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 2002. 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.
Comparisons with TUGS
- The original plotlines 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 became modernised, with such elements as rap music and all of the tugs having diesel engines, despite clearly being steam tugs.
- 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.
- The Star Fleet and the Z-Stacks, originally 2 rival fleets in TUGS, become friends in Salty's Lighthouse this is mostly noticable 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.
- 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 Z.B. His original nameplate is left uncovered, implying that his name was misinterpreted.
- Puffa is called Stanley and later in the series, Chooch.
- Big Mickey becomes Bigg Basil (possibly to avoid confusion with Disney's famous cartoon character, Mickey Mouse).
- 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 (Possibly not to avoid confusion with the place name in Cape Cod, Massachusetts) 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.
- Salty - The main character who loves using his imagination to cosimerrate 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
- Too Young to Be Included
- Who Took My Crayons
- High Spirits
- Taking My Turn
- Backward Day
- Banana Splits
- Clear the Decks
- Claude in Charge
- The Favorite
- Strike Up the Band
- Blankety Blank
- Last of the Red Hot C Gulls
- Farley Frog
- Some Guys Have all the Luck
- Dream On
- Treasure Hunt
- Big Birthday Bash
- Boss Man
- Sophie Come Home
- Salty Come Lately
- It's Magic
- No Strings Attached
- Sound Off
- If the Clue Fits, Wear It
- Let's Wing It
- Bivalve Music
- Taking Off
- Eight is Too Much
- One Bad Day
- Hands Off!
- Colossal Crab
- Who Turned Off the Lights?
- Let's Party
- Guilty Gull
- Count on Me
- Desperately Seeking Sadie
- Bivalve Blues
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, Z.B, Otis, Zip, Lord Stinker, Frank and Eddie and Stanley/Chooch
- Scott McNeil as Zorran, Zug and Boomer
- Paul Dobson as Big Stack, Sea Rogue and Red Fin
- Lenore Zann as Sunshine, Little Ditcher and Captain Star
- Long John Baldry as Top Hat
- Terry Klassen as Hercules, Zak, Billy Shoepack and Cappy
- Gary Chalk as Bluenose
- Michael Donovan as Warrior, Steamer, Scoop, Scuttlebutt Pete and Mighty Mo
- Venus Terzo as Lillie Lightship and Sally Seaplane
- French Tickner as Captain Zero, Grampus, Izzy Gomez, Bigg Basil| and the Garbage Corporation
- Richard Newman as Mr. Boffo and Mr. Socko
- Kirby Morrow as Zorran and Zug
In 1999, Salty's Lighthouse was released on the Video Buddy Interactive VHS format. In addition to the episodes, they contained interactive segments and music videos. In the UK, a VHS with 6 episodes was released, and later, a children's preschool compilation DVD with two episodes on it.
- The show was dubbed to Asturian Spanish and aired in Asturias in North-west Spain, where it was known as El Faru D' Illán.
- A spanish dub of the series was made called El Faru D' Salty.
- The show shares 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 Live Action films with Salty's Lighthouse]