|Jay Jay the Jet Plane|
|Also known as||Jay Jay|
|Genre||Children's television series Musical|
|Theme music composer||Stephen Michael Schwartz|
|Opening theme||"Gee, How I Love to Fly" (1994–1996); "Jay Jay the Jet Plane Theme Song" (1998–2005)|
|Ending theme||"Gee, How I Love to Fly" (Reprise) (1994–2004); "Jay Jay the Jet Plane Theme Song" (1998–2005)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Original languages||English and Spanish|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||62 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||25 minutes|
Jay Jay the Jet Plane is an American live-action/CGI-animated musical children's television series created by David and Deborah Michel and first aired on The Learning Channel and later moved to PBS Kids, with reruns on Qubo and TBN's Smile. The series aired for a total of 4 seasons and has 62 episodes.
The series is centered on a group of anthropomorphic aircraft that live in the city of Tarrytown and takes place at the Tarrytown Airport. The episodes were commonly distributed in 25-minute-long (without commercials) pairs, with one header sequence and one end credit for each pair. Each episode contains one or more songs.
The series was intended to be educational to teach moral and life lessons to young-aged children.
The theme song and all of the other songs were written by the famous children's singer/songwriter Stephen Michael Schwartz and sung by his popular musical group, Parachute Express.
Early episodes using physical models (as "Pilot Series")
In late 1994, a short live-action series was produced at AMS Production Company in Dallas, Texas, with real model plane characters, and handcrafted human characters; they had the same personalities as in the later series. This original series was narrated similarly to the first twelve seasons of Thomas & Friends, or Theodore Tugboat. Three videos were released: Jay Jay's First Flight in December 1994, Old Oscar Leads the Parade in February 1995, and Tracy's Handy Hideout in October 1996. This original series was narrated by and features the voices of John William Galt. These three were known as the "pilot series".
CGI and live-action-based episodes
On November 2, 1998, the CGI-animated/live-action series premiered on The Learning Channel as part of the Ready Set Learn block. Voice actress Mary Kay Bergman provided the original voice of Jay Jay, Herky, Savannah, and Revvin' Evan. After her death, Debi Derryberry and Donna Cherry replaced her.
In 2005, new episodes were produced featuring additional characters, including the red Latina monoplane Lina. Each episode begins with a Jay Jay's Mysteries segment in which Jay Jay and Lina explore things that might be mysteries to the intended age group, such as how planes fly, and how the five senses are used. The "Mysteries" segment is followed by a story that comes from the third season episodes of the series, so in effect, the new season's repackages previously broadcast content on two subchannel networks Qubo and Smile.
A new revival of the series, titled The New Adventures of Jay Jay the Jet Plane (originally titled The New World of Jay Jay the Jet Plane) has been confirmed through Trilogy Animation Group's website. The first trailer for the show was released in July 2022. Until the day of launching, it is still currently in development and in production. The characters' were fully redesigned, and made to look more cartoony, newer, and like the original series, it will be CGI-animated.
- Jay Jay (voiced by Mary Kay Bergman in Seasons 1 & 2, then later by Debi Derryberry in Season 3 and the revival after Bergman's death and Donna Cherry in Jay Jay's Mysteries) is a small, titular brown, until he was caught in a hailstorm (originally in the pilot series)/blue jet plane who loves flying and having fun with his friends and acts as a twin brother figure, and is 6 years old.
- Tracy (voiced by Gina Ribisi in Seasons 1 & 2, and later by Sandy Fox in Season 3 and the revival) is a small violet (originally in the pilot series)/pink female jet plane who is Jay Jay's twin sister figure and best friend. She is 6 years old and has normal hearing but understands American Sign Language.
- Snuffy (voiced by Gina Ribisi in Seasons 1 & 2, and later by Sandy Fox in Season 3 and the revival) is a small green, later yellow propeller-driven monoplane who is a good friend of Jay Jay and Tracy, and is 4 years old. He is talented at skywriting.
- Herky (voiced by Mary Kay Bergman in Seasons 1 & 2, then later by Debi Derryberry in Season 3 after Bergman's death and Donna Cherry in Jay Jay's Mysteries) is a small (originally in some of the pilot series) Mexican yellow helicopter, Jay Jay's friend who is always goofy and humorous, and very acrobatic, and is 5 years old. He is fluent in Italian accent in the pilot series and German accent in the CGI/live-action series.
- Ricky Rescue (voiced by Josh Keaton) is a yellow and red helicopter who acts as a older brother figure, but as known for his rescue duties. He is Herky's twin brother. Like Herky, Ricky has skids and cannot taxi on the ground.
- Big Jake (voiced by Chuck Morgan in Seasons 1 & 2, then later by Michael Donovan in Season 3 in the CGI/live-action series and James C. Mathis III in the revival series) is a silver, later slate blue propeller-driven Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, Lockheed Model 10 Electra plane who acts as a father figure to the young planes.
