Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat

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Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat
SAGWA-12.jpg
Title screen
Created byAmy Tan
Developed by
Directed byJoseph Jacques
Voices of
Theme music composerJudith Henderson
ComposerJames Gelfand
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Canada
Original languages
  • English
  • Chinese
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes40 (79 segments)
Production
Executive producers
ProducerLéon G. Arcand
Running time30 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original network
Original releaseSeptember 3, 2001 (2001-09-03) –
October 5, 2002 (2002-10-05)

Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat, or simply Sagwa, is a children's animated television series based on the children's book of the same name by Amy Tan which aired on PBS Kids, co-produced by Canada-based animation studio CinéGroupe and Sesame Street creator Sesame Workshop.[1]

In the series, which is set c. 1895–1912, after the cinematograph was patented and during the late Qing Dynasty, Sagwa has fun in her day-to-day life while learning and teaching valuable life lessons. The show is notable for its setting and messages about family obligations and loyalty. The show is also intentionally cross-cultural, with the theme song in both English and Chinese.[2]

The series was developed and produced for television by executive producers George Daugherty and Michel Lemire, and producers David Ka Lik Wong and Leon G. Arcand.[3]

The series aired from September 3, 2001 to October 5, 2002, running for one season and 40 episodes.[4] The series was cancelled in 2002, ending on October 5 of that year, and as of 2019 is still aired on several networks worldwide.

The series won the Silver Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival for Children's Film in 2001, as well as winning an Outstanding Individual in Animation award for background artist Valery Mihalkov at the 29th Daytime Emmy Awards and a "TV Series - Family/Children" award at WorldFest Houston in 2002.

Synopsis[edit]

Sagwa resides in a palace of a magistrate in China in what is assumed to be modern-day Fujian province (possibly during the late Qing dynasty, as shown by the characters' clothes), as part of a royal family of cats who have the ability to write with their tails. She and her siblings, along with various other cats and Fu-Fu the bat, have adventures that are usually accompanied by moral lessons, as is typical with most children's shows. However, one aspect of the show which sets it apart is its display of various elements of Chinese culture.

Characters[edit]

Miao family[edit]

  • Sagwa Miao – (傻瓜 shǎguā, "silly melon") is the middle child of the Miao family at 6 years old, as well as the titular protagonist of the series. Kind, curious, quick thinking, creative and often bossy, Sagwa, according to a story told by Nai-Nai in one episode, was born in the Year of the Dog. She was originally pure white in color, but gained her current Siamese cat markings after falling into an inkpot. Sagwa is very talented in calligraphy, and is said by her parents to have the best artistic skills in the Miao family. She has an golden-yellow and salmon-red Miao Family collar on her neck. In the episode "The Name Game", she was named Sagwa because her parents felt silly in melons as they fell in love, hence "Silly Melon Head" Voiced by Holly Gauthier-Frankel.
  • Dongwa Miao – Dongwa (冬瓜 dōngguā, winter melon) is the oldest child of the Miao family at 8 years old, born in the Year of the Monkey. Intelligent, competitive and sometimes stubborn, Dongwa is independent and often prefers the company of the Alley Cats or solitary martial-arts practice to playing with his sisters. He is the only male child of this entire family and is also protective of his sisters plus is pretty mature. He is cream-colored and has the traditional Siamese markings, and has a purple Miao Family collar on his neck. Voiced by Oliver Grainger.
  • Sheegwa Miao – Sheegwa (西瓜 xīguā, watermelon) is the youngest child of the Miao family at 4 years old, born in the Year of the Rat. Curious, friendly, cheerful and full of energy, Sheegwa is also very optimistic and ascribes good intentions to almost every creature she meets. She is pure white in color, except for a pink tinge on her cheeks, and has a folded right ear. She also has a pink Miao Family collar (with a purple flower symbol on it) on her neck. Voiced by Jesse Vinet.
  • Baba Wim Bao Miao – Baba Wim Bao (爸爸寶寶 bàba bǎobǎo, "father darling") is the father of the Miao family. He is very strict with his children, and in matters of hard work and duty, but also has a softer, playful side as well. Baba also fancies himself a devotee of Chinese Opera, although he has Beat deafness. He and Mama are the official calligraphers of the Foolish Magistrate. Baba, like Dongwa, is cream-colored and has typical Siamese facial markings. When Angwan took care of him, she called him Bu-Gu, "Cuckoo Bird". Voiced by Arthur Holden. Also voiced by Bruce Dinsmore in a flashback where he’s shown as a younger version of himself.
  • Mama Shao Faing Miao – Mama Shao Faing (媽媽小風 māma xiǎo fēng, "mother small wind") is the mother of the Miao family. Like Baba, she is also a loving but strict parent, but is usually more lenient and gentle than Baba. She and Sagwa have similar coloring and markings. Voiced by Ellen David.
  • Nai-Nai Miao – Nai-Nai (奶奶 nǎinai, paternal grandmother) is the grandmother of the Miao family. Grey in color, she is old-fashioned, patient and full of wisdom. She often tells the kittens stories, and the family treats her as a respected ancestor. Voiced by Sonja Ball.
  • Yeh-Yeh Miao – Yeh Yeh (爺爺 yéyé, paternal grandfather) is the grandfather of the Miao family. Like Nai-Nai, he is wise and patient. He is a good storyteller, and the kittens treat him with great love and respect. Voiced by Neil Shee.
  • Uncle Miao – Uncle is the paternal uncle of Sagwa and Baba's brother. He's very much into ancient local history. Voiced by Neil Shee.
  • Mae-Mae Miao – Mae-Mae is an aunt of Sagwa and Baba's in-law. She only appeared in the episode “Cha-Siu Bow Wow”, where she and her husband adopts a dog named Cha-Siu. That dog then became a cousin to the Miao kittens.
  • Cha-Siu Miao – Cha-Siu (叉烧 chāshāo, cousin) is the adopted child of Uncle Miao and Aunt Chi-Chi, and a cousin of Sagwa, Dongwa and Sheegwa. He is a puppy dog and is different than the rest of the family. Sagwa and Sheegwa are happy to meet him for the first time and immediately bond with him. However, Dongwa isn’t sure about him at first because he’s a dog and different than everyone else. After the Sleeve Dogs make fun of him for being a dog and not being able to do anything, Dongwa later comforts him and they bond together. Voiced by Daniel Brochu.
  • Chi-Chi Miao – Chi-Chi is another aunt of Sagwa and Mama's sister. She is an acrobat and teaches Sagwa and Sheegwa the art of acrobatics. Voiced by Susan Glover.
  • Uncle Catfish is a mysterious Uncle to the Miao kittens who could also be a first cousin to Yeh-Yeh. He is half cat and half fish who lives in the water. Sagwa visited him once and he told her a tale of his great grandmother. She was a cat who fell in the water to meet a fish and that made him who he is today. Voiced by Richard Newman.

