Widget (TV series)
|Widget the World Watcher|
Widget the World Watcher logo
|Created by||Peter Keefe|
|Presented by||Calico Creations
|Voices of||Russi Taylor
|Theme music composer||Dale Schacker|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||65|
|Executive producer(s)||Peter Keefe|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original channel||Syndication, USA Network|
|First shown in||1990|
|Original run||29 September 1990 – 3 December 1991|
Widget, the World Watcher is an animated television series which debuted in syndication on September 29, 1990. The series ran for two seasons; in the first season (1990), it aired once a week (usually on Saturday or Sunday), and in the second season (1991), the series expanded to 5 days a week (Monday-Friday). The show featured environmentalist themes and was recognized by the National Education Association as recommended viewing for children.
The show focused on a 4-foot-tall (1.2 m), purple alien from the Horsehead Nebula named Widget who could shapeshift (usually by spinning like a top into different forms, in early episodes he seems to still be getting used to his power). He and a group of young, human friends; brothers, Kevin, Brian and their teenage sister Kristine, would go through a number of adventures to protect the natural environment from those who wish to plunder or harm it. Later on they were joined by (fellow shapeshifter) Half-Pint, Widget's mischievous, overly-curious, hyperactive cousin. Widget is frequently accompanied by the Mega Brain, an extremely intelligent but somewhat clumsy being who appears as a floating head (with a transparent cranium) and floating hands.
The show was produced by Calico Creations to teach children about the dangers of pollution. Each episode would have Widget contending with a villain from either earth or outer space wishing to exploit Earth's environment or natural resources, like Dr. Dante, Mega Slank, and his evil twin, Ratchet. In this respect, Widget, the World Watcher is very similar to Captain Planet and the Planeteers, both heroes attempting to save the Earth from ecological harm. Even occasionally, combatting an entity/being created/mutated from copious pollution. For example, in one episode Widget battled a fellow shapeshifter; a sentient but hostile life form, disguised as a toxic ooze/slick, who was contaminating our beaches and oceans.
Widget ran for 65 episodes, 13 in the first season and 52 in the second season.
- Widget (voiced by Russi Taylor): The courageous and heroic shapeshifting coral alien and main character.
- Mega Brain (played by Jim Cummings): MegaBrain is a floating creature with a pink head and only hands. He is Widget's assistant.
- Half-Pint: Widget's mischievous, overly-curious, hyperactive cousin, fellow shapeshifter and is the sky-blue alien.
- Kevin (voiced by Dana Hill): Brian's older brother and friend of Widget.
- Brian (voiced by Kath Soucie): A boy who is a friend of Widget.
- Kristine (voiced by Kath Soucie): Brian and Kevin's big sister.
- Ratchet (voiced by Tress MacNeille): Widget's evil twin, he's exit by the little clock.
- Dr. Dante (voiced by Jim Cummings): The natural (from earth) villain, a confidence trickster scientist.
- Mega Slank (voiced by Pat Fraley): The other natural (from outer space) villain (who seems to have a grudge against Widget's kind).
- Widget's Great Whale Adventure -Widget reluctantly travels to Earth and he saves a whale caught by some poachers. (29 September 1990)
- Gorilla My Dreams - (6 October 1990)
- Kona, the Captive Whale - (13 October 1990)
- Widget of the Jungle -Widget travels to the jungles of Africa where evil poachers, Bob and Betty try to capture an elephant for his tusks. (20 October 1990)
- Widget's Walkabout -Widget travels to Australia to ensure its red kangaroos enjoy their new habitat. (27 October 1990)
- Amazon Adventure - (3 November 1990)
- Mediterranean Adventure - (10 November 1990)
- Slime Sleuths - (17 November 1990) - Dr. Dante says he has invented a machine that transforms toxic waste into pure drinking water, thus solving the issue of toxic waste disposal. Widget wonders about that when problems arise when the barrels containing the waste are reused.
- Rock 'n' Roll Widget - (24 November 1990)
- Teacher's Pets - (1 December 1990) - Widget gets to be the children's substitute teacher after their regular teacher keeps having car trouble. Widget uses his abilities to teach the kids biology and zoology.
