Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks
in Europe) is a children's television series
Children's television series, are commercial television programs designed for, and marketed to children, normally scheduled for broadcast during the morning and afternoon when children are awake. They can sometimes run in the early evening, for the children that go to school...
. The show is animated using computer-generated imagery
Computer-generated imagery is the application of the field of computer graphics or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in art, video games, films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media...
and broadcast in the United States on PBS Kids (English) from 2003–2008, currently WMBC
WMBC-TV, virtual channel 63, is an independent television station licensed to Newton, New Jersey, USA, serving the New York City metropolitan area...
, and Univision
Univision is a Spanish-language television network in the United States. It has the largest audience of Spanish language television viewers according to Nielsen ratings. Randy Falco, COO, has been in charge of the company since the departure of Univision Communications president and CEO Joe Uva...
(dubbed in Spanish as of April 2008 to September 2010); in Ireland on RTÉ Two
RTÉ Two is a free-to-air general entertainment channel operated by Irish state broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ Two is available throughout the island of Ireland through digital terrestrial service Saorview, VHF and UHF bands, and is also available via satellite to Irish subscribers of...
, as part of The Den
The Den was the brand of the children's television strand on Irish public broadcaster RTÉ Two. It first broadcast on 29 September 1986 on RTÉ One, before moving to RTÉ Two in September 1988. The strand began to diversify throughout the late 1990s and the 2000s...
; in Australia on ABC
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...
; in Ontario on TVOKids
TVOKids is a children's programming block, seen daily on TVOntario , Ontario's provincial educational television network. The show has its own website which holds many educational child-friendly games.-History:...
; in the UK on BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...
, and Cbeebies
CBeebies is the brand used by the BBC for programming aimed at children 6 years and under. It is used as a themed strand in the UK on terrestrial television, as a separate free-to-air domestic British channel and used for international varients supported by advertising, subscription or both...
; in Poland on TVP
Telewizja Polska Spółka Akcyjna is Poland's public broadcasting corporation...
and in Brazil on TV Cultura
TV Cultura is Brazilian television network headquartered in São Paulo and a part of Fundação Padre Anchieta. It focuses on cultural subjects but also has sports as entertainment options.- History :...
and Discovery Kids
Discovery Kids is an American website owned by Discovery Communications, Inc. created for children. Until October 10, 2010, it was an American digital cable specialty channel, owned by Discovery Communications with television programming for education of children. It was launched in October 1996...
. It has been translated into Scottish Gaelic for viewers watching BBC Two Scotland
, as well as into German, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Italian.
The show chronicles the boyhood adventures of Piggley Winks, an anthropomorphic pig from Ireland and how he relates these stories to his grandchildren as a grandfather in the present day.
The word "Jakers!" is based on an Irish expression used back in the 1950s and means "wow!" or "amazing!"—Piggley and his father use it to express their delight when they discover something on their adventures.
takes place in two different settings, in two different time periods.
In the present time (the frame story
A frame story is a literary technique that sometimes serves as a companion piece to a story within a story, whereby an introductory or main narrative is presented, at least in part, for the purpose of setting the stage either for a more emphasized second narrative or for a set of shorter stories...
), Piggley Winks lives in the United States of America (or England, according to different versions) and tells stories of his childhood in rural Ireland to his three grandchildren. In flashback, he is seen as a child, playing with his friends and going to school in rural Ireland in the mid-1950s. Most of the main characters are anthropomorphic animals—including Piggley and his family, who are all pigs. However, there are normal, non-anthropomorphic animals in the show as well.
Piggley Winks, aged 8, lived with his parents Padraig and Elly and his younger sister Molly in Raloo Farm in Ireland during the 50s. His best friends are Dannan O'Mallard, a duck who lives in a hut by a pond with her rarely-seen grandmother, and Fernando Toro, known as Ferny, a young bull who lives with his father, the Spanish blacksmith Don Toro in the village of Tara. His rival is the main antagonist
An antagonist is a character, group of characters, or institution, that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend...
, Hector McBadger.
Piggley lives his everyday life in the farm as a normal kid, going to school, helping his parents, taking care of his sister, and having all sorts of adventures, almost always followed by his friends. He has always had interest in stories and legends, and his fertile mind and mischievous spirit put him in many unpredictable situations, like believing fairies turned Ferny into a bug, trying to hatch a supposed dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...
's egg, using the Salmon of Knowledge to pass the school exam, and even trying to capture the legendary Fir Darrig.
Each story also features a subplot featuring Wiley, the sheep (voiced by Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. He began his career as a stand-up comic and as a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows...
). Being the only sheep in the flock who can talk, he believes he is their "natural leader", and tries to get the other sheep to do all kinds of things (singing, racing, playing sports, acting, etc.), with varying degrees of success. He is later assisted by his mate, a female sheep named Shirley (in earlier seasons, Shirley could not talk, and in the episode "Growing Pains" gave birth to a lamb, later named Little Baa).
A running gag on the show is that Wiley's subplot and the Piggley plot would collide (example in "Sheep on the Loose" where Wiley runs away and Piggley has to find him, as the shepherd).
In the present time, Piggley lives with his three grandchildren, the twins Sean and Seamus and their older sister Meg, and their mother Ciara, Piggley's daughter. Whenever the kids have a problem, Piggley tells them one of his childhood stories as a moral lesson. The grandchildren are able to identify exaggerations in his stories.
The originally American accents of the children have been dubbed with English accents for broadcast in the United Kingdom.
- Humanitas Award Children's Animation Category for "The Gift" Written by Sindy McKay, Dennis Haley & Marcy Brown (2007)
- Humanitas Award in the Children's Animation Category for "Waking Thor" Written by Kelly Ward and Cliff McGillivray (2005)
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Animated Program (2006)
- Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...
for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program (2006)
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction & Composition (2005)
- Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Production Color (2005)
- Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Production Design (2004)
- Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Storyboarding (2004)
- Bafta Awards for Best Animated Series in the International Category (2005)
- Gold Hugo Award
The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards...
in the Animated Series Category (2005)
- Silver Hugo Award in the Animated Series Category (2004)
- Webby Award for PBS/Jakers! Website (2005)
- Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award in the Television Category (2004 & 2006)
- Genesis Commendation Award from the Humane Society of the United States (2004)
- New York Festivals Gold World Medal Award in the Animation category for Youth/Young Adult Programs (2006)
- Prix Jeunesse Web Prize Winner (2004)