Curious George, Stain Remover

Curious George (TV series)

Curious George is a 2006 animated television series based on the popular Curious George children's book series and motion picture, which features Jeff Bennett as the voice of The Man with the Yellow Hat. Frank Welker, who voiced George in the film, returns here as the voice of Curious George. The stories of Season one were narrated by William H. Macy, and Seasons two and three are narrated by Rino Romano. The show is currently screened on PBS Kids. The show refers to George as a monkey, but he lacks a tail, which would indicate he is an ape. Though some species of macaque are tailless, George resembles a chimpanzee.

The series is produced by Universal Animation Studios (Universal Pictures released the Curious George film), NBC Universal Television, in association with WGBH Boston. Each episode has two short cartoons per half-hour episode and a live-action segment after each story.

The series illustrates and explains various concepts in math and science and each live-action segment shows schoolchildren engaging in experiments that teach the math or science concept featured in the previous cartoon.

The series is Universal's first animated television series to be filmed in the high-definition format, although the Region 1 DVD releases are in full screen (cropping the left and right of the image), though not pan and scan as the camera stays directly in the center of the image.

Press Commentary

At the start of the second season, the Boston Globe noted that "Curious George" was at the top of the national ratings among preschoolers 2 to 5. The show is also at the top of the ratings among women with children under 3.

When the show was developed, educational advisors suggested using it to teach science, math, and engineering concepts. Episodes are often structured around a "try-fail" series of incidents, which proved to be a good way to show scientific inquiries. There was some controversy about George's eyes, which in the series have whites and pupils (except when George daydreams; his imagined characters are all without scleras); in the original books they are black dots. The studio felt the whites and pupils design was necessary to help George express emotions since neither he, nor any of the other animal characters, talk.

See Weiss, PBS's old-line 'Curious George' resonates with modern preschoolers, Boston Globe, 9/6/07

Settings

  • The City: George and the Man with the Yellow Hat live in a spacious apartment with a balcony at 7 "N" Avenue. The apartment has a kitchen and large living/dining room with four other rooms. George and the Man with the Yellow Hat each have their own bedrooms on the right side of the hall. The bathroom is on the left. There is another door on the left which has not been shown open. The Doorman keeps a pigeon coop on the roof. The apartment is next to a grocery store (#9 N Avenue). It is near Endless Park (which has a small pond), the museum where Professor Wiseman works, and a zoo. Chef Pisghetti's restaurant is nearby, as are a donut shop, Dulson's Toy Store, Mabel's Department Store, and a pet shop which are recurring locations.
  • The Country: George and the Man with the Yellow Hat vacation in a small house in the country. His neighbors include Bill, who lives next door with his pet bunnies (Bill's parents have not been seen, although his mother's voice is heard once); the Renkins, and Mr. and Mrs. Quint. The house is near Lake Wanasink Lake, a stream, and a river that eventually flows past the city and to the ocean. There is also a coast fairly close to the house, where George and Bill end up after being swept away in a hot air balloon. (The geography around the country house varies according each story's needs. Compare, for example, the area as shown from the hill in Ski Monkey with that shown in Curious George Flies a Kite, Up, Up, and Away, and Gutter Monkey.)

