Oobi (partially found puppetry short series; 2000-2002)

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Oobi.png

The show's logo.

Status: Partially Found

Oobi is a puppet TV series that was co-produced by Sesame Workshop and Nickelodeon. From 2003 to 2005, it ran for two seasons of 26 half-hour episodes on Nickelodeon and its sister channel Noggin. It became a staple of Noggin, and achieved higher Nielsen ratings than any other show on the channel by season two.[1] All of the full episodes are widely available and have been released on several different platforms, including Amazon Video, YouTube, and Noggin's mobile app.

The show was based on a series of two-minute shorts featuring the same characters.[2] They were filmed in the late 1990s and pitched to Noggin while it was jointly owned by Nick and Sesame Workshop. They started airing in 2000 during commercial breaks. They continued to air alongside the full episodes from 2003 to 2007, albeit much less frequently. Noggin pulled the plug on its relationship with Sesame Workshop on September 10th, 2007, causing the shorts and several other Sesame Workshop programs to be removed from the schedule.

Premise

The show is set in a neighborhood populated by bare-hand puppets, and is shown from the perspective of a 4-year-old boy named Oobi. The puppets tend to interact with the audience and encourage them to join in on whatever they are doing. The puppets speak in clipped sentences (ex. "Uma, school, first day!" instead of "It's my first day of school!").

Oobi lives in an old-fashioned single-story home with his excitable little sister, Uma, and somewhat hapless grandfather, Grampu. Oobi's best friend, Kako, lives right across the street and visits often. Each episode focuses on Oobi discovering or learning more about a particular concept, such as a game or sport. Uma and Kako provide comic relief, often misunderstanding Oobi's discoveries in a comical way.

History

The shorts were pitched to Noggin in the late 1990s under the working title Pipo.[3] Josh Selig has indicated that there was some kind of pilot presentation with "Pipo" as the main character's name,[3] but no images have been found.

In the United States, the shorts were shown on Noggin and Nickelodeon during its Nick Jr. block. Like its other interstitial programming, Nickelodeon had no specific schedule for airing them and played the shorts at random intervals. On Noggin, one short was played before each 30-minute show from 6 AM to 6 PM.[4] After the full episodes started airing on April 7th, 2003, Noggin stopped airing the shorts as frequently and adopted the same randomized schedule as Nick Jr.

In Canada, TVOntario aired 46 of the shorts on a rotating schedule.[5] TVO's schedule catalogs are the source of official titles for many of the shorts. However, some of them ("Itsy Bitsy Spider!" and "Toys!") don't appear at all on their schedules, indicating that TVO didn't air the complete collection.

Availability

Although the full episodes are widely available and can be watched for free on YouTube, very few of the shorts have had an official release. Though shortened versions of "Dance!" and "Bubble Bath!" were released on Nick Jr. DVDs in 2003, that was it in terms of official releases. 48 shorts are confirmed to exist, but it is unknown how many were made in total.

Episodes

# Episode Title Status Notes
1 "Dance!" Partially Lost A shortened version is available on certain Nick Jr. DVDs.
2 "Tag!" Lost
3 "Flush!" Found
4 "On and Off!" Lost
5 "Share Pretzels!" Found
6 "Watermelon!" Partially Found The last 10 seconds of this short are available online.
7 "Soup!" Partially Found Clips of this short are featured in the intro sequence.
8 "Hotdog and Ketchup!" Lost
9 "Prince Oobi!" Lost
10 "Bubbles!" Partially Found The last 15 seconds of this short are available online.
11 "Empty and Full!" Found
12 "Popcorn!" Found
13 "Worm!" Partially Found A clip of this short is featured in the intro sequence.
14 "Apple Picking!" Found
15 "Pretend Wind!" Lost
16 "Tea!" Found
17 "Ice Cream!" Lost
18 "Water Games!" Lost A low-quality screenshot of this short exists online.
19 "Guess!" Lost A screenshot of this short exists online.
20 "Bird!" Partially Lost The first few seconds are missing.
21 "Cat!" Lost
22 "Puppy!" Lost
23 "Animal Cookies!" Lost
24 "Slide!" Partially Found A clip of this short is featured in a promo.
25 "Follow the Leader!" Lost
26 "Peekaboo!" Found
27 "Dig!" Lost A photograph of the production of this short is featured on Tim Lagasse's website.
28 "Hide and Seek!" Partially Found A clip of this short is featured in the intro sequence.
29 "Nature!" Partially Found A clip of this short is featured in a promo.
30 "Pretend Catch!" Found
31 "Music!" Found
32 "Guitar!" Partially Found A clip of this short is featured in a promo.
33 "Bongo Drums!" Found
34 "Quiet Read!" Found Low-quality.
35 "Clap Hands!" Found
36 "Painting!" Lost A low-quality screenshot of this short exists online.
37 "Macaroni Jewelry!" Found
38 "Paint Shapes!" Lost
39 "Pinch Pot!" Partially Found A clip of this short is featured in the intro sequence.
40 "Drawing Game!" Found
41 "Neighborhood Art!" Lost
42 "Toothpaste!" Found Low-quality.
43 "Feelings!" Found
44 "Cake!" Lost
45 "Wet and Dry!" Lost
46 "Bubble Bath!" Found
47 "Itsy Bitsy Spider!" Found
48 "Toys!" Found

Photo Gallery

Screenshots

Production Photo

Videos

The intro sequence, which contains various clips from currently lost shorts.
A musical Noggin commercial, which contains a short clip from "Guitar!".
A musical Noggin commercial, which contains clips from "Nature!" and "Slide!".
Promos for the Noggin website, one of which contains a clip from "Dance!"'s missing scene.

External Links

References