Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Willy was a film about a rebellious abandoned boy named Jesse (Jason James Richter) who was
caught vandalizing a water park and was put on probation cleaning it up. There,
he befriended an Orca named Willy (Keiko) and realized that
his family was beyond the park’s walls, calling to him. Jesse, along with
Willy’s keeper Randolph Johnson (August
Schellenberg) worked on a plan to free Willy and return him home before the
park’s unscrupulous owner, Dial (Michael
Ironside), has Willy killed in order to claim the insurance on him.
The film, written by Keith A. Walker and Corey Blechman, directed by Simon Wincer, and released by Warner Bros., ended up becoming a box
office success. It made $153.6 million after its July 16, 1993 opening. It also
generated an additional $20 million for the Save
the Whales Foundation via a phone number posted at the end of the movie
that audience members could call and donate. A campaign also began to get the
film’s aquatic star freed from captivity and back into the wild (which he
eventually was in 2002, shortly before dying
of pneumonia in 2003 at the age of 27).
Jesse with Naugle, Randolph and Marlene in the institute.
In the wake of that much success and
media attention, Warner Bros. moved to turn Willy
into a franchise; that included three film sequels and an animated series.
Developed by Patrick Loubert,
Free Willy picked up from where the
film left off. Jesse (Zachary Bennett), his foster parents Glen (Ron Len) and Annie (Sheila McCarthy), Randolph
(Michael Fletcher) and Willy (Paul Haddad) moved from Seattle to the Pacific
coast; specifically, Misty Island. There, Jesse and Randolph worked for the
Misty Island Oceanic Reserve, a wildlife rescue and research institute run by
head biologist Mr. Naugle (Neil Crone) and his assistant, Marlene (Rachel
Crawford). Unlike the movie, Jesse discovered he had the ability to talk to
animals making him a Truth Talker in the language of Randolph’s people, the
Haida. This allowed him to communicate with Willy and the institute’s two
residents: a sealion named Lucille (Alyson Court) and a dolphin named Einstein
(Kevin Zegers), who were being taught behavioral communication with humans.
The Machine and his Amphonids.
The primary foe of the series was
the eco-villain primarily known as The Machine (Gary Krawford). The Machine had
encountered Willy once before, and Willy had sent his submarine into the screws
of a ship causing him to lose an arm and part of his face. Those were replaced
with robotic parts. The Machine was also a master of disguise; able to wear the
face of anyone and disguise his voice so as to achieve his goals of revenge and
profit through trickery. One of his favorites was that of industrialist
Rockland Stone. The Machine’s minions were beings he created from toxic waste
called Amphonids (James Kidnie), who were the comic relief for the show as they
barely followed orders and would rather laze about.
Ben Shore in disguise to try and trap The Machine.
For the reduced second season, the show
went through a soft reboot and introduced eco-activist Ben Shore (Geordie
Johnson). Shore was given the institute’s boat, renamed The Eco-Ranger II, and Jesse, Willy, Lucille, Randolph and Marlene
joined him on his travels around the world to fight against polluters and poachers.
The Machine continued to be the primary villain throughout, both in command of
and addition to the criminals the heroes encountered. Halfway through the
season, Shore sealed himself in a perfectly preserved world in an attempt to
save it, Jesse and Willy from The Machine. The crew continued on their travels
until finally returning home to Misty Island by the end of the series.
Willy and Einstein on the first VHS cover.
Free Willy was
amongst the last non-Disney programs to be
shown on ABC’s Saturday morning schedule. When Disney purchased the network in
1995, they purged the schedule of any program they didn’t have some kind of
stake in. Several episodes were adapted into easy-reader
picture books by Scholastic, and Milton Bradley
produced a board
game based on the show. In 1996, Warner
Home Video released the episodes “Truth Talker”, “Cry of the Dolphin”, “Defenders
of the Deep” and “The Eel Beast” across two
VHS collections in the United Kingdom. Those sets were later combined into
a single release, The
Bumper Collection, in 1998. The entire first season was made available
for rental through Amazon
Video and iTunes
in 2011, and can also be purchased for viewing on YouTube.
