Eureeka's Castle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Eureeka's Castle
Eureekas.jpg
GenreChildren's
Created byJudy Katschke
Written byR.L. Stine (head writer)
Creative director(s)Eli Noyes
Starring
Composer(s)Peter Lurye
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes90
52 (season 3)
Production
Executive producer(s)Kit Laybourne
Producer(s)
  • Kathleen Minton
  • Michael Holman (1989–1991)
Production location(s)Nickelodeon Studios (1991)
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time
  • 51 minutes
    25–27 minutes (season 3)
Production company(s)Noyes & Laybourne Enterprises
DistributorViacom International
Release
Original networkNickelodeon
Original releaseSeptember 4, 1989 (1989-09-04) –
1991 (1991)
Chronology
Related showsGullah Gullah Island

Eureeka's Castle is an American children's television series which aired on Nick Jr. from September 4, 1989 until 1991. The program featured various puppet characters who live in a giant's wind-up music box. The show was a joint development by Nickelodeon, animators Kit Laybourne and Eli Noyes of Noyes & Laybourne Enterprises, and the puppeteers at 3/Design Studio.[1] R.L. Stine developed the characters and was the head writer for the episodes. Reruns of the show continued airing on Nick Jr. until September 6, 1996[2] and again from November 16, 1998 to February 5, 1999, and on Noggin from 1999 to 2002.

Production history[edit]

Eureeka's Castle's ending credits state the show comes from an original concept by Debby Beece and Judy Katschke. In 1988, development of the show began by staff members at Nickelodeon and animator Eli Noyes and his partner Kit Laybourne, whose wife Geraldine Laybourne was the Head of Programming for Nickelodeon.[1] “Jovial Bob Stine”, best known for his children's horror novels written under the pen name R.L. Stine, was hired as the head writer to develop the concept, characters and episode scripts.[3] The puppet design and construction for the characters were done at 3/Design Studio where the puppets were built by Jim Kroupa, John Orberg, Kip Rathke and Matt Stoddart.[4]

Nickelodeon ordered 65 episodes of Eureeka's Castle, and Beece called it "the most ambitious program for preschoolers since the premiere of Sesame Street 20 years ago".[5] In May 1990, Eureeka's Castle was renewed for a 35-episode second season (later reduced to 22 episodes). In 1990, Nickelodeon began participating in the Cable in the Classroom effort, and 52 half-hour episodes of Eureeka's Castle were created entirely out of clips from the first two seasons. Production on Eureeka's Castle ended in 1991;[citation needed] some of the show's crew later worked on Gullah Gullah Island.

Synopsis[edit]

The show follows various puppet characters (in the style of Sesame Street), including Eureeka, a sorceress-in-training. Eureeka and her friends live in a wind-up castle music box owned by a friendly giant. Other characters include Magellan the dragon, twin moat dwellers Bogge and Quagmire, Batly the bat, and Mr. Knack the handyman. There are also various appearing creatures such as mice, singing fish statues called the Fishtones, Magellan's pets Cooey and the Slurms, and Batly's pet spider Webster.

Also featured were animated segments such as the Weston Woods Studios films based on popular children's books, live-action short films, and UK imports such as Roobarb, The Shoe People, Towser and Gran.

Characters[edit]

  • Eureeka (performed by Cheryl Blaylock) – The title character. Eureeka is a friendly sorceress-in-training. Her spells are not successful most of the time, but she keeps trying until she gets it right.
  • Magellan (performed by Noel MacNeal) – A large green dragon with a tail that has a mind of its own. He doesn't always understand new concepts. Magellan tends to make great big sneezes that can shake the whole castle whenever he gets upset.
    • Cooey (performed by Lynn Hippen) – Magellan's pet of indeterminate species.
    • Slurms – Magellan's pet worm hybrids. They were animated with clay animation.
  • Batly (performed by Jim Kroupa) – An egotistical clumsy blue bat who wears glasses due to being near-sighted. Despite being different in every way, he and Magellan are good friends. His flying usually ends with a crash landing prompting him to say "I meant to do that." Batly spends most of his time in the belfry and has a large bug collection. In a 2016 Reddit AMA, Stine said that Batly's face was modeled after his own son, Matt.
  • Bogge and Quagmire (performed by Brian Muehl and Pam Arciero) – The Moat Twins are siblings who spend most of their time swimming in the castle moat, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and playing in the basement. Bogge is orange while Quagmire is pink. They tend to argue with each other, but work together when it comes to causing trouble. Bogge and Quagmire constantly try to steal Magellan's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but never succeed.
  • Mr. Knack (performed by Brian Muehl) – The castle's handyman and tinkerer. He uses many unconventional methods for fixing things around the castle. He also loves to barter when he sells some of his inventions that he has made from his pushcart. Mr. Knack always gets some postcards which he reads to the viewers.
  • Sir Klank (performed by Jim Kroupa) – A blue mouse with a long gray beard who resides in a suit of armor.
  • Kate (performed by Lynn Hippen) – A pink mouse who frequently reports on what happens in the castle.
  • Emma (performed by Pam Arciero) – An orange mouse who loves to eat.
  • Fishtones – A trio of singing fish in the form of a stone fountain who spray water when they're not singing.
  • The Giant (performed by Jim Kroupa) – A friendly full-bodied giant with a long nose who owns the wind-up castle music box where the show takes place.

