Remembering Wishbone (1995 - 1997)

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A new month is here with us, and it's only three days old, and guess what, it's the best time for a TV show review. If you are like me and grew up in the 90s, then you remember the Wishbone. The TV series was a well-crafted story that was highly enjoyable.

Do you remember this old Wishbone bumper? I just landed on it on YouTube and it reminded me of this old classic series.

For those of you not familiar with the show, Wishbone was an adorable dog that lived with its owner Joe Talbot, in Oakdale, Texas. He loves adventure and classic literature. He daydreams about being the lead character from stories of classic literature. Later he is referred to as "the little dog with a big imagination." He is my best character in the show.

This is why Wishbone was an Amazing Show
The Wishbone was my best show back in the days and had a couple of goodies to offer young children. The show that ran from 1995 to 1998 had approximately fifty episodes. The play centers on Wishbone, who is a well-read dog and his owner Joe Talbot. Each episode is presented from Wishbone's perspective's events unfold in Joe's life; the witty dog parallels them with classic literary works. The story tries to link between the real-life experiences of Joe and Wishbone's daydreams, in which he plays the character in each novel.

The dog serves as the canine bridge between life and literature as he embarks on exciting journeys that include elements of action, adventure, and comedy. In each episode in this TV series, the dog's escapades with the children and families in Oakdale's fictional town. He triggers a series of daydreams. He imagines himself as a character in the signature, modern-day scenes parallel from classic literature, emphasizing the timeless and universal themes explored in this classic tale.

He is a well-read dog. He sees the parallels in the classic literature and dilemmas he and his human friends face every day. Wishbone lives with his owner Joe Talbot in their home on Forest Avenue on Oakdale. None of the humans can hear him speak in everyday contemporary life, but the audience does. Sometimes people say things that coincidentally repeat or answer what he just said.

In the classic literature stories he imagines himself in, humans can hear him and perceive him as human.

Soccer, the dog portrayed him, and his thoughts voiced by Larry Brantley.

Joe Talbot
He is a teenage boy who is Wishbone's owner. He has brown hair, is slender, and has fair skin. Joe is the only child of Ellen and Steve Talbot. His father died when he was only six years old from a rare disease.

Joe loves sports and is into playing basketball. He is a player on the Sequoyah Middle School basketball team.

Jordan Wall plays Joe.

David Barnes
He is Joe and Sam's best friend from school. He lives on Forest Avenue with his parents, Nathan and Ruth Barnes, and his younger sister, Emily. David aspires to be a scientist.

Adam Springfield portrayed David Barnes.

Sam Kepler
Joe and David's best friend from school and Joe's next-door neighbor. She has long blonde hair and is the most outgoing and adventurous of the three friends. She is allergic to coconuts. Her parents are divorced.

Christie Abbott portrayed her.

Ellen Talbot

Joe's mother .she has dark brown hair. She works as the reference librarian at Henderson Memorial Library in Oakdale.

Was portrayed by Mary Chris Wall.

Wanda Gilmore

The Talbot's next-door neighbor. She is the owner of Oakdale Chronicle Newspaper and the President of the local Historical Society. Wanda is also very friendly and cheerful. She has a crush on Joe's teacher, Bob Pruitt, and is in a steady relationship with him.

Portrayed by Angee Hughes.

Other characters played in the TV series, but these are the main characters.

The relevance of the show to children
Wishbone was one of the shows my mother allowed me to watch back in the days. The reason being she had watched some episodes and knew it had some advice and lessons to teach kids. Leave alone other kids show that existed; this TV series was made to inspire young children to read.

Most of the novels featured in the show's episodes were above the viewers' reading level, but the animated series was still enjoyable. However, the dog compelled children to be intrigued by and familiar with the stories so that when they are old enough, they will delve in the books on their own.

The show also applied classic novels in real-world experiences. For instance, in my best episode, "Hunchdog of Notre Dame," Wishbone compared the themes to an insecure, bullied boy from Joe's school. The application made the episode universal and poignant.

Besides, Wishbone also teaches fundamental lessons of honesty, charity, and hard work amongst kids.

