Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks is a children's television series.
Animated using Computer-generated imagery and broadcast in the United States on PBS Kids (English) and Univision (dubbed in Spanish as of April 2008); in Ireland on RTÉ Two, as part of The Den; in Australia on ABC; in Ontario on TVOKids; in the UK on BBC Two, CITV and Cbeebies; in Poland on TVP and in Brazil on TV Cultura and Discovery Kids. It has been translated into Scottish Gaelic for viewers watching BBC Two Scotland, as well as into German, Gaelic, Portuguese and Italian.
The word "Jakers!" is based on an Irish expression and means "wow!" or "amazing!" - Piggley and his father use it to express their delight when they discover something on their adventures.
Jakers! takes place in two different settings, in two different time periods.
In the present time (the frame story), 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 (here voiced by actress Maile Flanagan), aged 8, lived with his parents Padrig (Charlie Adler) and Elly (Russi Taylor) and his younger sister Molly (Tara Strong) in Raloo Farm in Ireland during the 50's. His best friends are Dannan O'Mallard (Entje in the German version), a duck (also voiced by Tara Strong) who lives in a hut by a pond with her rarely-seen grandmother, and Fernando Toro (also voiced by Russi Taylor), known as Ferny, a young bull who lives with his father, the Spanish blacksmith Don Toro (Fernando Escandon) in the village of Tara.
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'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 (Mel Brooks). 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 (Joan Rivers). (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 shepard).
In the present time, Piggley (here voiced by Peadar Lamb) lives with his three grandchildren, the twins Sean and Seamus (Nika Futterman) and their older sister Meg (Melissa Disney), and their mother (Piggley's daughter) (Russi Taylor). 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.
In the US version, each episode concludes with a series of live-action segments related to the episode's plot, and what children can learn from it. It consists of musical segments as well as dialogue sequences told from a real grandparent's point of view.
• 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 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 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)
28 out of 54 episodes of Jakers! have been released on 7 DVDs.