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Eureeka's Castle is an American children's television series which aired on Nick Jr. from September 4, 1989 to 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. R. L. Stine developed the characters and was the head writer for the episodes.
|Created by||Judy Katschke|
|Written by||R. L. Stine (head writer)|
|Creative director||Eli Noyes|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||142|
|Executive producer||Kit Laybourne|
|Production location||Nickelodeon Studios (1990–1991)|
|Production company||Noyes & Laybourne Enterprises|
|Distributor||ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks|
|Original release||September 4, 1989 –|
November 10, 1991
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.
Halfway through the episode, an animated short based on a children's book (usually acquired from Children's Circle) was shown. Also featured were shorter animated and live-action short films, and European imports such as Animal Fair, Roobarb, The Shoe People, Towser, James the Cat, Le Piaf, Plonsters, Philipp, and Gran.
- Eureeka (performed by Cheryl Blaylock) – The title character and protagonist. 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. Aside from her magic, she usually helps solve her friends' problems.
- Magellan (performed by Noel MacNeal) – A large green baby 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. He has a mother-son relationship with Eureeka. According to Eureeka, Magellan will do anything to try and stay awake past bedtime. One talent that Magellan can do is blow bubbles from his mouth.
- 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 two mischievous, squabbling siblings who spend most of their time swimming in the castle moat, eating peanut butter 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 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. His first name is "Nick", giving him the name Nick Knack.
- 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 big nose and a long, orange beard who owns the wind-up castle music box where the show takes place.
- Pam Arciero as Quagmire, Emma
- Cheryl Blaylock as Eureeka
- Lynn Hippen as Cooey, Kate
- Jim Kroupa as Batley, Sir Klank, Giant
- Noel MacNeal as Magellan, Webster
- Brian Muehl as Bogge, Mr. Knack
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."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. 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.
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". The first episode of Eureeka's Castle premiered during Nickelodeon's Special Delivery block on August 27, 1989, before debuting on Nick Jr. on September 4. In May 1990, Eureeka's Castle was renewed for a 35-episode second season (later reduced to 22 episodes).
From 1990 to 1991, Nickelodeon created 52 half-hour episodes of Eureeka's Castle entirely out of clips from the first two seasons for their participation in the Cable in the Classroom service. The half-hour episodes were designed for international distribution and later replaced the original hour-long episodes in reruns starting in 1994. Production on Eureeka's Castle ended in 1991; some of the show's crew later worked on Gullah Gullah Island.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||65||September 4, 1989||December 1, 1989|
|2||22||September 2, 1990||Fall 1990|
|3||52||July 1991||September 4, 1991|
|Specials||3||November 27, 1990||November 10, 1991|
Season 1 (1989)Edit
|Title||Original air date|
|TBA||TBA||TBA||September 4, 1989|
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. Batley sings about his habit of crashing.Stories: The Island of the Skog, Martha Ann and the Mother Store
|TBA||TBA||TBA||December 1, 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. Magellan and Batley sing about the noises of the night.Story: "Rapunzel"
Season 2 (1990)Edit
|Title||Original air date|
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.Story: Brave Irene
Magellan and Batley compare Cooey and Webster. The Moat Twins attempt to clean up their messy room.Story: Madeline and the Bad Hat
Season 3 (1991)Edit
|Title||Original air date|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Eureeka, Mr. Knack, and Batley show Magellan what they do then they get angry. Batley tells Eureeka and Magellan a sad joke.|
|Title||Original air date|
|1||1||"Christmas at Eureeka's Castle"||November 27, 1990|
|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.|
|2||2||"It Came From Beneath the Bed or Nightmare on Magellan Street"||October 19, 1991|
|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.|
|3||3||"Don't Touch That Box"||November 10, 1991|
|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.|
The series premiered on September 4, 1989 on Nick Jr. Reruns of the show continued airing on Nick Jr. until September 6, 1996, and again from November 16, 1998, to February 5, 1999, and on Noggin from 1999 to 2002.
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 Hi-Tops Video in 1990, Sony Wonder in 1995, and Paramount Home Video in 1997. While some episodes were released on VHS, the series has not been released on DVD or Blu-ray.
- Lipson, Eden Ross (September 3, 1989). "'Eureeka's Castle': New Niche for Preschoolers". New York Times. p. Television. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- 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.
- stated in Eureeka's Castle's ending credits
- "Bullish outlook in cable-land" (page 43) from Television/Radio Age
- Pecora, Norma Odom (November 14, 1997). The Business of Children's Entertainment. The Guilford Press. pp. 94–98. ISBN 9781572302808.
- "Eureeka's Castle". Paramount+. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
- Hedegaard, Erik (1990-09-07). "Hand-to-Hand Comedy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
- "Eureeka's Castle: Sing Along with Eureeka". Retrieved 2012-04-06.
- 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.
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