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Bambaloo

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Bambaloo

Bambaloo is an Australian children's television program. The series was originally shown on the Seven Network, but more recently it has been shown on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The series first debuted in 2002. The series was produced by Flying Bark Productions, the Seven Network and The Jim Henson Company.

65 half-hour episodes were produced between 2002 and 2003.

Show Overview

In an unspecified tropical part of the world, near a little town and a river that leads to the sea you will find the Bambaloo tree.

Sam lives in a jungle treehouse along with her animal friends – Jet (a fish), Fidget (a dog) and Portia (a bird). Also living in the Bambaloo Tree, but unknown to many of the residents, are two mice named Jinx and Gypsy. Sam and her friends often will row across the river to meet their friend Jake, the local "make it" guy.

Each episode of the show focuses on a different aspect of a weekly theme. Every episode of Bambaloo uses structured segments and elements (music, stories, puzzles, games, songs and imagination) that are ofen recurring and repeated. Each of the segments has a song that signals the viewer the transition between segments.

Segments include:

  • Mail Time: The song "Open It", sung by Jinx and Gypsy, signals time for a letter or a present to Sam or one of her animal friends. The delivery often will tie into the theme or story for the day.
  • Games and Puzzles: Sam and the cast sing "Let’s All Play Together" to introduce the segment where they play a game or do a puzzle. They often will encourage the viewer to try the game at home and will provide instructions on how to do so.
  • Footage: Jinx and Gypsy sing the song "We Can Show You" as they push the button to activate a screen to show live-action on-location footage to will often help Sam and the cast understand the theme of the day.
  • Storytime: The mice sing "Hello, Hello" while they call a friend on the phone to come and help. The guest will arrive and help by telling everyone a story. Sam will sing "We Can Be" as the group gets ready to help act out the story.
  • Feature Songs: The series also includes more than 13 additional featured songs that are rotated weekly. Each week the same song is featured over all 5 days. The song is often ties into the theme for the week.
  • Jakes Makes: The mice will visit Jake to ask him to make something to help with the daily problem. The making process is often shown in a quick montage of step-by-step instructions that give an overview of how to make the object or craft of the day.

Characters

Character descriptions from the official Bambaloo website[1]:

Sam

Performer:

Sam is absolutely crazy about animals. She lives for animals. She has books about animals, loves stories about animals and is friends with all sorts of animals who live all over the world. Her best friends are, of course, Portia, Fidget and Jet who live with her in the Bambaloo tree.

Sam’s very favourite place in the Bambaloo tree is her comfy, comfy couch with lots of nice big cushions. She likes to sit there and read where it’s just so comfortable.

When it comes to favourite food, it is very difficult for Sam to choose because she just likes everything. She does like rock cakes which she bakes for Jet. They’re not really rocks, but they’re a bit hard so they are like rocks.

Sam’s favourite thing that she likes to do most of all is singing and dancing at the same time, because she has to use more skills. It is a bit exhausting, but it is mostly just lots of fun – especially if she has a friend do it with.

Her favourite Bambaloo song is the song about senses: ‘Look Around’ seeing, smelling, tasting, touching and hearing. She likes to do all the actions while she sings.

Jake

Performer:

Jake lives across the river in a little hut. He’s a builder and has collected stuff from anywhere and everywhere. He’s a great doer and maker and is very creative.

Jake's favourite friends are Jinx and Gypsy. He loves it when they visit so he can make something for them. A couple of favourite things he’s made are a crazy coconut head and a paper helicopter.

He really does know Jinx and Gypsy come to sample his food but he just forgets. Sometimes though he has remembered and then he has tricked them. Like the time he made a pretend apple pie. He laughed a lot when Jinx and Gypsy tried to eat it. But, of course, he then shared a real apple pie with them because that’s another thing he loves doing - sharing.

Fidget

Performer:

Fidget is very playful, energetic and courageous and loves adventure. He’s a bit forgetful and sometimes can’t remember where he left his bowl or his bone.

Fidget’s very favourite place in the Bambaloo tree is the kitchen, because that’s where Sam makes all the treats. His second favourite place is his kennel. It’s all cosy and warm.

His very favourite food is banana cake, but he can’t have that very often. So his second favourite is doggy bics and water.

The best thing about living in the tree is being able to run around outside in the jungle. There he just loves to go sniffing around the trees and chasing lots of sticks; all the things that dogs love to do.

