|TV Series 1|
13 (22-minute versions)
1997 - 1998
The Wiggles' first TV Series premiered on the Seven/Prime Network in Australia in 1998.
Every episode contains three songs, and the segments Kaz the Cat, Wigglehouse, a Henry the Octopus puppet show, and Captain Featherswords Pirate Show. Kaz the Cat segments were replaced by Dorothy narrating scenes taking place in a kindergarten in later versions of these episodes.
It was filmed in 1997, following the production of The Wiggles Movie, and as such the sets are very similar, especially Wigglehouse, Wags World and Captain Feathersword's Dockyard. The exterior of Wigglehouse remains pink and orange in the episodes Muscleman Murray and Funny Greg, but was repainted to blue and orange in all its other appearances.
The songs used in the series are primarily taken from the remakes of Wiggle Time! and Yummy Yummy, with every studio song from both videos appearing once, in addition to one song from their newest video, Toot Toot!. Some music videos especially filmed for the series also appeared infrequently, as well as songs filmed live in concert.
- 1 Episodes
- 2 Format
- 3 Home video releases
- 4 Trivia
- 5 References
Episodes range from 22 minutes and 23 minutes in length. Alternate versions running approximately 20 minutes exist for Foodman, Murray's Shirt and Funny Greg. Note: Complete versions with Kaz the Cat segments that have surfaced online are marked with an asterisk (*); partially available episodes are marked with a double asterisk (**). All others are currently considered lost media.
Versions of episodes existed where they would be split into 12-minutes, for a total of 26 episodes. It's unknown when these versions of episodes were created, but they began airing in 2011 on PBS Kids Sprout (now Universal Kids). These episodes would have the credits playing after the second song or Wigglehouse segment of an episode (a pause for a commercial break was present during the transition, after an added sparkle sound ended), and then a new episode would begin where the previous one left off, at either the second song or the Henry the Octopus segment. Please do not add any additional episode titles unless you can provide a verifiable source. Note: 11-minute versions have surfaced online are marked with an asterisk (*); partially available episodes are marked with a double asterisk (**). All others are currently considered lost media.
- Dorothy's Party (first half of Anthony's Friend)
- The Octomobile! (second half of Anthony's Friend)
- Foodman (first half of Foodman)
- The Moon and Stars (**) (second half of Foodman)
- Number One is Fun! (*) (first half of Murray's Shirt)
- Doggie Tricks (second half of Murray's Shirt)
- Storybooks (first half of Building Blocks)
- The Alphabet (second half of Building Blocks)
- Everyone's Asleep (first half of Jeff the Mechanic)
- Puff Puff, Toot Toot! (second half of Jeff the Mechanic)
- Shalom! (first half of Lilly)
- The Hat Parade (second half of Lilly)
- Episode 13 (*) (first half of Zardo Zap, unknown title)
- Episode 14 (second half of Zardo Zap, unknown title)
- Episode 15 (first half of The Party, unknown title)
- Episode 16 (second half of The Party, unknown title)
- Jeff the Lion (first half of Wiggle Opera)
- Wags' Masterpiece (second half of Wiggle Opera)
- A Hairy Adventure (first half of Haircut)
- Poor, Poor Captain (second half of Haircut)
- Murray's Getting Strong! (first half of Muscleman Murray)
- The Octomower (second half from Muscleman Murray)
- Tap Dancing Doggies (first half of Spooked Wiggles)
- Shell-A-Vision! (second half of Spooked Wiggles)
- Funny Greg (first half of Funny Greg)
- Splish Splash (second half of Funny Greg)
Every episode was structured to a specific format, which consisted of the following:
The shows theme was a special recording of the second verse of Get Ready To Wiggle. Each Wiggle and their friends get their own introduction. It includes a lot of alternate takes or unused footage, most notably a "Balloon Chase" scene and a video for Romp Bomp A Stomp which looks to have been filmed at the same time as other music videos used for the series.