While the cartoon was not a part of
the official Willy canon once the
sequels were made, the first sequel, Free
Willy 2: The Adventure Home, did share some similarities to the show.
Randolph had gone to work for an environmental institute on an island where
Jesse went to visit, and an unscrupulous businessman used his company’s oil
spill as a means to capture Willy and his siblings and sell them off to parks
to perform in shows. Further driving home this comparison was the fact that the
cards for the movie by Skybox dedicated
12 cards of the 90-card set to the animated series; each card depicting a scene
from the show with a game on the back.
EPISODE GUIDE (dates are
Talker” (9/24/94) – An injured seal leads Jesse to discover he can communicate
of the Dolphin” (10/1/94) – Willy and Jesse rescue a smart baby dolphin from
one of The Machine’s illegal toxic waste dumps.
“Stone” (10/8/94) – The Machine uses a
whale-stunning sonar in order to harvest whales for their whales.
of the Deep” (10/15/94) – Annie invites Jesse on a cruise on Stone
Corporation’s whale watching ship, but they soon discover the captain works for
Eel Beast” (10/22/94) – Marlene learns to trust Willy in order to help him
rescue Jesse from an underwater cavern.
(10/29/94) – The Machine creates a giant squid to destroy Willy.
Fate” (11/5/94) – Lucille volunteers for a water circus in order to make more
Masters” (11/12/94) – The Machine seeks to ruin Misty Islands’ tourism by
bringing sharks to the waters.
(11/19/94) – Lucille brings a pelican to the institute whose eggs are breaking
too soon due to pesticides being used.
(12/3/94) – Willy and Jesse save a salmon stream from loggers.
Catch” (12/3/94) – The Institute turns to the law in order to battle illegal
fishing in international waters.
Treasure of Misty Cove” (12/10/94) – Jesse gets gold fever when he finds a gold
doubloon and drags Willy on a treasure hunt.
Ship” (11/26/94) – Jesse and Willy find a ghost ship while searching for the
secret of The Machine’s identity.
of the Eco Ranger II” (9/9/95) – The Machine sets a ship to collide with the
Institute, which will then cause it to release its radioactive waste payload
into the bay.
of the Iceberg” (9/16/95) – Enjoying some recreation time in the arctic ends up
getting Lucille captured by some seal hunters.
Hunted” (9/23/95) – Ben poses as a whale hunter that promises The Machine to
find Willy and Jesse in order to lure him into a trap.
Found” (9/30/95) – While investigating strip miners, Jesse and Willy swim
through an underwater passage that takes them to a world protected from
Pressure” (10/7/95) – When Lucille meets a group of sealions she finds she has
to decide between her old friends and her new ones, and that choice could cost
her her life.
and Let Dive” (10/14/95) – The Machine takes advantage of some researchers to
mine the mineral deposits that form around volcanic hot springs.
(10/21/95) – The Machine causes an oil spill in order to ransom a town for a
scientist’s oil solidification formula.
Tide and Red Tide” (10/28/95) – The Machine sends Jesse a jet-ski for Christmas
full of red tide that infested the waters when Jesse used it.
Dick and the Mighty Mightor was a dual-feature science fiction adventure
show produced by Hanna-Barber
Productions. The characters would first appear in cameo roles in the final
episodes of Space
Ghost shortly before and after their own series began.
Combined character models for both segments of the show.
Mightor (Paul Stewart) was a
prehistoric superhero. His alter-ego was the teenaged Tor (Bobby Diamond) who
was given a magical club as a reward for rescuing an old man. Whenever danger
would attack his village or loved ones, he could raise the club to the sky and
transform into the masked, muscular Mightor. As Mightor, he had super strength
and could use the club to fly and fire energy beams.
Model sheet showing the size differences between Tor, Tog and their heroic alter-egos.
Amongst the denizens of the village
was its chief, Pondo (John Stpehenson), his beautiful daughter, Sheera (Patsy
Garrett), and young son, Little Rok (Norma MacMillan). Little Rok was Mightor’s
biggest fan and often pretended to be him; particularly in dangerous
situations. Each of the main characters also had their own pet in similar
fashion to The
Flintstones: Tor had a winged dragon-like creature named Tog, Sheera a
small wooly mammoth named Bolo, and Little Rok a large bird named Ork (all
Stephenson). Typical plots of the episodes would generally revolve around
someone from the village (be it Sheera, Little Rok and his friends, or entire
genders) being abducted by a strange creature or rival village, or the village
itself being attacked either for simple conquest or as revenge against Mightor.