Another good thing is having lots of visitors who come to see him and his friends in the tree: like Leo the Lion, Antonia Ant and Fernando the Frog.

His favourite game is chasing his tail. Fidget holds the jungle record for the most tail chases. He just can’t remember how many it is…but it’s lots.

Portia

Performer:

Portia is an all-dancing, all-singing bird who loves to perform. She’s loud, bright and is gorgeous. Portia appears to be very confident – if not a little bossy Deep down inside, she isn’t half as confident as she seems.

Portia always says exactly what she thinks and sometimes she thinks she knows more than she does. The truth is Portia is deeply concerned about her housemates though she doesn’t always show it.

If you ask Portia what is her very favourite place in the Bambaloo tree she’d probably say it’s her nest. But it’s hard to choose, because she’s really happiest when she’s anywhere that’s near her friends Sam……or Fidget………or Jet!

Portia has no trouble picking her favourite food, however. It’s homemade seed buns. Sam makes them and they’re deeeeee-licious.

Her favourite Bambaloo song is “I Can Fly” which makes perfect sense because, of course Portia CAN fly. Being a bird she naturally has a lovely singing voice, though she still wishes she could sing as beautifully as Sam does.

Portia thinks living in the Bambaloo tree is fantastic because it has an absolutely marvellous view. She can see way over the treetops of the jungle. It’s also a great place to come and land after she’s been flying around visiting all her friends in other trees.

Being a well travelled bird, Portia has been to many places all over the world. Her favourites are the most interesting ones. She once flew over a volcano with amazing smoke coming out of it (although she didn’t know it was a volcano – she thought it was just a very smoky mountain). Another of her favourite places is Peru but it was just so fascinating that she can’t describe it!

Jet

Performer:

Jet has tanks scattered throughout the tree and these are connected so he can quickly swim from one side of the room to the other, or up to the kitchen. He does love to surprise the others when they are not expecting it.

His very favourite place in the Bambaloo tree is his big tank because in it he can swim around a lot. He also likes his little tank because that’s where he can speak to Bronwyn. Who’s Bronwyn? It’s his favourite piece of spiky weed, of course. Jet likes to name to his plants and talk to them…when he’s not eating them!

Apart from weed, Jet’s favourite food is the special food that Sam feeds him.

Of all the Bambaloo songs, his favourite is – of course – H2O OK. Jet doesn’t think he can sing very well, but he does a lovely rendition of H20 if you ask him nicely.

For Jet the best thing about living in the tree is living with Sam. He loves Sam and she takes such good care of him. And most special of all, Jet is the only fish he knows who lives in a tree!

Jet has two ambitions. He hopes to one day visit his uncle Gilbert in the Caribbean, and it is also his lifelong dream to become an astronaut. He’s just not sure if fish are allowed into astronaut school. But why not – after all, there are STARfish!

Jinx and Gypsy

Performer:
David Collins • (Jinx)
Roslyn Oades • (Gypsy)

These two little mice love to eat, so naturally their favourite place in the Bambaloo tree is where all the food is: the kitchen, and most specifically the fridge. That’s where the best stuff is – especially the cheese.

Their favourite food is without doubt cheese. And more cheese. And just a little bit more as well. And cheese pizza. Any type of cheese will do – gouda, cheddar and mozzarella. Although Gypsy does hog the camembert, because she loves to suck the middle out.

Gypsy and Jinx’s favourite song is “Bambaloo”. They love to sing “Bam-bam-bam Bambaloo” together because they are the ones who shout “BAMBALOO!!!”

For the mice, the best thing about living in the tree is that there’s always lots of food around. Sam goes to the supermarket every single week and always buys lots and lots of their favourite food: cheese!

Gypsy and Jinx are brother and sister – in fact they’re twins. They don’t fight very much, but when they do, Gypsy always likes to make up afterwards by giving her brother a big kiss (which he pretends not to like) and then a good tickle until they both laugh themselves silly.

None of the others in the Bambaloo tree know about Gypsy and Jinx and they must NEVER find out – not even Sam. They have had a few close calls but have never been caught. Gypsy thinks this is because the others are just rather silly. One day the mice were hiding in the cupboard while the others were talking in the kitchen. Jinx’s tummy rumbled and others nearly heard it! Phew that was close!

They also love visiting Jake as he always makes them such great things – oh and yes he also always has something yummy to eat!!

Sources

  1. Official site bambaloo.com.au Retrieved 2008.

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