Oobi (TV series)
|Created by||Josh Selig|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|Running time||2 minutes (shorts)
22 minutes (full-length)
|Production company(s)||Little Airplane Productions|
|Original release||August 2000 – June 2007|
Oobi is an American children's television series created by Josh Selig, produced by Little Airplane Productions. It began as a series of shorts, which aired on the Noggin network in 2000. Full-length episodes of the show began airing on April 7, 2003.
The series won a 2001 Gold Parents' Choice Award.
- Oobi (puppeteered by Tim Lagasse) is the show's main character, a four-year-old hand puppet. Oobi is curious, inquisitive and always willing to learn something new. His eyes are brown in the shorts and hazel in the full-length episodes.
- Uma (puppeteered by Stephanie D'Abruzzo) is Oobi's younger sister. She loves singing, pretending, and chickens. Her catchphrases are "Nice!" and "Pretty." She is smaller than Oobi and wears a barrette in the full-length episodes. Due to Uma's young age, she has trouble pronouncing larger words like "majorette," "neighborhood" and "propeller."
- Kako (puppeteered by Noel MacNeal) is Oobi's excitable, confident and slightly arrogant best friend. He has green eyes and wears a red cap in the full-length episodes. His catchphrase is "¡Perfecto!" (Spanish for "perfect").
- Grampu (puppeteered by Tyler Bunch) is Oobi and Uma's wise and sometimes rather unlucky grandfather. His appearance is different from that of the children; four of his fingers are curled while his thumb acts as his lower lip. His catchphrase is "Lovely!"
- Inka is Oobi and Angus' piano teacher. She encourages her students to practice as much as possible.
- Angus is a high-strung friend of Oobi's, whose eyes are below his fingers rather than on top.
- Mrs. Johnson is Oobi's elderly neighbor. She has a cat named Kitty.
- Mamu and Papu are Kako's parents, who appear whenever Oobi visits Kako's house.
- Maestru is Oobi and Kako's singing instructor. He is also in charge of the town's theatrical productions.
- Frieda is a foot, whom Oobi often plays with at the park.
- Moppie is Uma's best friend from preschool. She has curly red hair.
- Bella is a greengrocer and one of Grampu's friends. She owns the local grocery store.
Twenty-six full-length episodes (each consisting of two segments) and forty-nine shorts aired during the series' run.
- Dance! - The kids perform their own dances when Grampu brings a radio outside.
- Tag! - Oobi, Uma and Kako play a game of tag.
- Flush! - Oobi and Uma hear the sound of a toilet flush.
- On & Off! - Oobi learns how to turn a light switch on and off.
- Share Pretzels! - Oobi shares his pretzels with Uma and Kako.
- Watermelon! - The children eat watermelon.
- Soup! - Grampu makes soup for Uma, who is ill.
- Hot Dog and Ketchup! - Oobi and Kako accidentally put too much ketchup on their hot dog.
- Prince Oobi! - Oobi, Kako and Uma pretend that Oobi is a prince.
- Bubbles! - Oobi and Uma blow bubbles.
- Empty and Full! - Oobi and Uma learn the difference between empty and full.
- Popcorn! - Oobi and Uma eat popcorn.
- Worm! - The children discover a worm outside.
- Apple Picking! - Oobi, Uma and Kako go apple picking and use teamwork to reach an apple.
- Pretend Wind! - Oobi and Kako are out on a windy day and they pretend to be the wind by blowing on each other.
- Tea! - Oobi and Uma sing the teapot song.
- Ice Cream! - Oobi and Uma learn about division when they split their ice cream in half.
- Water Games! - Oobi and Kako play with a sprinkler outside.
- Guess! - The gang plays a guessing game.
- Bird! - After hearing a bird's song, Grampu teaches Oobi and Uma different bird calls, and Oobi meets a bird face-to-face.
- Cat! - Oobi feeds a cat with help from Grampu.
- Puppy! - Oobi, Uma and Grampu pretend to be wild animals. Oobi pretends to be a dog by barking, sniffing, and licking Grampu.
- Animal Cookies! - Kako eats all of Oobi's animal-shaped cookies.
- Slide! - Oobi rides down a slide with Uma.
- Follow The Leader! - The kids play a game of follow the leader.
- Peekaboo! - Oobi, Uma and Kako play "peekaboo" by covering and uncovering each other.
- Dig! - Oobi and Uma play in the sand.
- Hide and Seek! - Oobi hides behind a sunflower during a game of hide and seek.
- Nature! - The children explore the outdoors.
- Pretend Catch! - The children play catch with an imaginary ball.
- Music! - Oobi, Uma and Kako make music together.
- Guitar! - Oobi and Kako play a guitar.
- Bongo Drums! - Grampu teaches Uma how to play bongo drums.
- Quiet Read! - Oobi's reading is interrupted by Uma, who is listening to loud music.
- Clap Hands! - Oobi and Kako clap hands to pass the time.
- Painting! - The characters make paintings.