Tubb ends up a snack.
Moby Dick (Don Messick) bore little
resemblance to the character that appeared in the novel by Herman Melville.
In the novel, Moby had bitten off Captain Ahab’s leg, which led to the obsessive
quest to find and kill him. While still a white whale, Hanna-Barbera’s Moby was
a more heroic figure; having rescued teenaged boys Tom (Bobby Resnick) and Tubb
(Barry Balkin) from a shipwreck. From that point, they explored the seas
together with the boys’ pet seal, Scooby (also Messick), encountering a variety
of mutated sea and alien life. Moby’s segment, particularly the movements of
the whale, boasted more movement than the typical Hanna-Barbera effort at that
Ad for CBS' 1967 line-up.
Dick and the Mighty Mightor debuted on September 9, 1967 on CBS. Despite his name being first, Moby’s
segment was actually sandwiched between two Mightor segments every episode. Like
Hanna-Barbera’s other action-oriented properties, the character designs were
handled by Alex Toth. The show’s music
was composed by Hoyt Curtin
and Ted Nichols. Despite only
lasting for 18 episodes, it remained on CBS’ schedule until the fall of 1969.
Mightor and Moby featured prominently on the 1977 Annual cover.
Moby Dick and the Mighty
Mightor was one of the featured properties in the anthology
comic series Hanna-Barbera Super TV
Heroespublished by Gold Key Comics from
and Watson would republish selected strips from the run overseas in two hardbacked
annuals in 1976 and 1977. Mightor returned to comics in 2016 without Moby
as one of the characters appearing in DC
Comics’ Future Questseries;
which combined several of Hanna-Barbera’s action franchises into a shared
universe. The original Mightor made a cameo appearance, but the Mightor
featured regularly in the series was a modern boy who had found the club
amongst various artifacts while looking for a weapon against a threat. Birdman
served as his mentor.
Monster Keeper / The Sinister Sea Saucer / The Tiger Men” (9/9/67) – After he’s
banished, Korg uses an army of animals to attack the village and make himself
the new chief. / The boys and Moby investigate a space capsule containing
information Manta Menace wants. / Tor is captured by the Tiger Men and made to
fight in their arena.
Serpent Queen / The Electrifying Shoctopus / The Bird People” (9/16/67) – Sheera
is kidnapped by the Serpent Queen and turned into her slave. / Captain Squid
captures the boys in order to get the treasure map they found. / Sheera is
captured by the Bird People and taken to a volcano to serve as a sacrifice.
Giant Hunters / The Crab Creatures / Mightor Meets Tyrannor” (9/23/67) – The
Giant Hunters come to Chief Pondo’s village and capture Tor and Tog. / Tubbby
is captured by crab creatures while exploring a sunken ship. / Grok threatens
the village with a giant t-rex unless Mightor fights him.
the Barbarian / The Sea Monster / Return of Korg” (9/30/67) – Brutor leads an
army of monsters in an attack against the village and take down Tog. / As Moby
saves Tom and Tubbb from sharks, Tubbb accidentally swims into the mouth of a
giant fish. / Sheera is captured bya giant ape and is taken to Korg.
and the Cavern Creatures / The Undersea World / The Tusk People” (10/7/67) – Tor
sets out to rescue Sheera from Kragor and his cavern creatures. / An undersea
earthquake sends Moby and the boys into a strange and dangerous world. / The
Tusk People kidnap Bolo and Sheera sets out to find him.
People Keepers / The Aqua-Bats / The Snow Trapper” (10/14/67) – Mightor rescues
Little Rok from a dinosaur only for him to be abducted by humanoid insect
creatures. / Tom and Tubbb are captured by Aqua-Bats. / Little Rok doesn’t
believe in the legend of the Snow Trappers until he goes searching for and ends
up captured by them.
