Salty's Lighthouse is a children's series created by Nina I. Hahn and produced by Sunbow Entertainment, seen on the TLC network (during "Ready Set Learn"). It was first broadcast in 1997 and ended in 1998. The show featured cartoon animated segments of a boy named Salty with his animal friends in a lighthouse, as well as live-action segments made from edited and re-dubbed TUGS footage. Music for the series was composed by Chase Rucker Productions. The series was produced in association with the Bank Street College of Education, New York. 40 ten-minute episodes were produced.
The series is currently in ownership of Sony Music in the US and Canada, and M4e in the rest of the world.
- Salty - The main character who loves using his imagination to commiserate with human and animal friends alike, learning all sorts of lessons.
- Ocho - Salty's octopus friend.
- Claude - Salty's crab friend.
- Sophie and Sadie - Two girl seagulls.
- Aunt Chovie - Salty's aunt who owns the lighthouse.
- Aurora - A talking lightbulb at the top of the lighthouse who narrates the Tugs segments.
- Seymour - A pair of binoculars who helps the gang watch the tugs.
- The Clams - Five clams who always have fun.
- The Clock - A yellow-faced clock that announces the "Salty's Song Time" segments that are sung by some of the cast and featured clips from old Black & White films some of which were from Charlie Chaplin & included specially added animation for some scenes in the songs.
- Mixed Signals (October 3, 1997)
- Too Young to Be Included (October 10, 1997)
- Taking Off (October 17, 1997)
- Let's Party! (October 24, 1997)
- Blackout (October 31, 1997)
- Eight is Too Much (November 7, 1997)
- One Bad Day (November 14, 1997)
- Hands Off! (November 21, 1997)
- Salty Come Lately (November 28, 1997)
- It's Magic (December 5, 1997)
- Count on Me (December 12, 1997)
- Knot So Nice (December 19, 1997)
- Taking My Turn (December 26, 1997)
- Backward Day (January 2, 1998)
- Banana Splits (January 9, 1998)
- Clear the Decks (January 16, 1998)
- Claude in Charge (January 23, 1998)
- The Favorite (January 30, 1998)
- Strike Up the Band (February 6, 1998)
- Blankety Blank (February 13, 1998)
- Last of the Red Hot C Gulls (February 20, 1998)
- Farley Frog (February 27, 1998)
- Boss Man (March 6, 1998)
- Sophie Come Home (March 13, 1998)
- Who Took My Crayons? (March 20, 1998)
- High Spirits (March 27, 1998)
- Some Guys Have all the Luck (April 3, 1998)
- Dream On (April 10, 1998)
- Sound Off (April 17, 1998)
- Treasure Hunt (April 24, 1998)
- Who Turned Off the Lights? (May 1, 1998)
- If the Clue Fits, Wear It (May 8, 1998)
- Desperately Seeking Sadie (May 14, 1998)
- Colossal Crab (May 15, 1998)
- The Big Birthday Splash (May 22, 1998)
- Stop the Music (May 29, 1998)
- Let's Wing It (June 5, 1998)
- No Strings Attached (June 12, 1998)
- Guilty Gull (June 19, 1998)
- Bivalve Blues (June 26, 1998)
Cartoon Segment Cast
- Rhys Huber as Salty
- Kathleen Barr as Ocho and Aunt Chovie
- Janyse Jaud as Sophie and Sadie
- Andrea Libman as Claude
- Ian James Corlett as Ten Cents, Otis, Z.B, Zip, Lord Stinker and Frank and Eddie
- Scott McNeil as Zorran, Zak, Zug, Bluenose and Boomer
- Paul Dobson as Big Stack, Hercules, Captain Zero, Izzy Gomez, Sea Rogue, Billy Shoepack, Cappy, Mr. Boffo and Mr. Socko, Tramper, Old Rusty, Scoop and Chooch
- Lenore Zann as Sunshine, Little Ditcher, Captain Star, Lillie Lightship and Sally Seaplane
- French Tickner as Top Hat, Warrior, Grampus, Steamer and Scuttlebutt Pete
Home Media Releases
In 1999, Salty's Lighthouse was released on the Video Buddy Interactive VHS format through Sony Wonder, 3 releases were made, making a total of 6 episodes released in the US and Canada. In addition to the episodes, they contained interactive segments and music videos.
