Minorities in cartoons: “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” The series debuted on PBS in 2012.

Background

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is a sequel series to the live-action classic children’s program “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” specifically the Neighborhood of Make-Believe segments. The show takes a “next generation” approach, as the main cast in “Daniel Tiger” are the children of the original series’ characters.

Like the original series, “Daniel Tiger” teaches young children lessons on socialization, feelings, new life experiences (visiting the doctor, etc.), and respecting others. Similar to Mr. Rogers, Daniel occasionally addresses the viewers with questions or comments about the episode.

The Trolley from the original series also appears. It now serves as transportation for the Tiger family and other Neighborhood of Make-Believe residents.

The series has become one of the bigger successes for PBS Kids lately. As such, it has a fairly extensive line of merchandise, DVDs, and so forth.

The Canadian airings of the series on Canada’s CBC network alters the opening to slightly rename the series “Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood” (note the Canadian/British English spelling).

Cast

The cast of characters include:

  • Daniel Tiger: the son of the original series’ Daniel Striped Tiger, and the series’ main star.
  • Katerina Kittycat: the daughter of Henrietta Pussycat, Katerina shares her mother’s habit of punctuating her sentences with “meow meow.”
  • O the Owl: the nephew of X the Owl. Has a habit of hooting. The Owls live in the same tree as Henrietta and Katrina.
  • Miss Elaina: the daughter of Lady Elaine and Music Man Stan. She lives in the Museum-Go-Round (the carousel-like museum Lady Elaine ran in the original series). Elaina also has a habit of referring to others as “toots,” just like her mother.
  • The Royal Family, who rule over the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. The younger members include:
    • Prince Tuesday: the son of King Friday XIII and Queen Sara. Tuesday was a young child in the original series, but now is a teenager or young adult. He’s Daniel’s babysitter.
    • Prince Wednesday: King Friday and Queen Sara’s younger son, a youth Daniel’s age. Yes, the Royal Family still have weekday-themed names (that’s “King Friday the 13th” and “Queen Sara Saturday”).
    • Chrissie: the cousin to Tuesday and Wednesday. Chrissie uses a pair of crutches.

Secondary characters, among others, include:

  • Baker Aker: the neighborhood’s baker.
  • Teacher Harriet: the teacher of Daniel and the other kids.
  • Dr. Anna: the main doctor for the Neighborhood.

Voice actors

Miss Elaina is voiced by Addison Holley.

Chrissie is voiced by Matilda Gilbert.

Baker Aker is voiced by Jon Filici.

Teacher Harriet is voiced by Shawne Jackson.

Music Man Stan is voiced by Jeremiah Sparks.

Dr. Anna is voiced by Laara Sadiq.

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