Vulture Men / The Iceburg Monster / The Three Pygmies” (10/21/67) – The Vulture
Men plot to capture Mightor in a giant stone vulture in order to take his
powers. / An iceberg interrupts Tom and Tubb’s water skiing and they discover a
creature frozen inside of it. / Survival training is interrupted by the Tree
Pygmies, who manage to capture Tor and lose his club.
Stone Men / The Shark Men / Charr and the Fire People” (10/28/67) – Tor
attempts to trade himself for Sheera, but the Stone Men take them both without
Tor’s club. / The Shark Men capture Tom and Tubbb and trap Moby in a cave. / Seeking
to escape a cave in a storm leads Tor and friends into the clutches of the Fire
of Cavebearers / The Saucers Shell / Vampire Island” (11/4/67) – Mightor
protects the village from the Cavebear Warriors when all of the men go on a
hunting trip. / The boys try to protect dolphins from some Saucer Shells, which
gets Scooby captured. / A water rapids race lands Sheera and Little Rok on
Vampire Island and in trouble.
of the Serpent Queen / Moraya, the Eel Queen / Attack of the Ice Creatures”
(11/11/67) – The Serpent Queen has Tor kidnapped to serve as bait for Mightor.
/ After seeing Moby fight a giant squid, Moraya wants him to test her trained
fighters and has Tom and Tubbb captured as bait. / The Ice Creatures move their
glacier to the lowlands to conquer the village and enslave Mightor.
Scorpion Men / Toadus, Ruler of the Dead Ships / Rok and His Gang” (11/18/67) –
While exploring, Little Rok finds the Temple of the Scorpion and is captured by
the Scorpion Men. / While exploring a ship graveyard, Moby and the boys are
accosted by its ruler: Toadus. / Little Rok and his friends decide to go
rafting down a dangerous river.
Big Day for Little Rok / The Cereb-Men / The Sea Slavers” (11/25/67) – Little
Rok decides to get the egg of the dangerous Terrible Beaked Bird to become
famous in the village. / Moby and the boys have to rescue a prince from the
Cereb Men and save his kingdom. / Numo and his sea slavers kidnap the women of
the village as they were repairing fishing nets.
of the Witchmen / The Vortex Trap / The Plant People” (12/2/67) – The Witchmen
abduct Sheera to be their new queen. / Vortan and his men mistake Moby for a
ship and use their vortex to capture him and the boys. / Chasing butterflies
through a cave leads Little Rok, Sheera and Tina to a world of man-eating
Return of the Vulture Men / The Sand Creatures / Battle of the Mountain
Monsters” (12/9/67) – The Vulture Men lure Mightor away from the village so
they can attack it freely. / Crockor sends his sand creatures after Moby and
the boys so they don’t spoil his plans to control the entire ocean. / Gorg and
Borg try to defeat Mightor in order for one of them to become the chief of the
Mountain Monster Tribe.
of the Storm King / The Sea Ark / The Mightiest Warrior” (12/16/67) – The Storm
King gains extra power from a lightning storm and challenges Mightor to test
his might. / Tubbb’s sea pony is captured by the Gill Men and Moby and the boys
try to rescue him. / A village mistakes Little Rok for their god and he decides
to defend their village from a coming threat.
to the Rescue / The Shimmering Screen / Dinosaur Island” (12/23/67) – Little
Rok claims to be Mightor when a boy from another village comes looking for
help. / Moby and the boys follow a Black Manta Knight into another world to
rescue a mermaid he chases. / Little Rok and Ork head to Dinosaur Island to try
and become the first to capture a dinosaur.
Missing Village / Soodak the Invader / The Greatest Escape” (12/30/67) – A
visit to the village of the Valley People reveals that the village has
disappeared. / Soodak has come to invade Earth and only Moby and the boys stand
in his way. / Little Rok and Ork end up captured by insect men after getting
lost in a storm.
Battle of the Mightors / The Iguana Men / Rok and the Golden Rok” (1/6/68) – A
phony Mightor shows up at the village and demands tribute for all his deeds. /
Iguanis of the Iguana Men has Tom and Tubbb captured in order to lure Moby into
a trap. / Grok steals an object that will let him control any animal, but
accidentally drops it on Little Rok’s head.
