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mud slinger

Groundling Marsh

Groundling Marsh was a Canadian children's television series featuring puppets. The only merchandise produced for the show were videos and they are now exceptionally rare and no longer produced. In the United States, it aired on PBS and the Disney Channel. This series premiered October 1, 1995. Groundling Marsh was nominated at the 12th Annual Gemini Awards for Best Pre-School Program or Series. The show had its season finale on November 28, 1997.

Mythology

Groundling Marsh took place in a magical swamp, possibly a reference to Point Pelee (coincidently, this is show is Canadian-made) Most of the characters are groundlings, but look very different from each other. They can be described as any combination of animal, human, elf and plant.One of the characters is a robot (Stacks). Generally, humans never appear in the series except as an alien presence represented by a boot or a voice. Most often, humans come to the marsh to dump trash and disrupt the ecosystem (Another reference to Point Pelee, except it was development that was a threat). The show was designed to be educational and so the story of each episode includes morals such as friendship, honesty, caring, and protection of the environment.

Characters

  • Galileo is one of the younger groundlings. He calls himself an explorer, and is constantly exploring and mapping the marsh. He is also curious about the world beyond the marsh, where the humans live. He built Stacks, a robot, out of pieces of junk that humans dumped in the marsh. In the title sequence of every episode, he is scene looking through a telescope, implying that he is named after Galileo Galilei the famous astronomer. He is very friendly, but will sometimes lose his patience, particularly with Maggie. He has yellow-orange skin and dark hair tied in a small braid in the back, and he is arguably the most human-looking groundling. He has what would be described by humans as a pleasant face, although his nose is rounder than that of most humans. It has been suggested that his physical appearance is meant ot resemble a Native-American, which makes sense considering the show takes place in a wilderness swamp where Europeans have apparently never settled. He wears a natural-looking brown tunic and pants. He appears in the show very often, and is viewed by some to be the main character.However, despite the fact that he is both very young and relativity mature in terms of his personality, he shares the role of protagonist with Maggie, and, occasionally, with Crystal.
  • Maggie is the youngest groundling, and extremely rambunctious and energetic. She often gets herself into trouble due to her own sometimes immature bahaviour. However, she is very well-intentioned, and will often try to help others. She is very curious about the world around her. In appearance, she is more animal-like than some of the other groundlings, although still roughly humanoid. She has large eyes, purple eyelids, a button nose, and red-orange fur (although it is so short it could also be seen as skin). Her hair sprouts from her head in flower-like petals, and she also wears a large yellow flower in her hair. She wears a brown, sleeveless, natural-looking, buttoned jacket. Maggie is one of the most commonly used characters on the show, as her age and personality make her appealing to children.
  • Mud/Slinger is the only two-headed Groundling in the world. He is an inventor. Actually, Mud and Slinger are really two separate individuals who originally inhabited separate bodies. Some time in the past, they both lived all alone in a part of the marsh and had no friends. After meeting each other and forming a deep friendship, they wanted to be merged as one, for fear of ever being lonely again. Since then they have they have live happily, sharing the same body. They occasionally quarrel, as in the episode Two Be of Not to Be, in which Mud and Slinger decide to take a potion which will restore them to their original, separate selves. But before they can go through with it, they resolve their quarrel and renew their friendship. Mud, the left half, has pink skin, a round face, and spectacles perched on his nose. He is somewhat absent-minded, but very friendly, and also the one does most of the scientific research and inventing. Slinger, on the other hand, while he shares the same goals, is more of a salesman, concentrating on finding uses for the inventions in addition to contributing to their creation. Slinger's skin is green and his facial features are more angular. Both have bright blue fur all over their shared body, except for their faces and hands, and they both have large furry ears. They both look somewhat troll-like. While he sometimes causes problems accidentally, Mud/Slinger is generally beneficial to the marsh and a help to his fellow groundlings.
  • Stacks is a robot, built by Galileo out of junk that humans have brought to the marsh, and brought to life by a powerful lightning storm. He is humble and kind, only occasionally losing sight of the bigger picture or acting inconsiderately towards the groundlings. He is usually willing to try to answer any question put forth to him by the groundlings with the information on his database. He has a long neck that looks like a very thick vacuum cleaner tube. His head is a tall metal canister with a handle that forms his nose, a large mouth at the bottom, a pair of eyes farther up and a hairbrush on top. Several cables dangle from his head down to the heap of machinery below him. A computer monitor forms his chest, while farther down a reel of film from a film projector on one side and a mechanical arm on the other side protrude from the heap. He becomes a mobile unit when his essential components are placed in a special motorized vehicle, which Mud/Slinger created for him using an old shopping cart. Stacks is very grateful for the ability to drive himself around, but gets carried away at first. Stacks often looks and sounds anxious, partially due to the voice acting, puppetry, and the shape of his mouth. In terms of his character, Stacks sometimes feels insignificant, being "just a machine" (as in the season one episode "Life Before Stacks", which also shows his origins).
  • Eco has lived in the marsh for over two thousand years, and her appearance is among the most humanoid of the Groundlings, beides Galilao, plus her beliefs are similar to that of Gypsies and, probably, Bhuddists. She is the wisest and most spiritual of the groundlings, and is the keeper of the Groundling Mythology, which holds the answers to most of nature's secrets. Eco also has the ability to talk to animals, as well as many duties taking care of the marsh and it's inhabitants. Sometimes, Eco temporarily gives responsibility of a rare plant or magical artifact to Maggie or Galileo (often to test their virtue and help them learn life-lessons about responsibility). Eco is very kind, and has a quirky sense of humor. She is a source of guidance and solace for all the groundlings. In appearance, Eco is the second most human-like of the groundlings. She has pale green skin and an elderly, slightly wrinkled face with dark twinkling eyes. She wears dark red robes and her hair is made of dark green leaves with red berries.
  • Hegdish is both a trickster and a grouch, and also the show's main antagonist. He is cynical and pessimistic, and his voice is usually dripping with sarcasm. While very lazy, he sometimes makes the effort to horde sunstones, trip up the plans of the other groundlings, give misleading information, and waste resources. His delight in disappointing others may spring from bitterness over his own failures and disappointments from back in his youth. His backstory is referenced in many episodes. He used to be best friends with Eco when they both were much younger, but when they were both given the chance by the Tree Elders to learn how to speak with animals and be granted other powers and responsibilities, Hegdish slept through the Initiation. Since then, he has become much less friendly with Eco, and enjoys ridiculing her, due to his jealousy that she was granted such abilities while he missed out because of his own laziness. (In many episodes he is shown sleeping in a hammock in the middle of the day). However, he worries about her when she goes missing in the episode It's a Wonderful Marsh, and is even moved to tears upon finding her safe and sound.There is also a part of Hegdish's past, referenced in several episodes, in which he sneaked aboard a ship, ate the food in the hold, and slept until he was far out to sea. He was thrown overboard by angry sailors, chased by sharks, and swallowed by a giant fish. After these and other adventures, he finally returned home. As a result, he is very nervous when out in a boat over any body of water. In his physical appearance, Hegdish looks older than most of the other groundlings, except for Eco. He is covered with shaggy purple fur on most his body. He has yellow eyes (heavily ringed), and a large black eyebrow that encircles half of his head (which makes the top of his head appear bald, like a mideival monk). Hegdish will occasionally cooperate or help the other groundlings, as he does not hate them. Despite the fact that he often avoids their company, he would doubtless be lonely without them. In the episode Bah Hegdish, a Christmas episode which uses the storyline of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, he is given the role of Scrooge and so becomes joyful and generous at the end. However, since it uses a classic story instead of an original story, it is not a good example of Hegdish cooperating.
  • Crystal is Eco's grandniece, and appears to be somewhere between the age of Maggie and Galileo. While equally intelligent, she is the most animal-like of the groundlings, at least in terms of her physical appearance. Except for her face, she is covered in fuzzy light blue fur. The skin of her face is blue, and she has very large, white eyes with small black pupils, a small red nose at the end of her snout, and extremely long, furry ears that hang down her back. However, she is roughly humanoid, like all the groundlings. She speaks with a whispery voice. In her introduction episode, Crystal comes to visit Eco. She emerges from a cave, and it is stated that she spends most of her life down in the caverns. At, first she has to cover her eyes to protect them until they get used to the sunlight. She soon becomes fast friends with Maggie. While not one the original characters, Crystal continued to appear on the show, sometimes as the main protagonist of an episode, as in Crystal and the Ice wind. While she is arguably more mature than Maggie, she will sometimes make mistakes and become the character that children are meant to identify with and learn with.
  • Mossy Bear Maggie is often seen carrying a small, green, stuffed animal whom she calls Mossy Bear, and who is apparently made out of moss. Mossy bear is apparently not alive. In the episode titled Mossy Bear, Galileo tries to get Maggie to give up Mossy Bear, first by trying to convince her and then through trickery.

