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Hip hip hooray! The Super Readers saved the day!
Super Why! is an educational animated children's show aimed at very young children (young enough to still be practicing their abcs). Despite this, it features a few clever concepts, such as starring Fairy Tale characters who turn into superheroes known as the "Super Readers", who can literally enter into books to help solve problems. They are:
- Littlest Pig, of The Three Little Pigs, who transforms into Alpha Pig, "with Alphabet Power!"
- Little Red Riding Hood, who turns into Wonder Red, "with Word Power!"
- Princess Pea, daughter of the Princess from "The Princess and the Pea" (and who happens to be dark skinned) who turns into Princess Presto, "with Spelling Power!"
- Wyatt, younger brother of Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk, who transforms into Super Why! "with the Power to Read!"
The series is highly formulaic, following the same pattern in virtually every episode: One of the main characters has a problem (the kind of problem little kids have- like not being able to play the game he or she wanted) and the group sets out to find a solution to it by changing into their heroic selves and entering a book. There they try to help the story's characters with their problems, eventually changing the story (by replacing words in the text) to give it a different ending. In the process, they find special "super letters" that Super Why collects in his "super duper computer" which eventually spell out a word that is the solution to the original problem. After that too is resolved, the Super Readers, now back in their normal forms, dance a little victory dance to the show's tune, and the episode ends.
It should be noted that not all the books the kids enter are the typical fairy tales most children know; some are from other countries (such as the Japanese fairy tale of Momotaro, the Peach Boy), others are folk tales instead (such as Juan Bobo and the Pig, a Puerto Rican folk tale) and some are modern books such as Doctor Dolittle. The stories are usually changed to make them simpler and safer for a very young audience.
Another curiosity is that while the Super Readers are animated in 3D, the storybook characters are all two-dimensional, resembling the type of pictures you see in such books. As you can imagine, since so many scenes are the same from episode to episode, a lot of the animation is recycled.
Super Why! is a fun way to learn reading and writing, though older audiences might find it repetitive after a while.
Other Tropes in the show:
- Alphabet Soup Cans
- An Aesop: Every episode has one, though sometimes it is different from the one the traditional tale told. For example, in the Ugly Duckling episode, the problem was that the duckling couldn't swim, but should keep trying!
- Anatomy Anomaly: The blue-skinned witch from the "Hansel and Gretel" story has a nose that looks awfully like an elephant's trunk.
- Art Shift- when entering the books. Note that the Super Readers remain 3D characters while everybody else is flat.
- Captain Ersatz: Pig's brothers' clothes are clearly based on Mario and Luigi.
- Catch Phrase: several, the ones above are just examples.
- Cool Plane: The "Why-fliers"- every hero has got one.
- Derailed Fairy Tale: Doing this is the whole point of the missions.
- Deadpan Snarker: In one episode, the characters go into Red's story. When they meet the Big Bad Wolf both times, although her tone doesn't reveal it, Red's expression as she delivers her well-known lines to the wolf just screams this.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Woofster is merely called "Puppy" when outside of the books.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The heroes' "Book Club" headquarters.
- Fingerless Gloves: Wonder Red.
- Five-Token Band: A borderline example. Red is white, Whyatt is (maybe) Hispanic, Princess Pea is of mixed race and Pig is, well, a pig.
- Foregone Conclusion: Of course the Super Readers will solve all the problems! Played with, however, in that sometimes they guess wrong, and Super You must make the correct choices for them.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: The tales often are changed to be Lighter and Softer.
- Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Pig
- Little Red Fighting Hood: Red.
- Plot Tailored to the Party: Alpha Pig, Wonder Red, Princess Presto and Super Why always help in every episode, and in that exact order too. "Super You" also helps each and every one of them.
- Punch Clock Villain: The antagonists in the storybooks will point out that the only reason they're being evil is because the book says that's what they're supposed to do.
- Reality Warper: In the books they enter, Super Why's pen can zap words into a story.
- Short Distance Phone Call: Occurs quite often as Whyatt uses his Super Duper Computer to call the other team members, even if they're all in the same area.
- Show Within a Show: There seem to be two fairy tale worlds, the one the characters share and the one in the books they enter.
- Super-Deformed: The art style is super stuck this way.
- Take Your Time: Despite resolving real life problems, the characters have to leave for the clubhouse, travel through the book, insert the letters they found on the computer, then go back to where they need to before they can solve the problem. No one else seems to notice the length of their absence.
- The Unseen: Super You.
- Subverted. Go look in the mirror.
- Team Pet: Woofster, starting in Season 2.
- Token Non-Human: Alpha Pig
- No longer the case starting in Season 2 as a super puppy named Woofster joins the team.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Wonder Red and Princess Presto.
- Too Dumb to Live: Snow White in the version of the fairy tale the Super Readers enter. Even her friends are telling her repeatedly not to trust the Obviously Evil Queen. But she always does.
- Transformation Sequence
- Two Girls to a Team: One of the few examples with an even split between the two genders.
- ↑ With the addition of Woofster who is a boy puppy, the gender scale is tipped.