In the fall of 1991 Waldo Watchers around the world gathered around the TV every Saturday morning to watch (and find) their favorite red and white shirted man, Waldo. I must admit, as a Waldo-fan I was excited to hear the news that Waldo was getting his own show. However I was even more interested to see how the show’s creators would be able to bring these great books full of still pictures (and no plot/character development) into an actual working show that stayed some-what true to the books. I was presently surprised after viewing just one episode to see that the show was extremely true to the books and added even more to the characters. The Where’s Waldo TV show busted my Waldo fan-ship from 100% to 327%.
In the show, Waldo and his dog Woof traveled around the globe, solving mysteries and lending a helping hand wherever they could. With the help of his magic walking stick, Waldo could travel to far off magical lands. They were usually sent by the Wizard Whitebeard to help solve a mysteries or problem in a distant (and crowded) land. "Where's Waldo" was a 1/2 hour puzzle of clues as the viewer watched Waldo solve riddles and follow clues to unravel the day’s problem. The evil (and awful) Odlaw was the show's villain, constantly plotting to steal the magic stick. In each episode Odlaw would team up with other villains from far-off lands to help get the magic stick, while Waldo and Woof teamed up with the "good-guys". The comedic pace and tone of Odlaw was hilarious. Not only was he the show’s “Wile E. Cyote” he was also a great straight-man and gave some great quips and remarks in each episode (usually back and forth between him and the narrator).
“Where’s Waldo” stayed true to the original books' premise by means of "Waldo's Minutes," during which the screen froze for a full minute so the viewer at home could spot Waldo. This kind of segment aired twice per episode, it was great fun to see if you could spot Waldo in the crowded scene – but with a small or poor quality TV, I could image this part of the show would be hard and frustrating. For the show's big fans (who wanted more than 60-seconds, had a small TV, or just wanted to enjoy the artwork), the still pictures from the "Waldo Minutes" were released in book form, along side more information, facts, and puzzles on the episodes’ themes. “Fun with Waldo” and “More Fun with Waldo” were released in 1992 giving readers a chance to find Waldo and friends in the shots from the show. These books are a delight and a great
"Where's Waldo" the cartoon was even nominated for the "1992 annual Young Artist Award" for Outstanding New Animation Series. Due to lack of ratings, shrinking Waldo-fans, and CBS’s desire to rework Saturday morning TV, "Where's Waldo" lasted only one season on CBS. Only 13 episodes were ever made. I love and treasure all the episodes, my old VHS tape of episodes taped off TV almost 15 years ago is wearing out. I hope that the current owner of the show (HIT Entertainment) decides to re-release the show. I know that being able to own any episodes of the show on DVD would be great (the “Waldo Minuets” would be tremendous on DVD)!