Humans[edit]

  • Shoo-Jee-Deh-Shan-Taiyeh Suen, the Foolish Magistrate – is the ruler of the province, Shoo-Jee-Deh-Shan-Taiyeh (湑稽的縣太爺 xū jī de xiàn tàiyé, "county high master of strain spirit ground-bowing") is a large and rather absent-minded man. He occasionally makes rules without reason, or makes ill-conceived decisions under pressure from his wife, Tai-Tai, but for the most part he is portrayed as a just and reasonable ruler. He is very fond of his cats, both for their calligraphy skills and for their ability to keep away mice and rats, of which he is deathly afraid. In one of the episodes, when he says "No rules, no race.", his phrase turns into a musical drumbeat song as a result of being chanted by him. Voiced by Hiro Kanagawa.
  • Tai-Tai Suen – Tai-Tai (太太 tàitài, "wife") is the Foolish Magistrate's wife. She is a very irritable, status-conscious woman who needs to prove her superiority to the "common" people of the village; however, she has flashes of kindness and reasonableness, in which she sees the consequences of her actions and apologizes to those she has wronged. She is very attached to the Sleeve Dogs who live in her robe, and values the cats only when they can bring praise to the family. She has a niece called Angwan. Voiced by Khaira Ledeyo.
  • The Three Daughters – Ba-Do (白豆 bái dòu, "white bean") is the Magistrate's oldest daughter, who wears pink. Of the three daughters, Ba-Do is the protagonist. Luk-Do (绿豆 lǜ dòu, "green bean") is the Magistrate's middle daughter, and usually wears yellow. She is the more athletic of her sisters. Huang-Do (黄豆 huáng dòu, "yellow bean") is the Magistrate's youngest daughter, who is shorter than her sisters and usually wears blue. She is the more sensitive of her sisters. The three girls argue a great deal, but they are generally loving sisters who support each other. Voiced by Kathy Tsoi, Leanne Adachi and Rosa Yee, respectively.
  • Chef Cook – Chef Cook not only prepares meals, but he also attends to medical care and other emergencies around the palace. He is a good friend of the Reader. Of the humans,seems to have the closest relationship with the Miao cats. Voiced by Raugi Yu.
  • Seeyeh Suen is the Advising Reader of the Rules – Seeyeh (師爺 shīyé, "division master") is the Magistrate's brother who is in charge of reading his rules to the villagers; informally, he and the Cook often serve as advisors to the Magistrate as well. He also served as a tutor to the three daughters, and in one episode is discovered to be a talented poet as well. The reader is often the victim of mishaps caused by others in the palace. Voiced by Russell Yuen.
  • Jun – is the new tutor to the three daughters who appears in the final episodes. She wears purple clothing and is shown to be from another village.
  • Sir Richard is a clumsy English archaeologists who goes to the palace for tasks. He has brought Sagwa as his good luck kitten into caves and a hot air balloon to help find artifacts. They found the old poetry scrolls from the magistrates ancestor, and an ancient fossil in a balloon as they were always up for adventure. Voiced by Simon Peacock.

