The Buzz on Maggie
The Buzz on Maggie is an American animated television series created by Dave Polsky for Disney Channel. The series centers on an ambitious and expressive tween fly named Maggie Pesky and her family and friends. The show is set in Stickyfeet, a city for insects located in a dump. While conceptualizing the series, Polsky wanted it to contain a playful aspect at adolescence and director Dave Wasson formed the overall look of the characters, being heavily influenced by early Walt Disney cartoon shorts. The Buzz on Maggie was Disney's first series to be fully animated in Adobe Flash, a process done by Bardel Entertainment and Future Thought Productions.
|The Buzz on Maggie|
|Created by||Dave Polsky|
|Directed by||Dave Wasson|
|Theme music composer|
|Opening theme||"Just the Way I Am" by Skye Sweetnam|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||21 (42 segments) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Walt Disney Television Animation|
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Original network||Disney Channel|
|Picture format||480i (4:3 SDTV)|
|Original release||June 17, 2005 –|
May 27, 2006
The Buzz on Maggie premiered on June 17, 2005, and aired its final episode on May 27, 2006, concluding its only season. The series received positive reviews from television critics, many of whom praised its humor, voice acting and writing. The theme song “Just the Way I Am”, performed by Canadian singer Skye Sweetnam, was also met with critical praise and a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2006. During its run, The Buzz on Maggie also received an Annie Award nomination for its character design.
The Buzz on Maggie follows Maggie Pesky (Jessica DiCicco), an expressive tween fly and her family; parents Chauncey (Brian Doyle-Murray) and Frieda (Susan Tolsky); brothers Aldrin (David Kaufman) and Pupert (Thom Adcox); and sister Bella (Tara Strong), who is still a maggot. The family resides in an old milk carton in a suburban fly metropolis called Stickyfeet, which is located in a dump. Maggie has an ambitious and adventurous personality and aspires to become a rock star. Her approach to life often suffers unexpected consequences that puts herself in jeopardy, as she often follows her own impulses although they go against the rules or her parents' wishes. However, she ultimately learns her lesson, which was one of the core themes for the show's conception.
Maggie attends a junior high school called Buzzdale Academy with her best friend Rayna Cartflight (Cree Summer) and nemesis Dawn Swatworthy (Tara Strong). The school's staff include the sneaky Principal Peststrip (Jeff Bennett), pompous Mr. Bugspit (Curtis Armstrong) and gruff Mrs. Wingston (Candi Milo). The Buzz on Maggie uses a slapstick comedy style and relies slightly on gross-out humor. It also includes several insect aspects, such as flies' appetite for spoiled and rotten food. The show features various references to pop culture and common themes, such as sibling rivalry and peer pressure, from a fly's point of view.
The concept of The Buzz on Maggie was created by Dave Polsky, a former writer on Scary Movie 2 and South Park. The show was based on Polsky’s teenage years in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while as a student at Mt. Lebanon High School. In an early interview for Animation World Network, he explained that the series utilizes a playful aspect at adolescence, naming it "individuality vs. conformity". He said, "Maggie must learn how to pursue her agenda without alienating those she cares about. More often than not, Maggie learns that it is difficult to negotiate life on her terms without burning bridges." Dave Wasson, the creator of the animated series Time Squad, served as the director, and executively produced the series with Polsky, while Laura Perkins Brittain was the co-executive producer.
Wasson formed Maggie's character design and supported the use of Adobe Flash for animating the series. He told Animation Magazine that he was convinced Flash was a "good way to go" as he had had previous experience with the program, such as commercials and short films. The series became Disney's first to be fully animated in Flash. Following the cancellation of Kids' WB's ¡Mucha Lucha!, many animators from that series were hired on The Buzz on Maggie. For the character designs, Wasson was heavily influenced by early cartoon shorts by Tex Avery, Warner Bros. and Walt Disney. He noted that the characters in The Buzz on Maggie have "a lot of 1930s touches" and wear white gloves, which is a direct homage to the cartoon shorts. The characters also have anime-inspired designs with oversized heads and large eyes. Wasson stated that the concept of Maggie living in a dump gave him a "lot of visual opportunities". Jorge Gutierrez supervised the character design and Roman Laney supervised location and prop design in addition to background paint. The animation was done by Bardel Entertainment and Future Thought Productions.
The series' theme song "Just the Way I Am" was composed by Bob Thiele Jr. and Dillon O'Brian, and performed by Canadian singer Skye Sweetnam. The song is about pride, acceptance and empowerment. Adam Berry did the show's score. Charlie Adler voice directed The Buzz on Maggie and helmed voice casting with Jamie Thomason. Newcomer Jessica DiCicco was cast as Maggie, her first main role on a television series, preceding her role on Loonatics Unleashed, which premiered the same year. The rest of the main cast included David Kaufman, Thom Adcox, Cree Summer, Brian Doyle-Murray and Susan Tolsky. Tara Strong voiced Maggie's nemesis Dawn, among other minor characters. The series had a few guest voice actors, such as Laraine Newman, Paul Rodriguez, and Jon Polito.