Characters

Major

Animals

  • Curious George: George, a monkey, is the show's title character. As his name implies, he is very curious, a trait which helps him to learn, but which also often gets him into trouble. He is used as the "teachable" character in the show, and he is the one to whom new concepts are explained in detail by the other characters; the viewers learn the new concept along with George. He is voiced by Frank Welker.
  • Hundley: The Doorman's dachshund. He is a very neat dog who wants his lobby clean, tidy, and dignified. He does not care for George, as the lobby frequently becomes messy as a result of George's activities. Hundley is allergic to some cats, including Professor Wiseman's kitten Lucky, but not to Chef Pisghetti's cat Gnocchi. He is voiced by Jim Cummings.
  • Compass: The Doorman's homing pigeon, who has a terrible sense of direction. Because of this, he is referred to as an "Almost-Homing Pigeon". Rob Paulsen provides Compass' cooing.
  • Jumpy Squirrel: George's squirrel friend who likes to stay in trees, but often gets caught up in George's adventures in the country. He does not like surprises. A recurring joke in the series is when Jumpy gets caught in a situation with George and the narrator says "At that moment Jumpy remembered why he always stayed in trees." He is voiced by Jim Cummings.
  • Gnocchi: Chef Pisghetti's pet cat, who is often caught up in George's adventures. She frequently removes or loses her blue bow, which Chef Pisghetti replaces. She is voiced by Frank Welker.
  • Charkie: A black cocker spaniel. She is very bouncy and playful and she often escapes from home. She is voiced by Rob Paulsen.
  • Bill's Bunnies: There are seven baby bunnies that belong to Bill. Their names are Fuzzy, Whitey, Brownie, Spotty, Black Ears, Cotton Tail, and Herbert Meninger. He also owns their mother (Ma Rabbit), whose burrowing abilities are important in several episodes. They are all voiced by Frank Welker. (In Curious George's Bunny Hunt, Herbert Meninger is a brownish-tannish color. In Bee is for Bear, he is white. However in Curious George's Bunny Hunt, the only white bunny is Whitey.)

People

  • The Man with the Yellow Hat: The man who first befriended George and also acts as his primary teacher. He does not wear his hat while at home but always puts it on while going out. It is unclear what he does for a living, but in Curious George and the Invisible Sound he has been asked to survey animals around the country house, and in The Fully Automatic Monkey Fun Hat Dr. Wiseman has asked him to give a speech about the scientific method. He owns a country house that has been in his family since his childhood. He also paints in the style of the H.A. Rey drawings. He won an award for being the first to climb and map what became known as Yellow Hat Mountain and placed seventeenth in a marathon. He is voiced by Jeff Bennett.
  • The Doorman: The doorman for the apartment building that George and the Man with the Yellow Hat live in. When on duty, he wears red clothes like a British Sentry Guard but with a red cap. When he went camping with George and Hundley, he wore an outfit somewhat similar to that of a Canadian Mountie. He is very friendly and always loves to see George. He keeps a coop of homing pigeons on the roof of the building. He is voiced by Rob Paulsen in the first season and Carlos Alazraqui in the second.
  • Professor Wiseman: A scientist friend of George and the Man. In different episodes she is seen to be a rocket scientist and to work at a local museum.
  • Chef Pisghetti and Netti: An Italian chef and his wife who own a restaurant in the city. The Chef has always wanted to cook and is always trying strange new recipes. His name is a reference to the way some toddlers pronounce the word "spaghetti." The chef's voice is provided by Jim Cummings and Netti's is by Candi Milo.
  • The Renkins: A couple who own a farm near the country house. They have horses, cows, pigs, chickens, and bees, all of which provide sources for adventures. George also sometimes borrows materials from them, including a water pump and scrap lumber. Mr. Renkins is voiced by Jeff Bennett. Mrs. Renkins is voiced by Elizabeth Daily.
  • Bill: George's neighbor from across the street in the country. He owns a hutch of bunnies and has a paper route. He also likes to fly kites, but seems to be an acrophobic. His catchphrase is, "There's a proper way to ...." Bill apparently does not realize that George is a monkey and often refers to him as a "city kid." Voiced by Annie Mumolo.
  • Steve and Betsy: Two children from George's neighborhood in the city who are brother and sister. They live with their Aunt Margaret and their dog, Charkie. Steve likes video games and is always "going for a record" of some kind. He is the older child of the pair, and is always getting ideas about how to solve a problem. He often tells George, "I'm in fifth grade. This has to work." In the episode Piñata Vision, their mother called him by his full name, Steven. Betsy is often pulling a red wagon. Steve is voiced by Elizabeth Daily and Betsy by Grey DeLisle. (*Steve's age is a big problem. In George Fixes Betsy's Wagon, Steve claims he is in 5th grade. In Curious George Gets All Keyed Up, Steve says that he is only in 3rd grade.)
  • Mr. Glass: Owns a building known as "The Glass Palace" and hires window washers in the City. George uncovers a catastrophic flaw in a building which Mr. Glass was constructing. He likes things to be unique ever since George painted a jungle-themed room in The Glass Palace. Voiced by Jim Cummings.
  • Mr. Zoobel: George's upstairs neighbor in the City. Mr. Zoobel is a painter in a modern (non-representational) style who sometimes uses stamps shaped like animal feet. He has a de-scented pet skunk named Geoffrey, a [snake] named Bruno, and two mice named Benjy and Willy. He sometimes gets carried away making his art. When he first moved in, he used the stamps so much it made a loud stomping noise in George's apartment downstairs making George think he lived with an elephant. He is voiced by Jim Cummings.

