Where's Wally?: The Animated Series
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|Created by||Martin Handford|
|Developed by||Rowby Goren|
|Written by||David Schwartz
Evelyn A-R Gabai
|Creative director(s)||Mike Gornall|
|Country of origin||United States
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Martin Handford
|Editor(s)||Richard S. Gannon
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Sei Young Animation Co., Ltd.
The Waldo Film Company
The Children's Channel
|Original release||September 14 – December 14, 1991|
Where's Wally?: The Animated Series (called Where's Waldo? in North America) is a joint venture between American/Canadian/British animated television series production, distributed by DIC Entertainment and The Waldo Film Company. The television series aired on CBS Kids for one season (1991–92) and later reaired on Nickelodeon. The program's opening song "Where's Wally?" was composed by Michael Tavera. It was later followed by a couple of straight-to-video films which had a different voice cast except for Julian Holloway. The distribution rights to the show are currently held by HIT Entertainment.
The show follows the adventures of Wally/Waldo and his dog Woof, who were already established stars of the Where's Wally? picture book series. The Where's Wally? TV Show brought the gangly man in the striped shirt and ski cap to Saturday morning TV. The cartoon Where's Waldo? went beyond the books' original concept, giving the characters depth and giving reasons for their adventures.
Wally/Waldo and his dog Woof travel to distant lands, solving mysteries and lending a helping hand wherever they could. With the help of his magic walking stick, Wally/Waldo could travel through space and time or travel to far off magical lands. Often sent by Wizard Whitebeard to help solve a puzzle, or mysteries, Where's Waldo? was a 1/2 hour puzzle of clues and riddles. The evil Waldo lookalike Odlaw was the show's villain, constantly plotting to steal Waldo's magic stick. In each episode Odlaw would team up with the other villains from the far-off lands to help get the magic stick, while Waldo and Woof teamed up with other land's "good-guys" to help with their problems. Waldo stayed true to the books' premise by means of the "Waldo's Minutes," during which the screen froze for a full minute so the viewer at home could try to find Wally. This kind of segment aired twice per episode.
The Where's Wally? cartoon was nominated for the "1992 annual Young Artist Award" for Outstanding New Animation Series but lost the award to Back to the Future: The Animated Series (also on CBS). The show lasted only one season on CBS airing 13 episodes between September 14, 1991 and December 14, 1991, before being cancelled because of low ratings (as a result of direct competition from NBC's juggernaut Saved by the Bell). Reruns of the episodes aired on CBS until September 5, 1992.
In 1992, Little, Brown and Company released two Waldo books based on the adventures and characters from the Where's Waldo? TV Show. Fun with Waldo and More Fun with Waldo, featured print versions of many of the "Waldo Minute" freeze-frame scenes, along with new puzzles and things to spot in each picture.
To meet the needs of international viewers in the US and Canada, a second audio track was recorded using the same vocal actors – the name "Wally" was replaced entirely with "Waldo", the name of the books' character in the US and Canada. Other international versions were produced dubbed in entirely in German, French, Italian, Japanese and other languages (many times with Wally's name being changed to match that country's name from the original books).
- Waldo / Wally: Wally is the star of the Where's Wally? series. The character is known for his distinct wardrobe of a red and white striped shirt, blue jeans, brown boots, red and white striped socks, glasses, and his red and white bobbled hat. He has traveled all over the world, through time, and to distant magical lands. Waldo isn't the only one like him; he comes from the Land of Waldos, which is a land filled with Waldos just like him. Waldo is always ready for an adventure with his walking stick in hand, and trusty dog Woof by his side. His favorite hobbies are reading and collecting things from his many travels. The character's age is unknown and his height is described as "tallish" and weight as "lightish". Wally has a happy-go-lucky attitude and is often seen with a smile on his face. Waldo first appeared in 1987 in the book Where's Wally?. Over the years Wally's appearance changed only slightly (see below).