Best friends / allies[edit]

  • Fu-Fu – Fu-Fu (福蝠 fú fú, literally "lucky bat") is Sagwa's best friend and a sidekick. A cave-dwelling bat who wears round glasses, he is an extremely clumsy 8-year-old flyer (he is 8, the same age as Dongwa) and often crashes into trees and other objects. He acts as Sagwa's conscience, warning her against taking unneeded risks, and then rescues Sagwa from the consequences of her adventures. Voiced by Rick Jones.
  • The Mice – Shei-Hu, his cousin Shei-He, and a large group of other mice live unseen behind the Palace walls. They are close friends of the three kittens and do no harm to the Palace nor its inhabitants. However, the Foolish Magistrate and his family are very afraid of mice in general, so their presence must remain hidden. The mice are all voiced by Jaclyn Linetsky.
  • Tung is a cricket that belonged to the magistrate that lived in a cage in his study. He sang a song that annoyed everyone but the magistrate who loved him. Tai Tai snuck behind his back to get rid of him and everyone else thought he died. With the help of Sagwa, he found his way back into the palace. He sang but everyone thought he was a different cricket. Voiced by Thor Bishopric.
  • Hai-yo is a bluebird that appeared in tough guy Dongwa who hurt his wing in the alley. Dongwa tried to help him out and hide him in the clubhouse from the alleycats. He tried to get rid of him to impress his friends but was looking for him in the end to see if he’s alright. They made up in the end. This bird loves flying and looking for worms in the alley. He also made a cameo appearance in "Sagwa's Lucky Bat" as he accidentally ran into FuFu while flying. He made another cameo in Sagwas good deed flying over the kittens while they were fishing. Voiced by Thor Bishopric.
  • Ping Wing, a pigeon kept by the magistrate in an episode. Sagwa and FuFu fought on who would get more attention for her. She hated the fighting between them and she only wanted to talk to them, if everyone made up. She’s also skilled at flying while making music. Voiced by Sonja Ball.

Other characters[edit]

  • The Alley Cats – are a group of cats who live in the streets and alleys outside the palace grounds. They include "bullies" such as Wing Wing, Jet Jet and Lik Lik, who tease the Miao kittens because of their "goody-goody" ways and privileged lives. Others, however, are friends to their siblings Sagwa, Dongwa and (to a lesser extent), Sheegwa, such as two female alley cats named "Hun-Hun" and "Ling" and three male ones named "Wong Ton”, Siao Po(from the birds, bees and silk worms episode), and "Fam". Wing Wing is voiced by Michael Yarmush, Jet Jet is voiced by Erik von Detten, Hun Hun is voiced by Kathy Tsoi, Lik Lik is voiced by Terrence Scammell, Wong Ton was voiced by Ian James Corlett, Ling was voiced by Kamiko Taka (in her only mainstream appearance), Siao Po was voiced by Jesse Camacho, and Fam was voiced by Kyle Fairlie.
  • The Sleeve Dogs – Ping, Pong and Pang are three small Pekingese dog triplets who live in the sleeves of Tai-Tai's robe. They antagonize the cats and boast of their superior status, but invariably their taunting and plots cause them to appear ridiculous and get into trouble in the end. Ping is voiced by Len Carlson, Pang is voiced by Sonja Ball and Pong is voiced by Michel Perron.
  • Gunji- is a large red cat that is owned by Tai Tais aunt. She has a rooster pillow for her but when she was chasing Sagwa, Sagwas paw got stuck in the thread wrecking it. Gungi was blamed at first but Sagwa told the truth of the accident then everyone knew what happened. In the end, Gungi apologized for being mean and Sagwa was rewarded by her parents. Voiced by Ricky Mabe.
  • Fi-Fu and Fo-Fu are two bullies in a pack of bats that antagonized FuFu and made fun of his confidence before had to leave a full moon flight, and whom Sagwa once blamed as her kidnappers when making up a story about how she got a bad haircut. Fi-Fu is voiced by Len Carlson and Fo-Fu is voiced by Michel Perron.
  • The Rat is a hungry brown rodent who always breaks into the palace to steal food. He led onto the kittens making deals with them before they realized they were tricked. He was always chased by other cats to leave the palace. Voiced by Michael O’ Reilly.
  • Oogway is an elderly tortoise that appeared in “The Tortoise and the Cat” he guided Sagwa in the garden and showed her the beauty of it. He did sleep a lot, and got a rose thorn out of Sagwa's foot. Also made cameo appearances in “The Favorite, and Lord of the Flies”. Voiced by Howard Ryshpan.
  • Bei-Hu is a tribal cat with larger ears who are owned by traveling entertainers. Him and his family do things much different than other cats, as they catch and eat locusts as a hobby. He also pretty smart as he taught Sagwa how to travel home quick and what’s East and West. Voiced by Eleanor Noble.

Many of the names of the characters derive from the Chinese language. Their spellings are romanizations (though not always Wade–Giles, but possibly dialects also), and differ from the standardized Pinyin system.