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
165September 4, 1989December 1, 1989
222September 2, 1991Fall 1991
352July 19901991
Specials3November 27, 1990November 10, 1991

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1989)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date
TBATBATBASeptember 1989 (1989-09)
Magellan wants to get out of practicing a dance with Batley for the castle talent show. The mice tell jokes. The main characters sing "Dem Bones". Magellan and Batley question how they sleep during a sleepover. The short films The Island of the Skog and The Mother Store are shown. Batley sings about his habit of crashing.
TBATBATBA1989 (1989)
Magellan wants to walk on his toes like Batley, and asks Eureeka for help. The main characters perform a rap number about themselves. Towser is dared to stay in a haunted house. Sir Klank introduces the story of Rapunzel. Magellan and Batley sing about noises of the night.

Season 2 (1991)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date
TBATBATBA1991 (1991)
Mr. Knack wants to borrow the Moat Twins' "turny turny twisty twisty all the way down thing", but he needs Magellan's help. Eureeka teaches Magellan about animals found in an aquarium. Magellan wants to know from Batley what a friend is. The Moat Twins try not to trick Magellan out of eating his peanut better sandwich.
TBATBATBA1991 (1991)
Magellan and Batley compare Cooey and Webster. The Moat Twins attempt to clean up their messy room.

Season 3 (1990–1991)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date
TBATBATBA1990 (1990)
Magellan and Batley try to play baseball, but when the Moat Twins get their baseball, they're challenged to a rhyming duel. Batley introduces Webster to "La Cucaracha". The Moat Twins sing about collecting. Mr. Knack successfully trades Magellan's frown for a tickle and sings about trading.
TBATBA"Animals"1991 (1991)
Red Grammer teaches the gang how to say "Hello" in different languages. A wizard helps Towser fly. The Moat Twins argue over who's better in song. Magellan presents a couple short films about animals.
TBATBA"Sunny Day"1991 (1991)
Jaye Davidson sings about a sunny day. Batley participates in a swap-off with Mr. Knack so he can receive a bug trap. The Fishtones sing about hot weather.
TBATBA"Bedtime"1991 (1991)
Deborah Dunleavy sings about talking on the telephone. The wind freezes Towser's funny face. Magellan and Batley have trouble going to sleep. Eureeka tells the Moat Twins a story, but the twins keep questioning her story.
TBATBA"Body Language"1991 (1991)
The Jive Five perform their song "Hully Gully Callin' Time". Magellan trades his hiccups for Mr. Knack's basketball. The Nosey Parker causes trouble for Towser and his friends. The Moat Twins go for a swim. Eureeka introduces a couple short films about body language.
TBATBATBA1991 (1991)
Eureeka, Mr. Knack, and Batley show Magellan what they do then they get angry. Batley tells Eureeka and Magellan a sad joke.

Specials (1990–1991)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date
11"Christmas at Eureeka's Castle"November 27, 1990 (1990-11-27)
As Eureeka and her friends prepare for Christmas, Batley loses his temper, Eureeka loses her magic, and Magellan looks for a Christmas tree but gets lost in the forest. Magellan needs to be found before holiday festivities can begin.
22"It Came From Beneath the Bed or Nightmare on Magellan Street"October 19, 1991 (1991-10-19)
In a musical mystery, Magellan confronts Fluffy, a strange monster who visits the castle and proves that scary-looking things can often be quite harmless.
33"Don't Touch That Box"November 10, 1991 (1991-11-10)
Magellan, Batley and the Moat Twins find a magic box in the woods while playing catch. Eureeka calls the Grand Wizard (Luther Vandross), who tells them that the broken box is his and they shouldn't touch it. Eureeka warns the others about the box, but they become curious about the box and get more than what they bargained for from it. The gang tries to solve their problems with the box, but things get worse until the Grand Wizard arrives and fixes everything.

Puppeteers[edit]

Additional puppeteers[edit]

VHS release[edit]

Two Eureeka's Castle direct-to-video specials ("Sing Along With Eureeka" and "Wide Awake at Eureeka's Castle", both produced in 1990) and the "Christmas at Eureeka's Castle" special were released by Sony Wonder in 1995 and Paramount Home Video in 1997. To date, the series has not been released on DVD or streaming video.

Awards[edit]

In 1990, Eureeka's Castle won an Ace Award for best children's program.[6][7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lipson, Eden Ross (September 3, 1989). "'Eureeka's Castle': New Niche for Preschoolers". New York Times. p. Television. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  2. ^ Pecora, Norma Odom (November 14, 1997). The Business of Children's Entertainment. The Guilford Press. pp. 94–98. ISBN 9781572302808.
  3. ^ Eakin, Marah (November 8, 2013). "Eureeka's Castle co-creator R.L. Stine on the show's inception, success, and ultimate demise". Interview. avclub.com. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  4. ^ stated in Eureeka's Castle's ending credits
  5. ^ "Bullish outlook in cable-land" (page 43) from Television/Radio Age
  6. ^ Hedegaard, Erik (1990-09-07). "Hand-to-Hand Comedy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  7. ^ "Eureeka's Castle: Sing Along with Eureeka". Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  8. ^ Stein, R.L. "I'm R.L. Stine and it's my job to terrify kids. Ask me anything!". Reddit. Reddit. Retrieved 31 October 2016.

External links[edit]