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Sherlock Foams

LazyTown

LazyTown is an Icelandic children's television program (where it is known as Latibær) that features a cast and crew from Iceland, the United Kingdom and the United States. It airs on Nick Jr, Noggin, YTV, CBeebies, RTP2, ABC1, Super RTL, Sjónvarpið, Discovery Kids and Ketnet. It was created by Magnús Scheving, a gymnastics champion and CEO of LazyTown Entertainment, who also stars in the show. Repeats of Nick Jr. shows aired on CBS from September 18, 2004 to September 9, 2006. The show has been highly successful, airing in over 100 countries, and more than a dozen languages. In the French dubbed version, it was produced by Marathon Media Group.

The show has been given the German EMIL award by the TV magazine TV Spielfilm.

The series' second season debuted in the U.S. on Nick Jr. on May 15, 2006. According to a March 2007 article in Avid.com, LazyTown is in the planning stages of a third season.

Origin

The series originally started out in 1996 as a live-action play, under the title Áfram Latibær (Go on Lazytown!). After its success, a second play was made titled Glanni Glæpur í Latabær (Robbie Rotten in LazyTown). This second play introduced the character Glanni Glæpur (Robbie Rotten) as a villain. Instead of incorporating puppets, all characters were played by live actors, with the exception of a bird puppet in the second play. During the shift to the televised version many changes were made. For example, Pixel (Goggi Mega) in the first play was a white male child, who was bald and had electronic goggles on at all times. In the second play, his image was changed to be more like a standard technology fanatic, with green hair, a silver shirt, and dozens of various electronic gadgets. Some characters did not make it to the TV version, or were drastically changed. They include:

  • Eyrún Eyðslukló - This character only appeared in the first stage version. She was designed to teach children the importance of thrift. Whenever she found money, she would spend it as soon as possible, and when she had no cash, she would beg other residents until they gave in.
  • Lolli Lögga - A local cop. Appeared in the first play and in parts of the second. Does not appear on the TV show.
  • Maggi Mjói - A musically talented boy who eats unhealthily. Instead of eating sweets like Ziggy, he eats cocoa puffs and chips, and as a result he has barely enough energy to walk. Having only appeared in the stage versions, he was initially slated to appear in the televised version as "Jives".
  • Íþróttaálfurinn - Sportacus in the televised version, this character underwent numerous changes. In the first live play version, his character was more elvish in form and possessed magical powers. He gained most of his current appearance from his form in the second stage version.

Premise

The main character is Stephanie (Julianna Rose Mauriello), who arrives in town and urges her new friends Ziggy, Trixie, Stingy, and Pixel to go outside and be active, instead of staying inside and playing video games all day. Her uncle, the bumbling Mayor Milford Meanswell, enlists the help of Sportacus 10 (Magnús Scheving), a self-described "slightly-above-average hero". It is Sportacus' job to inspire the kids to play outside, and to help solve low-key emergencies that occur from time to time. However, all this does not sit well with Robbie Rotten (Stefán Karl Stefánsson), a lazy man who lives in an underground lair hidden just on the edge of town. Most of the episodes involve Robbie Rotten dressing up in one of his numerous costumes and trying to make Sportacus leave town forever.

Filming

LazyTown is part live action, part puppetry, and part CGI animation. Stephanie, Sportacus, and Robbie Rotten were the only humans on the English language show up until episode 32 (Dancing Duel), which was the first to include a fourth live actor to play the role of Rottenella. She was played by Mauriello's stunt double, Kristjana Olafsdottir. More recent episodes have extended the live cast as well. Such episodes include Little Sportacus, and The Lazy Genie. The rest of the characters are depicted as puppets. The show's puppets are made by the Neal Scanlan Studio and Wit Puppets. The show is produced in a 5067 m² studio in Garðabær, Iceland, which contains one of the most advanced HDTV facilities in Europe. The budget for each episode is approximately USD $1,000,000.

Live shows

A stage version of LazyTown titled LazyTown Live is being produced by UK theatrical producers Fiery Angel and MCM Limelight. The production will tour the UK and Ireland between October 2007 and August 2008 and introduces a new LazyTown cast to the UK, including Julian Essex-Spurrier as Sportacus. Essex-Spurrier was cast following open auditions which were attended by journalists from British newspapers The Times and The Independent.

