QUBO ran from 2006 to 2021. It began as a block of cartoons on NBC on Saturday mornings. Then it moved to a free digital over the air channel for kids. We discovered it when we purchased a digital antenna when we lived in Denver. It was a lifesaver when PBS Kids switched to regular PBS around 5pm each weekday. We didn’t get The Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon or Disney at the time, so PBS kids and QUBO was it from 2011 until 2013. Of course we got DVDs from the library, so the kids weren’t totally out of the loop on popular shows, but we weren’t able to watch new episodes.
QUBO aired reruns of older kid shows along with some of their own original programming. My kids enjoyed Jane and Dragon, Mona The Vampire, Madeline, 3-2-1 Penguins, Zula Patrol, Jacob Two Two, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego, The Magic School Bus, The Mysteries of Alfred The Hedgehog, Pipi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables Animated Series and Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century. Occasionally they would watch Artzooka, Bob The Builder, Babar, Animorphs, Animal Atlas, Franklin, Pecola, Marvin the Tap Dancing Horse, Harry and His Bucket of Dinosaurs and The World of Richard Scary.
Jane and the Dragon was based off of a book by Martin Baynton. The Canadian-New Zealand cartoon was done in a unique style and was well written. The plot revolves around Jane, who is a red head adolescent girl who lives in the late 8th or early 9th century. Kippernia Castle in a small fictional kingdom called Kippernium located in southern England. According to the backstory explained in the opening theme song, Jane was being trained to become a Lady-in-waiting, but had always dreamed of becoming a knight. When the prince is kidnapped by a dragon, Jane sets out to slay the beast. When Jane brings the prince back, the king makes her a knight apprentice. Jane and the dragon end up becoming best friends.
Jacob Two-Two is a Canadian Cartoon as well. It was based on the books written by Mordecai Richler. The youngest of five children, Jacob got his ‘Two-Two’ nickname because he always had to say everything twice to be heard by his large family when he was smaller. Jacob does not repeat himself as often as an older kid, but still frequently falls back into this old habit. He inadvertently causes trouble because he always tells the truth. The plot usually revolves around some mystery Jacob Two-Two has to figure out or task he has to complete.
Mona the Vampire is a Canadian-French-Chinese children’s animated television series that was created by Sonia Holleyman. The series is based on a series of 1990s children’s books of the same name that was written and illustrated by Sonia Holleyman. The series follows the adventures of Mona Parker, who refers to herself as “Mona the Vampire”, as well as her two best friends, Lily Duncan (“Princess Giant”) and Charley Bones (“Zapman”), and her pet cat, Fang, as they imagine themselves confronting a new supernatural foe, or solving a supernatural mystery, in every episode, but there are always rational explanations for what they see.
3-2-1 Penguins! is an American-Canadian sci-fi computer-animated Christian children’s television series, initially launched on November 14, 2000 as a direct-to-video episode Twins Jason and Michelle are spending summer with their British Grandmum in The Poconos region of Pennsylvania. Grandmum has a collection of kitschy ceramic figurines, the most prized of which is four penguins in a rocket ship (a honeymoon gift from her deceased husband). In the first video, the twins accidentally drop the ship, but instead of breaking, it flies into the air and reveals the four penguins are actually the crew of a real spaceship. One of the twins is then pulled into the ship, using the crew’s Galeezle (shrinking) device, and taken on a galactic adventure. Zidgel, Midgel and Fidgel are the main penguins, along with Kevin.
Both Zula Patrol (American) and The Magic School Bus (Canadian-American) aimed to teach children science in a fun way. Zula Patrol, where the characters all travel in a space ship, explores astronomy and physics, while The Magic School Bus covers a wide range of subjects. In The Magic School Bus Miss Frizzle embarks on adventures with her class on the eponymous school bus. As they journey on their exciting field trips, they discover locations, creatures, time periods and more to learn about the wonders of science along the way.
Where On Earth is Carmen Sandiego, which is an American Cartoon, taught Geography and History, which was cool. Carmen Sandiego is an international thief and the head of V.I.L.E. Despite the name of her organization, she has a strong code of morals and only steals for the challenge of it. She was a former agent of the ACME Detective Agency. Carmen Sandiego is based on an 80s video game!
Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century is a British/American animated television series in which Sherlock Holmes is brought back to life in the 22nd century Set in the 22nd century in New London, Inspector Beth Lestrade of New Scotland Yard is chasing the grotesquely deformed French rogue geneticist Martin Fenwick, when she realizes that his companion is none other than the 19th century criminal mastermind, Professor James Moriarty. They go on to discover that this is not the original Moriarty, but is in fact a clone created from cells taken from his corpse, which Sherlock Holmes had buried in a Swiss ice cave. Lestrade knows that Holmes survived and actually lived to a ripe old age and further knows that his corpse is preserved in a glass-walled, honey-filled coffin in the basement of New Scotland Yard. She takes the body from the basement and delivers it to biologist Sir Evan Hargreaves (who looks just like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) who has just invented a process of cellular rejuvenation. The biologist then uses his cellular rejuvenation technique to return life and youth to Holmes’s body so that the detective can again battle Moriarty. Holmes also returns to his Baker Street rooms, which had been preserved as a museum. Lestrade’s compu-droid reads the original Watson’s journals and assumes his name, face, voice and mannerisms in order to assist Holmes in both his crime-solving duties and his difficult assimilation to Great Britain in the 22nd century.