Johnny and the Sprites
|Johnny and the Sprites|
|Format||Children's television series|
|Created by||John Tartaglia|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||26 half hours and 5 short-subject "pilots"|
|Executive producer(s)||John Tartaglia|
|Running time||5 minutes / 30 minutes|
|Original channel||Disney Channel|
|Original run||October 9, 2005 – January 4, 2009|
Johnny and the Sprites is a musical television show aimed for preschoolers that airs every weekend on the "Playhouse Disney" program of The Disney Channel. The show was created for, is produced by, and stars John Tartaglia (of Avenue Q fame). The show's theme song was written by Stephen Schwartz. Each episode of the show features a musical number, many of which are written by various notable Broadway composers such as Gary Adler, Bobby Lopez, Laurence O'Keefe, Michael Patrick Walker, and others. The Sprites and all of the other creatures that inhabit Johnny's world were designed by Michael Schupbach. The set was designed by Laura Brock.
The show premiered on October 9, 2005 with five 5-minute-long episodes, which continually play on The Disney Channel's programming. However, due to extremely positive audience reaction, the show was renewed for thirteen half-hour shows for 2007. The current episodes can also be viewed on the Disney Channel's official website. The show was then renewed for a second season of half-hour episodes, which were filmed in Fall 2007 at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York City. The second season premiered Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008.
The show follows Johnny T (Tartaglia), a song writer who moves into a house given to him by his great-uncle. There, he discovers little magical creatures (brought to life through puppetry) called "sprites," who introduce him to their fantasy world. In return, Johnny shows the sprites, named Ginger (Leslie Carrara-Rudolph), Basil (Tim Lagasse), Lily (Carmen Osbahr) and Root (Heather Asch) what it is to be human, teaching them (and the viewer) an important lesson through song, dance, and entertainment.
In the Spanish dubbed version of the program, Johnny's voice is dubbed by the host of Playhouse Disney Latin America, Diego Topa.
Johnny and the Sprites premiered as a full twenty-five minute series on January 13, 2007 at 10 A.M. eastern. The series features more elaborate sets, such as a reflecting pond and the Sprites' home in Grotto's Grove. Three new Sprites have also been added - Lily, the water Sprite (played by Carmen Osbahr), Root, "a budding earth Sprite," (played by Heather Asch) and Sage, the wisest of the Sprites (also played by Tartaglia). Natalie Venetia Belcon (who, along with fellow cast member John Tartaglia also had a role on Avenue Q) plays Gwen, a recurring character who, as a running gag, holds a different occupation in each episode. She always explains that "you never know what you can do, until you try something new!" Johnny's sister Tina (Sutton Foster) has also appeared.
Each show consists of two 10-minute mini episodes. Each half hour also features the song "Heads Up!" (Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz) performed by Johnny, Lily, Root, Ginger, and Basil in between the two 10-minute episodes.
Season 1 (2007)
Turbo-Car Johnny/Ginger's Antenna Dilemma
- Johnny gets a new video game and starts playing it constantly, ignoring the Sprites.
Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Then, after seeing her Antennae in a picture, Ginger thinks they're too curly and becomes self-conscious. Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann. (Originally aired January 13, 2007)
Root's Dadoots/The Rare Nospotalotacus
-While Johnny struggles on a new song, Root gets the dadoots (the Sprite hiccups). The Sprites do their best to help them, but Johnny, however, finds a way to bring his song together by integrating Root's dadoots. "What A Surprise!" Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler. Then, after Johnny and Lily hear the call of the endangered nospotalotacus, the sprites realize they need to get it out of Johnny's garden and to Grotto's Grove right away. They discover that teamwork is the best solution. Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann. (Originally aired January 14, 2007)
Johnny’s Sister Tina/Spritesgiving!
-Johnny's sister Tina (Sutton Foster) visits and he explains to the Sprites what a sister is. Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler. Later on, it's Spritesgiving and Basil is put in charge of the feast but when all the plants get the Forgetful Fungus, will they have to put the feast on hold? "A Fungus Among Us" Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. (Originally aired January 20, 2007)
The Sprites and the What?!/Doctor Basil
-Johnny is cooking dinner for Gwen, but then misplaces his colander. In reality, Seymour finds it and the Sprites come up with many creative uses for it. Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz. Then, when Johnny gets a bad cold, Basil decides to take care of him. He tries out various remedies without success, but finally discovers something very important that he forgot to do. Music and Lyrics by Billy Lopez and Bobby Lopez. (Originally aired January 27, 2007)
Ginger Listens/Aloha Johnny
-When Ginger temporarily loses her ability to speak because she has run out of words for the day, she begins to realize the importance of listening. "Stop and Listen" Music and Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham and Joshua Salzman. Then, when Johnny gets a letter from his older sister Lina inviting him to spend a week in Hawaii, he makes immediate plans to visit, which causes the Sprites to think he's leaving forever. Music and lyrics by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler. (Originally aired February 3, 2007)
Seymour's Guest/Root of Passage
-Russel, a 'Schwombat' from Australia and Seymour's cousin, visits, but his nocturnal nature keeps Johnny and the Sprites up at night. They have to learn to get along despite their differences. "Git Along Little Sprites" music and lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. Then, Root is old enough to walk through the portal all by himself. He chooses Johnny to be his friend at the end - will Root make it or be too scared? "Through the Portal" Music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum. (Originally aired February 10, 2007)
The Sprites Sleepover/Seymour the Sleuth
-The Sprites have a sleepover at Johnny's house, but they can't sleep because things are so different back in The Grove where they normally sleep. "Feelin' 'Grove'-y" music and lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. Then, watermelons go missing from Johnny's garden and Seymour unravels the mystery with the help of Johnny and the Sprites. "Seymour the Sleuth" Music and Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe. (Originally Aired February 17, 2007)
Spring Tuning/Where's the Water, Lily?
-When the Sprites find out that the "Spring Tuners" can't come to the grove to "wake up the earth", they ask Johnny to substitute. -"Time To Wake Up" Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler,When Johnny gets a new water fountain, water begins to disappear from the grove. Lily learns that there is a reason for everything. "Reason and Rhyme" Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. (Originally Aired March 17, 2007)
Ginger and the Shell/Fuzzies' Day Off
"The Hardest Thing To Do", Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. "Fuzzies' Frug", Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker. (Originally Aired April 20, 2007)
Basil's Band/The Sprites Rule
-Basil discovers something about making promises - and keeping them - when he joins a band and forgets about all of his friends. Features a cameo appearance by the cast of the Off-Broadway hit Altar Boyz. "That's What Friends Do" Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker. The Sprites decide to make rules to keep the Grove running smoothly. "Rules are Made for a Reason" Music and lyrics by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler. (Originally Aired May 19, 2007)
Ginger's Grounded/Baby Johnny
When Ginger injures her wing, the Sprites have to find a way to spread Spoffle (sprite plant food) over all of the plants in Grotto's Grove. "No Spoffle", Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler. And when Johnny wishes he could be a baby for just one day, the Sprites learn about taking care of others. "Sleepytime Lullaby", Music and lyrics by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler. (Originally Aired July 21, 2007)
Laugh Sprites, laugh/Hola Lily
"It's A Funny Thing", Music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum. "So Many Ways To Say 'Hello'", Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz. (Originally Aired September 15, 2007)
Very Spritely Holiday/Sprites Snow Day
"Brightly Shining", Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. "Til You Try Out Something New", Music and Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham and Joshua Salzman. (Originally Aired December 1, 2007)
Season 2 (2008)
Gwen Meets The Sprites/A Biddow For Root
When a spell goes wrong, Gwen begins to turn into a bunny. She meets the Sprites later, after the spell is broken. "A New Friend", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. Lily tries to clean Root's favorite pillow (his "biddow") but mistakenly ruins it. "Not My Biddow", Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. (Originally Aired January 19, 2008)
The Bridge Troll/This Is Your Life, Johnny!
On their way to a picnic, Johnny, the Sprites and Gwen encounter a Bridge Troll (Christian Borle). "A Good Song!", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. Ginger gets stage fright during a play in honor of Johnny's birthday. "Give It A Try", Music and Lyrics by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler. (Originally Aired January 26, 2008)
Johnny the Mud Troll/Helpful Basil
Ginger mistakenly turns Johnny into a Mud Troll. "Bad Day To Be A Mud Troll", Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz. Basil loses the key to his helpful hints book. "I Believe In You, Basil", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. (Originally Aired February 2, 2008)
Johnny and the Love Bug/The Twenty-Foot Root
Lily makes a love bug for Valentine's Day. "You Make My Heart Go 'Hop'", Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz. Tired of being too small, Root makes himself grow. "The Right Size", Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz. (Originally Aired February 9, 2008)
The Sprites Plan a Party/Basil and the Magic Watermelon
The Sprites plan a surprise party for Johnny. "It's Party Time", Music and Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham and Joshua Salzman. Basil and Root search for the magic watermelon of great weight so that the Fuzzies will stop floating away. "Never Give Up!", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. (Originally Aired February 16, 2008)
Root and the Tickle Troll/Ginger Goes for the Glory
While waiting for Johnny to come home, the Sprites think a Tickle Troll is outside Johnny's house. "The Tickle Troll", Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. When Ginger tries to break the flying record she gets help from an unexpected source. "I Can Do It!", Music and Lyrics by Ryan Cunningham and Joshua Salzman. (Originally Aired February 23, 2008)
Lily's Hair/Ginger and the Cloud
Lily asks Root to make her hair grow longer. "A Brand New 'Do", Music and Lyrics by Carmel Dean and Mariana Elder. While flying, Ginger makes friends with a playful cloud. "Playing in the Air!", Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann. (Originally Aired March 1, 2008)
A Johnny for Everyone/Lily and the Frog Princess
When Basil, Lily and Ginger each want to do something different with Johnny, they cast a spell to turn one Johnny into three. "Play With Me", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. Lily turns her pet frog, Francesca, into a princess (Ann Sanders). "I Wanna Be Me", Music and Lyrics by Michael Kosarin and Jim Luigs. (Originally Aired March 8, 2008)
Johnny's Not Invited/Basil and the Beanstalk
