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Franklin (TV series)

Franklin (TV series)

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Franklin is a Canadian animated television series
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

, based on the Franklin the Turtle books
Franklin the Turtle (books)
-Books:*Franklin in the Dark, illustrated by Brenda Clark, Kids Can Press , 1986.*Hurry Up, Franklin, illustrated by Brenda Clark, Kids Can Press , 1989, Scholastic , 1990....

 by Brenda Clark and Paulette Bourgeois
Paulette Bourgeois
Paulette Bourgeois, CM is best known for creating Franklin the Turtle, the character who appears in picture books illustrated by Toronto native Brenda Clark. The books have sold more than 60 million copies around the world and have been translated into 38 languages...

. The television series was named after its main character, Franklin the Turtle
Turtle
Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines , characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield...

. It was produced by Studios USA, PolyGram Television, Alphanim
Alphanim
Alphanim was a French independent animation production and distribution company, founded in 1997, with a catalogue ranging from pre-school through teens and family properties...

, LuxAnimation
LuxAnimation
LuxAnimation is a Luxemborgian animation studio based in Doncols, Luxembourg.The company was founded in 2002 by Lilian Eche and Ariane Payen. The company works with many different companies to produce animated programs and movies. Since 2006, LuxAnimation has been owned by MoonScoop Group...

, Nelvana
Nelvana
Nelvana Limited is a Canadian entertainment company founded in 1971 known for its work in children's animation. It was named by founders Michael Hirsh, Patrick Loubert and Clive A. Smith after a Canadian comic book superheroine created by Adrian Dingle in the 1940s...

, Neurohouse, Reader's Digest for Young Families
Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest is a general interest family magazine, published ten times annually. Formerly based in Chappaqua, New York, its headquarters is now in New York City. It was founded in 1922, by DeWitt Wallace and Lila Bell Wallace...

, TF1
TF1
TF1 is a national French TV channel, controlled by TF1 Group, whose major share-holder is Bouygues. TF1's average market share of 24% makes it the most popular domestic network...

, Funbag Animation Studios
Funbag Animation Studios
Funbag Animation Studios is a Canadian animation studio located in Ottawa, Ontario. It is known for Toad Patrol, Watership Down and King....

, Europool, Mini TFO, and Family Channel.

Currently, reruns air on Nick Jr.
Nick Jr.
Nick Jr. was a programming block on the Nickelodeon television channel, seen on Nickelodeon weekday mornings. It was aimed at a preschool-age audience ages 6 and under. On September 28, 2009, Nick Jr. became its own official channel, replacing Noggin...

.

Format


Franklin aka Frankie Fingers from 13th avenue is a growing young turtle who, as his television stories and books always begin, "...could count by twos and tie his shoes". He goes to school, lives in a small village called Woodland with his friends, and has many adventures playing and learning in the world around him, sometimes with the helping hand of an adult or his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Turtle. Franklin likes swimming, arts and crafts (especially drawing), and loves shoofly pie
Shoofly pie
Shoofly pie is a fluffy molasses pie considered traditional among the Pennsylvania Dutch and also known in Southern cooking.The term "shoo-fly pie" first appeared in print in 1926...

. He's been known to be afraid of the dark and of thunderstorms. Franklin has a best friend named Bear. Franklin also has a blue blanket and a blue stuffed dog named Sam. Every night he sleeps with his blanket and Sam. During the thunder storms when Franklin is scared Sam and his blue blanket help keep him calm.

Franklin almost always airs with two 11-minute stories (specifically paired together, although usually for no special reason), except on Canada's CBC
CBC Television
CBC Television is a Canadian television network owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national public broadcaster.Although the CBC is supported by public funding, the television network supplements this funding with commercial advertising revenue, in contrast to CBC Radio which are...

, which splits the stories apart and shows one at a time. The Franklin DVD and video releases include individual stories grouped together as part of a theme, rather than complete episodes. Unlike many animated children's programmes, Franklin has no interstitial segments or end-tags featuring the characters. The scenes shown in the cartoon opening introduction were changed after the show's first season. Many of these scenes featured Otter, a character who left the series early in the first season and was only seen once more in later seasons.

Franklin is animated in traditional 2D animation, although likely with the aid of computers, especially in the later seasons. Differences in the colouring of the cartoon can be spotted from season-to-season. The more recent features, most noticeably Back to School with Franklin
Back to School with Franklin
Back to School with Franklin is the third Franklin movie, released direct-to-video and DVD. It has since aired on Noggin and possibly on other networks as well....

have somewhat different look from the television series. The film Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure, upped the production value considerably, with more colour differentiation between the various turtles, a higher quality level of animation, an overall brighter look, and beautifully painted background artwork. Franklin is closed-captioned
Closed captioning
Closed captioning is the process of displaying text on a television, video screen or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information to individuals who wish to access it...

.