Minor

Animals

  • Benjy & Willie: Mr. Zoobel's pet mice who are respectively black & white. They feel cooped up in their small terrarium and long for freedom. They are afraid of Zoobel's [snake] Bruno because of the fact that snakes eat mice. Their squeaks are by Frank Welker.
  • Bruno: Mr. Zoobel's pet [snake] who only eats once a day. He sheds his skin 3 times a year. Like many snakes, he likes sunshine. He has no voice.
  • Doxie: Doxie is another dachshund who was introduced in Season 2. She is almost identical to Hundley in appearance, except that she wears a red collar; however, unlike Hundley, Doxie is bouncy and playful and is voiced by Frank Welker, not Jim Cummings.
  • Fluffy: In the episode Monkey Fever, Fluffy was a cat who belonged to Betsy's friend and had six kittens. Betsy brought one of the kittens over to George's apartment to show him. Voiced by Frank Welker.
  • Geoffrey:Mr. Zoobel's pet skunk. He is de-scented and domesticated.
  • Leslie: Leslie is a cow, owned by the Renkins. She's a great friend of George. Voiced by Rob Paulsen.
  • Little Mike: Mike is a pig owned by the Renkins. He first appears in Ski Monkey, when he is stranded in the snow. He also appears in Old McGeorgie had a Farm.
  • Lucky: Lucky is Professor Wiseman's kitten, introduced in season 2. She has a crush on Hundley, although Hundley is allergic to her. Lucky is voiced by Debbie Derryberry. Voiced by Frank Welker.
  • Oscar: A white pig owned by the Renkins who won the "prettiest pig" contest in (Old McGeorgie had a Farm).
  • Soo Berm: An elephant who works at the zoo as a painter. Every one of her paintings is unique. She signs a painting by marking it with her trunk with green paint when she is done.
  • Tracy: Tracy is a hen, owned by the Renkins. She has five (Up the River) or six (Old McGeorgie had a Farm and A Bridge to Farm) chicks who follow her around everywhere. The chicks also like George and often follow him around too. The chicks are curious just like George and are often wandering away from Tracy. The youngest of her chicks is named Al. Voiced by Rob Paulsen in the first season and Frank Welker in the second.

