Some Teletubbies fans are scared of or dislike the sketch due to the strange appearance of the ships. The fans are scared of what's controlling the ships, often fearing the captains as The Bear With Brown Fuzzy Hair, The Scary Lion and The Singing Puppet Man, they fear where the water has come from, they are scared the way the ships come from above the horizon and then disappear like ghosts, they want to know where the ships came from and why the ships even came. Other Teletubbies fans enjoy the sketch and do not find it scary at all. They know the ships aren't being sailed by anyone, the ships are magic and can move all by themselves. The water is also magic, though also man made by special effects, using computer animation. The ships are 3D animated and have small flags on their hulls. The ships are a beautiful sight for the Teletubbies. Most Teletubbies fans have enjoyed the sketch and love the animation, effects, music, and feeling of it.
The Three Ships appear on some various episodes. They are:Cafe Chocolate
The Beach (US Version only)
Colours - Blue (US Version only)
Washing the Car (US Version only)
Magical Surprises VHS and DVD
Happy Birthday! (DVD)
The magical event starts with The Magic Windmill spinning. The Teletubbies then arrive and group up quickly at a place in Teletubbyland. The Baby Sun starts to giggle and laugh, being so excited. The Teletubbies then hear a ship's horn echoing in the background. They then venture off to the destination of the Magical Event silently. A puddle appears and it magically grows bigger and bigger, filling Teletubbyland with water and turning it into a deep ocean (though some parts of land remain unflooded). The Teletubbies then sit down on an island and are very excited about what they're going to see. Jolly music starts playing in the background and the same ship's horn is heard, along with the sound of splashing water. Three black dots appear on the horizon and gradually get bigger, with the horn still heard. A tune that sounds like "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In On Christmas Day" starts playing. The black dots are revealed to be three cartoon animated ships similar to the RMS Queen Mary that blows their horns numerous times and sail very close to the screen but then turn to port (left) and the Teletubbies see the rest of the ships. The ships are then shown sailing in different positions across the ocean (behind, from the sides, and in front). After a few laps of the ocean, they turn to starboard (right) and then back to port (left), before sailing away and blowing a farewell horn. The ships sail across the ocean and out of the background, with the jolly music coming to an end. The ocean remains for a few seconds before the water starts to shrink (the animation is played in reverse) turning into puddles with the dry land being revealed again. The island the Teletubbies were sitting on to watch the ships turns back into a tiny hill again and once all the water has vanished a gargling plug hole sound is heard. The Magic Windmill stops spinning or the Teletubbies move on to the next segment.
- There is a picture of a flower on the flags of the Three Ships.
- Playing In The Rain and The Helicopter are the only two episodes that do not have Baby Sun scene when the Teletubbies go to watch the Three Ships.
- In Cafe Chocolate, the Teletubbies don't giggle when they are sitting on the island and looking at the water. However, in all other episodes, they do giggle when sitting on the island.
- In The Helicopter, a fade effect is used after the Magical Event. The fade transitions to the Magic Windmill about to stop spinning.
- When the water drains, the animation of the water filling up is played backwards.
- Some people found it strange and scary of the ships' appearance
- In Making Bread the Sun Baby Giggled for Tubby Bye-Bye.
- In Paddling by the Sea, the Magic Windmill stops spinning and goes to the next segment, or dance.
- If you look closely at the scene where the water fills up and/or drains, you can clearly see that it's just a still picture as the clouds and trees don't move at all.