Characters

Sportacus

Played by Magnús Scheving: The super-healthy hero of the show, hailing from "an island in the North Sea" (a reference to Iceland, LazyTown's country of origin). Sportacus encourages the kids of LazyTown to eat "sports candy" (his term for fruits and vegetables), and to play outside instead of just sitting around indoors playing video games or eating junk food. He wants to make sure LazyTown is happy, and knows that they have to be healthy and fit to be so. Sportacus is constantly engaged in physical activity, and even does gymnastics just to get from place to place. Sportacus is always saving people. His crystal beeps to let him know that someone needs his help. He's patient and understanding. Sportacus doesn't think of himself as a Superhero, but rather, a Slightly-Above-Average Hero.

Stephanie

Played by Julianna Rose Mauriello: The character who inspired the citizens (and most importantly, the children) of LazyTown to get up and go. She loves to play and her hair, outfits and accessories are pink. She came to town to visit her uncle, the mayor of LazyTown. Stephanie is always encouraging the kids to go outside and play, but on each occasion she must contend with Robbie Rotten's attempts to sabotage her efforts. But when she asked for Sportacus' help, the whole town worked together to make LazyTown the best place to live. Stephanie loves to dance. She dreams of studying dance at a famous dance school.

Robbie Rotten

Played by Stefán Karl Stefánsson: The antagonist of the show. He is always trying to get the kids to eat junk food and is forever trying to banish Sportacus from LazyTown. He wants to make sure LazyTown remains quiet and lazy, as it was before the arrival of Sportacus and Stephanie. Robbie devises all sorts of plans to achieve this, and sometimes comes very close to succeeding, but in the end is always defeated by Sportacus with the help of Stephanie and her friends. The amount of effort that this champion of inactivity puts into his plots is ironic; he may be the most active person in LazyTown because of it. Although his actions are those of an evil villain, he refers to himself as "a simple, rotten guy who's just misunderstood." He lives in an underground lair from which he spies on the children of LazyTown through a periscope.

He also appears to possess magical abilities (specifically, making himself disappear and reappear in another location) as demonstrated in a number of episodes when he sings his 'Master of Disguise' song.

Puppets

  • Ziggy (puppeteered and voiced by Guðmundur Þór Kárason) The character who loves to eat candy and sweets - particularly Taffy. After Stephanie came along he found that there is more to childhood than sugary treats. He is now active and participates in any sport the gang plays, but still enjoys candy. He can usually be seen holding a lollipop.
  • Stingy (puppeteered and voiced by Jodi Eichelberger) As his name implies, the greedy and possessive character. He still plays with the gang, but he will always care about his stuff: especially his car and his prized piggy bank. He often says "It's mine!" and has his own song by that name (which names everything in LazyTown as his). He can also play the harmonica and recorder.
  • Trixie (puppeteered and voiced by Sarah Burgess) The trouble-maker character, though she does like to play with everyone else. Trixie refers to Stephanie as "Pinky" when trying to get her attention. She also likes to draw moustaches on the mayor's posters.
  • Pixel (puppeteered by Julie Westwood and voiced by Kobie Powell) The character who plays too much on the computer. He fixes up all sorts of gadgets to help him avoid doing something himself, such as a machine to tie his shoes or a remote that "does everything for you." He loves anything to do with computers, technology and gadgets.
  • Mayor Milford Meanswell (puppeteered and voiced by David Matthew Feldman) A nervous wreck who has a crush on Ms. Busybody. He loves his niece Stephanie very much and calls Sportacus if she feels sad or depressed. He is also famous for saying "Oh my!" all the time if something is wrong.

Others

  • Sportacandy (in other regions known as Sweetacus) Ziggy's superhero alter-ego who's just like Sportacus, but he only saves sweets. He is seen for a short time in some episodes, but he did star in a whole episode called Hero For A Day.
  • #9 (not seen, only referred to) A superhero from an island in the North Sea, who served as LazyTown's protector and resident role model in times past. He is different from Sportacus, as he had a big number 9 on his chest, whereas Sportacus is number 10. When Stephanie was trying to think how to get the kids to play outside, Mayor Meanswell told her about #9 and how they could send messages to him through a tube that Robbie Rotten had plugged up. Stephanie tried it and Sportacus got her letter asking for help. He then came to LazyTown. At a recent press conference, Magnús Scheving indicated that the newest season of LazyTown will contain an episode revealing the mystery behind #9.