People

  • Ada & Luke: A couple who own a general store in the country. The store gives a free pickle to anyone who comes & visits. Eva is voiced by Kath Soucie and Luke by Rob Paulsen.
  • Andie, Stig, & Stew: Firefighter members of Rescue Squad 86 who play in a band with the Man with the Yellow Hat. They are confused as to why they never get "normal" calls. Andie is voiced by Elizabeth Daily, Stig by Rob Paulsen in season 1 and Jim Cummings in season 2 and Stew is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • Calhoun The Gopher Getter: A [] exterminator in the country who is nerdy and has buck teeth. He was hired by Mr. Renkins to eliminate a gopher family that was taking his grapes. After Calhoun resorted to bulldoze the Renkins' garden at a last attempt to catch the gophers, he was fired by Mr. Renkin. Oddly enough he looks similar to a gopher himself. He is voiced by Rob Paulsen.
  • Cayley: Cayley owns a candy counter in Mabel's department store (a parody of Macy's, and likely a portmanteau name referencing both Macy's and its erstwhile competitor Gimbel's) in New York City. She is voiced by Kath Soucie.
  • Dorothy: Dorothy is the Doorman's sister. Voiced by Grey DeLisle.
  • Dr. Alvin Einstein: A rocket scientist who works with Dr. Wiseman and Dr. Pizza. He is not related to the famous scientist Albert Einstein. He often argues with Professor Anthony Pizza over less-than-functional elements of a spaceship's design. He is voiced by Jim Cummings.
  • Dr. Baker: Dr. Baker is The Man with the Yellow Hat's doctor. He is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • Dr. Ghesund: Another doctor who works in the same office as Dr. Baker. Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
  • Dr. Roj Desci: A scientist that dug up all of the city Museum's dinosaur skeletons. He is very caring of his discoveries and only lets other scientists handle them. He is very forgetful though and his wife often tells him he'd forget his head if it weren't attached. His newest donated project to the museum had the incorrect skull; the skull to the older skeleton next to it.
  • Grocer: He owns the grocery store near George's apartment building in the city, and has an adult son who helps him run the store. Voiced by Jim Cummings.
  • Gwen & Sisly: The respectively White & Black women who work at the city dog pound.
  • Mr. (Ken) Auger: A plumber always hired by The Man In The Yellow Hat to fix household plumbing problems. He always lets George watch him do his job. He is distressed at the fact that people never just call him over for a friendly visit.
  • Mrs. Dulson: The eccentric owner of Dulson's Toy Store in the city. Her husband appears in Roller Monkey.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Quint: Mr. Quint is one of George's country friends, Clint Quint is an avid fisherman and one of a set of quintuplets. His siblings are a sister who is a track runner (Sprint), a brother who is a train-station master (Flint), a brother who is a police officer (Wint), and a sister who prints money (Mint). All male Quints are voiced by Jim Cummings. All female Quints are voiced by Candi Milo.
  • Mr. Reloj: Mr. Reloj owns a clock store and knows everything all about them. He walks very fast, but is forever late. His name is the Spanish word for clock. He is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
  • Mrs. D.: Mrs. D. is an owner of a donut store in the city. Voiced by Kath Soucie.
  • Mr. Ruffweek: A blimp pilot who flies the Ruffweek Blimp. The blimp flies over 7 N. Avenue once in the morning, and again at sunset. His name is a play on the words "Rough Week", perhaps referring to his tight schedule or a play on the "Good Year" Blimp. Voiced by Rob Paulsen.
  • Professor Anthony Pizza: Another scientist who sent George on a mission. He is often arguing with Dr. Alvin Einstein over who came up with the idea for a non-functioning element of the spaceship's design. Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
  • Rodney: An employee of a market in the city. (This market is not the grocery store which George normally visits; it is nearby street, and serves as that store's main competitor.) Rodney lost the annual Bag-A-Lympics competition due to his overconfidence. Voiced by Jim Cummings.
  • Uncle Tam: The Man With The Yellow Hat's cousin, who dresses in green clothes with a white shirt and lives in a castle in Scotland with a golf course. In the episode Castle Keep, he was going to be evicted from his castle because he could no longer find the castle's deed, which meant he would have to pay 400 years of back taxes. Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
  • Zucchinis: A family of three acrobats renowned for their balance. They are friends of Chef Pisghetti. Vocied by Dee Bradley Baker, Candi Milo, Kath Soucie and Jim Cummings.