- Macaroni Jewelry! - Oobi, Uma and Kako dance with jewelry made from macaroni.
- Paint Shapes! - Oobi and Kako use sponges to paint different shapes.
- Pinch Pot! - Oobi teaches Uma how to make a pinch pot with clay.
- Drawing Game! - Grampu draws a bunny rabbit.
- Neighborhood Art! - The characters discover art on their street.
- Toothpaste! - The children make a mess with toothpaste.
- Feelings! - The gang learns about feelings.
- Cake! - The kids eat cake.
- Wet and Dry! - The kids learn the difference between wet and dry.
- Bubble Bath! - Oobi and Kako take a bubble bath.
- Itsy Bitsy Spider! - Oobi and Kako sing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" song.
- Camp Out! - Grampu takes Oobi, Uma and Kako camping in the backyard. At first, Oobi is afraid of various sounds, but learns that there is nothing to be scared of.
- Uma Swing! - Oobi teaches Uma how to be careful at the playground after she falls off of the swing.
- Uma Bathroom! - Uma refuses to take a bath after playing in the mud with Oobi and Kako.
- Dance Class! - Oobi and Uma learn that practice makes perfect when they take their first dance lessons. After learning a simple dance, they celebrate their new moves with a fabulous dance party. Grampu feels the beat and joins in as well.
- Kako's Puppy! - Oobi learns that puppies are a big responsibility when Kako asks him to take care of his dog.
- Uma's Birthday! - A big surprise birthday party for Uma becomes more about the party and less about Uma. She becomes overwhelmed and retreats to her room. The boys realize that Uma would prefer a small party and give her one.
- Asparagus! - Oobi and Grampu take drastic measures to get Uma to try asparagus, but their attempts fail. Oobi is able to convince Uma to take a small taste, and she ends up liking it a lot.
- Haircut! - Oobi wakes up with hair on his head. He tries hiding and styling it, but is not satisfied. In the end, he and Grampu go to the barbershop. Oobi is able to overcome his fear of getting a haircut and happily returns to his old hairless self.
- Grampu Day! - Oobi, Uma and Kako create a holiday called "Grampu Day," on which they each create a special gift for Grampu. Oobi makes a clay statue of Grampu, Kako makes food and Uma sings a special song.
- Make Pizza! - Grampu teaches the kids how to make pizza using dough, tomato sauce and cheese.
- Showtime! - Uma wants to help with Oobi and Kako's puppet show. They ask her to watch instead, but soon realize that they need Uma's help to open the curtain.
- Oobi's Car! - Uma forgets to be careful while playing with Oobi's favorite toy car, and breaks off one of its wheels. Grampu explains to Oobi that accidents happen sometimes and fixes the toy with the kids' help.
- Garden Day! - Grampu teaches the kids how flowers grow and gives them a seed to plant. They have trouble waiting for it to grow, but learn that patience is key when gardening.
- Piano Lesson! - Inka gives Oobi his first piano lesson, and teaches him how to play "Do-Re-Mi."
- Uma Chicken! - Uma pretends to be a chicken as part of Oobi and Kako's "pretend animal" game. However, she takes things too far and is soon unable to stop acting like a chicken.
- Sleepover! - Uma misses Oobi when he visits Kako's house for a sleepover. Grampu does his best to make Uma feel better, but the only thing that works is a phone call and a lullaby from Oobi.
- Play Ball! - Kako becomes frustrated with tee-ball and refuses to play. After Oobi learns the basics of Kako's hand-clapping game, Oobi teaches Kako the fundamentals of tee-ball. Kako gets a hit and Uma is revealed to be a tee-ball natural.
- Build Fort! - Oobi and Kako build forts out of blocks and argue over whose is better. However, they combine their forts after coming to the conclusion that arguments are no fun.
- Petting Zoo! - Grampu takes Oobi and Kako to the petting zoo. The boys are afraid of the horse at first, but overcome their fear after joining Grampu for a horseback ride.
- New Friend! - A day at the park with Grampu becomes special for Oobi when he meets Frieda, a friendly foot. Oobi learns that diversity is good and that new friends come in many shapes and sizes.
- Uma Sick - Oobi and Kako try to make Uma feel better when she comes down with a fever. They make her a card and perform a "get-better dance," but learn that what she really needs is some rest. They decide to sing her a lullaby, and Uma is healthy once again after sleeping.
- Playdate! - Oobi forgets about Kako and the playdate they had planned when Grampu gives him a pet turtle.
- Make Art! - The kids decide to make art together after seeing Grampu's painting. Kako paints a colorful pattern, Uma creates a circle-themed piece and Oobi uses cheese, toothpaste and flowers to make a collage.
- Rainy Day! - Oobi and Kako reluctantly join Uma to find a rainbow after the rain spoils their plans. They cheer up after catching raindrops and splashing in puddles.
- Pretend Circus! - Oobi, Uma and Kako use their imaginations to create their own pretend circus.
