A Little Curious (found HBO Family animated series; 1999-2000)

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A Little curious.png

Title card used for the series.

Status: Found

Date found: 11 May 2024

Found by: Various people

A Little Curious is an American animated preschool television series that began airing in February 1999, launching with the HBO Family cable channel. [1] The series ran until 2000, with a total of 2 seasons and 43 episodes. The show was produced by the now-defunct production company Curious Pictures. Despite having ended, HBO Family continues to air the show as of 2021 apart of their morning block of kids programming. However, in spite of still airing the show, HBO no longer airs half of the series' episodes, and because the show has never had a physical home media release, some of the episodes of the show had become lost.


A Little Curious features a cast of characters appearing to be everyday household objects. Namely, there's Bob the Ball, Mr. String, Doris the Door, Mop, Little Cup, Plush (a patchwork toy dog), Pad and Pencil, and a family of shoes aptly titled The Shoe Family (consisting of a mother-pair of red high heel pumps, a father - pair of brown dress shoes, and two daughters named Mary Jane and Lacey, the latter being a colorful pair of sneakers). Each episode focuses on three words: such as "empty, full, pop".[2]

There are miniature segments in each episode typically lasting no longer than a minute that focus on these subjects. Each segment is produced in various animation styles, from being computer-animated (which is the primary art style of the show), to using cel animation, or stop motion. Guest animators often animated segments as well, such as Lynn Tomlinson who created a short titled "Both Sides Now"[3], and Funline Animation, who designed Dora the Explorer, animated a short named "Way Down at the Bottom"[4].


During the time period of 1999-2003, HBO Family played all the show's 43 episodes. They were seen on the channel's morning block aimed at preschoolers, "Jam", which began in 2001 and ended in 2016. However, starting around presumably late 2004, HBO took off select episodes from the show's first season. In spite of this, they continued to play the entirety of season 2 until around 2016, the year when Jam was discontinued in favor of HBO Kids, a new revamped programming block that also made place for Sesame Street's new home on HBO (though, the show has since moved to HBO Max)[5]. Despite its rebranding in January 2016, the entirety of A Little Curious' second season aired until December of that year. There are 25 episodes from the first season and 18 episodes from the second season. Throughout its syndication run, 14 episodes from the first season were removed in 2004, while 9 episodes from the second season were pulled after 2016.

As of 2024, only 20 episodes in all of the series are available commercially in the US. As previously said, there haven't been any home media releases of the show, barring one very rare VHS tape of the series that only exists in one picture.[6] The show can be watched on various streaming services. Unfortunately, most of these services exclude the lost episodes (they were on older HBO services, but were removed at the same time they were removed from syndication). While vastly featuring unavailable links, there are sites, such as TV Guide[7], that list these episodes, as well as clips of certain shorts from the lost episodes (from episodes with repeated shorts & reuploads of shorts online), proving that they did indeed exist.

While it is unconfirmed officially, one likely theory why they were removed from rotation is that the show featured covers of various licensed songs, such as "Twist and Shout", "Lollipop", "We Got the Beat",[8] "Leader of the Pack"[9], the previously mentioned "Both Sides Now", plus more, and HBO could likely not pay for the song's copyrights any longer.

Episodes "Work, Play, Skip" (found by Vance's TV Archives) and "A Little Curious About Life" (found by Brilokuloj, the series finale (although the 37th episode aired)[10], were found and uploaded to YouTube via television recordings in 2021 and 2020 respectively.

On August 1, 2022, all of Season 2, including the formerly lost episodes, was uploaded by user Brilokuloj (known as shutupandeat on Archive.org), leaving only the 14 remaining lost episodes of Season 1 to be found (in full). While the master copies of these episodes were presumably archived (both in the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office; Possibly HBO), and Loud Soft Shake being available for viewing at the Paley Center for Media, most of them would not have been available for viewing.

In December of 2023, the entire series, including the 23 episodes that were removed from circulation, would be uploaded onto the Indian streaming service, Jiocinema. From April 29 to May 11, 2024, the lost Season 1 episodes were recorded from the site by a1cpi, and later uploaded to YouTube on a fan archive channel, A Little Curious Archive, rendering the full series found as of May 2024.


Season 1

# Episode Title Status
1 Loud, Soft, Shake Found
2 Near, Far, Swing Found
3 Slippery, Sticky, Mirror Found
4 Above, Below, Cover Found
5 Front, Back, Side Found
6 Swing, Cover, Shake Found
7 Light, Dark, Bubble Found
8 Rough, Smooth, Picture Found
9 Open, Close, Ring Found
10 Bubble, Picture, Mirror Found
11 Thick, Thin, Twist Found
12 First, Last, Step Found
13 Ring, Twist, Step Found
14 Empty, Full, Pop Found
15 Same, Different, Beat Found
16 Fast, Slow, Spin Found
17 Long, Short, Roll Found
18 The Bob Show Found
19 Roll, Spin, Pop Found
20 Warm, Cool, Heart Found
21 The Plush Show Found
22 Still, Move, Train Found
23 Spring, Fall, Turn Found
24 High, Low, Stretch Found
25 Side, Stretch, Turn Found

