Toad Patrol is a Canadian television series which debuted on Teletoon in 1999. The series ended with its second Season in 2002, but continued airing on ToonDisney (the former Disney XD) between 2002 and 2003 with reruns until 2006. It also aired on other international channels, such as the Spanish network Telefutura now known as UniMás (Patrulla de Sapitos), via both network and digital streaming. In 2006, the series aired on the French network France 5 on the Les Zouzous segment (La Petite Patrouille). The show has since been off the air in North America.
Although Toad Patrol was initially meant for young children, it also garnered the attention of teenagers and young adults as well. This is theoretically due to the quality of the animation and numerous other aspects of the show: empathetic characters, occasional dark undertones, whimsical soundtrack, a solid, connected plot and a strong storyline.
The story centers around a group of eight "toadlet" siblings who must travel through the dangers of their native forest in order to reach the safety of Toad Hollow, a haven for toads of all ages. But in order to reach this land without worries, the Toad Patrol (as they call themselves) must find the Fairy Ring, a magical portal that will transport them all to Toad Hollow. The task appears easy, but the Fairy Ring disappears and reappears in a random area of the forest every year, making it impossible to track. Only the Thunder Trees know the way to the portal, and very few toadlets can hear them. In order to reach the end of the journey, each and every toadlet will develop distinctive skills that will help them survive the forest's hardships. If they cannot reach the Fairy Ring in time, they will all permanently turn into Toadstools.
In the second season, winter has settled in the forest. The Toad Patrol faces new obstacles in this unforgiving and cold terrain, searching relentlessly for the sage Mistle Toad. He has called upon the Toad Patrol for help, having found a way to turn Toadstools back into toadlets. But the task is far from easy: the group has to seperate and travel to different corners of the forest in order to retreive ancient artifacts that will help them in their quest. They must complete their adventure before spring comes, or else it will be too late to help their fellow toadlets.
The Toad Patrol's adventures take place in a fictional forest set in an unknown location. There are very few hints available to determine its exact location, but due to the presence of heavy snow and geese characters that resemble the Canada goose, it can be assumed the events of the series happen either in a Canadian/American forest or somewhere in Europe. The former option can be further reinforced by the fact that the cartoon was created by Canadian George Sarson and produced by Canadian animation companies.
Also, the entire Toad Patrol series is loosely based on the realistic events a toad may encounter in its life. Certain species of toads partake in a mass migration after they've hatched or emerged from hibernation towards breeding sites; this reflects the toadlets' situation, in which they missed the Great Migration and must reach Toad Hollow before winter sets in. The series also includes Toad Tunnels, which have been implemented in several countries to allow toads to pass under roads and continue their migration safely. The enemies present in the show are also common predators for toads.
While mostly based on realistic events, other aspects of Toad Patrol are purely fictional or inspired by folkore and myths. One most notable detail is the Fairy Ring, which is a concept sometimes depicted in European folk tales. The series also plays around briefly with the idea of frogs and toads being natural opposites, and thus rivals.
Main article: List of Toad Patrol characters
- Terrence Scammell as Fur Foot.
- Sonja Ball as Beauty Stem and Panther Cap.
- Nancy Neilson as Elf Cup.
- Neil Shee as Shaggy Mane.
- Rick Jones as Puff Ball.
- Bryn McAuley as Oyster.
- Brady Moffatt as Slippery Jack.
- Michael O'Reilly as Earth Star.
- Long John Baldry as Mistle Toad.
- Anne Ledger as Daphne
- Kate Hurman as The Outsider
- Norman Mikeal-Berketa as Barnaby
The original idea of Toad Patrol first came to George Sarson, the creator of the show, in 1984. After creating the character Mistle-Toad, he went on to sell chocolate-covered candies bearing the fictional toad's name. They were a success, and prompted Sarson to expand the story behind Mistle-Toad, gradually coming up with the concept of the show.
Despite troubles with low funds for the first four years, the idea was eventually fully financed and made into an animated series to be broadcast on Teletoon in 1999. The series was a co-production between many different companies, including Edward Sarson Productions and Toadbag Productions. The first season was co-produced by the Korean animation studio AKOM, and the second by the Indian company UTV Toons alongside the now defunct Helix Animation and Funbag Animation Studios.
Main article: List of Toad Patrol episodes
|Chapter #||Season 1||Season 2|
|1||One For All||Cry for Help|
|2||The Giver of Names||The Healer|
|3||The Fire||Winter Woes|
|4||The Crystal Caverns||The Castle of the Ancients|
|6||The Stay Away Place||Lost and Found|
|9||Trapped||The Lost Symphony|
|10||Bird's Eye View||Good Day|
|11||The Cure||The Sacrifice|
|12||The Temple of Bufonidae||The Bridge|
|13||The Fairy Ring||Journey's End|
DVD and VHS Releases
Main article: Toad Patrol DVDs and VHSes
So far, only three Toad Patrol DVDs have been released, each one includes three episodes of the first season. There is no word whether or not the rest of the first season will be released at a later date, or if the second season will ever be released at all.
Run for the Toad
While the series no longer airs on television, it is still possible to watch some episodes at the Run for the Toad event that George Sarson and his wife Peggy host every year. During this marathon, a tent is set up with a television and seats inside. Kids and fans of this series can go in and watch Toad Patrol out of old VHS tapes while the race takes place. The tent is called the Thunder Tree Cinema.
- Both seasons of the series have a distinct beginning, middle and end.
- Despite of Mistle Toad being one of the ten main characters of the series, he is the most well-known due to the Mistle-Toad chocolate treats being sold long before the series was even created.
- Although the three Toad Patrol DVDs are listed on the Canadian Netflix, none are currently available for streaming.
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:1999_Canadian_television_series_debuts
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:2002_Canadian_television_series_endings
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_programs_broadcast_by_Toon_Disney
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_programs_broadcast_by_UniM%C3%A1s
- ↑ Media Bureau Children's Television Programming Report, Telefutura network. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
- ↑ Media Bureau Children's Television Programming Report, Telefutura digital streaming. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
- ↑ http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Zouzous (French Wikipedia)
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_toad
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_ring
- ↑ Episode 7 (season 1); "Trojan Duck", Toad Patrol, 1999.
- ↑ "History of Toad Patrol". Runningmania.com. Forum post with copy-pasted history of Toad Patrol from toadpatrol.com. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
- ↑ http://www.akomkorea.com/
- ↑ UTV Toons "Toad Patrol". Reflextions.co.in/utvtoons.
- ↑ "Helix Animation". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-07-05.
- ↑ Run for the Toad FAQ. Runforthetoad.com. Retrieved 2013-07-05.