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Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat

PBS (ended 2006)


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Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat

Show Summary

Welcome to the Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat guide at TV.com. Meet Sagwa, a spirited and playful Chinese kitten. Sagwa is the middle kit and has an older brother named Dongwa and a little sister named Sheegwa. The show is based on the book of the same title that is written by Amy Tan ("The Joy Luck Club", "The Kitchen God's Wife") and illustrated by Gretchen Schields. The story is set in the time near the end of the 19th century in China(1), where The emperor is the head of the country, but delegates the taxing and ruling work to subordinates known as "magistrates" who rules a province. The show airs on any PBS affiliates, the PBS Kids cable channel, and on the PBS satellite service in the US, and on various networks in Canada. It was also available over Disney Channel in Asia, on TCS Central in Singapore, and on TV2 in Malaysia. It is produced by Sesame Workshop and CinéGroupe Canada. Note 1: The network listed below, PBS, is the first known network that picked up the show. It does not implies that PBS is the only network that is airing the show. Note 2: (1) According to one of the Curious Cat segments (Specifically, the one in episode #129). And for those inquiring minds, here's an English translation of the Sagwa theme song. (Music composed by Judith Henderson) Hao peng yo, Hao peng yo Sagwa shi wo de hao peng yo (Repeat 2x) Sagwa, you're my best friend Sagwa...~! (Repeat whole song 2x) Cast Of Sagwa: (Contributed by Jespera, expanded from the editor's H2G2 entry on Sagwa) Sagwa: The star of the show! A very curious and inquisitive Siamese cat, she often gets into adventures... or misadventures! Kind, curious, quick thinking, creative and often bossy, Sagwa (Who'se name means either "Silly Melon Head", "Fool" or "Stupid" depending on how mature your understanding of Mandarin is or which online translation website you used) was originally pure white in colour, but gained her current Siamese cat look after an accident in which she fell into an ink-pot that was on the Foolish Magistrate's desk in episode #101--. Sagwa also has the best artistic skills of the three siblings and she is very talented in Calligraphy. She is being trained to be a calligrapher like her parents and ancestors. Sagwa is voiced by Holly Gauthier-Frankel, known best for her role as Fern Walters in Marc Brown's Arthur. Fu-Fu: Sagwa's best friend, a very clumsy but intelligent and lucky bat that wears glasses with cracked lens. ("Fu" means luck in Chinese but it also can mean bat.) It's Fu-Fu who often has to rescue Sagwa and also give her advice. He lives in a cave with other bats on a mountain side not far from Sagwa's residence. Fu-Fu is voiced by Rick Jones, whose other accomplishments include playing evil rat "No-Tail No Goodnik" in HBO's "The Country Mouse and City Mouse Adventures" as well as other bad guys on various other cartoons, writing for Nickelodeon game show "You Can't Do That on Television", and appearing as a guest star in one episode of TV series "The Saint". Dongwa: Sagwa's older brother by two years. Intelligent, hardheaded and with a preference for Tai-Chi, he thinks he's mature and likes to hang out with the alley cats outside the palace premises. Dongwa (who'se name literally means "Winter Melon"), is often annoyed by his younger siblings, but he does play with them like a good brother. He is the only male child of the family. Dongwa is cream coloured and has marks over his face like Sagwa. Dongwa is voiced by Oliver Grainger, who played Arthur's sister, D.W., in Marc Brown's Arthur from Season 3 to Season 5. Sheegwa: Sagwa's younger sister by two years. Curious, friendly, cheerful and full of energy, Sheegwa (Who'se name literally means "Watermelon") always looks to the bright side and tries to befriend every living thing2 in her path. Her giggle (hee hee!) is her trademark and her fur is pure white (hasn't developed the siamese markings yet). Sheewa's as curious as Sagwa and looks up to her siblings. Sheegwa is voiced by Jesse Vinet, who is known for her role as Cailou's baby Sister, Rosie, in newer Caillou episodes. Baba Miao (@ Win Bao Miao, Full name mentioned in #13602 - The Name Game): Sagwa's father. A very refined and dignified cat, he and Mama Miao are the official calligraphers of the foolish magistrate. Baba is also a teacher to his children. He is strict when duty calls, but playful in the off hours. Baba Miao is of the same colour as Dongwa. He is voiced by Arthur Holden, known for his part as Mr. Emil "Nigel" Charles Ratburn in Marc Brown's Arthur. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Baba Miao acts and sounds suspiciously like Mr. Ratburn. Mama Miao (@ Shao Fung Miao, Full name mentioned in #13602 - The Name Game): Sagwa, Sheegwa and Dongwa's Mother. She has characteristics similiar to that of Baba Miao, but a little less so. She has a colour scheme similiar to that of Sagwa. Also a very skilled calligrapher, she is also a better artist. While she may often come across as a nagging mother who scolds her children, Mama does have a playful streak and enjoys spending time with her family. Mama Miao is voiced by Ellen David, who is known for her role as Buster's Mom, Bitzi, in Marc Brown's Arthur. Nai-Nai: Sagwa, Sheegwa and Dongwa's grandmother. Grey in color, she is old-fashioned albeit patient and full of wisdom. She often tells the kits stories and is one of the authoritve figures on the show. Nai-Nai is voiced by Sonja Ball, known for her role as Mrs. Jane Read in Marc Brown's Arthur. Yeh-Yeh: Sagwa, Sheegwa and Dongwa's grandfather. Like Nai-Nai, he is old-fashioned albeit wise and patient. However, his nose is giving up on him and he tends to enjoy food that tastes good but smells terrible (i.e. 100-year-old tofu). He is, however, a good storyteller. Yeh-Yeh is voiced by Neil Shee. The Mice: Consist of Shei-Hu, his cousin Shei-He, and a couple of others. They are close friends of Sagwa and do no harm to the palace nor it's inhabitants. However, the Foolish Magistrate and his family panic at the sight of them dispite them doing no harm. The Alley Cats: Cats that're friends of either Sagwa or Dongwa, but does not belong in the palace. Can be divided into two groups: "Annoying" and "pleasant". Chet-Chet and Lick-Lick and a few others falls into the annoying catagory. Ling, Han-Han, Fan and a couple more falls into the pleasant catagory. The Sleeve Dogs: Consists of Ping, Pong and Pang. They are called the sleeve dogs because they live in the sleeve of the Foolish Magistrate's wife's robe. The Sleeve Dogs are annoying, dumb and obnoxiously noisy, and spend much of their time arguing among themselves or wreaking havoc in the palace. They think that they're superior to the cats, but the truth is the other way round. They are easily the least liked characters in the show. The Foolish Magistrate: He is a "mayor" of a small village and lives in a little palace. A hasty, henpecked, sometimes immature and particularly hungry fellow, the Foolish Magistrate spends most of his time writing out rules and eating noodles. Known to jump to conclusions or perform actions without considering the side-effect, possibility or consequences. For the most of the first episode of the show, he is particularly nasty as well, penning down all sorts of dumb rules, mostly backed or conspired by Tai-Tai. But after the ink-pot incident(in episode #101--), he achieves enlightenment, revokes all the no-fun rules, and is now a easy going and fun loving man (although he is still quick to jump to conclusions and sometimes still makes his old mistakes while under pressure from Tai-Tai, but the mistakes are not as severe as the ones in the first episode, and are quickly rectified at the end of the episode). He is the Miao cats' owner. They and their ancestors have worked together for many years, the cats serving as calligraphers for him and his family. The Foolish Magistrate is voiced by Hiro Kanagawa, who recently appeared as a guest star in a few episodes of Smallville. Tai-Tai: The Foolish Magistrate's wife. She is materialistic and thrives on prestige. Pompous, arrogant, cocky, old-fashioned and rather irritable, Tai-Tai is also just as hasty as the Foolish Magistrate and often carry out her plans without evaluating the consequences, only to realize the impact it has made on everyone later and corrects it. While often exasperated by her husband's immatureness, she does show a sweet side and comes off as being a great wife and mother. She owns Sleeve Dogs, a trio of yappy little Pekingese dogs that are constantly at odds with the Maio kittens. She keeps the Sleeve Dogs in the sleeves of her robes. Tai-Tai is voiced by Khaira Ledeyo. Ba-Do, Luk-Do, Huang-Do: The triplet of the Foolish Magistrate and Tai-Tai. While their faces are identical, their personalities, hair styles and clothes are different (Ba-Do wears pink, Luk-Do wears blue, and Huang-Do wears yellow). onstantly argues among themselves, but they complement each other and are each other's best friends and playmates. Ba-Do is voiced by Kathy Tsoi, Luk-Do is voiced by Leanne Adachi, and Huang-Do is voiced by Rosa Yee. The Reader of The Scrolls (a.k.a Reader): A somewhat childish but wise and quick-thinking character, wo is a live-in "secretary" to the Foolish Magistrate, he goes out into the village and announces the latest rule imposed on them by the Magistrate... much to the villagers' boredom and chagrin. A bespectacled man, the Reader shows tremendous patience when working with his boss. He is often the victim of mishaps that're caused by others in the palace. When he's off duty, he can almost always be found with the Cook. Reader is played by Russell Yuen. Cook: Also lives at the little palace with the Magistrate's family, the Cook's job is... well, cooking! An excellent cook at that, too, and he's capable of dishing out feasts when special events take place. The wisest human character in the show, The cook not only prepares meals (which consists of noodles most of the time), but sometimes also attend to medical emergencies around the palace. He can almost always be seen with The Reader of the Scrolls during his free time. The Cook is voiced by Raugi Yu. Jun: First arriving at the palace in the episode "Three Graces", Jun is the Magistrate's daughters' private tutor. She is also one of the nicest characters on the show and well-liked by the daughters and the other residents alike, including the cats.moreless
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  • Fun, well-animated and drawn, great colors, details, plots...get the picture?