The name of the titular character Sagwa literally means "silly melon head". Although innocuously without context, this phrase is typically regarded by Chinese to be an insult by carrying connotations of incompetence, foolishness and even mental retardation. However, the character herself was not meant to be that as she was named out of love by her parents. It was to the point where they actually felt like “Silly Melon Heads” literally when they were in winter melons and watermelons. She could also been acting “silly” when she fell into the inkpot, but her mistake made the better for China’s Siamese cat and people. Also a change of heart for the magistrate

Additional voices[edit]

Additional voices were done by Leanne Adachi, Terrence Scammell, Simon Peacock, Howard Ryshpan, Carrie Finlay, Jonathan Koensgen, Chris Phillips, Dean Hagopian, Len Carlson, Mitchell Rothpan, Kyle Fairlie, Ricky Mabe, Michael Yarmush, Justin Bradley, Jaclyn Linetsky, Daniel Brochu, Walter Massey, Marc Donato, Olivia Garratt, Martin Watier, Andrew Rannells, Richard M. Dumont, Peter Linz, Tyler Bunch, Steven Crowder, Lisa Jai, Liz MacRae, Tyrone Savage, Catherine Disher, Kathy Tsoi, Brigid Tierney, Melissa Pirrera, Mark Camacho, Jesse Camacho, Bruce Dinsmore, Thor Bishopric, Pauline Little, Michel Perron, Peter Shinkoda, Linda Wang, Karen Lee, Kameron Louangxay, Kamiko Taka, Rosa Yee, Amy Chow, Michael O'Reilly, A.J. Henderson, Susan Glover, Jane Woods, Eleanor Noble, Derek Lowe and John Stocker.

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"How Sagwa Got Her Colors"September 3, 2001 (2001-09-03)
After a day of playing and calligraphy, at bedtime Mama tells her kittens the story of how Sagwa got ink patches on her paws and face and thwarted one of the Magistrate's unfair laws, with beneficial results for everyone.
2"The New Year's Clean-Up / Firefly Nights"September 4, 2001 (2001-09-04)

The Magistrate is horrified to find the presence of rats in the palace. Sagwa finds a rat, who tricks her into repeatingly catching him. It results in her getting an inflated reputation, but she realizes he's a cheat and drives him out.

Dongwa feels discontented about his kittenhood and tries to act more grown up hoping to see the fireflies in the night sky. After many hardworking tasks, Baba permits him to come and Dongwa is rewarded with a wonderful sight.
3"Royal Cats / Acrobat Cats"September 5, 2001 (2001-09-05)

Uncle Miao pays his family a visit. The kittens go exploring a cave in a valley. Inside they find giant clay statues of warriors and their cats. This greatly interests Uncle Miao and the kittens, who discover their ancestral origins.

Dongwa and Sheegwa become inspired by acrobatic cats and learn their moves, making Sagwa feel left out. However, Yeh-Yeh and Fu-Fu inspire Sagwa to find her real talent in calligraphy, art and acrobatics.
4"Tung, the Singing Cricket / Sagwa's Lucky Bat"September 6, 2001 (2001-09-06)

Driven mad by the Magistrate's cacophonic cricket Tung, Tai-Tai tries to get rid of him. This makes the Magistrate ruthless. Tung returns and helps Tai-Tai to set things right.

Sagwa shares her newly discovered attic with Fu-Fu and Sagwa remembers how she first met Fu-Fu after he rescued her from an ash pot and Dongwa didn't believe in Sagwa's new-found friend.
5"Cat Burglar / Sagwa's Good Deed"September 7, 2001 (2001-09-07)

A Cat Burglar has strolling numerous things, including a ruby belonging to the Magistrate's ancestors. The kittens and Fu-Fu watch the palace and manage to capture the burglar.

Sagwa hears how hard it is for Fam and his family to get food, so she shares some of hers with Fam, but pays the price for always being late for dinner because of it. The Miao kittens teach Fam how to fish, and he finds Fu-Fu his lost glasses.
6"Harvest Festival Race / The Foolish Magistrate's New Robes"September 10, 2001 (2001-09-10)

The Harvest Festival is taking place. Dongwa tries to ruin Sagwa's efforts to prepare for the annual race. Next day Dongwa cheats to win the race, but later confesses and does a fair rematch.

Two con artist tailors get to work making invisible robes for the Magistrate. Those who do not see believe they are fools. Sagwa exposes the tailors' cheating and the Magistrate has the tailors sentenced to make his whole family new clothes. This episode is derived from "The Emperor's New Clothes".
7"Fur Cut / Magistrate Loses His Post"September 11, 2001 (2001-09-11)

Sagwa gets herself messed up with wet clay. The Cook gives her a bad fur cut. She tries to fool her siblings with a made up story. This causes Fu-Fu to make a mistake, so Sagwa admits the truth before things get out of hand.

The Magistrate receives a scroll from the Emperor requisitioning his title. Sagwa struggles and works with the sleeve dogs to catch a fish. It is revealed that the Magistrate received the wrong scroll and he maintains his position.
8"Tribal Cats / Sagwa's Swan Song"September 12, 2001 (2001-09-12)

Some performers and their cats are coming to the village. After an adventure with Bei-Hu, Sagwa and the cats accept their differences. Meanwhile, the Magistrate persuades Tai-Tai to allow the princesses to watch the performers.