Episodes

  • Fungus Amungus
  • The Featherbeam
  • Big Dreams
  • Truth & Consequences
  • Maggie's Quest
  • Night and Day
  • Life Before Stacks
  • Heat Wave
  • Pot of Plenty
  • All for One
  • Flower Power
  • Them Dingling Dozy Daisies
  • Sticks and Stacks
  • Make Way for Hegdish
  • Butterfly Day
  • Stinky Pond Mystery
  • Galileo's Prank
  • Fence Fiasco
  • Come Blow Your Horn
  • Two Be or Not to Be
  • Tupelo Treat
  • Tinkletree Trouble
  • Seahunt
  • Eggs Over Easy
  • Slice of Advice
  • Snow Job
  • Mossy Bear
  • To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
  • Reluctant Hero
  • Over the Rainbow
  • Mine All Mine
  • Sproutsmaster
  • Maggie's Tree
  • Maggie's Youday
  • Purple Pullet Fever
  • Lucky Stick
  • Megaboo Gonna Get You
  • Free at Last
  • Crystal Clear
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Groundlings
  • The Amulet
  • Jingle Bellies
  • Bumble-Bird Blunder
  • The Hedgdish Who Came to Dinner
  • What a Guy
  • The Enchanted Music Box
  • The Other Galileo
  • My Hero
  • A Little Bird Told Me
  • Berries as Big as Your Head
  • Ooops!
  • The Imaginary Friend
  • Catch a Falling Star
  • Glisten Berries & Friends
  • Treasure of the Lost Marsh
  • Coming of Age
  • The Best Present of All
  • Five Leaf Clover
  • Mighty Maggie
  • Crystal and the Ice Wind
  • Free Wally
  • That's Entertainment
  • Listen Up
  • It's a Wonderful Marsh
  • Bah Hegdish

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