The Wiggles' 2nd TV Series debuted in 1999 on UK network ITV's morning block GMTV on 2 January 1999. It later aired in Australia on Seven/Prime Network throughout 1999, just as their first series had. Disney Channel began rerunning the series in Australia in June 1999 on Saturday mornings, after the success of the TV special The Wiggles: Live at Disneyland in 1998, while in America, Playhouse Disney aired the series on weekdays.
It differed quite a bit from its predecessor, both in content and style. Some episodes remained story-based, such as Dancing (where Anthony loses his ability to wiggle) and Play (where Dorothy loses her voice), but there is no specific format to the series, with songs and other skits appearing in between segments of the story. The focus of the episodes were more on general themes running throughout, for example Numbers & Counting, Animals and Multicultural, with most of their individual songs and skits relating to these themes in some way. Most drastically, the setting changed quite a bit as The Wiggles' world is now primarily CGI, with the primary locations (Wigglehouse, Dorothy's Garden, Captain Feathersword's Dockyard, Henry's Place and Wags World) being practical sets existing within it, all of which look completely different than in previous appearances.
It primarily featured songs from the 3 videos that came out before it, the 1998 versions of Wiggle Time! and Yummy Yummy, and Toot Toot!. Songs filmed live in concert at the Toot Toot Show!, the same concert that would later be released on video as The Wiggly Big Show, also appeared. A few songs from Big Red Car and Wake Up Jeff! were also used, re-shot in the style of the episodes.
This series is generally considered to be their most popular, and arguably helped bring The Wiggles to the height of their overall popularity, especially in countries outside Australia where they had little exposure before. When the first run of 13 episodes aired on GMTV, it reportedly had a 50% audience share during its time slot. Most notably, this series began The Wiggles' relationship with Disney Channel in the United States, as they began running it on their Playhouse Disney block in early 2001. They would continue to debut and rerun Wiggles series, new and old, until 2009, airing 2 to 4 episodes daily during much of that time.
NOTE: This list is incomplete. There are 52 episodes total, the following are the only ones with known names (documented from past listings on Sprout On Demand).
- 1, 2, 3, 4! (derived from Numbers & Counting)
- Treasure Trove (derived from Numbers & Counting)
- The Search of Anthony's Wiggle (derived from Dancing)
- Yo-Ho-Ho (derived from Dancing)
- Dreaming (derived from (At) Play)
- Dorothy's Runaway Voice (derived from (At) Play)
- Treasure Hunt (derived from Safety)
- Help! (derived from Safety)
- Carrot Tricks (derived from Storytelling)
- Wiggle Tales (derived from Storytelling)
- Magical Stick (derived from Play(time))
- Watching the Sky (derived from Play(time))
The opening theme song and closing credits are the only constant features of every episode, although the credits tend to differ in length from episode to episode. Both are set to a new song, In The Wiggles' World. The intro features a bee pollinating a flower in Dorothy's Garden to reveal the logo. The camera then zooms along with the bee through Wiggles World past the characters in their usual locations; Dorothy the Dinosaur in her garden, Wags the Dog and The Wagettes in Wags World, Officer Beaples patrolling the streets, Captain Feathersword and his mates in the S.S. Feathersword, and Henry the Octopus in his underwater home. We then follow a seagull toward Wigglehouse, where The Wiggles greet the viewers by waving or dancing.
Like TV Series 1, songs from the 1998 remakes of Wiggle Time! and Yummy Yummy appear in most episodes. Unlike that series, not all songs from those videos are used, and most that are used appear several times. Some songs use completely different camera angles at times, most notably Dorothy the Dinosaur. Some footage in music videos was adjusted to accommodate for transitions and song title cards, such as the first shot of Get Ready To Wiggle lasting longer when compared to its appearance in Wiggle Time!, and some of the following shots being slightly differently placed as a result. Much more songs from Toot Toot! appear than in Series 1, and many more episodes contain songs performed in concert. Most concert songs are from the show featured in The Wiggly Big Show (in fact one song, D.O.R.O.T.H.Y. (My Favourite Dinosaur), is cut from that video but appears in the episode Imagination), although Wake Up Jeff!, which can be seen in Communication, is from the same concert used in Wiggle Time! and Series 1 (that particular song appeared in neither). New music videos for the songs Our Boat Is Rocking On The Sea (a new recording of the track from Stories and Songs: The Adventures Of Captain Feathersword, The Friendly Pirate), Big Red Car, Hat On My Head (both from Big Red Car), Henry's Underwater Big Band, Having Fun At The Beach (both from Wake Up Jeff!), and John Bradlelum (from Toot Toot!) are used.
Song title cards appear on a wavy Wiggle Rainbow of varying sizes and colours depending on the length of the title. It would later be used in the 1999 re-release of Toot Toot!, with differently-styled text. Only one song appears without a title card, Wigglegroove in the episode Work. Often title cards show up at times in multiple appearances, such as Hot Potato, where it shows up right away in some appearances, but not until several seconds into the song in Hygiene (as it does in Yummy Yummy). Sometimes the title cards themselves are different from episode to episode, especially those with long titles, like We're Dancing With Wags The Dog, where the divide in what words are on top or bottom is different, or the colors in the Wiggle Rainbow are different.
There are no specific sets of segments that appear in every episode, nor are there segments with given names. Examples of recurring segments include The Wiggles discussing the theme of an episode in a Wiggle Rainbow, or inside or outside Wigglehouse, Greg performing magic tricks and trying to get a rabbit out of his hat (often with help, or hinderance, from Anthony), Captain Feathersword attempting to teach tricks to Wags the Dog or dances to his pirate crew at either Wags World or his dockyard, Henry conducting his Underwater Big Band, and Dorothy planting in her garden.
