Today's favourite fictional character is not even human. He's "the little dog with a big imagination": Wishbone.
I fell in love with this series when it first aired on PBS, even though I was much older than the target audience. But when you combine classic literature with a cute Jack Russell Terrier who dresses up in costumes to play some of the most beloved characters in history... well, what's not to love?
"Wishbone" aired between 1995 and 2001. The eponymous dog lives with his owner, a young boy named Joe Talbot. Wishbone can talk (well, in his head... only the audience can hear him, of course), and his narration ties some of history's greatest works of literature together with the stories of Joe's everyday life in the town of Oakdale, Texas. I'm not sure exactly how this dog is supposed to know all of these famous stories, but he does. And the result is both entertaining and educational.
Wishbone imagines himself in all sorts of famous works -- everything from The Odyssey to Pride and Prejudice (in which he plays Mr. Darcy, of course). Half the fun was seeing the dog dressed up in some pretty elaborate costumes. But I think the series was intended as a way to encourage kids to read, and pick up books they might not even look at otherwise. While I question how many kids actually managed to read The Count of Monte Cristo after seeing the corresponding episode, at least they got an idea of the story... and perhaps they would go on to read the book when they were ready. (I read Shakespeare's The Tempest after seeing the episode "Shakespaw". Of course, then I couldn't shake the image in my head of Ariel with four legs and a tail.)
Only a few episodes are available on VHS and DVD, which is a shame. The classic works highlighted by the show are timeless, and kids today would probably still get a lot out of watching the series.
The Favorite Fictional Character meme was started by Ryan G. at Wordsmithonia.