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Ni Hao, Kai-Lan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan
Created byKaren Chau
Developed byMary Harrington
Karen Chau
Judy Rothman
Sascha Paladino
Written bySascha Paladino (Head Writer)
Bradley Zweig (Staff Writer)
Directed byDavid Marshall
StarringJade-Lianna Peters
Clem Cheung
Ben Wang
Jack Samson
Khamani Griffin
Angie Wu
Beverly Duan
Terence Hardy
Hsiang Lo
Theme music composerMatt Mahaffey
Opening themeTheme song composed by Matt Mahaffey, lyrics by Sascha Paladino
ComposerDoug Califano
Country of originUnited States
Original languagesEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes40 (list of episodes)
Executive producerMary Harrington
ProducersSascha Paladino
Supervising Producers:
David Marshall
Jeff DeGrandis
Running time24 minutes
Production companiesHarringtoons Productions
Nickelodeon Animation Studio[a]
Original networkNickelodeon
First shown inCanada
Original releaseFebruary 7, 2008 (2008-02-07) –
November 4, 2011 (2011-11-04)
External links

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is a 2D flash-animated (anime-influenced[2]) children's television series produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio. It began as a series of three interstitial shorts on Nick Jr. called Downward Doghouse.[3] The first full episode was initially set to premiere in fall 2007[4] on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block in the United States, but it was delayed to February 7, 2008, coinciding with the first day of the Chinese New Year.[4]

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is based on childhood memories of the show's creator, Karen Chau, who grew up in a bicultural (Chinese-American) household.[5] "Ni hao" (你好 nǐ hǎo) means "Hello" in Mandarin, and Kai-Lan (凯兰 Kǎilán) is the Chinese name Chau was given at birth, which was later anglicized to Karen.

40 episodes over two seasons were produced. Sascha Paladino was the head writer and developer for the show.


The series follows the adventures of Kai-Lan and her group of talking anthropomorphic animal companions. The group consists of Kai-Lan, a six-year-old Chinese-American girl; Rintoo, a yellow tiger; Tolee, a gray koala; Lulu, a light pink rhino; and Hoho, a white monkey. Each episode is based around a series of events that occur during Kai-Lan's day, along with obstacles that she and her friends are forced to overcome (with "assistance" from the viewing audience) relating to riddles, playing games, and working together. Common rituals may involve Kai-Lan resolving conflicts from her friends when they feel negative emotions. To help them, Kai-Lan has the audience help her figure out why they are having difficult situations. Usually, once Kai-Lan's friends discover that their actions are wrong, they apologize and promise to work together better. The audience is usually presented with two musical sing-alongs where Kai-Lan sings about what must be done to overcome her and her friends' challenges. The episode always ends with Kai-Lan successfully helping her friends and everyone getting along. In the Season 1 finale, it is stated that they all live in California.

Other aspects generally featured in episodes are breaking the fourth wall, 11 minutes of interactivity,[6] a target word that is repeated multiple times,[7] a few words of Mandarin Chinese vocabulary, and before saying goodbye (at the end of each episode), Kai-lan says, "You make my heart feel super happy!" Later installments added Kai-lan saying this phrase in Mandarin after she said it in English: "Ni rang wo hao kai xin!" Ni Hao, Kai-lan introduces its viewers to the Mandarin Chinese language, along with elements of Chinese culture and values, and intergenerational families (e.g., Kai-lan and her relationship with Ye Ye).


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
120February 7, 2008 (2008-02-07)November 4, 2008 (2008-11-04)
220February 2, 2009 (2009-02-02)October 8, 2010 (2010-10-08)
32August 21, 2011 (2011-08-21)August 21, 2011 (2011-08-21)



Kai-Lan (voiced by Jade Lianna Peters) is a playful, adventurous young girl with a big heart. She has black hair that she wears in two space buns with red flowers. Kai-Lan speaks both English and Mandarin Chinese. Also, she can translate the languages.


Rintoo (voiced by Jack Samson) is a rambunctious and energetic yellow bengal tiger with a frontal lisp.


Tolee (voiced by Khamani Griffin) is a gray koala who has a stuffed panda that he affectionately named Pandy.


Lulu (voiced by Beverly Duan) is a sweet and intelligent pink rhinoceros. She has a red balloon tied around her horn that helps her fly.


Hoho (voiced by Angie Wu) is an energetic white monkey and is the youngest of Kai-Lan's friends. At 2 he is still very strong.


Ye-Ye (voiced by Clem Cheung (English dialogue) and Ben Wang (Chinese dialogue)) is Kai-lan's playful, thoughtful, and caring grandfather. He was born in Hong Kong and passes on his traditions to his granddaughter.

Mr. Sun

At the start of almost every episode, Kai-Lan wakes up Mr. Sun with a tickle so she can start her day.

The Ants

In one corner of Kai-Lan's backyard is a teeming mini-metropolis of ants called Ant City who deliver mail and build things. San San is their leader along with his two right-hand ants, Bubu and Fufu.