The opening was unchanged throughout the series. Although a single frame of an alternate character card for Captain Feathersword can be seen at the end of his updated one in every episode, it was never used in its entirety, as even the original airing of the first episode is like this.
There are three songs in every episode, one after the opening theme, one after the Wigglehouse segment, and one before the end credits. The first seven episodes feature songs only from the 1998 versions of Wiggle Time! and Yummy Yummy, while the next two also feature exclusive music videos for Dorothy's Dance Party (ep. 8), Wake Up Jeff! and O Epoe Tooki Tooki (ep. 9). Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car from The Wiggles' newest video at the time, Toot Toot!, was featured in the 10th episode, while the last three episodes only feature songs performed live at a concert.
By the end of episode 10, all songs from Wiggle Time! and Yummy Yummy were used once. The only songs to appear twice in the series were Hot Potato and Captain Feathersword Fell Asleep on His Pirate Ship (Quack Quack), although their later appearances are different versions performed live (in fact, the live performance of Captain Feathersword Fell Asleep on His Pirate Ship (Quack Quack) is in a lower key like how it is in the Movie).
Songs from Yummy Yummy have their title cards appear exactly as they do in that video. For most of the songs from Wiggle Time!, as well as two of the music videos made for the series, an exclusive S.S. Feathersword title banner was used, while concert songs had simple text floating across the screen. Dorothy's Birthday Party, Here Comes a Bear and Rock-A-Bye Your Bear received Big Red Car banner titles, just like the ones from Yummy Yummy. Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car and Wake Up Jeff! were the only two songs not to feature a song title card at all.
Kaz the Cat (original)/Kindergarten segments (later versions)
Kaz the Cat featured new characters, including Kaz herself, Max Mouse, Benjamin Bird and their friend, Carolyn. It is the simplest segment, mostly featuring the characters talking in the same location, as well as the shortest. It has its own unique theme song, sung by The Wiggles and Carolyn Ferrie.
Possibly due to poor reception to the Kaz characters, or wishing for Dorothy the Dinosaur to have a greater presence in the show (perhaps a bit of both), Kaz the Cat segments were dropped after the initial run on Seven/Prime Network, and all networks to run the series afterward, as well as all home video releases of the show replace them with segments showcasing kids doing things like painting and reading in kindergarten, as Dorothy tells of her visit to the school to Wags (neither character is seen, and Wags is never heard). These segments have no official title.
As the Kaz the Cat segments were used so rarely, they were largely considered lost for some time, but recently, all 13 Kaz the Cat segments have resurfaced online, with 12 in the form of VHS recordings of Seven and Prime Network airings of the original episodes and the segment from Lilly recorded from a screen via a camera.
The Wiggles have adventures at their home, from throwing a party for the new schoolteacher, to famous actress Lilly Lavender searching for a new star, and even meeting the alien Zardo Zap. Simpler stories include Anthony having fun with his "imaginary" friend Morty the invisible giant turtle, Murray staining his red shirt and finding a new one, Jeff having to fix the Big Red Car before a concert, and Greg losing his sense of humour.
The theme song is a brief part of Get Ready To Wiggle, similar to the intro to the show, but in a different key.
Henry the Octopus
Henry's life in the sea, as he conducts his underwater big band, teaches his friend Jacques about the stars, holds a sea circus and plays a rhyming game with all his friends. Henry's friends in the show include The Fishettes, Joey the Crab, The Catfish Brothers, Jacques the Shark, Tom the Purple Trout and Sam and Michael the Sea Snails, with all characters portrayed as puppets. It is narrated by Greg Page.
Its theme song is a short rendition of the song Henry the Octopus.
Captain Feathersword's Pirate Show
Featuring Captain Feathersword and Wags as they go to places like Pirate Park for a picnic, Slow Street while on a treasure hunt, and the Beach to have a swim. The primary locations of the segment are Wags World and Captain Feathersword's Dock.
The theme song is adapted from It's a Christmas Party, On The Goodship Feathersword.