Tako gets victory fives from Maguro, Wasabi, Ikura and Kani.
Tako Maki (Rick Adams) was a blue
octopus and the leader of the Sushi Pack. He was able to extend his limbs and shoot
mutli-colored ink, but preferred to use them in his painting rather than crime
fighting. Maguro Maki (Tara Strong) was a purple esper tuna with psychic
powers; including telepathy and telekinesis. She was centered and “in tune with
her inner tuna,” and served as the team’s second-in-command. Ikura Maki (Andrew
Francis) was an orange salmon egg with the ability to shoot sticky fish eggs
from his hands. While usually calm, he gets the urge to compete with his
teammates that often leads to tension amongst them. He also had a fear of all
kinds of bears (even gummy), and a crush on Kani. Kani Maki (Chiara Zanni) was
a pink crab whose claw-tipped pigtails were used to give foes powerful pinches.
Living up to her type, she was often very “crabby.” Wasabi Pow (Scott McNeil)
was a green wasabi and a spicy ball of hot mustard that could shoot fireballs.
He was only able to communicate through squeaks that his teammates had no
problems understanding. The Sushi Pack lived in an organic donut shop run by
their human friend, Ben.
Titanium Chef watches as Toro, Mochi, Fugu, Unagi and Uni enjoying their meal.
The primary foes of the Pack were
the Legion of Low Tide; similarly mutated food items who wanted to conquer the
city. Their leader, Titanium Chef (Adam Behr)
was a human-sized catfish that also ran the sushi bar his team lived in. He
frequently got his plans and magical solutions from an ancient book. Toro (Vincent Tong) was a fat,
dimwitted tuna who was incredibly gullible. Unagi was a hyper-observant
electric eel who occasionally helped the Pack. Mochi Macchiato was a mochi ice
cream with ice powers, and had been known to be friends with both Maguro and
Kani. Fugu (McNeil) was a blowfish who could extremely increase his size and
had an eye that functioned as a camera. Uni was a sea urchin with the ability to
shape shift and a strong, tactical mind.
Pack debuted on CBS on November 3, 2007
as part of their KEWLopolis
programming block. KEWLopolis was the result of a partnership between CBS, DiC
and American Greetings and was meant to be geared towards young female
children. The series blended comedy and action, but put an emphasis on pro-social
messages and the characters using their wits to defeat their over-the-top
villains. Gilles Rudziak, Ana Dinis Tomas and Manu Perez designed the
characters. Animation duties were handled by Suzhou Hong Yang Cartoon Co.,
Ltd. and the show’s music was composed by Phofo. Each episode was comprised of two
short story segments.
Bento-style split-screen action!
When Cookie Jar absorbed DiC, it
took over production of the show’s second season. CBS renewed its time-lease
agreement with Cookie Jar for an additional three years in 2009. On September
19, the block was rebranded as Cookie Jar TV
and all of the block’s previous programming was dropped, with the exception of Strawberry Shortcake(2003).
Merchandising for the show included plush
dolls of the characters and a coloring
book. In 2008, CBS Broadcasting released “Every Body is Some Body!” on DVD;
the only DVD release to date. However, the first season was made available for streaming
Is It Art? / Wassup Wasabi?” (11/3/07) – The Collector steals various paintings
from the museum and brings them to life. / Wasabi runs away after he’s teased and
joins the Legion of Low Tide where Titanium Chef copies him.
Clowning Around / World’s Tastiest Heroes” (11/10/07) – Sir Darkly conjures up
a storm by collecting the tears of the citizens. / An alien invader captures
the superheroes from the Pack’s favorite TV show.
With the Glow / Poached Salmon” (11/17/07) – An argument between Maguro and
Tako prevents them from stopping the Legion from causing a brown out. / Ikura’s
impulsiveness gets the Pack caught in a trap set by Oleander.
Freeze / Satel Lightning” (11/24/07) – The Pack and Legion are unhappy with the
friendship between Maguro and Mochi Mochiato. / An asteroid hits a satellite
and they mutate into a robot monster.
