- Dragon Tales
Dragon Tales title card
Format Children's television series, Fantasy Created by Ron Rodecker
Developed by Jim Coane
Directed by Phil Weinstein
Voices of Andrea Libman
Country of origin United States Production Executive producer(s) Jim Coane
Nina Elias Bamberger
Producer(s) Richard Raynis
Running time 30 minutes per episode Production company(s) Columbia TriStar Television (1999–2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002–present)
Broadcast Original channel PBS Kids Original run September 6, 1999 – November 25, 2005
Dragon Tales is an American animated pre-school children's television series chronicling the adventures of two siblings, Max and Emmy and their dragon friends Cassie, Ord, Zak, Wheezie, and Quetzal. The television series, based on characters designed by Ron Rodecker, was created by Jim Coane, an Emmy-award-winning creator and executive producer, along with the creative talents of Wesley Eure (author of The Red Wings Of Christmas, star of Land of the Lost, Days Of Our Lives & Finders Keepers). Originals have been shown on the PBS Kids Channel/PBS Kids Sprout and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States from Labor Day 1999 to November 25, 2005. However, PBS has declared that it will no longer hold the license to the series starting on September 1, 2010. Episodes of the show are still sold on DVD.
Dragon Tales is based on the characters created in 1978 by Laguna Beach, California artist and retired educator Ron Rodecker. In 1997, Jim Coane, then a producer at Columbia TriStar Television, found the artwork and developed it into a television series with several writers. Coane then brought the project to Sesame Workshop, where Marjorie Kalins helped him and Columbia TriStar Television obtain a grant from the Department of Education and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The grant proposal was written by Wesley Eure. Coane was the executive producer for the first two seasons.
Show premise and overview
When six-year-old Emmy and her four-year-old brother Max move into a new house, they discover an ancient dragon scale that transports them to Dragon Land, a world of fantasy that brims with talking trees, rainbow rivers, gnomes, giants – and dragons! They meet the young dragons Ord, Cassie, Zak and Wheezie, who have human personalities and share similar fears and questions about growing up as Emmy and Max.
Alongside their new dragon friends and their teacher Quetzal, Emmy and Max explore the magical world that they’ve found, encountering challenges and working together to find solutions. Each episode introduces a new challenge for the children and the dragons. Topics like dealing with fear of the doctor, learning to speak up, and coping with separation from a sibling help viewers learn strategies for navigating their own challenges.
In the episodes, the children go to Dragon Land by using their magical dragon's scale found in a hidden location within their playroom and reciting the verse "I wish, I wish, with all my heart, to fly with dragons, in a land apart." The children transport back to their world in their playroom by using the same refrain and the phrase "I wish, I wish, to use this rhyme, to go back home, until next time."
In Dragon Land, the children meet up with their Dragon friends, Cassie, Ord, Zak, and Wheezie (the latter two each being half of a two-headed dragon), and their bilingual teacher, Quetzal, as they learn valuable life lessons, aided by the fact that the children are inexperienced with the magical flora and fauna of Dragon Land.
The series mixes in Spanish language elements to promote a bilingual experience for the audience. By incorporating parts of another language, the show appeals to a wider audience, as well as providing a new learning experience for children.
Each show is divided into three segments: the first story, a song known as a "Dragon Tune," and the second story. Each story is approximately 10–12 minutes long.
Emmy, voiced by Andrea Libman, is six years old. She commonly appears as the leader of the group until she gave her position to Enrique while helping him get used to Dragonland. She is Max's older sister. Her best friend is Cassie, and she is perhaps known for saying, "Definitely!" whenever a good idea arises.
Max, voiced by Danny McKinnon, is four years old. He is Emmy's younger brother. For the most part, he and Emmy get along fine, but occasionally have arguments. His best friend is Ord.
Enrique, voiced by Aida Ortega, is Emmy and Max's new friend who moved to the US from Colombia. He first appears in the beginning of Season 3 and travels to Dragon Land with the children. His recent experiences in South America provide more opportunities for the characters to demonstrate the meanings of new Spanish words, much like Dora the Explorer.