Tai-Tai is bitterly disappointed with her wedding anniversary gifts but receives a special swan from the villagers. The Siamese kittens try to make their grandparents' anniversary special, too. That night, Tai-Tai comes to appreciate what she's got.
9"Cat and Mouse / Stinky Tofu"September 13, 2001 (2001-09-13)

The Magistrate's family spot the Miao's mouse friends and the alley cats think their games with the mice is a joke to catkind. After a talk with Fu-Fu, Sagwa is happy to resume playing games with the mice.

Yeh-Yeh receives a treat of 100-year-old tofu. The scent really disgusts Sagwa, but she doesn't know how to tell Yeh-Yeh without offending him. Then Sagwa goes on a mission with Yeh-Yeh to get some more old tofu.
10"The Foolish Magistrate's Aching Tooth / Sheegwa and the Blizzard"September 14, 2001 (2001-09-14)

Sagwa and Dongwa accompany the Reader to find a crested porcupine quill to complete a remedy for the Magistrate's toothache. Sagwa thinks a porcupine is a monster, but she befriends one named Hau-Ju and gets a quill.

On a very wet day, a generous toy peddler gives the kittens and princesses toys and warns them of a coming blizzard. Insulted by Sagwa, Sheegwa runs away. When the snow comes, Sagwa makes a frantic rescue attempt only to find she's perfectly safe. Sagwa what comes to appreciate the importance of not being so bossy.
11"By the Light of the Moon / Treasure Hunters"September 17, 2001 (2001-09-17)

The moon festival is approaching, but neither the Magistrate's nor Mama Miao's children are participating in a family get together activities. Once the moon cakes are prepared, both families have a happy reunion in the moonlight.

The Magistrate hires the British archaeologist Sir Richard who sets off to find a treasure of poetry scrolls. Sagwa, Shei-Hu and Fu-Fu join the adventure getting into danger, but they find the treasure and a way out.
12"Fraidy Cats / The Tortoise and the Cat"September 18, 2001 (2001-09-18)

Sheegwa gets scared in the attic and downstairs overhears Yeh-Yeh telling a story about the ghost cat Gui-Miao. Sheegwa is convinced the tale is true, but the kittens see only Fu-Fu who was trying to get shelter from the wind.

A tortoise tries to relax amidst Sagwa's play and excitement. He teaches Sagwa how to take the time to admire the beauty and wonders of the plants and animals in the palace garden. Sagwa then shows it all to the mice.
13"Alley Night Opera / Cats of a Different Class"September 19, 2001 (2001-09-19)

Baba and Mama have a heated argument over five Dots and singing. After they settle their quarrel, Wu Sheng, the visiting opera monkey dancer, is lacking in helpers for his performance, so the kittens volunteer.

The Magistrate receives a visit from his cousin. Sagwa finds that the four visiting cats are unhappy with their cushy lifestyle. By furnishing simple pleasures, Sagwa grants them the happiest moments of their lives.
14"Sagwa, Fu-Fu and the Whistling Pigeon / Princess Sheegwa"September 20, 2001 (2001-09-20)

The Magistrate receives from the Emperor a musical pigeon named Ping-Wing. Fu-Fu and Sagwa compete for her attention. When Ping-Wing gets fed up with them, they make up and everyone does Tai-Chi together.

When Sheegwa comes to the pagoda, visitors think she's a princess due to a star mark. Sagwa is jealous of Sheegwa's royal treatment, but then realizes she may not see Sheegwa again. The star mark proves to be only a bit of dirt.
15"Sagwa Rules / Ciao, Meow!"September 23, 2001 (2001-09-23)

Tired of their mother's stern rule dictating, the kittens play with the alley cats without any rules. They then realize that a lack of rules would only mean misery for others. After an accident, they head back to the safety of life with their mother.

An Italian ambassador comes to the city. To the Miaos' horror, the ambassador is willing to accept one of the cats to take back to Italy. Both the kittens and Tai-Tai execute plans to make the ambassador change his mind.
16"Explorer's Club / Time for Everything"September 24, 2001 (2001-09-24)

Dongwa takes part of the Alley Cats' club and Sagwa forms her own club. This piques the alley cats' interest. Both clubs work together during a dangerous mountain climb and form a new club.

Dongwa and Ba-Do spend time doing their favorite hobbies instead of their palace duties. They manage to gain Baba and Tai-Tai's appreciation after showing great talent at their hobbies.
17"Comic Opera / Not-So-Purrfect Patient"September 25, 2001 (2001-09-25)

Sagwa goes on a difficult journey to share with Sing Bad a song for him to sing on Mama's birthday. With Fu-Fu's help, Sing Bad gets the whole song.

Dongwa sprains his left foreleg and takes advantage of this to get all the attention. Sagwa and Fu-Fu witness that's he perfectly fine and Mama makes him do a long chore, but both Sagwa and Dongwa make up.
18"Panda-monium / Festival of Lanterns"September 26, 2001 (2001-09-26)

The kittens are restricted from the palace rooms due to an important event, but they accidentally chase a baby panda named Ling-Ling inside. The kittens help Ling-Ling to get back to his home and family.