San San is voiced by Zachary Gordon, Bubu by Luke Manriquez, and Fufu by Kyla Rae Kowalewski.

Other, grown-up, and minor characters

  • Howard (voiced by Khamani Griffin) is an owl who first appears in "The Dragonboat Festival." He delivers letters and only speaks in hoots.
  • Mr. Fluffy (voiced by Elan Garfias) is a hamster and baker who first appears in "Everybody's Hat Parade."
  • Mei Mei (Chinese for “younger sister”, voiced by Laura Marano) is a shy blue polar bear.
  • Stompy the Elephant (voiced by Hsiang Lo) is a big, playful blue elephant who made his first appearance in "Safari Pals."
  • GuNaiNai (voiced by Ming-Na Wen) is Kai-Lan's great-aunt and Ye-Ye's sister. She appears in "Kai-Lan's Trip to China."
  • Xiao Xi Gua (meaning "little watermelon") is a baby panda. He appears in "Kai-Lan's Trip to China."
  • The Peeking Mice are little, black mice who are often seen playing music. They are voiced by assorted members of the cast.
  • Mr. Hoppy is a green frog who speaks in ribbits.
  • The Monkey King (voiced by Jack Cygan) is a monkey superhero.
  • The Fox King (voiced by James Siang'a) is a fox in The Fox Kingdom.
  • The Foxes are red foxes that live in The Fox Kingdom.
  • The Bear Queen (voiced by Lucy Liu) is a bear in The Bear Kingdom.
  • The Bears are brown bears that live in The Bear Kingdom.


DVD releases

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan home video releases
Season Episodes DVD release dates
Region 1
1 2007–08 20 Volume 1: Super Special Days: August 12, 2008[8]
Episodes: "Dragonboat Festival" • "Everybody's Hat Parade" • "Twirly Whirly Flyers" • "Beach Day"
Volume 2: Celebrate with Kai-Lan: January 6, 2009[9]
Episodes: "Safari Pals" • "Tolee's Rhyme Time" • "Kai-Lan's Campout" • "Happy Chinese New Year!"
Volume 3: Kai-Lan's Great Trip to China: July 14, 2009[10]
Episodes: "The Ant Playground" • "Rain or Shine" • "Kai-Lan's Trip to China"
Volume 4: Kai-Lan's Carnival: October 6, 2009[11]
Episodes: "Wait, Hoho, Wait!" • "Roller Rintoo" • "Kai-Lan's Carnival" • "Lulu Day"
2 2009–10 20 Volume 5: Princess Kai-Lan: October 5, 2010[12]
Episodes: "The Moon Festival" • "Lulu's Cloud" • "Princess Kai-lan"

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
2008 Artios Award Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Animation TV Programming Sarah Noonan and Meredith Layne Nominated
2009 Annie Award Best Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production Notes[13] Nominated
2010 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Sascha Paladino, Mary Harrington, Jeff DeGrandis and Andrew Huebner Nominated

Related media

Video games

The success of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan spawned its own video game series, supported by various gaming consoles and platforms:

  • Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Super Game Day (Wii) – released, October 26, 2009[14]
  • Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Super Game Day (PS2) – released, October 26, 2009[14]
  • Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: New Year's Celebration (DS) – released, November 5, 2009[15]


  1. ^ "Monday, January 14th, 2008". Cynopsis Media. January 14, 2008.
  2. ^ Davis, Michael (15 April 2007). "Ni Hao, Kai-lan! – China – Animation – TV". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "'Ni Hao, Kai-lan': Tigers and Dragons and Mandarin Lessons". Animation World Network.
  4. ^ a b Hale, Mike (February 7, 2008). "A Pint-Size Peacemaker With a Lot to Teach". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "HOW 'KAI-LAN' GOT HER GROOVE". Hartford Courant. March 9, 2008.
  6. ^ Strike, Joe (2007-12-04). "Ni Hao, Kai-lan: Tigers and Dragons and Mandarin Lessons". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on 2009-06-27.
  7. ^ Liu, Ed (2008-01-21). "Toon Zone Interviews Nick SVP Teri Weiss About "Ni Hao, Kai-lan"". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20.
  8. ^ "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan – Super Special Days". August 12, 2008.
  9. ^ "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan – Celebrate with Kai-Lan". January 6, 2009.
  10. ^ "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan – Kai-Lan's Great Trip to China". July 14, 2009.
  11. ^ "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan – Kai-Lan's Carnival". October 6, 2009.
  12. ^ "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan – Princess Kai-Lan". October 5, 2010.
  13. ^ Crump, William D. (April 4, 2019). Happy Holidays—Animated! A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Cartoons on Television and Film. ISBN 9781476672939. Archived from the original on April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Liu, Jonathan (February 6, 2010). "Have a Super Game Day with Kai-Lan". WIRED. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  15. ^ Healy, Christopher (June 19, 2019). "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: New Year's Celebration". Common Sense Media. Retrieved April 5, 2020.


  1. ^ Animation outsourced to Wang Film Productions[1]

External links

This page was last edited on 3 December 2021, at 17:18
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