Books


Franklin television stories are mostly based on books in the original Franklin Adventure series. The practice of adapting television stories from books was dropped in the programme's second season, though elements and dialogue from some of the books are incorporated into later stories. Although, many Franklin television stories have been made into books in the Franklin TV Storybook and Franklin First Readers series. Usually written by Sharon Jennings, these adaptations are shortened versions of what is seen on TV and may contain non-canon material.

Movies


In October, 2000, Franklin's little sister Harriet was introduced in the direct-to-video and DVD movie Franklin and the Green Knight
Franklin and the Green Knight
Franklin and the Green Knight was the first ever Franklin movie, released direct to video and DVD in 2000. It has since aired on Noggin and Nick Jr. in the United States, and Canada's Family Channel.-Plot:Franklin is at first excited when he learns that his parents are going to have a baby...

. The two shared an adventure in 2001 in Franklin's Magic Christmas
Franklin's Magic Christmas
Franklin's Magic Christmas was the second Franklin movie, released direct-to-video and DVD. Although it is somewhat shorter than Franklin and the Green Knight and Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure. It has since aired on Nick Jr...

. In 2003, Harriet had grown a little and Franklin learned new things from a substitute teacher named Mrs. Koala in the movie Back to School with Franklin
Back to School with Franklin
Back to School with Franklin is the third Franklin movie, released direct-to-video and DVD. It has since aired on Noggin and possibly on other networks as well....

. While Franklin was learning things in school, Harriet was learning how to make friends when she met Beaver's little brother, Kit. In May 2004, new episodes of the series began airing on a Canadian network called Treehouse TV. Franklin and many of his friends had new voice actors in these new adventures, but many of the show's strongest writers and staff-members remained on board. These new stories saw Franklin facing a flood, worries about the old treehouse, and earning a badge in a group called the Woodland Trailblazers. For the sixth season Funbag
Funbag Animation Studios
Funbag Animation Studios is a Canadian animation studio located in Ottawa, Ontario. It is known for Toad Patrol, Watership Down and King....

 and other animation studios joined in the development of Franklin. The most recent movie in the series is Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure. The film was written by John van Bruggen
John van Bruggen
John van Bruggen, a Canadian animation writer and director, is the husband and creative partner of Arna Selznick, the director of 1985's The Care Bears Movie. He and Selznick were layout supervisors on its 1986 sequel. They are partners in the creative services company, dancingmonkeys.In 2004, John...

 and directed by Dominique MonfĂ©ry. The 76 minute long film premiered in theatres in 2006 and had its debut on Noggin on New Year's Eve, 2007, as part of a celebration of the network's conversion to a 24/7 format.

Woodland


Franklin and his friends live in a small village known as Woodland. The village is small enough that most residents know one another and meet on a regular basis. There is a small shopping district, some roads (with very little traffic), and at least one community schoolhouse.
  • Turtle Household - Franklin's home.
  • Shopping District - Woodland is known to have a robust shopping district with an ice-cream shop, Mr. Mole's hardware store, a pharmacy, a grocery market, a coffee shop, a bookstore, and more. Franklin and his friends sometimes travel here with their parents, with each other, or even by themselves.
  • Pond - Franklin and his friends often hang out by the pond, which is attached to a stream. They sometimes go swimming, sit by the pond, or participate in various activities.
  • Woods - Woodland is surrounded on at least one end by the woods. A character named Gopher who appeared in the movie Franklin and the Green Knight is known to live here. In Franklin and the Green Knight, Franklin and Snail had an adventure here. They journeyed deep into the woods where they met several characters and found magic cherry blossoms.
  • Oakwood Ravine - Located within the woods and connected distantly to the playground. The only area in Woodland that is shown to contain poison ivy
    Poison ivy
    Toxicodendron radicans, better known as poison ivy , is a poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching rash in most people who touch it...

    .
  • Nature Trail - The Nature Trail is a trail that has a picnic ground within it, as well as the Monarch Meadow and Blueberry Hill Lookout. Franklin and Bear went on a hiking trip in the Trail once. They expected to find monarch butterflies in the Meadow, but found caterpillars instead. There is a pond here as well. Franklin and Bear try to skip stones in it, but the stones sink.
  • Village Park - Kids go to skateboard here.
  • Playground - For the younger kids such as Harriet and Beatrice. It has a slide, swings and monkey bars. Harriet, Kit, and Beatrice all enjoy playing here.
  • Tamarack Play Park - An amusement park area never seen on the programme, but referenced. When Franklin is unable to travel there with all his friends, he creates "Turtle Play Park."
  • Faraway Farm - Franklin and his family pay a visit here in the TV special Franklin's Magic Christmas.
  • Turtle Lake - An area featured only in the TV special Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure. Franklin's Granny lived in this area, but lost her home and parents in a fire.
  • Woodland Town Hall - The Woodland Town Hall is used to hold the production of Sleeping Beauty
    Sleeping Beauty
    Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault or Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm is a classic fairytale involving a beautiful princess, enchantment, and a handsome prince...