Hot Chilli Planet / Sweet Tooth” (12/1/07) – The Pack has to prevent the Hot
Squad from speeding up global warming. / Wasabi becomes addicted to candy and
ends up overweight, leaving the Pack to get him back into shape.
the Gaming / Rex Marks the Spot” (12/8/07) – Tako becomes addicted to video
games. / Tako becomes jealous when Ben doesn’t give him a comic book ring and
causes the Pack to lose a mission.
Will Ben Be Zen? / Wharf City on the Half-Shell” (12/15/07) – Ben tries to
prove himself to the Pack by keeping the shop open in the face of a poor health
inspection. / A giant clam from space attacks the city.
Ray Me / Sign of the Tuna” (12/22/07) – Ikura leaves on personal business as
the Pack has to protect the city from mutant cookies. / Toro gets injured and
Maguro decides to sideline him.
Yam Yakkers / Dungeon of the Crab” (12/29/07) – Villains unite to form the Yam
Yakkers, while Ikura and Wasabi want to see a new movie. / The Pack splits up
to find a stolen pearl and end up trapped in a dungeon.
Sea Diver Dude / Fish Tales” (2/2/08) – Tako wallows in self-pity over not
having a family until he gets a mysterious invitation. / Wasabi overhears Kani
and Ikura talking and misunderstands the conversation.
Thing That Wasn’t There / Staring Ikura” (2/9/08) – The Pack doesn’t believe
Maguro sees a monster attacking the city. / Ikura becomes the star of a hit
television show and gains a massive ego.
Peas a Chance / Chemicals Made from Dirt” (2/16/08) – A big donut order has a
stressed Ben take his frustrations out on Wasabi. / Titanium Chef’s new shoe
cleaner makes everyone feel cold.
Who? Darkness and Spice” (2/23/08) – The Pack has to figure out who screwed up
a mission: Tako or Maguro. / Wasabi’s fear of the dark interferes with the
Pack’s ability to capture Uni.
Express / Ring-a-Ding-Ding” (9/13/08) – Ikura freaks out when his action figure
ends up missing. / Kani struggles with what she should wear as ring bearer for
the wedding of The Crowned Princess of Power and Fantastic Fellow.
Miss / Mirror Schmirror” (9/20/08) – Maguro gets jealous when Tako keeps
getting all the credit for the team’s rescues by the populace. / Titanium Chef
banishes the Pack into a mirror dimension where they are the villains.
‘Em All / Jigsaw Sushi” (9/27/08) – The Pack is excited by the release of new
Aquabot toys. / Baron Von Loudly sets his sights on capturing the Pack.
of a Certain Stature / A Very Big Deal” (10/4/08) – The Pack gets jealous when
Kato Platypus is honored with a statue, and then they have to rescue him from
Apex. / Ikura is hit by a ray that turns him into a giant and its novelty wears
off quickly for him.
vs. the Food-Fighting Force / Everybody is Somebody” (11/8/08) – Oleander
creates her own team from deep-fried foods to destroy the Pack. / A magical
dust causes Wasabi to switch bodies with the mayor.
on Fire / The Wrong Sushi” (11/15/08) – Ikuri plays off getting new powers like
the rest of the Pack in order to not feel left out. / Titanium Chef frames the
Pack for kidnapping basketball player so that he can steal a trophy without
Delectables / Star of Light, Star So Bright” (11/22/08) – The Pack goes
undercover to find out why their foes are gathering together in the same place.
/ After the Legion foils them by cutting out the lights, Tako decides the Pack
must learn how to fight in darkness.
Law / Where No Truth Lies” (11/29/08) – The Pack goes on a team-building boat
trip while Sir Darkly plans to rob a fund-raising boat party. / The Pack has to
deal with trust issues when Tako lies about the whereabouts for Maguro’s lucky
Whodunnit / Sushi at the Center of the Earth” (1/31/09) – The Pack find Ben
gone and the shop a mess, and decide to hold a competition to see who can solve
the mystery first. / The Pack investigates the sudden appearance of a volcano
off the coast.
Act / Wicked Waste Wisps” (2/7/09) – Sugar Jimmy brings cartoon characters to
life to help him commit crimes. / Sir Darkley uses ghosts to brainwash people
the Planet Citrus / Lights On, Lights Off” (2/14/09) – The Pack are chosen as
delegates to greet visitors from the Planet Citrus. / To celebrate getting an
award, the Mayor orders everyone in the city to run their hoses and turn on all
their lights at the same time.
