Now that "JoJo's Circus" has stopped airing new episodes on a regular basis, "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends" is the best children's-animated series out there still regularly putting out new episodes. This program (which is worked on by many of the cast and crew of programs such as "Franklin" and "Little Bear") is a CGI-animated tour-de-force that also features wonderful vocal and instrumental music, strong story lines and wonderful characters.
The world of "Miss Spider" is populated mainly by bugs. Miss Spider and Holley are the proud parents of a number of spiderlings and three adoptees --- Dragon the dragonfly, Shimmer the jewel beetle and Bounce the bedbug. Each character brings something wonderful to the party. Squirt is adventurous, fun-loving and helpful. Wiggle is creative, but sometimes nervous and shy. Spinner is very intellectual, but likes having fun as well. Pansy and Snowdrop are twins, but with different personalities. Shimmer is a bright pink, kindly jewel-beetle who is also rather sporty. Dragon can be a bit mean at times, but the others admire his toughness and he's usually a nice addition to the group. Finally, Bounce is very energetic, speaks with a Spanish accent (masterfully performed by Julie Lemieux) and likes to eat a lot. And then there's Miss Spider --- always kindly, always patient and full of wisdom and Holley --- very musical, still learning how to be a good parent, and always fair.
This show has a wonderful supporting guest cast as well, including Ted and Ned (the laziest ants you'll ever meet), Beetrice the Queen Bee, Grandma Betty Beetle (Miss Spider's adoptive Mom), Uncle Gus and many more.
This show explores all kinds of stories, from being afraid of sounds at night, to wanting to find one's true family. As I mentioned --- not all the characters are bugs --- there's a frog character in later episodes named Felix and a Snake that sometimes incites fear in the bugs.
My review wouldn't be complete without a mention of the late, great Tony Jay, who provided the voice of Spiderus. Just recently, what I can only assume must be one of his last episodes premiered on Treehouse TV. His vocal presence added a lot to the series and he will be missed.
"Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends" is a Gemini-award-winning series that shouldn't be passed by, although unfortunately a lot of people are doing just that. Currently, new episodes are only being shown in Canada --- Nick Jr. does not air the program at this time and Noggin is only playing the first season. Fortunately, more episodes are being released on DVD. One can only hope that both Noggin and Nick Jr. will get on the ball, and soon.