- Savannah (voiced by Mary Kay Bergman in Seasons 1 & 2, then later by Debi Derryberry in Season 3 after Bergman's death in the CGI/live-action series and Ozioma Akagha in the revival series) is a silver, later purple supersonic jet who acts as a mother figure. She is from Georgia and speaks with a Southern accent.
- Old Oscar (voiced by Chuck Morgan in Seasons 1 & 2, and later by Michael Donovan in Season 3 and Jay Jay's Mysteries) is an old gray (originally in the pilot series)/green biplane who knows all sorts of flying tricks and acts as a grandfather figure and Lina's uncle.
- Revvin' Evan (voiced by Mary Kay Bergman in Seasons 1 & 2, then later by Debi Derryberry in Season 3 after Bergman's death and Donna Cherry in Jay Jay's Mysteries episode "The Mystery of Flight") is the resident red fire engine in training.
- Tuffy (voiced by Sandy Fox) is the cousin of Revvin' Evan who is a confidential tow truck and doesn't give up no matter the problem.
- Brenda Blue (portrayed by Eve Whittle in the US version, Vanessa Stacey in the UK version of the CGI/live-action series, and later voiced by Stephanie Southerland in the revival series) is a woman in a blue jumpsuit and usually wears a red cap or a blue cap, as well as a pair of red high top Converse shoes. She is in charge of the airport and is the airplane mechanic and a mother figure to the planes.
- Miss Lee Jones is the librarian who works at the Tarrytown Public Library. She is deaf and can't speak, and uses sign language. Tracy and Brenda Blue are able to translate her.
- E.Z. O'Malley (portrayed by Brian Nahas) is the founder of E.Z. Airlines, with his cousins Grumpy O'Malley (who lives at Dewdrop Farm), Pierre O'Malley (lives in France), and Tex O'Malley (lives in Texas).
- Mrs. Blue is Brenda Blue's mother, who sometimes visits Tarrytown Airport.
Jay Jay's Mysteries
- Lina (voiced by Ashley Whittaker) is a red propeller-driven monoplane who is Jay Jay's friend and Old Oscar's niece from Mexico. Sometimes, she can speak Spanish.
- Montana (voiced by Donna Cherry) is an exciting purple propeller-driven adult safari plane who only appeared in two Jay Jay's Mysteries episodes alongside Lina.
Wooden Adventure System
- Captain Bob is a very energetic adult firefighting plane.
- Solar is a young yellow solar-powered monoplane. He is very interested in keeping the environment clean and he has special panels on his wings that capture the sun's enters to make him fly.
- Truckee is a friendly dark red boy dump truck.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired (United States dates)||Original network|
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilot series||12||December 13, 1994||October 31, 1995||Direct-to-video|
|1||12||November 2, 1998||December 21, 1998||TLC|
|2||14||January 4, 1999||March 14, 2000|
|3||14||June 11, 2001||July 20, 2001||PBS Kids|
|4||10||September 5, 2005||November 25, 2005|
Broadcast and home media
Jay Jay the Jet Plane premiered on The Learning Channel as part of the Ready Set Learn block. Later, it aired on PBS Kids in 2001, with reruns until 2009. In 2012 until 2014, it aired in Spanish on Telemundo as part of "MiTelemundo". In 2021, it also aired on Qubo for a short time until Scripps' closure and is currently airing on Smile. Outside of the series' home country, It aired on Channel 5, Tiny Pop and S4C's Cyw block in the UK, Canal+ and Piwi in France, Discovery Kids in Latin America, TV Cultura in Brazil and Nickelodeon in the Middle East.
In the early-mid 2000s, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the series on both VHS and DVD. Later, it released two of Jay Jay's Mysteries episodes by Paramount in 2007 as part of PBS Kids' DVDs.
Religious-based Tommy Nelson also released the series with a new dub on both VHS and DVD.
Common Sense Media gave the series a four out of five stars, saying, "Parents need to know that this series offers young fans life lessons such as valuing friends, overcoming shyness, and learning to like yourself. Kids will enjoy the often funny antics of 6-year-old Jay Jay and his friends. Don't be surprised if you catch your preschooler singing along with the show's simple songs."
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 442–443. ISBN 978-1476665993.
- Amazon.com Jay Jay's First Flight VHS. ASIN 6303398499.
- "Trilogy Animation Group Reveals New Animation Slate".
- "Animation Studio | Trilogy Animation| Orange County | United States". Trilogy Animation.
- "resume". Denis Morella Animation Portfolio.
- "Jay Jay the Jet Plane". Yippee TV.
- "Jay Jay the Jet Plane - TV Review". www.commonsensemedia.org. October 19, 2009.