- The Carnival Kids - (8 December 1990)
- Mega-Slank from Titanium - (15 December 1990)
- That's the Spirit - (22 December 1990)
- Two Times Widget Equals Trouble - (23 September 1991)
- You Talkin' to Me? - (24 September 1991)
- Sort It Out - (25 September 1991)
- Watcher's Warning -Widget, Megabrain, Kevin and Brian travel to a planet inhabited by shark-like beings which is completely polluted and used to be beautiful and Widget wants to ensure the same thing does not happen to Earth. (26 September 1991)
- The Great Brain Robbery -Widget's evil twin brother Ratchet captures MegaBrain and turns him into an evil brain. (27 September 1991)
- The Greatest Show in the Galaxy - (30 September 1991)
- Bonkrz - (1 October 1991)
- Glacier Grabber - (2 October 1991)
- Where's the Beef? - (3 October 1991)
- Micronauts - (4 October 1991)
- Watcher from Wayback -Widget travels to Tibet and unexpectedly meets an old World Watcher. (7 October 1991)
- Betty and the Beasts - (8 October 1991)
- Maller Crawlers - (9 October 1991)
- Never Cry Wolf - (10 October 1991)
- All Day Suckers - (11 October 1991)
- Fifty Foot Ants - (14 October 1991)
- Half-Pint - (15 October 1991)
- Air For Sale - (16 October 1991)
- Intergalactic Garage Sale -Evil Mega Slank steals many of Earth's most magnificent landmarks for his Intergalactic Garage Sale. (17 October 1991)
- The Great Brain Drain - (18 October 1991)
- Dr. Mega-Slank's Pet Palace - (21 October 1991)
- Murtle & Zurtle, the Galapagos Turtles - (22 October 1991)
- Ratchet Hood -Ratchet and his minions steal money intended for the Help the Earth foundation and Ratchet keeps the money to himself. (23 October 1991)
- Crazy 8 - (24 October 1991)
- Half-Pint's Ransom - (25 October 1991)
- Whatsit to You? - (28 October 1991)
- Widget and the Sqizzlebonk - (29 October 1991)
- Chaos in Kali-Ko - (30 October 1991)
- Head Games - (31 October 1991)
- Mac Bluff - (1 November 1991)
- Great Barrier Thief - (4 November 1991)
- The Brain Who Would Be King - (5 November 1991)
- The Uncontrollable Urg - (6 November 1991)
- Intergalactic Grudge Match - (7 November 1991)
- Teeny, Weeny, Widget - (8 November 1991)
- Scraboolee Jubilee - (11 November 1991)
- Culture Crooks - (12 November 1991)
- The Library Card - (13 November 1991)
- Bonkula - (14 November 1991)
- Ratchetland - (15 November 1991)
- Rose Colored Glasses - (18 November 1991)
- Crashing Planets - (19 November 1991)
- Robo-Zonk - (20 November 1991)
- Ghost of a Chance - Widget is visited by three Earth ghosts, a Viking who had engaged in deforestation, a pioneer who had participated in the buffalo slaughter and a British big game hunter who paid no attention to endangered species. The ghosts have been punished for their environmental irresponsibility by being doomed to stay on Earth until they teach the living about their misdeeds. Widget sees a chance for their redemption when he sees the corrupt mayor approving polluters, so they start their own version of A Christmas Carol. (21 November 1991)
- Rock Around the Cosmos - (22 November 1991)
- The Wishing Stone - (25 November 1991)
- Time Trippers -Widget and Megabrain travel through time to see some ancient objects that looked young back then. (26 November 1991)
- Bungle of the Jungle - (27 November 1991)
- Visit to a Machine Planet - (28 November 1991)
- Awesome African Adventure - (29 November 1991)
- Beast Side Story - (2 December 1991)
- Mother Slank's Intergalactic Vacation Paradise - (3 December 1991)
- Jim Cummings - Mega Brain, Dr. Dante, Elder #1
- Dana Hill - Kevin
- Kath Soucie - Brian, Kristine
- Russi Taylor - Widget
- Cam Clarke -
- Townsend Coleman -
- Peter Cullen -
- Brian Cummings -
- Pat Fraley - Mega Slank
- Tress MacNeille - Ratchet, Elder #2
- Cree Summer -
- Ai Orikasa
- Katsumi Toriumi
- Nobutoshi Canna
- Toshihiko Seki
- Haruna Ikezawa
- Omi Minami
- Kenyu Horiuchi
- Yumi Touma
- Kyoko Hikami
- Miki Ito
- Yukari Tamura
- Isshin Chiba
- Unsho Ishizuka
- Hikaru Hanada
- Akimitsu Takase
- Lee Myeong-seon
- Kim Jeong-eun
- Kim Seo-yeong
- Jeong Yeong-wung
- Ha Seong-yong
- Choi Seok-pil
- Lee Jang-won
- Choi Han
- Rhee Ji-yeong
- An Hyeon-seo
- Ha Mi-kyeong
- Yun Yeo-jin
Production and distribution
Widget was produced by Zodiac Entertainment, a Studio City, California-based firm backed by British media company Central Independent Television. Zodiac President Kevin Morrison stated that in 1990, Widget was being broadcast on on 80% of independent U. S. television stations and that in 1991, the show started being shown five times a week.
- Barnes, Mike. "'Voltron' producer Peter Keefe dies", The Hollywood Reporter, May 28, 2010. Accessed August 26, 2010.
- Heller, Matthew. "Animation Company No Longer in 'Toons It will continue as a distributor". Los Angeles Times.