- Make Music! - The kids decide to start their own band and try to find makeshift instruments. Kako blows into a bottle, Uma uses a pot as a drum, and Oobi claps with Grampu.
- Video! - Grampu shows Oobi and Uma how to film and edit a home video.
- Grown-Up! - Oobi, Uma and Kako pretend to be grown-up firefighters, musicians and businesspeople.
- Shopping! - Oobi and Kako learn to respect other people's property when Grampu takes them to the supermarket.
- Uma Dreams! - Grampu helps Uma turn her nightmare into a silly dream.
- Chopsticks! - Grampu takes Oobi and Uma to a Chinese restaurant, where Uma learns how to use chopsticks.
- Clean Up! - Oobi, Uma and Kako work together to clean up Oobi's room.
- Kako Dinner! - Oobi learns that trying new things is good when he visits Kako's house for dinner.
- Sign Language! - Oobi and Kako meet a deaf girl named Amy at the park. Her mother helps them learn sign language so that they can communicate and play together.
- Halloween! - It is Uma's first time trick-or-treating on Halloween. After Oobi teaches her all of the rituals, Uma takes Kako under her wing and helps him overcome his fear of ghosts.
- Checkup! - Oobi visits his pediatrician's office for a checkup. He is nervous at first, but the doctor's kindness helps puts Oobi at ease.
- Uma Trip! - Oobi, Kako and Grampu take Uma on a pretend trip throughout the house.
- Frieda Friend! - Frieda invites Oobi to play with her and another foot named Frankie at the park. Oobi does not know how to play with them at first because they like different games. However, Uma tells him that differences are okay and even points out some things that they have in common.
- Neighborhood! - Oobi and Kako build a replica of their neighborhood out of boxes and paint. They give Uma a tour and show her the library, the post office and the zoo.
- Uma Preschool! - Uma does not want Grampu to leave on her first day of preschool, but ends up having the time of her life when she meets her friendly teacher and some new friends.
- Theater! - Maestru directs a musical performance of "Little Red Riding Hood," staged in the park. Oobi plays the wolf, Uma plays Little Red, Kako plays the mother and grandmother, and Angus steals the show as the woodsman.
- Baby! - Oobi meets a baby named Sophie and her mother, Sheila, at the park. Oobi feeds Sophie, changes her diaper, and even rocks her to sleep.
- Chez Oobi! - Grampu prepares a special dinner of spaghetti and meatballs for his date with Inka. The boys make it extra special by turning the house into a fancy French-style restaurant. They turn on soft violin music, act as waiters and serve fruit tarts for dessert.
- Valentine! - Oobi and Uma follow a trail of hearts to find their mystery valentine, which turns out to be Grampu in a festive heart costume.
- Parade! - The kids put on their own parade after seeing a parade poster. Oobi wears a float costume, Uma becomes a majorette and Kako dresses as a one-man band.
- Babysitter! - Grampu and Inka go out polka dancing, and leave a playful babysitter named Randy in charge of the kids. Uma initially resents Randy, but his silly demeanor eventually wins her over.
- Recital! - Oobi and Angus are performing at a piano recital. Oobi is very confident and helps Angus overcome his stage fright. However, when Oobi makes a mistake during his performance, he panics and runs offstage. Kako persuades him to try again, and soon afterwards, Oobi is able to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" perfectly.
- Dinosaur! - Oobi is excited to read his original storybook, called "The Lost Umasaurus." In the book, dinosaurs named Oobi-Rex and Dino-Kako help Umasaurus find her way home.
- Nature Walk! - Grampu takes his kids on a nature walk in the park. The highlight of their trip is seeing a beautiful eagle fly across the sky.
- Sing! - Oobi and Kako decide to join Maestru's singing group after hearing a song called "Yo To Ho!" (based on the classical opera song "Ride of the Valkyries").
- Fishing! - Grampu takes Oobi fishing. They learn a bit about patience and eventually catch a fish. However, Oobi feels bad for the fish and convinces Grampu that they should set it free.
- Superheroes! - Oobi, Uma and Kako pretend to be superheroes and bring Mrs. Johnson's cat down from a tree.
Oobi is the most widely-distributed Noggin original program, having aired in over 23 countries. A Polish-dubbed version of the series premiered on Nickelodeon Poland on July 19, 2009. An Arabic dub had aired on Nickelodeon Arabia from 2009 until the channel's closure. The English version is currently broadcast on Nickelodeon Pakistan along with Urdu subtitles.
The puppet characters' designs include pairs of plastic eyes and accessories, such as hats and hairpieces. Martin P. Robinson created the main character puppets, and his company Hairy Edge Productions supplied characters' accessories.
The puppeteers' thumbs are used to represent mouth movement. The fingers flutter and clench to indicate emotions, and if the character is feeling confused, the thumb scratches the side of the head. The hands also serve usual purposes, such as holding objects and turning doorknobs. The majority of the characters are right-handed, though several (most notably Mrs. Johnson) are left-handed.
The characters' speech is made up of simple vocabulary and they speak in simple sentences.
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