Robbie Rotten's Disguises

  • Rob U. Blind, The Traveling Salesman (Episode 2: Defeeted)
  • Lazycus (Episode 2: Defeeted)
  • Sherlock Foams, Private Eye (Episode 6: Swiped Sweets)
  • Sportacus (Episode 8: Sportafake)
  • The Birthday Fairy (Episode 9: Happy Brush Day)
  • Scottie The Scoutmaster (Episode 10: Lazy Scouts)
  • Dr. Rottenstein (Episode 11: Dr. Rottenstein)
  • Rottenbeard (Episode 12: Rottenbeard)
  • A Purple Dinosaur (Episode 13: Cry Dinosaur)
  • A Royal Messenger (Episode 19: Prince Stingy)
  • The Rotten Kid (A Cowboy) & A Gorilla (Episode 21: Play Day)
  • Soccer-Bot 6000 (Episode 24: Soccer Sucker)
  • Miss Roberta, Manners Expert (Episode 25: Miss Roberta)
  • Mayor Fordmil Meansbad (Episode 27: Secret Agent Zero)
  • Santa Claus (Episode 29: LazyTown's Surprise Santa)
  • A Purple Cow (Episode 30: Robbie's Greatest Misses)
  • A Giant Carrot, Apple, and Banana (Episode 31: Sports Candy Festival)
  • Zobbie, the Space Alien (Episode 33: Ziggy's Alien)
  • Johnny B. Badd (Episode 35: Rockin' Robbie)
  • A Ghost (Episode 36: Haunted Castle)
  • A Giant Purple Bush (Episode 37: Little Sportacus)
  • A Garbage Man (Episode 38: Trash Trouble)
  • The Mayor (Episode 39: Double Trouble)
  • A Snow Monster (Episode 40: The LazyTown Snow Monster)
  • Roberto the Ringmaster (Episode 41: The LazyTown Circus)
  • Professor H.R. Rottenein (Episode 42: School Scam)
  • Rob R. Robley, Newsman (Episode 43: Pixel TV)
  • The Purple Legend (Episode 43: Pixel TV)
  • Chef Robert (Episode 43: Pixel TV)
  • A Gorilla (Episode 43: Pixel TV)
  • The Shaking Cup Man (Episode 44: Friends Forever)
  • The Stamp Guy (Episode 45: Energy Book)
  • The Giant Wall Builder (Episode 46: Birthday Surprise)
  • Bob Wired, Technician (Episode 47: LazyTown goes Digital)
  • The Big Bad Wolf (Episode 49: Once Upon A Time)
  • The Dance Instructor (Episode 51: Dancing Dreams)

Episodes

There are currently 52 episodes of LazyTown; 35 for season one, and 17 for season two. A new series called LazyTown Extra, airing in the UK on CBeebies from September 15, 2008, will consist of 26 episodes, shortened up to 15 minutes long (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00drqn5).

Music

The popularity of LazyTown's songs and music has led to the production of soundtrack albums that feature music from the show. Many of these soundtracks have been released in a number of countries and in a number of different languages, including LazyTown in the United States, Líttu inn í Latabæ in Iceland, Los geht's! in Germany and LazyTown - The Album in the United Kingdom. A second UK soundtrack, titled LazyTown - The New Album was released on October 15 2007.

The song "Bing Bang (Time to Dance)" was released as a single in the UK, and peaked at #4 in the UK Singles Chart on December 10, 2006.

Merchandise

In the United States, Fisher-Price has produced a line of toys including an activity mat, and Stephanie and Sportacus items. There is also a soundtrack, along with books and videos.

Over 50 LazyTown DVDs have been released worldwide. For a current list, see LazyTown DVDs

All the LazyTown DVDs in Region 1 are now discontinued including its soundtrack. There are no plans for releasing the complete seasons on DVD.

In the UK, a monthly magazine launched in March 2007. Each issue boasts a free cover-mounted gift, a large poster inside, along with various ideas for games, comic strips and dance instructions. Many features come with an inset explaining to parents the value of the activities being promoted.

References

External links

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