- Woof: Woof is Wally's dog and good friend. Woof originally belonged to Wilma, but over the years became Waldo's dog. Woof comes from the Land of Woofs, which is a land full of dogs like him. Like his owner, Woof sports a red and white bobbled hat, glasses, and a red and white striped suit. Woof sets off with Waldo on his travels with his bone, but always seems to lose it. Woof is shy and easily scared. He gets so scared at many of the places he travels to that he hides, leaving only his tail showing. In the classic Waldo books, only Woof's tail can be spotted. Woof first appeared in 1990 in Where's Waldo: The Ultimate Fun Book.
- Wizard Whitebeard: The magical Wizard Whitebeard often visits Waldo with one of his many magical scrolls (something he always ends up losing). The Wizard is recognizable by his red robe, blue hat, long white beard, and his striped staff. Whitebeard is the one with the magic that allows Waldo and his friends to travel to all the magical and far off lands. While there are rumors stating that he is the father of Wenda, these have not been confirmed and are not considered canon. Wizard Whitebeard first appeared in 1989 in the book Where's Waldo?: The Fantastic Journey. His voice and mannerisms are reminiscent of Rodney Dangerfield.
- Odlaw: Odlaw is a character of the Where's Waldo? series. He is "mean, nasty, loathsome and disgusting". His number of good deeds are few and all he cares about is getting his hands on Waldo's magic walking stick. His wardrobe includes a black and yellow striped shirt, black jeans, boots, dark glasses, yellow and black bobbled hat, and a slick moustache. Odlaw seems to be something of an evil twin to Waldo, and it is later confirmed by the revelation that he comes from Odlaw's Swamp, where hundreds of other Odlaws live, which is a parallel to the Land of Waldos. Odlaw can be really clumsy, so he always ends up getting hurt. Odlaw's name comes from "Waldo" spelled backwards. He first appeared in 1991 in the book Where's Wally: The Magnificent Poster Book! where his role was like an "Anti-Waldo".
- Wenda: Wenda is Waldo's best friend. The character is the "one who takes the pictures" according to the intro of The Wonder Book, but she always loses her camera. Wenda was featured in the Where's Waldo? television series, in the episode "The Living Exhibits". She first appeared in 1991 in Where's Waldo: The Magnificent Poster Book along with her twin sister, Wilma. Wilma, however, has not been seen since. Wenda's wardrobes include a red and white striped shirt, blue skirt, red and white striped stockings, glasses, and red and white bobbled hat.
- Waldo / Wally: Townsend Coleman
- The Narrator: Jim Cummings
- Wizard Whitebeard: Brad Garrett
- Odlaw: Julian Holloway
- Woof: Dave Workman
The animated show was released in Australia on the May 7, 2009 with Where’s Wally? Vol.1 – My Left Fang. As of February 3, 2013, HIT Entertainment has yet to announce any plans for a US DVD release of the show. However, episodes were previously released on videocassette in the 1990s by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Fox Kids Video and CBS Video.
UK VHS releases
- Abbey Home Media (1992–1994)
|VHS title||Release date||Episodes|
|Where's Waldo? My Left Fang||1992||My Left Fang, Forest Women, The Great Ball Game.|
|Where's Waldo? It's a Gruel, Gruel World||1993||It's A Gruel, Gruel World, Draining The Deep, 'The Underground Hunters.|
|Where's Waldo? The Land of the Carpet Flyers||1993||The Land of the Carpet Flyers|
|Where's Waldo? The Land of the Lost Pyramid||1994||The Land Of The Lost Pyramid, Ahead Of The Future, The Unfriendly Giant|
|Where's Waldo? The Biggest Ever Video||1994||A Stone Age Story, Viking Fling, The Living Exhibits, It's A Gruel, Gruel World, Draining The Deep, The Underground Hunters, My Left Fang, Forest Women, The Great Ball Game|
|Where's Waldo? The Unfriendly Giant||1994||The Unfriendly Giant, The Land Of The Lost Pyramid|
- CBS (1991–1992)
- ABC (2 February 1994 – 4 May 2001)
- New Zealand
- TVNZ (1992–1995)
- Czech Republic
- ČST (1991)