There are three different versions of the series: the original GMTV versions that are roughly 18 to 19 minutes each, the extended versions that run around 21-minutes (both of which consist of 26 episodes), and split 11-minute versions edited much later, around the time of TV Series 4 and 5 (of which there are presumably 52 episodes). The 21-minute versions are the most common, as they aired in several countries, and appear on the DVD box set and other home video releases.
The GMTV versions have not be rerun or released since and all but one episode is considered lost media. The version of the episode Play on the UK compilation DVD Playtime Children's Favourites is the GMTV version. Based on that episode, these versions did not contain the concert clips seen in the others (Captain Feathersword Fell Asleep on His Pirate Ship (Quack Quack) is replaced with the version from Wiggle Time!), and contained other edits to reduce the run time (The Monkey Dance and the prologue to Ponies are cut entirely, while the epilogue to Starry Night is shortened). Episode credits are also much shorter.
The 11-minute versions reshuffled many of the scenes to get them to fit in these separated time frames, using transitions from Series 4 and 5 to hide these cuts. They are only known to have aired in the United States on Sprout (now Universal Kids), who currently only run TV series featuring the current generations of Wiggles, so they too are considered lost.
The Dorothy the Dinosaur and Friends Video was released in May 1999, containing several skits from the TV Series featuring the Wiggly Friends, with some new introductions by Dorothy herself, and music videos featuring The Wiggle Puppets. The Wiggles themselves never physically appear in the video, although their voices can be heard at several points. The following year, Captain Feathersword the Friendly Pirate was released, containing skits focusing on Captain Feathersword. Greg, Jeff and Anthony introduce the segments, and all four Wiggles appear in many of the skits. There are no music videos.
The Wiggly Big Show, a 1999 live video using the same concert clips as the series, also contained scenes of The Wiggles inside the Wigglehouse from Series 2, as well as other characters in a dressing room made from the dentist set used in the episode Movement. A new music video for Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car was also used in which they drive through the CGI Wiggles World from this series.
When Toot Toot! was released internationally, and re-released in Australia in 1999, the chroma key backgrounds of the video's primary setting was changed to the Wiggles World from this series. The music videos for John Bradlelum and Henry's Underwater Big Band made for this series were also added to the video, with the former replacing its original version, and the latter replacing the song Bathtime. The same music video for Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car from The Wiggly Big Show was also used.
It's a Wiggly Wiggly World!, a video released the following year in 2000, features many direct connections to the series. The Series 2 intro is used for that video, as is the CGI Wiggles World. The set for Dorothy's Garden is also the same as the one used in this series. The song Starry Night is taken directly from the episode Play as a flashback by Murray, although the music is re-recorded. It is often considered by fans to be a special for the series, or perhaps even a finale.
Yule Be Wiggling, which was filmed in 2000 and released in 2001, contained a few brief scenes of The Wiggles where the background used was the playground location from the Series 2 Wiggles World.
Home Video Releases
The Wiggles' first ever DVD was a TV Series 2 compilation called Wiggly TV, released in 2001. It contained three 21-minute episodes, Play (titled as Playtime), History (titled as Wiggly History) and Family, as well as an electronic storybook and bloopers. A VHS version was also released, although it did not contain the episode Family. In the United States and Canada, this was released as Wiggly Play Time. Both the VHS (released in 2001) and DVD (released 2003 in Canada and 2004 in the US) contained all three episodes, edited together to form a complete hour-long video.
From 2004 to 2008, various episodes were included on Children's Favourites (later HiT Favourites) compilation DVDs and VHS, alongside episodes of other HiT Entertainment-distributed shows like Barney, Thomas and Friends and Bob the Builder. The episode Play, featured in Playtime Children's Favourites, is the original GMTV version. Safety was released on a promotional DVD sold in the Daily Mirror titled A Fun Filled Episode.
In 2005, the episodes Family and Musical Instruments were included on the North American-exclusive VHS and DVD Lights, Camera, Action!, which also contained episodes of TV Series 3. A rental version titled The Wiggles Show contained these episodes and the video Top of the Tots.
All 26 episodes were released together across 4 DVD discs in a Collector's Edition Box Set released in 2007, along with two bonus episodes of Dorothy the Dinosaur (TV Series). Two 13-episode volumes compiling the whole series were available on digital platforms such as iTunes and Google Play. Like TV Series 1, episodes on iTunes were presented in 480p rather than their original resolution of 576p, and were in mono sound despite being produced in stereo. Neither the DVD or digital releases were ever made available outside of Australia and New Zealand, and are no longer available for purchase, although they are still available on Google Play & YouTube for Australia & New Zealand fans.
- A lot of the short music pieces and sound effects are reused from The Wiggles Movie, in a lower key and slower tempo.
- This was the first use of Wigglehouse with its current look, as well as Flora Door.
- Story Telling and Family uses the original 1998 version of the John Bradlelum video.
- The opening from this series was later used on It's a Wiggly Wiggly World!, soon... Coming soon..., 2005 Coming 2005 and Now On DVD & VHS! Out Now On DVD & VHS!.
- This is the last TV series to feature the Red American Vintage Telecaster (a.k.a. Red Starry Guitar) and the Acoustic P3FCN.
- This is the only TV series to feature the Acoustic DN15C.
- This is the first TV Series to have cartoon sound effects from the Hanna-Barbera sound library.
- In Multicultural, Havenu Shalom Alechem was misspelled as "Havenu Shalom Alachem".