Mama and Baba make a tiger lantern for the Magistrate's lantern contest entry. In a tangle with the sleeve dogs, the kittens ruin it. They manage to crudely fix it and the contest judges are impressed with it.
19"Snagged by a Thread / Master of Mistakes"September 27, 2001 (2001-09-27)

Sagwa, Mama Miao, Baba Miao, the Magistrate and Tai-Tai go to visit Tai-Tai's snobbish aunt. While there, the cat Gunji is mean to Sagwa, until they both ruin an elegant pillow.

When the difficulties of learning a new skill cause the Magistrate's daughters to give up, he brings in a master of many skills with a unique teaching style.

NOTE: On KCTS 9, "Master of Mistakes" was the first segment and "Snagged By a Thread" was the second. But in reality, "Snagged By a Thread" was the first segment and "Master of Mistakes" the second. They never fixed it.
20"Collar of Time / The Birds, the Bees, and the Silkworms"September 28, 2001 (2001-09-28)

Nai-nai gives Sagwa an old collar which makes her a laughingstock and itches her neck. She buries it, but upon hearing it is an ancient family heirloom, Sagwa gets it back from the Sleeve Dogs who found it.

As a great banquet is fast approaching, Tai-Tai orders all birds, silkworms and bees to be driven out, which causes her problems at the banquet. After she fixes the problem, Dongwa finally bids farewell to his moving friend Siao-Po.
21"Dongwa the Sailor / Invention by Mistake"February 12, 2002 (2002-02-12)

The Magistrate, the Reader and Dongwa sail in a boat to Kowloon (Hong Kong) to get some pineapple cakes. Dongwa befriends a seawise mouse named Wong-Lo who teaches him how to sail a boat.

On a very hot day in the palace, the Magistrate and his family were finding creative ways to stay cool. The Cook was inventing a noodle machine while Sagwa and Fufu were in the clubhouse. They were making riddles and inventions to try to stay cool themselves. When a watering machine was made, Fufu flew off with the cooks noodle machines and it was the last piece for the device. The gardens plants were then watered, and a rainbow was made for a happy ending
22"Cool Fu-Fu / A New Cook in the Kitchen"February 13, 2002 (2002-02-13)

Fu-Fu joins the Bat Rebel Fliers squadron. The Rebel Fliers have Fu-Fu cause trouble in the village, which causes him to split with his Siamese friends. Fu-Fu finally resigns from the squadron before he can steal from the Magistrate's plum tree.

The cook's little brother, 'Little Cook' is coming. But just before he gets there, cook injures his arm. So little cook takes over his cooking. And everyone seemed to LOVE little cook's dishes and seem to not care about cook anymore. Cook starts feeling left out. In the meantime, Little Cook has the inferiority complex and feels that his cooking wouldn't be as good as Cook's. Reader notices this, and tells Tai-Tai. Later, Tai-Tai requests for a dish that she knows Little Cook can't possibly make. So, Cook and Little Cook teams up and the dish was spectacular! In the meantime, Both Sagwa and Dongwa fights see who's better at gathering water chestnuts. Sheegwa shows them that when their ideas, when used individually, is good, but when put together, is even better.
23"Tough Guy Dongwa / The Competition"February 14, 2002 (2002-02-14)

While trying to maintain his reputation with the alley cats, Dongwa helps a downed bird named Haiyo, but he accidentally hurts his feelings. Dongwa repairs his relationships with both Haiyo and Hun-Hun.

In a calligraphy competition, the Magistrate met his old friend and their family and they played silly tricks on each other. The two of them got out of hand, it eventually got Sagwa disqualified. After begging the judge for a second chance, Sagwa was reinstated but the magistrates faced the consequences
24"Precious Gift / Lord of the Fleas"February 15, 2002 (2002-02-15)

Sheegwa finds Tai-Tai's jade necklace, but Sheegwa thinks it is a toy and will not part with, it even though Sagwa tells her it is not hers. The alley cats swipe the necklace, but when Sheegwa gets it back it breaks. Still, Tai-Tai is overjoyed to have it back.

During holiday on an island, the sleeve dogs, Sagwa, Sheegwa, Tai-Tai and the Magistrate explore the forest finding it both wonderful and scary. However everyone gets along together back at the beach.
25"My Fair Kitty / The Favorite"February 18, 2002 (2002-02-18)

Dongwa switches places with Mung to impress Mung's cousin Chung-Nee. Meanwhile, Tai-Tai tries hard to impress her visiting auntie. Tai-Tai and Mung eventually realize perfection isn't everything.

Dongwa is coming with Baba to fish and he believes he is Baba's favorite. They haven't caught a thing and Sagwa neglects her duty to have fun on her own. This postpones the festive boat race, but Baba forgives Sagwa.
26"Luck be a Bat / Tea for Two Monkeys"February 19, 2002 (2002-02-19)

Fu-Fu is captured by Tai-Tai so he can be her good luck charm. Sagwa helps him escape. After much searching for Fu-Fu, Tai-Tai decides bats are meant to live free and welcomes their presence in the palace.