Awards won
The show won several awards including

1. Academy of Television Arts and Sciences First Honor Roll of Children Programming in 1999

2. George Foster Peabody Award, 1998

3. Emmy Award –Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design in 1997

4. Emmy Award –Costume Design/Styling in 1996

5. Emmy Award –Graphics and Title Design, 1997

6. Emmy Award –Costume Design /styling, 1997

The Wishbone TV series also received many nominations for awards and various accolades.

Inspiration in books and film adaptation
What an inspirational show it was? The show inspired several book series. More than fifty books have featured Wishbone, which continued to be published even after the TV series ended its production. Some PBS affiliates continued to air a rerun of the show until September 2009.

Less than two months ago, the Universal pictures and Mattel pictures announced that they were developing a series film adaptation. Thanks to Peter Farrelly, the Oscar-winning producer, who will be producing the film together with Roy Parker, will write the screenplay, and Robbie Brenner will be the executive producer. I am delighted the trio is working to bring back fond memories.

For two seasons between 1996 through 2001, the Wishbone, which aired on PBS, taught us literature how he imagined himself as the lead character. Classic tales like Oliver Twist, Romeo and Juliet, and the Three Musketeers were among the stories he envisioned as a lead character.

I can't wait to see which stories and costumes. Wishbone brings to life this time around.
Six Amazing facts about the Wishbone TV series

1. The producer’s own dog inspired him to develop the show.
Rick Duffield was long intrigued by the concept of telling kids stories from the point of view of a dog. He used to give voice to his dog's expressions and exploits around the house. This motivated him to come up with a show that had a little dog with a big imagination. He also made the dog a hero and loveable.

2. A total of five dogs played the Wishbone role over the years

The coveted position of Wishbone went to a Los Angeles pup name Soccer. But, Soccer couldn't be in every short, and therefore the producer employed four other dogs to play the role.

3. Soccer, the main dog in the Wishbone role won the creator over his backflip

The creator admitted in an interview that he chose Soccer from his impressive tricks and personality. Out of a pool of 100 dogs, he decided Soccer, who did a backflip that amazed Rick Duffield.

4. Wishbone wasn't just for kids

Duffield admitted that he received numerous letters and messages from young children and their parents and high school students. Most of them thanked him for helping them pass freshman lit classes.

5. Wishbone went on a mall tour across America

In between the first and second seasons of the show, Soccer hit the road and appeared at malls across America, greeting his fans from a red armchair. It was interesting how in this travels, Soccer flew first class, stayed in four-star hotels, and had his security detail. The handlers even gave him a codename: The President.

6. Wishbone's voice actor made a cameo as a voice actor for the dog

Larry Brantley voiced Wishbone. He appeared in voice throughout the series except for the episode "Rushing to the Bone." Brantley has a brief cameo as an actor named Larry Brinkley. This Larry is also dubbing for Wishbone as he shoots a dog food commercial involving a fake Scottish castle and period garb.

Nostalgia behind Wishbone
Every time I think back to that TV series, I get nostalgic. It was my inspiration for reading. Just recently, I started watching the show again through YouTube and am loving every episode.

Do you have any favorite episodes of the show? I am asking this question bearing in mind I loved all the episodes. My love for the show is at another level, and I can't help with my current Wishbone binge, making me super nostalgic.

Wishbone taught me, lit classes, until I was old enough to read them myself. I can't help but get nostalgic thinking about growing up in the 90s.

My Final word
Wishbone was a cool show that is worth watching. If you didn't watch this show back in the '90s, i suggest you catch up with it on YouTube. And i guess it is still on Amazon. It is a must-watch if you just want to catch up with the fun times of the '90s. It is made up of very short episodes, but the content does not disappoint.

What are your Wishbone memories?
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Omega Geeze
Jul 13, 2019
OH MY GOD WISHBONE!! I used to watch this all the time when I visited my grandma's house as a kid!! Man I miss this show so much!


Active Geeze
Jun 23, 2020
The original dog died in 2001. I watched a few episodes and the teacher made us read one of those scholastic books and do a book report on it.
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Omega Geeze
Jul 13, 2019
The original dog died in 2001. I watched a few episodes and the teacher made us read one of those scholastic books and do a book report on it.
:'( rest in peace wishbone. I have so many good memories watching it at grandma's house.