognizable by his red robe, blue hat, long white beard, and his striped staff. Whitebeard is the one with the magic that allows Wally and his friends to travel to all the magical and far off lands. While there are rumors stating that he is the father of Wenda, these have not been confirmed and are not considered canon. Wizard Whitebeard first appeared in 1989 in the book Where's Wally?: The Fantastic Journey. His voice and mannerisms are reminiscent of Rodney Dangerfield.
  • Odlaw: Odlaw is a character of the "Where's Wally?" series. He is "mean, nasty, loathsome and disgusting". His number of good deeds are few and all he cares about is getting his hands on Wally's magic walking stick. His wardrobe includes a black and yellow striped shirt, black jeans, boots, dark glasses, yellow and black bobbled hat, and a slick moustache. Odlaw seems to be something of an evil twin to Wally, and it is later confirmed by the revelation that he comes from Odlaw's Swamp, where hundreds of other Odlaws live, which is a parallel to the Land of Wallys. Odlaw can be really clumsy, so he always ends up getting hurt. Odlaw's name comes from "Waldo" spelled backwards. He first appeared in 1991 in the book Where's Wally: The Magnificent Poster Book! where his role was like an "Anti-Wally".
  • Wenda: Wenda is Wally's best friend. The character is the "one who takes the pictures" according to the intro of The Wonder Book, but she always loses her camera. Wenda was featured in the Where's Wally? television series, in the episode The Living Exhibits. She first appeared in 1991 in Where's Wally: The Magnificent Poster Book along with her twin sister, Wilma. Wilma, however, has not been seen since. Wenda's wardrobes include a red and white striped shirt, blue skirt, red and white striped stockings, glasses, and red and white bobbled hat.

Cast[edit]

DVD release[edit]

The animated show was released in Australia on the May 7, 2009 with Where’s Wally Vol.1 – My Left Fang. As of February 3, 2013, HIT Entertainment has yet to announce any plans for a US DVD release of the show. However, episodes were previously released on videocassette in the 1990s by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Fox Kids Video and CBS Video.

UK VHS releases[edit]

  • Abbey Home Media (1992–1994)
VHS title Release date Episodes
Where's Wally? My Left Fang 1992 My Left Fang, Forest Women, The Great Ball Game.
Where's Wally? It's a Gruel, Gruel World 1993 It's A Gruel, Gruel World, Draining The Deep, 'The Underground Hunters.
Where's Wally? The Land of the Carpet Flyers 1993 The Land of the Carpet Flyers
Where's Wally? The Land of the Lost Pyramid 1994 The Land Of The Lost Pyramid, Ahead Of The Future, The Unfriendly Giant
Where's Wally? The Biggest Ever Video 1994 A Stone Age Story, Viking Fling, The Living Exhibits, It's A Gruel, Gruel World, Draining The Deep, The Underground Hunters, My Left Fang, Forest Women, The Great Ball Game
Where's Wally? The Unfriendly Giant 1994 The Unfriendly Giant, The Land Of The Lost Pyramid

Broadcast stations[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]