The Chase (end credits)
As the credits roll on, we see a character be chased by the others after they take something, such as Wags running off with a pink towel that had been hung up to dry, a butterfly flying away with a net after Wags tried to catch it (accidentally getting Dorothy in the process), and Captain riding away on a bike with a ball The Wiggles were playing a game of tennis with.
The segment has never officially been given a title, but has been named by after the instrumental song The Chase which plays throughout it. An extended version of the song would appear on the North American release of the Yummy Yummy album in 1999. Part of the Chase segment used in the episodes Murray's Shirt, Wiggle Opera and Funny Greg, where Captain takes Jeff's keyboard, was used in versions of the video Wake Up Jeff! released outside of Australia/New Zealand, replacing the song Everybody Is Clever, without the credits text over it. The sequence is presented in a manner similar to chase sequences in the sketch comedy series, The Benny Hill Show.
Home video releases
Main article: TV Series 1 Collector's Box Set
In 2005, the entire series was released on DVD in Australia and New Zealand, across three discs. Kaz the Cat segments remain replaced by Dorothy's Kindergarten segments, and the "Wiggly Trivia" questions asked in Wigglehouse segments before commercial breaks are also removed, as there are no breaks. The songs Teddy Bear Hug, Numbers Rhumba and Baby Baluga are also cut from their respective episodes, as they are covers of songs by Raffi, and thus not written by The Wiggles.
Around the same time during 2004-2005, the episodes Anthony's Friend, Murray's Shirt, Wiggle Opera and Haircut appeared on various DVDs released in the United States and Canada of shows such as such as Barney, Bob the Builder and Thomas & Friends by The Wiggles' then-North American distributor HIT Entertainment, as part of the "HIT Extras" section of their DVD bonus features. Although Kaz the Cat segments are expectedly missing, all episodes retain their "Wiggly Trivia", and Numbers Rhumba remains intact in Murray's Shirt (in fact, it marks the only time that music video was released on DVD in either country). After HIT Entertainment lost the rights to The Wiggles in 2007, all these DVDs were either re-released without The Wiggles episodes, or simply went out of production altogether.
In 2005, HIT Entertainment released the same four episodes mentioned above, in addition to Foodman and Jeff the Mechanic, on Playskool's VideoNow Jr. format. These "Personal Video Discs" (or PVDs) are only playable on VideoNow hardware. Episodes are presented as uncut, save for Kaz the Cat segments being replaced.
Foodman and Wiggle Opera were only available in packs with other HIT Entertainment shows and each contain bonus Let's Wiggle segments of live concert clips, most notably Get Ready To Wiggle, which was never released elsewhere.
All thirteen episodes were available on digital platforms such as iTunes and Google Play in Australia and New Zealand for some time, but are currently no longer available, although they are still available on Google Play & YouTube for Australia & New Zealand Fans. Once again, all episodes had their "Wiggly Trivia", and the songs missing from the DVD release were intact, although Kaz the Cat segments were of course still gone.
Like many other Wiggles videos and TV series on iTunes at the time, they were presented in the NTSC resolution of 480p rather than the proper PAL resolution of 576p (not to mention they were cropped ever so slightly), and were in mono sound despite being made in stereo.
The iTunes version of Building Blocks contained a placeholder not aired or seen anywhere else in place of the commercial breaks, containing the Toy from the intro to Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas counting down to the episode starting back up.
On October 23rd, 2020, The Wiggles had officially advertised on Facebook that they would upload the series on their YouTube channel. As of January 24th, 2021, all 13 episodes have been uploaded under the Classic Wiggles TV banner, using the versions created for the DVD box set.
- Production of this series primarily took place in 1997 and 1998. The preschool segments were likely filmed around 2001-2002.
- The series was filmed at ABC Ultimo Centre, 700 Harris Street, Ultimo, New South Wales, Australia.
- In June 1997, the series was originally planned to be 26 episodes, but in the end The Wiggles only filmed 13.
- The series was shown each week on Channel 7, first airing on Friday at 3:30pm and then repeating on Saturday at 10:30am.
- When the series first aired on Channel7/Prime, episodes were scheduled in reverse order (starting with Funny Greg instead of Anthony's Friend).
