The Tiny Planets Hour

Posts two saturdays in a row!

I admired several shows on Noggin (now Nick Jr.) when I was little. One of them was this 3D-animated show called TINY PLANETS (some people call it Bing and Bong). The show is produced by Sesame Workshop and Pepper’s Ghost Productions. I must say that this is one of the most unusual children’s shows ever.

In this show, there is this place called the Home Planet…

Here, in the Crystal Cave, live two white, furry aliens names Bing and Bong. The larger one is Bing, and the smaller one is Bong.

Every day, Bing and Bong get ready to go to these six “tiny” planets:

The Tiny Planet of Light & Color:

The Tiny Planet of Nature:

The Tiny Planet of Stuff:

The Tiny Planet of Sound:

The Tiny Planet of Self:

And the Tiny Planet of Technology:

After they’re ready, they get onto their unusual white sofa, and fasten their seat belts.

Why this sofa is so unusual? Bing then pulls a lever in the sofa’s controls, and then the sofa gets pushed up to their “fantastic machine”.

There, a long rope gets attached onto the back of Bing and Bong’s sofa. Then, a hand-shaped catapult throws the sofa into the air, and then they’re off!

Bing and Bong are joined by this small, wide-eyed alien named Halley, who is named after the comet. Halley flies around with Bing and Bong and narrates their adventures.

Halley was just said to be voiced by the singer of the theme song, but the TINY PLANETS website at one point said that Halley herself signs it.

Halley has a twin sister named Hale-Bop and two cousins named Eureka Encke and Ikeya-Seki. They were present in an earlier version of the TINY PLANETS world, along with Halley herself, but do not appear in the current version.

Speaking of earlier versions, TINY PLANETS originally started as a segment called “Tiny Planet of Colours”, in 1999. In the pilot segment, Bong looks quite different from his current version.

The actual series, however, would not premiere until June of 2001, on CITV in England. They made a total of 65 five-minute long segments, with the final one airing in December of 2002.

In May of 2001, a TINY PLANETS website was launched. On the website, you can watch the TINY PLANETS episodes. You can even create your own Bong and play around with it. A Spanish TINY PLANETS website exists as well.

There’s even an app on iTunes called TINY PLANETS BUBBLE STARS.

On each of the Tiny Planets live these aliens called Flockers.

More often than not, Bing and Bong are helping the Flockers around. A different species of Flocker lives on each Tiny Planet. Flockers can have one or two heads, one or two legs, and only a few of them have arms.

Also on each Tiny Planet live these small beings called Locals.

The only Locals who have mouths are the ones who live on the Tiny Planet of Technology. Like the Flockers, a different Local species lives on each Tiny Planet. They often appear in larger groups that the Flockers.

Also in the Tiny Planet universe are these robots that are shaped like spheres and either get around by wheels or helicopter rotors. They are found mostly on the Tiny Planet of Technology.

After Bing and Bong have completed their adventure, the home alarm rings on Bing’s watch and then Bing and Bong get back onto their sofa. Bing then cuts the rope in front of them with a pair of scissors and the fantastic machine pulls the sofa back to the Home Planet. In a DVD video of the show called “Bing and Bong’s Big Adventures”, however, the first time the sofa is going back to the Home Planet, a robot traffic gate signal stops them, and then a robot comes and tells Bing and Bong that they have more work to do. This happens two more times, and afterward, the gate finally goes up and Bing and Bong return home. After Bing and Bong get back to the Crystal Cave, they prepare for bed, and the sofa leans back more to become a bed. A picture of Bing and Bong on their adventure for that episode is then laid down by the, and they go to sleep until the next episode.

Anyway, the American version of TINY PLANETS on Noggin premiered on April 1, 2002. When Noggin first started airing TINY PLANETS, the five-minute segments were shown between half-hour shows. Below is an episode of TINY PLANETS from Noggin from 2003.

TINY PLANETS, however, became so popular than in early June of 2004, the show expanded to a half-hour show. Several episodes of TINY PLANETS were shown in this time slot.

In September of 2005, a British show called TWEENIES that also aired on Noggin moved to the 6:00 AM slot in order to allow more shows. On January 1, 2006, to allow more shows, Noggin pulled TWEENIES from the air for good, with TINY PLANETS moving to the 6:00 AM slot as well. There was a rumor that despite its American creative origins (unlike TWEENIES), it would also be pulled from the US market. On April 9, 2006, Noggin pulled TINY PLANETS from the air for good as well.

This post is now through, or should I say, out of this world!

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