The Buzz on Maggie premiered on Disney Channel on Friday June 17, 2005, At 8:00PM And 8:30PM with two back-to-back episodes. The next week, it moved to its regular timeslot in the channel's weekend block. Each half-hour episode consists of two different segments. The Buzz on Maggie aired for one season, comprising 21 half-hour episodes. The final episode, containing the segments "Synchronized Flying" and "Roach Hotel", aired on May 27, 2006. After the series' cancellation, reruns were aired weekends at 5:30AM until August 31, 2008.
In the fall of 2005, The Buzz on Maggie was picked up by sister network ABC. The network began airing reruns of the show from September 17, 2005, to January 21, 2006 on the Saturday morning block ABC Kids. According to Nielsen Media Research, the ABC premiere acquired a 1.6 rating in the Kids 2–11 demographic, and a 1.4 rating in Tweens 9–14, as well as a 7% share in both demographics. The premiere was that timeslot's highest-rated broadcast in nearly three months across the block's three key demographics, Kids 2–11, Kids 6–11 and Tweens 9–14. During the ABC Kids broadcasts, the series carried an E/I designation.
All episodes were directed by Dave Wasson.
|No.||Title||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
Alicia Sky Varinaitis
|June 17, 2005||103|
"The Flyinator": When Maggie can't see the same movies as Aldrin she starts trying to be better than he is; she sneaks into an R-rated movie to be better than he is.|
"Ladybugged": When Maggie thinks up a theme for the school dance, it is quickly threatened by a new student, who apparently has a better theme.
"The Science Whatchamacallit"
|Dan Fybel and Rich Rinaldi|
|June 17, 2005||102|
"Funball": Maggie devises a new game for her little brother Pupert to play so he can beat Aldrin at something, but when Aldrin starts to get the hang of the game things take an unexpected turn for the worse.|
"The Science Whatchamacallit": Maggie and Rayna try to get their science partners who are really smart to do all the work for an assignment, but when it comes time to present the projects something unexpected happens.
|June 24, 2005||101|
"The Candidate": The school bully faces some competition for the title of Homecoming Queen when Maggie gives an ugly butterfly named Maria a makeover.|
"Germy": When Maggie wants to bring home a pet germ, her dad won't let her so she sneaks it home, but faces a problem with training especially when Maggie's parents find out.
|Dan Fybel and Rich Rinaldi|
Laura Perkins Brittain
|July 1, 2005||104|
"Lunch Lady": Maggie accidentally gets the lunch lady to quit, causing the parents to take over the school.|
"Love Stinks": Maggie goes on a date with a stinkbug even though she doesn't want to.
|5||"The Price of Fame"|
|July 8, 2005||105|
"The Price of Fame": Maggie suggests that Pupert uses music to impress a girl.|
"King Flear": Maggie directs her classmates in a play for a drama competition.
"Bella Con Carny"
|Danny Warren and Josh Lynn|
|July 15, 2005||110|
"Rottingmuck Ranch": Maggie wants to be Uncle Zeb's favorite relative again.|
"Bella Con Carny": Maggie has to spend bonding time with her little sister after her mom is convinced Maggie doesn't spend enough time with Bella.
|Laura Perkins Brittain|
|July 22, 2005||107|
"Bugsitting": Maggie has to baby sit, which conflicts with a promise she made to Pupert.|
"Le Termite": Maggie gets a job as a maid at a gourmet restaurant, but tells her parents that she is the head chef.
|Dan Fybel and Rich Rinaldi|
Laura Perkins Brittain
|August 5, 2005||108|
"Pieface": Maggie is determined to hit Principal Pestip in the face with a pie as a homecoming prank.|
"The Hangout": Maggie and her brothers vie for control of her new hangout.
|August 13, 2005||106|
"Slumber Party": Maggie's parents decide to leave Maggie in charge of Pupert while they take Aldrin to a big flyball game. Unbeknownst to her parents, Maggie hosts a slumber party to which Rayna invites some nocturnal guests.|
"Spelling Bees": Maggie's favorite spelling team are holding auditions for a new speller, but only accepts famous bees, leaving Maggie to disguise herself as one.
|10||"The Usual Insects"|
|September 17, 2005||111|
"The Usual Insects": Maggie and her friends' school records are sabotaged when Dawn becomes office assistant.|
"Sister Act": Maggie and her baby sister Bella audition for a baby food commercial.
|Julie Chambers and David Chambers|
Robin J. Stein
|September 24, 2005||116|
"Hooligans": Maggie reports a school bully by tattling to his parents.|
"Scum Bites": Maggie challenges Dawn on the school's charity fund drive selling Scum Bites candy.
|12||"The Big Score"|
|Dan Fybel and Rich Rinaldi|
|October 22, 2005||113|
"The Big Score": Maggie and her friends head to the human world to go trick-or-treating.|
"Scare Wars": The Pesky children attempt to out scare one another and this year Maggie is the target.