- It was shown later on the Disney Channel in 1999, around which point Kaz the Cat segments began to be replaced by the kindergarten scenes.
- The series was shown on Nick Jr. in the UK in the late 2000's.
- A UK promo of this series was filmed on the same set as Santa's Rockin'!.
- This series was later uploaded on YouTube in 2020 as part of Classic Wiggles.
- This was the second Wiggles series aired in America, specifically in 2002, after TV Series 2 debuted on Playhouse Disney first.
- This is to date the only Wiggles TV Series to have covers of Raffi, in Foodman, there was a cover of Teddy Bear Hug from Raffi's Everything Grows album in 1987, and in Funny Greg, there was a cover of Baby Baluga from Raffi's 1980 album of the same name.
- As such, this series is the only Wiggles video or television project with Raffi covers to be released in the USA before 2019.
- Every episode is named after its Wigglehouse segment.
- The Box set and Classic Wiggles versions cut out the Raffi covers and the Wiggly Trivia questions.
- The Classic Wiggles versions also cut out the end credits.
- Paul Field voices the Trivia Announcer during Wigglehouse segments.
- Two of the background Music pieces were later used in 2003 for Space Dancing! and The Taiwanese Wiggles version of this series.
- Footage of Murray in the theme song is taken from Big Red Car, specifically from Can You (Point Your Fingers And Do The Twist?) and his introduction to Georgia's Song.
- Wigglehouse now has a garage attached. The garage's inside was never shown in the Series, though it was in the original 1998 version of Toot Toot!.
- Clips from an unused Chase segment with Balloons, and an exclusive version of Romp Bomp A Stomp are shown in the Theme Song, but neither appear in any episode.
- It's worth noting that these are the only clips from Chase scenes or music videos to appear in the opening. This could mean they may have been shot just for the theme song, or that full versions of each were made but intentionally scrapped, and to make use of the footage, shots were put in the intro.
- Along with Romp Bomp A Stomp, there is also a photo of The Wiggles seemingly performing Fruit Salad on the same sets that were used for the specially shot 1997 music videos.
- The Wigglehouse Skits for Muscleman Murray and Funny Greg were filmed first, in mid 1997 alongside the Chases, Pirate Show Skits and exclusive songs before the rest of the series.
- The Wiggles all wear black socks but wear ones matching their skivvy colours in all others.
- Anthony's hair is longer and curlier.
- Greg and Murray both have their wedding rings and Greg is wearing a watch.
- Wigglehouse's exterior appears pink in Muscleman Murray, like it was in The Wiggles Movie, despite being blue in other appearances in the series.
- The other 11 Wigglehouse Skits were filmed at the end of 1997 after Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas.
- This is the only series to have Wiggly Trivia questions until series 1 and 2 of Ready, Steady, Wiggle!
- Sprout airings don't have the Wiggly Trivia.
- Nearly all of the songs in this series, plus some unused ones such as the live version of Wake Up Jeff!, were later reused for TV Series 2 on GMTV.
- The opening theme uses a different instrumental track from the 1997 version, with the piano mostly resembling the 1991 and 1993 versions.
- The opening theme is 5% faster than the 1997 version of Get Ready To Wiggle.
- Anthony Silvestrini, Alyssa Bryce, Amy Dunbar and Sarah Cornale are credited as child performers, but it is unclear where they appear.
- This and The Wiggles (TV Series 2) never aired on ABC Kids.
- Sprout airings had the Tennis Ball Chase in all of the episodes.
- The Wiggles didn't use Hanna-Barbera sound effects yet at the time, so most of the sound effects were made on the keyboard played by Jeff Fatt and the drums played by Paul Hester and/or Tony Henry. Some of the other sound effects were made by Sound Ideas Series 2000 and Warner Bros.
- On Anthony's credit in the intro, the background can be seen through his hands.
- In international airings, the people involved with the Kaz the Cat segments are still credited.
- Carolyn Ferrie's first name is misspelled as "Carolyne" in the credits.