Hot Water / Much Ado About Tako” (2/21/09) – The Pack is getting on each other’s
nerves, reducing their effectiveness to save Satel-Lightning. / Tako decides
all he needs is his extra arms to stop Titanium Chef’s latest scheme.
Roll Model / Fair Share, For Sure” (2/28/09) – After a reporter portrays them
as bad role models, the Pack tries to change their image. / The Pack fights
over a gift they purchased together.
the Shark was a series about a tiger shark named Kenny (Jim Conroy) who
became sick of ocean life and decided to live on the surface in Tiburon,
California. Kenny became the pet of Kat Cassidy (Kelli Rabke); a 10-year-old
girl who could understand Kenny’s language. They lived with her parents, Grace
(Karen Culp), a psychiatrist who worked from home, and Petr (Russell Horton),
an eco-sensitive hippie who owned an organic grocery store, and her little
brother, Karl (Culp). Despite being domesticated, Kenny was still a shark and
had an obsession with seals: whenever he saw or smelled one, he just had to eat
it; usually resulting in him needing to be restrained to a gurney until the
feeling passed. Kenny often caused trouble for the Cassidys with his constant
appetite and frequent destruction of property with his antics.
Kat gives Kenny some chum.
Kenny was produced by Phase 4 Productions in
association with Discovery Kids. Based
on a concept by Jack Huber,
it was inspired by both the successful “Shark Week” documentary specials on the
Discovery Channel, as well as a series
shorts on the network from 1999-2000. Those shorts, shot from Kenny’s point
of view, taught viewers about sharks. Kenny
kept up that tradition, as well as taught about life problems such as
bullies while keeping things comedic with the kinds of situations that arose
from keeping a shark as pet. While there wasn’t a central antagonist, the
closest thing to it would be Burton Plushtoy III (Oliver Wyman); an obnoxious rich
kid who tried various methods to add Kenny to his collection of exotic pets.
Other characters included Kat’s best human friend, Oscar (Nicolas King), who was obsessed with
his Mayan ancestry, and Elly (Amy
Love), a bull shark from the city aquarium and Kenny’s love interest.
Kenny with his human family.
the Shark debuted on NBC on
November 1, 2003. It was shown under the title of “Real Toons” with Tutenstein as part of the Discovery Kids on
NBC programming block. Those two shows marked the first time that cartoons
had been seen as part of NBC’s children’s programming since 1992 when they
abandoned them in favor of teen-oriented live-action shows. Jared Faber composed the series’ music.
Antics will be had.
in 2006 after two seasons and 26 episodes. It continued to air on Discovery
Kids, closing out the network with a 4-hour marathon when it transitioned
over into The
Hub in 2010. Kenny continued
airing on The Hub until 2012. From 2013-14, reruns aired on the Spanish network
Azteca America before being offered
on Discovery Family On Demand. Magna
Pacific released three
DVD volumes in Australia in 2005, each one containing 8-10 segments. Genius Products and
Discovery Home Entertainment released three
volumes in North America containing six story segments each between 2007
and 2008. In 2009, the first 10 episodes were available to purchase from the iTunes Store.
Irresistible / Special Delivery” (11/1/03) – Grace brings home a patient afraid
of sharks, but while Kat tries to ease him with facts Kenny decides to eat him.
/ When Kenny eats her father’s gift, Kat tries to overfeed him so he’ll spit it
Menu / Will Work For Chum” (11/8/03) – Kat hypnotizes herself to remember to
renew Kenny’s tags, but forgets to feed him. / Kenny gets a job as a hockey
team’s mascot to pay for his food bills, but the team is unaware he’s a real
Love the Night Life / Dolphin for a Day” (12/6/03) – When Kenny can’t sleep, he
drags Kat out on the town. / Kat disguises Kenny as a dolphin to protect him
form a shark hunter that moved into the neighborhood.