He rides with Zak and Wheezie, the 2-headed dragon who rarely flew with any human friends prior to Enrique's debut.
Ord, voiced by Ty Olsson, is the blue male dragon who can turn invisible when he's scared. When he gets upset, a rain cloud forms over his head and starts pouring rain on him; this happens when he loses his blanket. He is best friends with Max, who rides on his back. A running gag in the show features Ord making "dragoncorn" by throwing purple kernels in the air and cooking the kernels with his fire breath.
Cassie, voiced by Chantal Strand, is the cute, sweet, pink female dragon of the group. Her best friend is Emmy, with whom she always rides. Cassie is quite shy and unsure of herself, which makes speaking up for herself difficult. Cassie sometimes shrinks to a small size when she is upset. A running gag in the series is how Cassie mentions that she has seventy-two brothers and sisters.
Zak and Wheezie
Zak & Wheezie, voiced by Jason Michas and Kathleen Barr, are a two-headed dragon and are siblings; Zak (green) is the male, and Wheezie (purple) is the female. Zak prefers to pursue things in a logical manner. Wheezie is very messy, loud, and ignorant much to her brother's annoyance, and is perhaps known for saying, "Loooove it!", when she loves something.
Zak and Wheezie always fly with Enrique, although prior to his debut, Zak and Wheezie rarely flew with any of their human friends.
Quetzal, portrayed by Eli Gabay, is a dragon who is the teacher at The School in the Sky where young dragons attend. He has an identical twin brother named Fernando who works in his garden. Quetzal typically speaks with a Mexican accent, and is likely named for the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl.
Finn, voiced by Ellen Kennedy, is Cassie's younger brother. He is light blue.
Other characters in Dragon Land
Each of the following have appeared more than once:
- Cassie's younger sister Kiki (unknown actress). Kiki is green.
- Cyrus, a lizard-like "slinky serpent"; he often tries to steal others' eggs to eat.
- The Giant of Nod, leader of a group called the Nodlings. While much bigger than his fellow Nodlings, he is smaller than any of the main characters, but is enormously strong.
- Mungus, a giant who lives in a castle in the clouds; he knows many folks in Dragon Land since he can travel far and wide in just a few steps.
- Polly Nimbus, the operator of the cloud Factory, which controls Dragon Land's weather. Her surname is a pun off of nimbus clouds.
- Wyatt, a talking wishing well that immediately grants any wish for a single coin. Often tells stereotypically bad puns. He is old friends with Quetzal. Whenever coins pile up too high, he knows it is time for them to emptied and taken to the First Dragonland Bank. Earlier in the series, he was called Willy.
- Dr. Booboogone, a veteran pink dragon who works as a doctor. She wears a doctor's coat. (Shirley Milliner)
- Captain Scallywag, a pirate who captains a flying galleon.
- Eunice, a unicorn. She can't see very well, so she wears glasses.
- Arlo, a dragon who works at the Dragon Dump; he has a machine at the Dragon Dump which he calls his lil' ol' recycler that sorts out things that can be used again.
- Priscilla, the manager at the lost and found, who during her first appearance, was feeling embarrassed because her wings (often called "feathers") were bigger than other dragon's. She eventually realized that boy dragons like girl dragons with big wings and raises her self esteem.
Places in Dragon Land
- Dragon Beaver Dam – A dam where the dragonbeavers reside.
- The School in the Sky – The school where the dragon children are taught by Quetzal.
- Dr. BoobooGone's office – Where dragons go when sick or hurt.
- Dragoon Lagoon – A large lagoon seen in many episodes. It is home to creatures called silliguanas and hissyfish. It even has a plug at the bottom just like a bathtub.
- The Forest of Darkness – A large forest that holds trees with glowing stars, but is very dark. Ord is very afraid of this forest because of its darkness and other things that inhabit this strange Forest.
- Turtle Rock – A rock that is shaped like a turtle.
- Singing Springs – A gold fountain that plays music.
- Rainbow Canyon – A canyon with pigments that make paint. When it rains, the pigments turn to mud.
- The Cloud Factory – Where a dragon named Polly Nimbus manufactures rain clouds, snow clouds, etc., and ejects them into the sky as needed.