"Radio Free Buzzdale"
|Alicia Sky Varinaitis|
|November 12, 2005||114|
"Metamorpho Sis": Maggie volunteers to become a child's mentor, but has some regrets about the decision when she is matched up with a cranky cocoon.|
"Radio Free Buzzdale": Maggie joins Principal Peststrip's crusade to stop an anonymous kid DJ who has gained unauthorized access to the school's radio station.
|14||"Those Pesky Roaches"|
|Beth Seriff and Geoff Tarson|
|December 17, 2005||115|
"Those Pesky Roaches": When Maggie and her brothers go on strike for bigger allowances, their parents hire roaches to do their chores for them.|
"Bugtillion": When Rayna is rejected for Bugtillion classes, Maggie tries out herself as part of a plot to avenge her friend.
|15||"Hot for Tutor"|
"Sick Days, Inc."
|Dan Fybel and Rich Rinaldi|
Sharon Schatz Rosenthal
|January 7, 2006||112|
"Hot for Tutor": Maggie and Rayna both fall for the same math tutor.|
"Sick Days, Inc.": Maggie and Rayna sell kits that help students pretend that they are sick to raise money for tickets to a rock concert.
|16||"Scout of Order"|
|Sharon Schatz Rosenthal|
Robin J. Stein
|February 11, 2006||109|
"Scout of Order": Maggie falls for Pupert's scout headmaster.|
"Ant Mines": Maggie writes a story on the allegedly oppressed conditions of some ants in a human kid's ant farm for the school newspaper, but when she finds out that their lives are better than what she expected, she writes a false article.
"Bugs on the Brink"
|Robin J. Stein|
|March 4, 2006||118|
"Faking History": Maggie cuts corners on her history project so that she can enjoy spring break, but matters are complicated when her father befriends her history teacher.|
"Bugs on the Brink": When humans threaten to tear down Stickyfeet to make way for a strip mall, Maggie disguises Rayna as an endangered beetle.
|Dan Fybel and Rich Rinaldi|
Sharon Schatz Rosenthal
|March 18, 2006||117|
"Training Day": When Aldrin injures his wing while winning a scooter for Maggie, Maggie agrees to do all his chores out of guilt while nursing him back to health in time for his team's football game.|
"Honey Striper": Maggie and Rayna volunteer to work in a hospital in order to visit an injured rock star.
"Best Best Friends"
Nina Bargiel and Jeremy Bargiel
|April 22, 2006||119|
"Raccooooon!": A raccoon causes trouble for the citizens of Stickyfeet.|
"Best Best Friend": Rayna's old best friend moves to Stickyfeet, driving a wedge between Rayna and Maggie.
|May 6, 2006||120|
"Peskys Unclogged": Maggie is embarrassed when her family is all set to demonstrate the Pesky age-old tradition of clogging on a local cable TV network.|
"Club Hopping": Maggie joins every club in her school to avoid a math test.
|May 27, 2006||121|
"Synchronized Flying": Maggie tries everything except the truth to avoid being Rayna's synchronized flying partner.|
"Roach Hotel": Aldrin tries to sabotage the family vacation that was planned by Maggie.
The Buzz on Maggie received positive reviews from television critics. Jeff Hidek of Star-News viewed it as "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends meets The Proud Family" and named it "by far the most entertaining of this summer's new offerings". Roger Catlin of Hartford Courant wrote that it stands out from other shows on Disney Channel by "being a little sassy and sharp, and a whole lot funnier than most of [the channel's] stuff". He wrote that the channel "gets back into the race dominated by Cartoon Network offerings ... and a Nickelodeon roster ... with an offering just as hip and well designed". Catlin commended the voice acting and the "sharp" writing, stating that the former factor "hit[s] the humor home". The Philadelphia Inquirer critic David Hiltbrand noted that although the show includes "a little" gross-out humor, "it's reasonably tasteful by adolescent standards". He concluded, "The animation ... is a little substandard, but the premise is nicely maintained." AllMovie's Hal Erickson deemed the fly concept unoriginal, but said that the show "set[s] itself apart from such earlier endeavors". Erickson regarded Maggie's "strong, forceful attitude" a positive role model for kids. A critic for Observer-Reporter deemed it "suitably silly", and Robert Lloyd of Los Angeles Times called it "delightful".