Days of the Parrot / My Old School” (12/13/03) – Kat brings home a lost parrot
and Kenny gets jealous of all the attention she gives it. / Kenny’s old
classmate comes for a visit and threatens to reveal Kenny’s secret if he’s not
allowed to stay.
Me Later / Catscratch Fever” (1/3/04) – Kenny joins a mail-order-meat-of-the-day
club, but there’s a question of who will pay the bill. / Three girls at school
make fun of Kat, until they discover she has a scary pet.
the Veggie / Watching Karl” (1/10/04) – Kat asks Kenny to become a vegetarian.
/ Kat leaves Karl with Kenny and he crawls off, leading to a frantic chase to
“The Checkup / Naughty, Naughty Kenny”
(1/17/04) – Kat’s dentist mistakes Kenny for her. / After hijacking a fish
truck, Kenny is put into obedience school.
Tricks / Who Framed Kenny the Shark?” (1/24/04) – Kat tries to find Kenny’s
talent so he can appear on American Pet Idol. / Kenny is framed for food thefts
all over the neighborhood.
to Tango / Ball of Contention” (1/31/04) – Kenny makes a new friend to make Kat
jealous when she becomes too busy with her art lessons. / Kenny loses Oscar’s
soccer ball after he steals it.
Gotta Have It / Kat and the Sax” (2/7/04) – Kenny becomes addicted to sushi
after Kat gives him some for his birthday. / Kenny can’t tell Kat her sax
playing bothers his sensitive ears.
Talking / Kenny in Love” (2/14/04) – Kenny tries to stop some raccoons in their
trash, but they constantly outsmart him. / Kenny falls for a shark at the
aquarium but she doesn’t return his interest.
Tale / Father’s Day” (2/21/04) – Kat trains her dad to compete in a fishing
contest. / Kenny wants to give Peter a gift, but what he picks may end up
ruining the day for everyone.
Vacation / Gentle Ken” (2/28/04) – Kenny fakes an illness in order to get taken
along on the family’s trip. / Kenny becomes Kat’s bodyguard when a bear escapes
from the zoo.
the Hero / Whaling on Kenny” (10/2/04) – Kenny seeks recognition after saving
someone. / Kat tries to get Kenny to become friends with a whale.
Fate is Sealed / Surf’s Up” (10/9/04) – If Kenny can’t stop craving seals,
Peter is going to send him away. / The surfers at the local beach don’t
appreciate Kenny’s efforts to teach Kat how to surf.
Change / Boy Trouble” (10/30/04) – Kat tries to get Kenny in shape. / Kenny
becomes jealous when Kat gets a crush.
/ Kenny the Dad” (11/13/04) – A rich kid wants Kenny in his animal collection.
/ Kenny and Kat find themselves suddenly parents.
the Movie / Goodbye Ol’ Chum” (11/27/04) – Kat and Kenny set out to make a
movie to show tiger sharks are kings of the sea. / Kenny decides to join a
Shrunk / Kenny the Star” (12/4/04) – Kat tries to figure out what makes Kenny
mischievous. / Kenny join’s Kat’s school play.
Three / Antiques Roadshark” (1/15/05) – Kenny and Kat try to save the fish in
the Tiburon Aquarium. / Kat and Kenny attend an antique show that comes to
to Succeed in Business / Mr. Popularity” (10/1/05) – Kat tries to help Peter
with his financial troubles. / Kat and Kenny protect some girls from a shark.
the Ocean / A Dog’s Life” (10/22/05) – Kat and Kenny deal with Captain Ahearn’s
sleepwalking problem. / Kat enters Kenny into a dog show.
Move / Seasick” (11/19/05) – Kat’s parents decide to get a bigger house. / One
of Kenny’s friends begins trying to take over his life.
/ Kenny the Rock Star” (2/4/06) – A ghost from Kenny’s past haunts him. / Kat
gets Kenny’s help to win the talent show.
of the Shark Nerd / Bed and Breakfast” (2/11/06) – Kat and Kenny meet someone
who loves sharks. / Kenny believes he accidentally ate one of Kat’s other
Shark / All You Can Eat” (2/18/06) – After Kenny eats all the candy for Kat’s
school fundraiser, they have to figure out how to make money. / Kenny takes
advantage of Kat’s grandmother to get what he wants.