Two Tea-Picking monkeys, Wai and Ting-Ping are hired by the Magistrate to pick fine tea. Sagwa and Dongwa are envious of the attention they get and sabotage the monkeys' harvest, but put things right when they see the harm it has for the monkeys' reputation.
27"Sagwa the Stray / And Action"April 2, 2002 (2002-04-02)

As Sagwa has time to herself away from bossy Dongwa, she loses her collar and is adopted by a girl who lives on a boat. A stray cat named Lee-Wan rescues Sagwa and takes her place in the boat.

Two Frenchmen come to the village on the Emperor's behalf, to show their latest invention: Moving pictures. Dongwa sees a chance to be a star, but ends up providing amusement when he acts silly instead of doing any actual writing.
28"Ba-Do and the Lantern Festival / Fu-Fu's Full Moon Flight"April 3, 2002 (2002-04-03)

The princesses enjoy the Lantern Festival, but Ba-Do gets dirty, mistaken for a commoner and lost with Sagwa. When they meet a nice old woman, Ba-Do decides to give her lucky money to herand enjoy the last of the festival fireworks instead of seeking for herself.

Fu-Fu is tricked into thinking that he is out of his depth. He seeks the wisdom of Master Wu-Fu, a bat elder. At first Fu-Fu finds his lessons a bit odd, but his training pays off, especially when Sagwa is in need of help.
29"Wedding Day Mess / A Catfish Tale"April 4, 2002 (2002-04-04)

Tai-Tai's niece Angwan comes to the palace to be wed, and Baba reluctant to meet with her. As the kittens try to deliver Angwan a present, a calamity ensues, but Angwan and her groom think it's very funny and the wedding proceeds.

Sagwa meets Uncle Catfish who tells a tale about a Ch'in-Ch'in, a female cat who didn't respect her grandfather. She fell underwater and lived with a fish named Callo for so long, she missed her grandfather. After going through a dilemma, she married Callo.
30"Up, Up and Away / Spreading Rumors"April 5, 2002 (2002-04-05)

Sagwa and Sheegwa find themselves flying in a hot-air balloon with the explorer Sir Richard to a fossil dig site, with Dongwa and Fu-Fu in pursuit.

During the "Emotions of the Heart" festival, Sagwa tells lies about Hun-Hun because Dongwa kept breaking promises he made to Sagwa. Meanwhile, people in the palace spread rumours that Cook is engaged.
31"The Jade Rabbit / Dongwa's Best Friend"April 8, 2002 (2002-04-08)

A new cat called Won-Tom becomes Dongwa's mate to do a lion dance. Dongwa then realizes that Won-Tom used him and took credit for his dancing. He manages to get the alley cat Ling to join in his own dance.

Note: Kamiko Taka guest stars as Ling, albeit uncredited.
32"The Zodiac Zoo / The Four Dragons"April 9, 2002 (2002-04-09)

Nai-Nai teaches the kittens what their zodiac signs are and tells them the story of the Jade Emperor. He gets all twelve animals to race to determine who is the fastest, resulting in the rat reaching first place.

The kittens are fascinated by Nai-Nai's dragon tales and do a play of one to show to the alley cats. Then the mice join in the performance. By the end of the tale, the alley cats are impressed.
33"Lost and Found / Three Graces"April 10, 2002 (2002-04-10)

The Emperor's birthday's coming up. The Foolish Magistrate and Tai-Tai get a gold medal made as a gift to him. Sagwa and Fu-Fu stumble on it and play with it.

The Reader feels left out when Jun starts helping the girls with their studies.
34"All Grown Up / The Cat and the Wind"April 11, 2002 (2002-04-11)

Sheegwa tries to act older, while Baba tries to act young again. The kittens, Baba and Fu-Fu go on a treasure hunt, with Sheegwa as the leader. When they find the treasure Sheegwa and Baba finally accept their current ages.

Dongwa has no taste for art. Mama tells the kittens a story about the magical artist cat named Ming Miao, who brought life and good from his art. The evil emperor wanted the power of destruction from him, until Ming Miao banished him on a flagship.
35"Sister Act / Too Close for Comfort"April 12, 2002 (2002-04-12)

The Magistrate's cousin Leyh comes to the palace for a stay over after his palace roof fell off. Sagwa learns to have fun with Ming-Yu, while Huang-Do learns to get along with Leyh's two sons.

Mama's sister, a catrobat named Aunt Chi-Chi is visiting. Sagwa and Sheegwa both learn acrobatics and teamwork. Meanwhile, the Magistrate tries to become like Magistrate Chung until he learns to be true to his character.
36"Sick Day / The Name Game"April 13, 2002 (2002-04-13)

Sheegwa is sick so she is begging a story and that's what Mama Miao always does when she is sick. So both Sagwa and Dongwa take turns telling their story. Meanwhile, the Magistrate's cousins are coming over for a family reunion, which puts the Cook in a bind.

