The animation in "Special Agent Oso" is a mixture of digital-cut out, 3D Photoshop and Flash animation, with a bit of collage, papier-mâché and food (yes, food) to create texture and tangibility. For example, the sidewalks are made out of pie crusts, snow-capped mountains are made from whipped cream, and the mountains are actually images of burnt toast, all made by photographing and digitizing the item at hand.
Each episode consists of two 11-minute stories featuring clever titles such as "Gold Flower" and "Carousel Royale," and four original catchy songs that reference the classic spy genre in a kid-friendly way that parents and caregivers will also enjoy.
The beginning of each adventure finds Oso in an exotic locale attempting a daring special agent training mission - such as scaling a mountain or spacewalking to repair a satellite - under the watchful eye of senior agents Wolfie (Phill Lewis) or Dotty (Amber Hood). The mission goes awry when Oso's paw-shaped communication device Paw Pilot (Meghan Strange) interrupts him with a "special alert," causing Oso to lose his concentration and prompting his catchphrase, "It's all part of the plan...more or less." And with that, Oso's wristwatch flips open to reveal the mysterious voice of his boss, the never seen Mr. Dos (Gary Anthony Williams), calling with a special assignment in which Oso must help a child at home complete an everyday task.
Upon receiving the special assignment, Paw Pilot, which features the face and voice of a cheerful, bubbly girl, sings Oso the "Three Special Steps" song, breaking down the necessary steps to complete the task at hand.
With help from a wide array of gadgets and gizmos such as Shutterbug, a robot video camera lady bug; a grappling hook pen and Oso's special agent vest; customized vehicles, such as a helicopter, a bullet train, a sports car and a motorcylce; special agent outfits; and most importantly, the viewers at home, Oso must complete the special assignment before the ever present ticking clock runs out of time.
Once the special assignment is complete, Oso returns to the training mission he was attempting at the beginning of the episode, using something he learned from the day's special assignment to complete the mission and earn his Digi-Medal from Mr. Dos. For example, in the premiere episode, after learning that he must use both his hands and legs to climb up the mailbox in order to reach the mail slot, Oso returns to complete his own training mission by scaling a mountain using his new found skills. Oso then rewards viewers at home with their very own Digi-Medal to thank them for their help in completing his mission.
"Special Agent Oso" is an interactive series which calls upon young viewers to use their observational skills and cognitive abilities. The stories range from cognitive skills such as how to put a puzzle together, to emotional skills like how to make a new friend at school. By following Paw Pilot's instructions, viewers learn how to organize and break down everyday tasks by using three simple steps just as Oso does. The curriculum consultants for "Special Agent Oso" are Iris Sroka, Ph.D., Debbie Jaffe and Christine Archuleta.
"Special Agent Oso" stars Academy Award-nominee Sean Astin as the voice of Oso, a fuzzy, lovable, bumbling special agent-in-training who enlists the help of viewers at home to complete his assignments. Paying homage to special agent classics, the series follows Oso, a stuffed panda bear who works for U.N.I.Q.U.E. (United Network for Investigating Quite Usual Events), an international organization of endearing stuffed animals charged with helping kids accomplish everyday tasks such as cleaning their room, brushing their teeth and learning how to use the library.
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