On May 13, 2003 a VHS inculding 6 episodes was released in the UK by Maverick, and in 2005, a children's preschool compilation DVD titled 'Toddler Time' was released that included two episodes.
The series was also briefly on the free streaming site 'Kidobi' the series has of now been taken down.
All the episodes have been uploaded to YouTube by "Ziggyy Family Entertainment" a company owned by M4E.
- The show was dubbed to Asturian Spanish and aired in Asturias in Northwest Spain, where it was known as El Faru D' Illán.
- Episodes were paired together when they aired on PBS and TLC.
- The series aired on Playhouse Disney in Taiwan.
- A Spanish dub of the series was made called El Faru D' Salty.
- Most of the songs in the show can be seen in more than one episode.
- Due to the limited footage the crew had from the original 13 episodes most of the TUGS segments often repeat a certain plot often taken from the original TUGS episodes like the tramper stuck on the rocks in Trapped, Top Hat's dilemma with the railway bridge in High Tide, or Sunshine getting stuck in the logs in Up River.
- Despite using animation for the lighthouse scenes the show shares some similar features to Shining Time Station:
- Both shows use model stories that were made by David Mitton [TUGS and Thomas & Friends]
- Both shows make music videos using clips of old films [Cartoons with Shining Time Station, Silent Black & White Live Action films with Salty's Lighthouse]
Comparisons with TUGS
- The original plot lines of TUGS, aimed at an older audience than Salty's Lighthouse, were not used in the series. Instead, the existing footage was re-edited and dubbed into newly-written stories, relating to the moral lesson of the episode it featured in. As a result from different TUGS episodes being edited together, continuity errors are visible, including characters' barges differing in sequential scenes, Sunshine's model constantly changing from his original white paintwork to his yellow paintwork, smoke retreating back into stacks in reversed scenes, daylight scenes in nighttime scenes, and abrupt weather changes.
- The original setting of TUGS, Bigg City Port, becomes Snugboat Harbor.
- The stories were modernized, with all the tugs having diesel engines instead of boilers. The soundtrack was also altered to include hip-hop music.
- Multiple impossible events occur, such as the tugboats using Captain Star's megaphone, boats willingly sinking themselves without any structural damage, and lifting sunken boats by pulling them horizontally from the surface using a small tow rope. This was due to the limit the crew seemed to have with the amount of footage they had.
- The Star Fleet and the Z-Stacks, originally 2 rival fleets in TUGS, become friends in Salty's Lighthouse this is mostly noticeable with Captain Zero not acting like a gang boss. However, the old rivalry is sometimes shown (mostly portrayed with Zorran).
- Sunshine, Captain Star and Little Ditcher are portrayed as female characters, presumably to appeal to a wider audience of children.
- Ten Cents and Sunshine are brother and sister, respectively.
- Sea Rogue becomes evil.
- Captain Zero is given a personality that mirrors Captain Star's in some respects, although they're still portrayed as sometimes having a rivalry.
- The Z-Stacks are always known as the Zero Fleet.
- While many characters in TUGS have varied British accents (such as Glaswegian, Cockney, South Welsh, British Midlands, Lancastrian and Liverpudlian), in this series the characters have varied Northeastern American accents (such as Bronx, New Jersey and Brooklyn).
- Big Mac becomes Big Stack (possibly to avoid legal trouble with McDonald's over the name of their famous burger).
- O.J. becomes Otis (possibly to avoid confusion with O.J. Simpson, whose trial was still a hot-button topic at the time).
- The Coast Guard and his messenger are presented as the same character, Cappy.
- Zebedee becomes Zeebee. His original nameplate is left uncovered, implying that his name was misinterpreted.
- Puffa is called Chooch.
- Jack the Grappler becomes Scoop.
- Burke and Blair become Mr. Boffo and Mr. Socko, and are portrayed as movie producers instead of scrap dealers. Their original nameplates are left uncovered.
- Johnny Cuba becomes Steamer and Nantucket becomes Tramper and are portrayed as friendly characters.
- The Fultan Ferry has a speaking role, despite not having a visible face or megaphone.
- Izzy Gomez speaks with an American accent, despite the obvious sombrero and Mexican flag on his stack, most likely to avoid complaints of stereotyping.