Sid the Science Kid

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Sid the Science Kid
Also known asJim Henson's Sid the Science Kid
GenreChildren's television series
Education
Cartoon series
Created byThe Jim Henson Company
Written byBradley Zweig
Voices ofDrew Massey
Alice Dinnean
Victor Yerrid
Julianne Buescher
Donna Kimball
Theme music composerDena Diamond
Mike Himelstein
Opening theme"Sid the Science Kid"
Ending theme"Sid the Science Kid" (instrumental)
ComposersMichael Turner
Mike Himelstein
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes67 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersBrian Henson (Season 1 only)
Lisa Henson
Halle Stanford
Bradley Zweig
ProducerChris Plourde
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesKCET Los Angeles
The Jim Henson Company
Original release
NetworkPBS Kids
ReleaseSeptember 1, 2008 (2008-09-01) –
March 25, 2013 (2013-03-25)

Sid the Science Kid (also known as Jim Henson's Sid the Science Kid) is an American animated children's television series produced by The Jim Henson Company in association with PBS affiliate KCET, that aired on PBS Kids from September 1, 2008 to March 25, 2013.[1] The show is created using digital puppetry. Each character required two puppeteers working in concert, one performing the face and mouth using a remote manipulator or Waldo, and the other performing the body using motion capture.

Development began in early 2007 under the original working title of "What's the Big Idea?" and with the title-character being originally named Josh.[2] In the fall of 2007, the show was retitled "Sid the Science Kid" and the original Josh was renamed to become the title-character. In mid-November 2007, the title-character was altered and, by the end of the month, Gerald, May and Gabriella joined the series as main characters, bringing the total to four. In early December 2007, Susie joined the character list as the only adult, bringing the total to five. Production began in January 2008 with 40 half-hour episodes (in addition to a special) being ordered for the first season as a two-year on-air commitment.[3]

On May 17, 2010, the series was renewed for a second season with 20 episodes (in addition to six specials) that premiered on June 21, 2010 with the "No School Sing-Along Special" and later aired the season's first episode on October 4, 2010. 66 episodes were produced.

Reruns of the show later aired on PBS Kids Sprout from March 25, 2013 (the same day as the premiere of the series finale movie) to October 3, 2014. It was the last PBS show added to Sprout's lineup before NBCUniversal (via its acquisition by Comcast) took full ownership of the network in November 2013. Further reruns continued on the PBS Kids Channel through June 25, 2023.

Premise[edit]

The main character in the show is Sid, an "inquisitive youngster" who uses comedy to tackle questions kids have about basic scientific principles and why things work the way they do. He tries to answer questions and solve problems with the help of his classmates (May, Gerald, and Gabriela), Teacher Susie, and his family (his mother Alice, his father Mort, his Grandma Rose and his baby brother Zeke). In "Hello Doggie," Sid's Grandma adopts a dog from the animal shelter (which she names Philbert – voiced by Bruce Lanoil,[citation needed] motion captured by Daisy the dog).

The conceptual content of Sid is based in national science learning standards, cognitive learning theory, and on the preschool science curriculum, Preschool Pathways to Science.[4]

In Season 1, each week's episodes are built around a single scientific topic or concept. The first week (episodes 1 – 5) focuses on scientific tools and concepts (such as charts, observation, estimation, and measuring). The second week (episodes 6 – 10) focuses on changes and transformation (including decay, growth, freezing and melting, and the effects of heat). The third week (episodes 11 – 15) focuses on the senses (including touch, smell, sight, taste, and hearing). The fourth week (episodes 16 – 20) focuses on health (including brushing teeth, eating good-tasting food, sneezing and exercise). The fifth week (episodes 21 – 25) focuses on simple machines (including wheels, inclined planes, levers and pulleys). The sixth week (episodes 26 – 30) focuses on backyard science (including animal communication, animal homes, dirt and leaves). The seventh week (episodes 31 – 35) focuses on weather (including rain, sunblock, temperature and wind). The eighth week (episodes 36 – 40) focuses on the human body (including digestion, muscles, lungs and bones). The Friday shows are designed to review, reinforce and summarize the central concept of the week.

Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Sid (puppeteers Misty Rosas (body) and Drew Massey (voice and face)) always wished about being a scientist when he grows up. Sid is the most practical character on the show and is often portrayed as a very supportive friend and leading scientist in his group. He ponders many questions every day while at his school, sometimes after thinking of them the night before. His special item is a toy microphone with four different colored buttons. When pressed, the blue button plays the recorded laughter of people, the yellow button plays the recorded applause, the red button makes a cow noise, and the white button records echoes. Sid's mother is of African American descent and mainly does research as noted in every episode and his father grew up Jewish as noted in the Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa episode.
  • Gabriela (puppeteers John Munro Cameron (body) and Alice Dinnean (voice and face)) is one of Sid's best friends. Unlike her friends, Gabriela is the most sensible character and often comes up with the best jokes during Good Laughternoon. She is Mexican, has an older brother named Mateo, and is the most authoritative figure of the quartet, often being second-in-command of the group activities. She likes playing Pretend, always opting to be a "mommy" parent. She sometimes has playdates with Sid after school.
  • Gerald (puppeteers Alon Williams (body) and Victor Yerrid (voice and face)) is one of Sid's best friends. Although often a straggler at the start of Rug Time, he is enthusiastic, rambunctious, imaginative, and known for his creative entrances into the school, during which he often pretends to be something other than himself (like an elephant, or a race car driver). He is Scandinavian, has a dog called Chester, and is perhaps the most vivid character of the group, often being the life and soul of activities. A running gag is that he is always trying to be funny, but almost never succeeds.
  • May (puppeteers Dana Michael Woods (body) and Julianne Buescher (voice and face)) is one of Sid's best friends; she is known for her friendliness and politeness, and is considerably smarter than her other three friends. She is Asian, has a cat named Mooshu, and wears glasses due to nearsightedness, which is proven in the episode "Grandma's Glasses" when she has trouble seeing the eye chart. She is the friendliest of the four, characterized by her charm and courtesy.

Recurring[edit]

  • Susie (called "Teacher Susie" by Sid before "Rug Time") (motion captured by Sonya Leslie and voiced by Donna Kimball) is the teacher at Sid's school and is one of Sid's best friends. She begins the day with "Rug Time", where she calls her students over to sit in a circle and ask them if they have anything to share with the class. Usually the theme that gets everyone's attention is what was discussed during "Sid's Survey" and what Sid was thinking about earlier in the day. She demonstrates the experiments with her class each school day, following Sid's main question theme during Super Fab Lab; she also sings a song about the episode's topic before she sends Sid and his friends back home.
  • Mort (motion captured by John Munro Cameron and voiced by Victor Yerrid) is Sid's father. He works in construction and often relates Sid's observations to his work experiences.
  • Alice (motion captured by Sonya Leslie and voiced by Alice Dinnean) is Sid's mother. She is a website designer and children's computer game developer (seen in Episode 58 "The Amazing Computer Science Tool!"). She also frequently searches the web to help Sid find information about his questions before dropping him off for school.
  • Zeke (motion captured by Alon Williams and voiced by Donna Kimball) is Sid's baby brother. He is almost one year old, doesn't know anything yet, and is mostly shown sitting at the kitchen table in a high chair.
  • Rose (motion captured by Dana Michael Woods and voiced by Julianne Buescher) is Sid's paternal grandmother and Mort's mother. She likes to tell Sid stories about herself when she was younger while driving Sid home from school.
  • Dr. Rosalinda Cordova (motion captured by Michelan Sisti and voiced by America Ferrera) is Gabriela's mother and marine biologist. Her job is working at the Science Center that Sid and his friends often visit during some episodes of Season 2. She helps to explain the various exhibits at the center and how they relate to the school lessons Sid and his friends are having.

Episodes[edit]

Sid the Science Kid: The Movie (2013)[edit]

A TV movie titled Sid the Science Kid: The Movie premiered on PBS Kids on March 25, 2013 (the same day that reruns the show were added to sister network PBS Kids Sprout). It featured the original voice cast of the show, with special guest voice Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Bonanodon. In the movie, Sid and his friends enter a contest and win a trip to a new science museum in town. Sid and Gabriela won the contest and are allowed inside the museum before it officially opens to the public. Along the way, they meet some new friends; such as Yang Yang, Niu Niu, and BobbyBot. However, BobbyBot malfunctions, causing the museum to be in total chaos and havoc, putting the grand opening of the museum in jeopardy. It's up to Sid and his friends to save the museum before it opens up. This also serves as the series finale of Sid the Science Kid.

Awards[edit]

"Save the Stump!" won in the Children's Programming category Saturday at the 26th Genesis Awards, presented by the Humane Society of the United States. Additionally, the series has received a total of six Daytime Emmy Award nominations and a TCA Award nomination.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2015). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 550. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ "Henson Prepares to Ask "What's the Big Idea?"". The Muppet Newsflash. September 5, 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  3. ^ Brandolution named licensing agent for US. and Canada for The Jim Henson Company's newest preschool series "Sid the Science Kid".
  4. ^ Sid the Science Kid – Educational Philosophy
  5. ^ Cleveland, Mr. (March 26, 2012). ""Sid the Science Kid" episode wins Genesis Award". Big Cartoon News. Archived from the original on December 3, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012.

External links[edit]