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Flipper (1964 TV series) facts for kids

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Flipper Title Screen.JPG
Title screen
Genre Children
Created by Jack Cowden
Ricou Browning
Starring Brian Kelly
Luke Halpin
Tommy Norden
Andy Devine (1964)
Ulla Strömstedt (1965)
Flipper (various dolphins)
Country of origin United States of America
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 88 (List of episodes)
Running time approx. 25 minutes
Production company(s) MGM Television in association with Ivan Tors Films, Inc.
Distributor MGM Television
Original network NBC
Original release September 19, 1964 (1964-09-19) – April 15, 1967 (1967-04-15)
Preceded by Flipper
Flipper's New Adventure
Followed by Flipper – The New Adventures
Related shows Flipper

Flipper is an American television program first broadcast on NBC from September 19, 1964, until April 15, 1967. Flipper, a bottlenose dolphin, is the pet of Porter Ricks, Chief Warden at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve (a fictional version of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, Florida), and his two young sons, Sandy and Bud. The show has been dubbed an "aquatic Lassie", and a considerable amount of children's merchandise inspired by the show was produced during its first run.


Ricks cottage, Flipper (1964 TV series)
The Ricks cottage at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve

The series follows a bottlenose dolphin named Flipper who is the wild pet of Porter Ricks, a park warden; and his sons, Sandy (15) and Bud (10). Flipper lives in a lagoon near the Ricks cottage at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve. With the Ricks family, Flipper helps protect the park and preserve and its wild inhabitants. He is also instrumental in apprehending criminals and thugs in the park. Flipper is generally recognized by the characters in the show (and the theme song) as being a particularly intelligent and capable dolphin. Flipper is the special companion of the youngest member of the Ricks family, Bud, and several episodes feature Flipper rescuing Bud from dangerous situations. Flipper is able to somehow communicate through different chatter-like tones, head nods and shakes and other attention-seeking antics with Sandy and Bud and draw their (and Porter's) attention to danger or in the direction of people needing help. There are few women in the lives of the Ricks males but in the first season, Porter does have a date while Sandy falls for the girl operator of a floating zoo who appears in four episodes. A female oceanographer enters the series in the second season to add a feminine touch to the proceedings but little more than mild flirtations and fondness between her and Porter ensues. Promotional material for the third season announced a new girlfriend for Sandy, although she only appeared in one episode and he has an innocently flirtatious scene with another girl in a separate episode. The series is distinguished for its lush photography of subtropical Florida and its colorful underwater sequences.



Flipper merchandise generated for the juvenile market during the show's first run is now scarce and collectible. Flipper vintage collectibles include: lunch boxes, song books, comic books, coloring books, a Whitman novel, Big Little Books, souvenir spoons, Whitman frame tray puzzles, a board game, Viewmaster reels (based on the two-part episode "Dolphin Love"), a battery-operated "spouting dolphin" water toy, children's swim trunks with the Flipper logo, and a 1966 Bradley glow-in-the-dark watch. Dolphin Paradise is a Hangame app based on the Flipper television series.

Awards and recognition

The Miami Seaquarium celebrated the 50th Anniversary of "Flipper" in late 2013 with Tommy Norden and Ricou Browning participating along with a series of commemorative events through 2014. A previous event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Flipper in 2004 was also held with Luke Halpin and Tommy Norden. Flipper was nominated for two TV Land awards: in 2004 for the TV Land Favorite Fauna Award and, in 2003, for the TV Land Favorite Pet-Human Relationship Award. Flipper appeared twice on TV Guide covers.

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