- Snowy Summit – A frigid, snow-covered mountain range, where Chilly the Snowman and his snow puppy Nippy live.
- Stickleback Mountains – Another mountain range, with colored sticks that have to be pulled out carefully.
- Chile Valley – A valley with lots of tasty, yet spicy chilly peppers, which are red in color and resemble dragonberries.
- Crystal Cave – A giant, crystallized cave where crystals are stored and special crystals dance, with the aid of water from Singing Springs, and some Dandelion fuzzies from the Dandelion Forest.
- Crystal Fountain – A fountain inside Crystal Cave for cleaning.
- Dandelion Forest – A forest made of dandelions that actually roar and growl and are as tall as trees just like real lions. Ord is so allergic to dandelions that when he sneezes in front of the dandelions, he usually does so with an incredible force that the dandelions lose their pollen and turn sad.
- Wyatt the Wishing Well – A well where dragons or people can make wishes, which actually come true if they flip a coin into the well. The well is inhabited by a purple walrus named Wyatt (named Willy in his first appearances) who laughs at lame jokes.
- Marshmallow Marsh – A swamp full of sticky marshmallow goo, which is almost impossible to clean off and it is near Mushroom Meadow.
- Rainbow Falls – A waterfall where there are always rainbows.
- Dragon Land Laundry – A place where dragons do laundry.
- Dragon Dump – The place where the citizens of Dragon Land send their garbage to be recycled or disposed of. It's run by a dragon named Arlo.
- The Knuckerhole, where Zak & Wheezie live. Of course, there are also lots of other knuckerholes all over Dragonland.
- Mushroom Meadow, a large field of mushrooms with "bouncy" tops. The dragons and the children often play there.
- "Lost Forever" Hole, a small tunnel formed by a river where any thing that flows on the river through the hole is "lost forever".
- 1997–1999 Emmy nomination for Best Animated Children's Series
- 2000–2001 Emmy nomination for Best Animated Children's Series
- 2001–2003 Emmy nomination for Best Animated Children's Series
- 2000 Parents' Choice Silver Award Winner
- 2001 Parents' Choice Approved Award Winner (for "Dragon Tales: Dragon Tunes" CD)
- 2003 Parents' Choice Silver Award Winner (for "Let's Start a Band" video)
- 2005 Parents' Choice Approved Award Winner (for "Dragon Tales: More Dragon Tunes" CD)
- Frosted Flakes (1999 – 2007)
- Rice Krispies (1999 – 2000)
- Froot Loops (2001 – 2007)
- Kellogg's (2005 – 2007)
- American Greetings (2007 – 2009)
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting (1999 – 2010)
- U.S. Department of Education (1999, 2001 – 2010)
- Viewers Like You (2005 – 2010)
- Ready To Learn Television Cooperative Agreement (2005)
- ^ “Dragon Tales” Ends its successful run after more than a decade on PBS. KUAC (2010-08-31). Retrieved on 2011-10-13.
- ^ dragon tales TV. Amazon.com (2009-09-09). Retrieved on 2011-10-13.
- ^ Millennium Web Catalog. 0-infoweb.newsbank.com.dbpcosdcsgt.co.san-diego.ca.us. Retrieved on 2011-10-13.
- ^ "Dragon Tales". Parents' Choice. http://parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=881&award=xx&from=Children%20Television%20Workshop. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- ^ "Dragon Tales: Dragon Tunes". Parents' Choice. http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=4284&award=xx&from=Kid%20Rhino. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- ^ "Dragon Tales "Let's Start a Band"". Parents' Choice. http://parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=12308&award=xx&from=Sesame%20Workshop. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- ^ "Dragon Tales: More Dragon Tunes". Parents' Choice. http://www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=17645&award=xx&from=Kid%20Rhino. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- Dragon Tales at the Internet Movie Database
- Tales/summary.html Dragon Tales at TV.com
- Sony Pictures Television official Dragon Tales site (DVD Series)
- Detail account of series' genesis
PBS Kids shows Current shows PBS Kids GO! See also
PBS network shows · Educational television
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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