At the time of its premiere, Gail Pennington of St. Louis Post-Dispatch named the show one of the "Tops of the night". Diana Dawson, writing for Spartanburg Herald-Journal, considered it an "inspiring show for fun-loving tweens". Kevin McDonough of Lawrence Journal-World wrote that The Buzz on Maggie "strikes a decent balance between cartoon anarchy and Disney's you-go-girl sermonizing." He praised the title character's "bugged-out status", writing that it prevents the stories from being "too cute". Jeanne Spreier of The Dallas Morning News graded The Buzz on Maggie with a B and regarded it as "perfect cartooning" for children. She wrote, "[The show's] relatively simple plots, with equally simple resolutions and very clean dialogue, create fine cartoons for a schoolkid's late-afternoon respite." Similarly, the show's theme song "Just the Way I Am" received positive reactions; Hiltbrand called it "great", and Dawson wrote that "every episode explodes with the dynamic theme song".
Awards and nominationsEdit
In 2005, Jorge Gutierrez was nominated for the Best Character Design in an Animated Television Production award at the 33rd Annie Awards, for his work in the episode "Bella Con Carny". However, he lost to Ernie Gilbert from The Fairly OddParents. The next year, Bob Thiele Jr. and Dillon O'Brian received a nomination for Outstanding Original Song for the theme song "Just the Way I Am" at the 33rd Daytime Emmy Awards, but lost to the song "Sunshine" from The Young and the Restless.
|33rd Annie Awards||Best Character Design in an Animated Television Production||
|33rd Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Original Song||
- Stein, Robin J; Grieb, Wendy; Wasson, Dave (March 4, 2006). "Faking History". The Buzz on Maggie. Season 1. Episode 17a. Event occurs at 3:46 to 4:06. Disney Channel.
Mrs. Pesky: Oh hello, Mr. Bugspit! I'm Frieda. [...] Mr. Pesky: Come in, Cornelius. I'm Chauncey Pesky.
- Baisley, Sarah (June 17, 2005). "Disney's The Buzz on Maggie Flies Debutes on Disney Channel". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on April 17, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Spreier, Jeanne (July 10, 2005). "Cats with schemes; flies that teem in store for the kiddos this week". The Dallas Morning News. A. H. Belo Corporation. p. 2. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Dawson, Diana (June 26, 2005). "Maggie buzzes through life in new series". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. 160 (177). Halifax Media Group. p. 50. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Hiltbrand, David (June 17, 2005). "Fly cartoon, and one that doesn't take off – Juniper Lee: Lazy, loud and laughless". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia Media Network. p. E12. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- McDonough, Kevin (June 17, 2005). "Disney bugs out with Buzz". Lawrence Journal-World. 147 (168). The World Company. p. 22. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Zahed, Ramin (June 17, 2005). "Maggie Begins Buzzing on Disney". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on November 19, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "On this Week: June 12–18". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. June 12, 2005. p. Y.03. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Erickson, Hal. "The Buzz on Maggie [Animated TV Series]". AllMovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- "Future Thought Flashes onto the Big Screen at MIPCOM" (Press release). San Jose, California: PR Web. October 5, 2007. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- Ball, Ryan (June 6, 2005). "Loonatics Cast Unleashed". Animation Magazine. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
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- Pennington, Gail (June 17, 2005). "Critic's Pick". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee Enterprises. p. E8. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Episode Detail: Synchronized Flying; Roach Hotel – The Buzz on Maggie". TV Guide. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "ABC Kids premieres new fall season Saturday, September 17, on the ABC Television Network" (Press release). ABC Medianet. September 7, 2005. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "Ratings Report for ABC Kids For Saturday September 17, 2005" (Press release). ABC Medianet. September 22, 2005. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Catlin, Roger (June 17, 2005). "Disney Makes Strong Step with Maggie on Cartoon Night". Hartford Courant. Tribune Company. p. D10. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Hidek, Jeff (June 26, 2005). "Monkeys, bugs and bears try to get kids' attention". Star-News. 138 (255). Halifax Media Group. p. 17. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "No Headline". Observer-Reporter. Observer Publishing Company. June 17, 2005. p. E4. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Lloyd, Robert (October 30, 2005). "New kids on the comic bloc". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "Legacy: 33rd Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2005)". Annie Awards. 2005. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved March 29, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Nominees". Emmy Awards. 2006. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "The 33rd Annual Creative Craft Daytime Emmy Awards". Emmy Awards. 2006. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter