The art direction and gags in the new animated new comedy, DISNEYS THE BUZZ ON MAGGIE, from Walt Disney Television Animation, may leave viewers bug-eyed like the design of its insect stars in a series that is quite a departure for the Disney Channel. The show debuted June 17, 2005, at 8:00 pm and now airs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on the channels weekend block at 5:30 pm.
Maggie Pesky is a spunky and unique tween fly living in Stickyfeet, a conventional fly world. She embodies individuality with antics that often ruffle the antennae of the world around her. The design of the bugs themselves is unconventional for Disney faire, with bulging eyeballs and tiny bodies, with a bold graphic art style that is riveting with an anime sensibility for action and framing. This works for a show produced in Macromedia Flash animation.
Maggie lives with her family, goes to school and hangs out with her friends. Shes highly energetic, expressive and dreams of being a rock star. Her fresh approach to predictable circumstances that occur in everyday life inevitably disrupt those around her and create unintended consequences. They live in a dump and dine on gross-looking goo, which a fly would naturally find delectable and plays to a typical kids humor for bodily functions and slimy messes. Flies are naturally drawn to stinky piles and perhaps thee bugs dont mind handling them with their spindly, white-gloved appendages.
The stories present a playful look at the universal theme of adolescence individuality vs. conformity, explains the series creator/exec producer Dave Polsky. 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.
In the premiere episode, a Beverly Hills-type socially elite ladybug and Valley girl-type Maggie socially struggle to run the school dance and gain the admiration of their schoolmates.
Maggies best friend and sassy sidekick is Rayna. Her family includes her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Pesky; her older brother Aldrin, a football player and big fly on campus; her wide-eyed younger brother Pupert; and her darling baby sister Bella.
The series stars Jessica DiCicco (BRATZ) as Maggie Pesky; David Kaufman (STUART LITTLE television series) as Aldrin Pesky; Thom Adcox (AMERICAN DRAGON: JAKE LONG) as Pupert Pesky; Cree Summer (THE PROUD FAMILY) as best friend Rayna; Brian Doyle Murray (SNOW DOGS); and Susan Tolsky (PEPPER ANN) as Maggies mother and father.
Other cast members are Tara Strong (THE PROUD FAMILY) as Maggies nemesis Dawn; Jeff Bennett (AMERICAN DRAGON: JAKE LONG) as sneaky yet clever Principal Peststrip; Curtis Armstrong (RAY) as Maggies pompous and short-tempered teacher Mr. Bugspit; and Candi Milo (Disneys W.I.T.C.H.) as the gruff, no-nonsense science teacher Mrs. Wingston.
Voice casting is by Jamie Thomason and Charlie Adler. Adler also voice directs.
Polsky has written for SINGLED OUT, SOUTH PARK, THE KEENAN IVORY WAYANS SHOW and CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER PRESENTS. He also wrote material for SCARY MOVIE and SCARY MOVIE 2.
Dave Wasson is director/exec producer. His student film made at CalArts, THE THING WHAT LURKED IN THE TUB, was bought by Spike and Mike for the Sick and Twisted Film Festival and MTV licensed it for Liquid Television. He worked as a commercial director for years before coming to Nickelodeon as a creator/director/writer/producer on the networks short film program OH YEAH CARTOONS! At Cartoon Network Wasson created, co-wrote and directed TIME SQUAD and recently directed the title sequence animation for the feature film, DOWN WITH LOVE.
Laura Perkins Brittain (THATS SO RAVEN) serves as co-exec producer, Tim Yoon is assoc producer and Brandon Sayer is story editor. Storyboard supervisor is Babe Swarr while timing directors are Allen Foster and Jamie Huang. Production supervisor is Michael Gracey and supervising technical director is Alex Teslik III
Conceptual design is by Shakeh Haghnazarian while Jorge R. Gutierrez supervises character design and Roman Laney supervises location and prop design as well as background paint.
The main title of the series, Just The Way I Am, is written and produced by Bob Thiele and Dillon OBrian, performed by Skye Sweetnam with vocals produced by James Robertson. Adam Berry does the score.
Film editor is Andrew Sorcini, pre-production dialogue editor is Jim Harrison, sound design is by Robert Poole, dialogue editor is Robbi Smith, Phyllis Ginter is foley artist while Mary Erstad is foley mixer. On-line editor is Keith Cook while Melissa Ellis and Fil Brown are re-recording mixers.
Original dialogue recording is by George Thompson, original dialogue editor is David Guerrero and post-production supervisor is PJ Aminpour.
Animation production on DISNEYS THE BUZZ ON MAGGIE is by Bardel Ent. in Vancouver. Robert Watts is line producer there with Myron Born directing animation. Tai Keattivanichvily is unit technical director and Cristina Tanase is production manager.