The alley cats ridicule the kittens' names. Nai-Nai tells the story of how they got their names and the kittens accept their names, not bothered anymore by the alley cats' teasing.
37"Shei-Hu's Secret / Homesick Jun"September 27, 2002 (2002-09-27)

Shei-Hu satisfies Sagwa's curiosity on the Mouse Village. Despite her promise to keep it secret, it leaks to the alley cats who accidentally destroy the village. To make it up to the mice, the kittens aid them in rebuilding.

The Foolish Magistrate's cousin and his family take refuge in the palace after a typhoon wreaks havoc in their village. Tight quarters lead to conflicts and confusion.
38"The Return of the Rat / Great Balls of Fire"September 28, 2002 (2002-09-28)

The Rat comes back to the palace on the run from the alley cats. He uses Sheegwa to get what turns out to be a clay cookie. Sagwa makes the rat put it back and then he becomes part of their Zodiac Game/Animal Scavenger Hunt.

Uncle Miao takes Sagwa and Dongwa on an Imperial expedition. The two kittens compete to be great helpers, but their hard work pays off and leads them to a meteor discovery. Meanwhile, Sheegwa tries to make the best of her time by herself.
39"Catsitter / On the Run"October 4, 2002 (2002-10-04)

Auntie Wen looks after the kittens and introduces strange but wise lessons to them. Meanwhile, the princesses try out their new bikes.

Sagwa and Fu-Fu hitch a ride with a puppeteer to leave the village. The next village they arrive in is unpleasant, but their saviours the puppeteer and his dog Fang come to the rescue.
40"Cha-Siu Bow Wow / Mutt That Would Be King"October 5, 2002 (2002-10-05)

Auntie Mae-Mae, Uncle Miao and their adopted son Cha-Siu come for a visit. To Dongwa's surprise, Cha-Siu is a puppy. The Sleeve Dogs torment Cha-Siu for catlike behaviour but Dongwa helps him to fit in.

A lost dog gets bullied by Sagwa and the alley cats. Sagwa makes it up to the dog by helping him find his way home.

Home media[edit]

Canada[edit]

From 2002-2003, CinéGroupe Star released six volumes of the series in Canada. The VHS versions were released in both separate English and French versions, while the DVD counterparts featured both languages.

United States[edit]

In 2003, PBS Home Video and Warner Home Video brought each compilation of individual episodes to VHS and DVD.

On VHS, there were eight volumes with each containing three episodes. On DVD, there were four volumes which each contain six episodes each. Each DVD combined episodes from each pair of the VHS tapes. A pair of VHS titles (Best Friends and Family Fun) were renamed for the Feline and Friends and Family DVD. There was also a 6 volume DVD box set, with each disc consisting of 5-6 episodes. Every disc comprises episodes based on themes and were divided in half for those select sections of segments.

In 2006, Paramount Home Entertainment brought sixteen episodes from the show were released on one disc as part of the PBS Kids pack anthology set, with the two other discs containing episodes from Zoboomafoo and George Shrinks.

VHS[edit]

July 30, 2002

  • Cat Nights, Flights and Delights – "Firefly Nights", "Fu-Fu's Full Moon Flight", "Shei-Hu's Secret"
  • Feline Frenzy – "Explorer's Club", "Treasure Hunters", "Sick Day"

January 28, 2003

  • Cat Tales – "How Sagwa Got Her Colors", "Fur Cut", "Stinky Tofu"
  • Feline Festivities – "The New Year's Clean-Up", "Ba-Do and the Lantern Festival", "By the Light of the Moon"

April 1, 2003

  • Best Friends – "Sagwa's Lucky Bat", "Cat and Mouse", "Dongwa's Best Friend"
  • Family Fun – "Royal Cats", " The Cat and the Wind", "Ciao, Meow!"

July 29, 2003

  • Kitty Concerto – "Alley Night Opera", "Comic Opera", "Tung, the Singing Cricket"
  • Sagwa's Petting Zoo – "The Birds, the Bees and the Silkworms", "Panda-monium", "Sagwa, Fu-Fu, and the Whistling Pigeon"

DVD[edit]

January 28, 2003

  • Sagwa's Storybook World (combines Cat Nights, Flights and Delights and Feline Frenzy)
  • Cat Tales and Celebrations (combines Cat Tales and Feline Festivities)

July 29, 2003

  • Great Purr-formances (combines Kitty Concerto and Sagwa's Petting Zoo)
  • Feline Friends and Family (combines Sagwa's Feline Friends (a.k.a. Best Friends) and Sagwa's Family Tree (a.k.a. Family Fun)

Online streaming[edit]

In 2018, TFO's MiniMation YouTube channel began uploading episodes from the French version. The series was also briefly on Google Play.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 525–526. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 704–705. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ "PBS Sagwa". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  4. ^ Crump, William D. (2019). Happy Holidays—Animated! A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Cartoons on Television and Film. McFarland & Co. p. 212. ISBN 9781476672939.

External links[edit]