Tinga Tinga Tales is a British, American and Kenyan children's television series, based on African folk tales and aimed at 4 to 6-year-olds. It was commissioned by the BBC for its CBeebies channel, and by Disney Channel for its Disney Junior block. Named after Tingatinga art from Tanzania, Tinga Tinga Tales was produced in Nairobi, Kenya by Homeboyz Animation, a studio of approximately 50 people. The music is produced by Kenyan singer-songwriter Eric Wainaina. The series comprises 52 episodes.
The series was first conceived by Claudia Lloyd, head of animation at the London-based Tiger Aspect Productions, while travelling through Africa. The first three episodes premiered on the BBC website in early February 2010. The distribution rights have been bought by Entertainment Rights.
Based on the traditional tales from Africa, the show relies on the stories of why animals have gained abilities. An example is like "Why do flamingos stand on one leg?" or "Why the lion roars?", etc.
- Red Monkey (voice by Eugene Muchiri/Geoffrey Curtin): He's the narrator for all episodes.
- Elephant (voice by Lenny Henry): He has a tiny brain that makes noise when shook.
- Lion (voice by Patrice Naiambana): He's well known as the king of Tinga Tinga since he found his roar.
- Hippo (voice by Johnnie Fiori): She usually lives in the Tinga Tinga waterhole.
- Tickbird (voice by Tameka Empson/Elizabeth Curtin): She became hippo's best friend ever since she beat her in a "sea drinking contest".[clarification needed]
- Orange Monkey (voice by Ben Spybey): Obviously one of Red's brother.
- Yellow Monkey (voice by Faraaz Meghani): The youngest monkey in Tinga Tinga.
- Tortoise (voice by Shaun Parkes): The genius in Tinga Tinga and also Elephant's best friend.
- Buffalo (voice by Lenny Henry)
- Bat (voice by Prince Abura/Jules de Jongh)
- Frog (voice by Wakanyote Njuguna)
- Warthog (voice by Kennie Andrews)
- Porcupine (voice by Catherine Wambua)
- Crocodile (voice by Edward Kwach)
- Chameleon (voice by Patrick Kayeki/Kerry Shale)
- Hare (voice by Felix Dexter/John Guerrasio)
- Vulture (voice by Felix Dexter/Lorelei King)
- Giraffe (voice by Miriam Margolyes)
- Lizard (voice by Junior Simpson)
- Eagle (voice by Ninia Benjamin)
- Mosquito (voice by Ninia Benjamin)
- Bushbaby (voice by Bhumi Patel)
- Cheetah (voice by Angelina Koinange/Sophie Okonedo)
- Snake (voice by Johnny Daukes/Dan Russell)
- Aardvark (voice by Johnny Daukes)
- Puff Adder (voice by Johnny Daukes)
- Jackal (voice by Terence Reis)
- Rhinoceros (voice by Terence Reis)
- Ants (voice by Terence Reis)
- Wildebeests (voice by Terence Reis)
- Zebra (voice by Eddie Kadi/Dan Russell)
- Parrot (voice by Eddie Kadi)
- Flamingo (voice by Flaminia Cinque)
- Ostrich (voice by Janet Suzman)
- Camel (voice by Paul Shearer)
- Dragonfly (voice by Corine Onyango)
- Leopard (voice by Doña Croll)
- Hyena (voice by Stephen K Amos)
- Millipede/Pediless (voice by Stephen K Amos)
- Baboon (voice by Anton Rice)
- Owl (voice by Meera Syal)
- Guinea Fowl (voice by Rosemary Leach)
- Mole (voice by Sophie Thompson)
- Meerkat (voice by Morwenna Banks)
- Hen (voice by Lindiwe Brown Mkhize)
- Impala (voice by Claudia Lloyd)
- Bees (voice by Claudia Lloyd)
- Fish (voice by Claudia Lloyd)
- Head Cricket (voice by Derek Griffiths)
- Queen Bee (voice by Penelope Keith)
- Chief Ant (voice by Peter King)
- Lieutenant Ant (voice by Eric Wainaina)
- Cubs (voice by Tracy Rabar, Mikayla Odera, Cullie Ruto)
- Tinga Tinga Birds (voice by Atemi Oyungu, Muthoni Mburu)
North American Characters
- Skunk (voice by Derek Griffiths)
- Caterpillar/Butterfly (voice by Akiya Henry)
- Squirrel (voice by Miriam Margolyes)
- Woodpecker (voice by Akiya Henry)
- Flea (voice by Akiya Henry)
- Crow (voice by Achieng Abura)
- Spider (voice by Jocelyn Jee Esien)
- Hummingbird (voice by Maureen Lipman)
- Peacock (voice by Cyril Nri): He used to have no tail at first, but he learns out it is bad to get anything he wants.
- Whale (voice by Ruth Madoc)
- Crab (voice by Terence Reis)
- Majitu the Giant (voice by Colin McFarlane)
- The Sleeping Stones (voice by Nonso Anozie)
- The Wind (voice by Terence Reis)
Tinga Tinga Tales was also broadcast in the United States. Some characters are dubbed in Disney Character Voices International to give them American accents. The series had its first U.S. premiere on The Disney Channel. Although the series aired on The Disney Channel, the series ended its run on September 2011. The series also aired reruns on Disney Junior: The Channel. However, the series ended its airing on May 2014.
A Spanish dub was also used as Second Audio Programming on March 2013. The series was dubbed in Disney Character Voices International Inc. in Los Angeles. After the English credits are featured, a black screen shows the dubbing credits when switched to Second Audio Programming.