    Another show I grew up on and will never give up! Sagwa and her family and friends teach valuable lessons (caring, sharing, confessing, dealing with situations as a family, as friends, and as individuals) and the show itself is fun in the sense that the graphics (design, drawing, colors, animation) are so well-done. Much of it showcases very traditional-looking scenes, and yet, I'm not sure how normal talking cats were in China. Still, each character, be they a bat, cat, dog, bird, or even a fish, came with traits we can relate to, personalities most of us can see as realistic, and flaws that are cause for learning from mistakes and, well, giving the episodes conflict and making the show interesting!

    While the show deals primarily with Sagwa and her family and their problems working together, some of the episodes center a little on the tough alley cats and Sagwa's standing up to them when she knows they're doing something wrong. Some of the alley cats come off as bullies, and the show teaches that bullies *can* be stopped - you may need help, but it can be done. Sagwa's brother and sister have trouble writing, which most kids of the targer age should be able to relate to, and Sagwa sometimes feels like she has no real talents - such as Dongwa's kung-fu or Sheegwa's somersaulting abilities.

    I definitely recommend this show as worth watching. It promoted, to me, a love of drawing, animals, and best of all, entertainment.moreless
  • Total Under-rated

    Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat has got to be the most under-rated show on PBS Sprout. The animation is dreadful, The Voice-Acting is horrible & The plots are... well you get the idea.

    it not even off the air & Sagwa who courious gets into trouble & dose not help her brother Dongwa at all, Sagwa is just another lame excause for a show the people "think" has been taken off just like CatDog, Chalkzone, Martin Mystery, Shurkien School, Baby looney Tunes etc., Geez I hope one of these days all these shows will be taken off.

    (well they should, beacause there setting bad example to the childern)moreless
  • Funny, intelligent, and gentle.

    When I first spotted Sagwa on PBS Kids oh so many years ago, I immediately developed the presence of mind to record it to tape. I somehow sensed that the show would grow to become a surefire winner. I wasn't disappointed. Sagwa seemed to possess the right combination of spirit, beauty, and intelligence without compromising its educational qualities. Unlike other kiddie toons like Caillou, which seem to unfold with a picture book quality, Sagwa seemed to have a certain warm and enchanting aura about it. Instead of little itty bitty lessons, Sagwa uses the characters to craft charming tales, through which is woven much grander educational content like family and respect for elders. One particularly memorable episode involves Dongwa, the oldest and the only male kitten, being determined old enough to participate in a coming-of-age ceremony. The show also seems to possess an awareness of Chinese culture and language. I think this is to be commended. The show is also very very gentle. There is absolutely nothing about the show that parents need to worry about. But make no mistake, the animation is beautiful to look at and the characters are funny. A great show in my book.moreless
  • I wish they didn't end Sagwa, I would still watch it even now.

    Sawga, The Chinese Cat was one of my favorite shows when I was growing up, sadly it only came on at noon. And I could never watch much. I got interested in the show because I loved the book it was based off of. The animation was cute, if it is as I remember it. The plots weren't that good, but when your alittle kid does it really matter? You don't understand whats going on anyways. My favorite part, since I was always into chinese and japanese culture, was how they taught you a symbol at the end of every episode. So even if the plot isn't great, the viewers will always learn something new about culture. Thus making it great even for the older kids, or even adults.

    Sawga was the best kid show ever for me, in that age group.moreless
  • Why is this on hiatus and Caillou isn't?

    This is a show that I would've loved when I was a kid and I find it pretty cool now. Unlike most modern kiddie shows, this one's actually pretty good. It isn't just something that you plop your kid in front of to keep them occupied while you go and surf the web. This is a show that older kids and adults can actually enjoy. Unfortunately, there is nothing but reruns even though it is a whole lot better than some of the other crap that is classified as educational. I really wish that they would put it back on and take some of the other shows off.moreless