Matt and Jenny on the Wilderness Trail 1850 was better known to American audiences as simply, Matt and Jenny when it aired on Nickelodeon in the early 1980’s.
In the first episode we meet newly orphaned Matt and Jenny Tanner who have just learned that their mother has died from typhoid fever while immigrating from Bristol, England. Deciding to jump ship at the next port the Tanners are aided by a young man on the ship, but trouble ensues when they are mistaken for thieves and make a run for it.
While on the run they, quite literally, run into Mr. Adam Cardston, the gentlemen from the ship who had tried to save their mother. Mr. Cardston feels responsible for the children and decides to help them find their Uncle Bill Tanner who had arrived in Canada about five years before Matt and Jenny had. Along the way they meet a kind stranger named Kit who is a bit of a wanderer.
After trouble breaks out at the abandoned Tanner Farm Kit and Mr. Cardston decide to help Matt and Jenny look for family vowing that one, or both of them, would be with them at all times. The children agree, and together they set out to find their family.
Filmed mainly at the Toronto International Studios lot at Kleinburg, Ontario viewers are taken back to 1850’s Canada with it’s beautiful scenery. Matt and Jenny helps us all to remember to value our families whether they are near or far and is a lesson that that we should all keep very close to our hearts especially in today’s troubling world.
Megan Follows – Jenny
Neil Dainard – Adam Cardston
Duncan Regehr – Kit
Created by – William Davidson
Directed by – Joseph L. Scanlan, René Bonnière, & Francis Chapman
Theme music composer – Ron Harrison
Country of origin – Canada
Executive producer(s) – Ralph C. Ellis
David Gideon Thompson for Polytel Film Ltd.
Producer(s) – William Davidson
Production company(s) - Manitou Productions Ltd., Polytel Film Ltd., Shelter Films Ltd.
Original release – October 21, 1979 – 1980