Season 2

# Episode Title Status
26 Top, Bottom, Jump Found
27 Over, Under, Balance Found
28 Drop, Lift, Flat Found
29 Tight, Loose, Squeeze Found
30 Hit, Miss, Bump Found
31 Work, Play, Skip Found
32 Hard, Easy, Change Found
33 New, Old, Dance Found
34 Lead, Follow, Act Found
35 Win, Lose, Tie Found
36 Push, Pull, Rock Found
37 Jump, Flat, Squeeze Found
38 Hard, Work, Bump Found
39 The Mop Show Found
40 Balance, Skip, Rock Found
41 Push, Over, Top Found
42 Drop, Loose, Change Found
43 A Little Curious About Life Found


Many of the fans who grew up watching this obscure series had tried and helped to find these rare lost episodes. HBO had been contacted many times, both via email and their live chat option (which frankly, is strictly for HBO Max), but they had been unsuccessful in giving any reason why they had removed episodes, or if they will ever put them back on. Another option tried is contacting various people who worked on the show. Because Curious Pictures went defunct in 2014, the company itself can no longer be reached.

Here is a list of people who have been contacted:

  • IBC Digital - A media company based in Buffalo, New York. They worked on various shorts from the show, such as "High Jump"[11], "Sleep Tight"[12], "Square Dance", and "Leader of the Pack" (the only short that they didn't upload on their Vimeo). They had been contacted in question if they worked on any other shorts, but their email is seemingly broken.
  • Lynn Tomlinson - The aforementioned artist who worked on Both Sides Now. She had been contacted by both her email and her Instagram, which she answered to both. However, Lynn has yet to find her short.
  • Tammy Manis - One of the show's primary animators who had been contacted via Instagram. She had said that she has many of the scenes she's worked on, but they are in storage. It's been quite some time since her last message, but it is certain she hasn't found the tapes yet. Credits indicate that she had worked on the second season, likely meaning that most of the shorts she worked on are found, along with the rest of the season.
  • Quality Schnallity - A production company based in New Jersey that worked on a segment from the show titled "Lift Me Up". The president, John Schnall, had been contacted via email about this short, but he said he no longer has a copy as it likely got lost in updates throughout the years.
  • Abigail Nesbitt - An animator who worked on various stop-motion segments from the show. According to an old reel she has on her Vimeo[13], she had worked on "Over, Under, Over and Through", and "Hit the Bell, Win a Prize". Both of these shorts can be seen on the found episodes, but some clips you can see are from "Take Us to Your Leader", which was from one of the pulled episodes. Abby had been contacted via email, but she had never answered back.
  • Mandy Kaplan - The voice actor for Mop. She was contacted via email, and while she replied, it's unlikely she has any rare clips.
  • Anthony Orkin - One of the show's editors who was contacted by email. He doesn't have anything, unfortunately, but he mentioned he cut the animatics for every episode.
  • Daniel Winer - A stop motion animator who uploaded the "Too Loud" short originally on Vimeo. He worked on other segments on the show, but according to an email, he was unable to get backups of them. Daniel also said he worked on a segment with Bob, or maybe another character, carrying a pail of sand up a hill at the beach. This segment is unknown as none of the found episodes have it.
  • Nicholas Hollander - One of the writers of the show who was contacted via email. He doesn't have anything either, nor know where the content would be. He actually brought up that Steve Oakes (the A Little Curious creator) moved to a farm in Massachusetts. Nicholas then said that he'd contact both Oakes and John Hoffman, one of the show's executive producers, if they still have the full set. However, so far, Nicholas had never responded back to any other emails sent to him.
  • Tim Lagasse - A puppeteer who worked on the puppet shorts like "Sticky Shoes". It's unknown what the other puppet shorts were. He has been contacted via email and his Instagram, but he hasn't responded back, so it's unknown if he has copies.
  • Chris Petrocchi - Another animator for the show contacted via Instagram. He brought up he worked on a short called "Come Inside (Where It's Warm)" but said that it wasn't viewable as it was on a VHS tape, and he didn't have a VCR. Nevertheless, a month after he last replied, he sent a Dropbox link to it and it was later uploaded on YouTube, making the short public.[14] The short likely comes from "Warm, Cool, Heart".
  • Cameron Bowen - The voice actor of Bob the Ball. He was contacted via his Twitter, but while he talked about the good times of recording his character, he has no clips. Seemingly, both Bob and Mop are the only actors from the show with easy-to-find social media accounts or contact info at the very least.
  • Paley Center for Media - An institution in New York City which possesses tons of archived radio and television content. According to their site,[15] they list the show's first episode. It can be viewed at the archive if requested before a visit (although the episode isn't in their digital archives, they still have the master tape of the episode).



A high-quality segment from the episode "Loud, Soft, Shake."

A two-part segment from "Near, Far, Swing."

A segment from "New, Old, Dance."

A segment from the lost episode, "Thick, Thin, Twist". It also appears in the episode "The Bob Show" (which is found).

A high-quality segment from "New, Old, Dance". This segment also appeared under the name "Turn Your Partner!" in "Spring, Fall, Turn."