Episodes

The setting for most episodes is either the city, where George lives in an apartment building with The Man in the Yellow Hat, or the country, where they share a small house near a lake called Lake Wanasinklake. This allows George to mirror the experiences of kids who live in an urban environment and those who live on farms and in suburbs. A few episodes take place in alternate but familiar settings, like an airport or a train station.

Fundings

Significant Goofs

  • There seems to be a logic problem with Special Delivery Monkey. George learns that when one is following directions, one doesn't count the starting point -- to go three bus stops, he shouldn't count the stop where he gets onto the bus; and to go three buildings, he shouldn't count the one in front of the fountain he is told is a landmark. George then gets to third floor of the building by climbing up the outside, not counting the ground floor where he started. He arrives at his correct destination, but he should not -- in the United States, the ground floor or storey is generally numbered as the first floor, the one above it is the second floor, and the one above that the third floor. George should have arrived on the 4th floor, not the 3rd.
  • George's counting ability varies widely. In Curious George all Keyed Up, he can only count to five, and has to use the clock to get to 12, then guess at the remainder. In Station Master he can count to at least 9. In The Lucky Cap, he can count to 12, and has to figure out how to count higher. Best to assume that he's learning to count through the course of the episodes, even if they are out of airing order.
  • In some episodes, the apartment refrigerator, an IceCubio Mega, has an in-door dispenser for ice and water. In other episodes, it does not.

DVDS

These are only in the television series.

  • Curious George's Zoo Night and Other Animal Stories – February 2007
    • Contains the following episodes:
      • Squirrel For a Day
      • Curious George's Bunny Hunt
      • Bee Is for Bear
      • From Scratch
      • Curious George Discovers the 'Poles
      • Curious George, Dog Counter
      • Zoo Night
      • Curious George's Home for Pigeons
  • Curious George's Rocket Ride and Other Adventures – May 2007
    • Contains the following episodes:
      • Curious George and the Dam Builders
      • Curious George's Rocket Ride
      • Curious George Finds His Way
      • Curious George Flies a Kite
      • Curious George Goes Up the River
      • Curious George in the Dark
      • Curious George, Train Master
      • Roller Monkey
  • Curious George Takes a Job and More Monkey Business – August 2007
    • Contains the following episodes:
      • George the Grocer
      • Curious George Takes a Job
      • The Truth About George Burgers
      • Curious George, Door Monkey
      • George Makes a Stand
      • Curious George Gets a Trophy
      • Curious George the Architect
      • Curious George Takes Another Job
  • Curious George Plays in the Snow and Other Awesome Activities - December 2007
    • Contains the following episodes:
      • The All-Animal Recycled Band
      • Curious George's Low High Score
      • Charkie Escapes
      • Animal Magnetism
      • Ski Monkey
      • Curious George vs. Winter
      • Muddy Monkey
      • Buoy Wonder
  • Curious George Goes to the Doctor and Lends a Helping Hand - February 2008
    • Contains the following episodes:
      • Doctor Monkey
      • Housebound
      • Curious George, Stain Remover
      • Curious George Fixes Betsy's Wagon
      • Curious George on Time
      • Curious George, Plumber's Helper
      • Grease Monkey in Space
      • Curious George Gets All Keyed Up
  • Curious George Takes A Vacation and Discovers New Things - May 2008
    • Contains the following episodes:
      • Castle Keep
      • Curious George and the Missing Piece
      • Curious George Sees Stars
      • Curious George Takes A Dive
      • Curious George Takes A Vacation
      • Curious George, Sea Monkey
      • The Times of Sand
      • Unbalanced
  • Curious George Sails With Pirates and Other Curious Capers - August 2008
    • Contains the following episodes:
      • Camping With Hundley
      • Being Hundley
      • Up, Up and Away
      • All New Hundley
      • The Magic Garden
      • Creatures of the Night
      • Curious George and the Slithery Day
      • Curious George Sinks the Pirates
  • Curious George Leads the Band and Other Musical Mayhem - December 2008

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