    performed by Franklin and his class in "Franklin's Starring Role."
  • Thrill Hill - A steep hill that the big kids in town like to skateboard down. Franklin ends up skateboarding down it accidentally and then is dared to do it again. At first he agrees, but ends up not taking the dare.
  • Blueberry Hill - A hill within a nature park that has a spectacular view, when it's not too cloudy. The name may be a reference the 1940 song
    Blueberry Hill (song)
    "Blueberry Hill" is a popular song published in 1940 best remembered for its 1950s rock n' roll version by Fats Domino. The music was written by Vincent Rose, the lyrics by Al Lewis. It was recorded six times in 1940...

    .

Sports and games


Baseball is seen more often in earlier seasons, with only sporadic appearances in later episodes. Hockey and soccer are favoured as sports to play. Once, when Franklin and Bear went to sign up for basketball, spaces had run out, so they were signed up for dance lessons instead.

Hockey has an important place in the Franklin world. It is featured in several stories, including one in which Skunk is taught by Franklin and Bear how to play. Franklin also gets to meet a couple of his professional hockey heroes in the fifth and sixth seasons of the programme.

In addition to sports, the characters enjoy a number of games and activities. Franklin becomes his school's chess champion. Harriet and Beatrice enjoy playing tag and hide-and-seek. And Franklin and his friends enjoy playing knights.

CGI series



On September 27, 2010, Nelvana announced that it had begun production on a new all-CGI Franklin series called Franklin and Friends. The series has been ordered for 26 episodes and the characters that return in the series are Bear, Fox, Rabbit, Beaver, Snail and, naturally, Franklin himself. Additionally, the series features a new regular character named Aunt T., described as "quirky." The series "features special themes including fun mysteries, Woodland events and outdoor activities." This is a Canada-Singapore joint venture between Nelvana
Nelvana
Nelvana Limited is a Canadian entertainment company founded in 1971 known for its work in children's animation. It was named by founders Michael Hirsh, Patrick Loubert and Clive A. Smith after a Canadian comic book superheroine created by Adrian Dingle in the 1940s...

 and Infinite Frameworks Pte. Ltd..

The series officially premiered on Treehouse TV on March 4, 2011, but no U.S. release date has yet been announced.

Characters


The main character of the series is Franklin Turtle himself. All episodes and movies from the programme focus on Franklin as the main character and almost all events are presented directly from his point of view, with only rare exceptions. There are no stories in which Franklin is not present, though occasionally certain other characters may take more of a focus.

Franklin's family includes his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Turtle and his little sister Harriet. Mr. and Mrs. Turtle are presented as gentle and loving parents who provide direction and guidance for Franklin, as well as reasonable discipline when needed. His sister, Harriet, was born in the film Franklin and the Green Knight and was featured in stories in the fifth and sixth season of the programme. Franklin's extended family includes his paternal grandmother, who lives close by, as well as his maternal grandparents, who live on a remote farm. In the film Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure, his Aunt Lucy and her goddaughter Sam chose to settle in Woodland as well.

Franklin's best friend is Bear, who is a little bear that loves to eat and has a sister named Beatrice. His other close friend is Snail, who considers Franklin to be his best friend. Franklin's other friends that appear most often on the series are Beaver, Rabbit, Fox, Goose and Skunk. He is taught by Mr. Owl, though this character was temporarily replaced by Miss Koala in the film Back to School with Franklin, when Mr. Owl was called away on a family emergency.

The development design of Franklin the Turtle for the TV series character was given to Kurt Lehner a Canadian Animation artist and Illustrator, which he worked on during his time at Nelvana Studios in 1997. These designs were studies taken directly from the Franklin the Turtle book series itself. Even though Kurt did not continue to work with the "series" design team which was hired after the development process, at that time, he was given the privilege of also designing Beaver, Rabbit and Skunk as well.

Other characters are seen on the TV series with less frequency, sometimes appearing in only a few episodes or just a single episode. However, others have appeared only in the book releases or stage show productions.

Live tours


Franklin has been seen in numerous touring stage shows, including "Franklin's Big Adventure," "Franklin's Class Concert," "Franklin's Family Christmas Concert," and "Franklin's Carnival Of Animals." Produced by Koba Entertainment and presented by Paquin Entertainment, these stage shows featured a number of songs including "Come See the World," "What I Do in the Morning" and "The Dinosaur Song."

In 2009, a new touring show, "Franklin and The Adventures of the Noble Knights", was developed, and is currently touring in France. The show is also produced by Koba Entertainment, and presented by Paquin Entertainment. The Director/Choreographer is Patti Caplette. This show toured in Canada in 2010. A soundtrack CD featuring the songs from the programme is now available.

External links