The Queen of all Magical Beings (Chita Rivera) visits the Grove, but only invites magical beings to her party. "Welcome to Grotto's Grove", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. Basil climbs a giant beanstalk and picks the giant vegetables he finds growing there, but they belong to a hungry giant (Paul Vogt). "My Lucky Day", Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sislen and Alisa Klein. (Originally Aired March 15, 2008)
The Sprites Save Grotto's Grove/Seymour's New Home
When a pushy real estate developer (Ann Harada) wants to build a hotel in Johnny's back yard, the Sprites and Johnny must stop her. "Everything Must Go", Music and Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe. When a log blocks the entrance to Seymour's burrow, Johnny helps him find a new home. "Home Sweet Home Sweet Home", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. (Originally Aired March 22, 2008)
Johnny and the Sprites Shrink/Johnny's Gotta Dance
An "uh-oh" berry makes Johnny and the Sprites shrink. "A Giant World", Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Lily tries to make Johnny a better dancer by casting a spell on his shoes. "Dancin' Feet", Music and Lyrics by Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler. (Originally Aired March 29, 2008)
Johnny's Troll Trouble/Basil the Dogsitter
Things are all set for Root's birthday party until a "Make-A-Mess" Troll (Christopher Sieber)shows up. "Follow Me!", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. Basil can't find the little dog he said he would watch. "I Will Find You", Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. (Originally Aired April 4, 2008)
Johnny Helps Mother Nature/The Sprites Grow A Rainbow
The Sprites must play host to a visiting Mother Nature (Angie Radosh). "Clean and Green!", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker. Color worms remove the color from the Grove. "All Because of You and Me", Music and Lyrics by David Kirshenbaum. (Originally Aired April 19, 2008)
5-Minute Episode Guide
Who's on First? - Ginger wants Johnny to play ball, but Basil wants Johnny to read his favorite book. Johnny finds a fun, musical way to show the Sprites that taking turns is the way to go! "One Good Turn", Music and Lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker.
Laugh, Basil, Laugh - When Basil comes down with a cold, Johnny discovers the way to make any Sprite feel better is to make him (or her) laugh. They try singing, dancing and it doesn't work, until finally Johnny does some Yoga poses and it makes Basil laugh. But, oh dear! It looks like Ginger has caught his cold! "Make Someone Laugh", Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler.
Leave a little Lettuce - When Seymour the Schmole takes all of the lettuce in Johnny's Garden, Ginger sings a song to demonstrate the advantages of sharing. "Leave A Little Lettuce", Music and Lyrics by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich.
Yes You Can! - Basil has lost another flying contest to Ginger, and he's feeling pretty low. Then Johnny (and Ginger) help him remember all the great things he can do. "The Things You Can Do", Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler.
Waiting for the Stars - Ginger and Basil are about to see the stars for the very first time, but they just can't wait...literally. It takes all of Johnny's patience and a special song, to convince them that sometimes, wonderful things are worth the wait! "Waiting For The Stars", Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
- Johnny - A young composer who comes to live in his great uncle's old house to work on his music. He is the star of the show.
- Gwen - Johnny's neighbour and friend. She is always "trying something new" and often has a different job every time she visits. In Season 2 Gwen meets the Sprites.
- Ginger - A pink and purple Air Sprite with a spunky, sporty attitude.
- Basil - A green and yellow Earth Sprite with glasses. He's very smart and knows a great deal about Sprite history and gardening.
- Lily - A blue Water Sprite who is able to speak Spanish. She's very in touch with nature. She loves to paint.
- Root - The youngest and shyest of the Sprites. Root is a baby Earth Sprite but he can already get vegetables to grow just by talking to them.
- Sage - The oldest and wisest Sprite of them all. When the younger Sprites need advice or lack knowledge on a topic they often confer with Sage.
- Seymour - Seymour is not a Sprite, but a Schmole (a purple, talking mole). He lives in (or rather 'under') Johnny's backyard and has quite the appetite.
- Fuzzies (creatures) - Small, colorful creatures that live with the Sprites and enjoy hanging out with Johnny - they often do work for the Sprites.
- Ms. Moldystew the neighbor who appeared in the shorts who is annoyed with what Johnny and the Sprites who tells Johnny to keep it down she acts like Mrs. Goodbody from The New Zoo Revue.
- Official website on Disney.com[dead link]
- Johnny and the Sprites at the Internet Movie Database
- Johnny and the Sprites at TV.com
- Yuku Discussion Board
- Leslie Carrara-Rudolph tv page
- Multichannel News Article
- Second season of 'Sprites' takes flight
- Children's TV taps Broadway talent
- Pittsburgh-based director adds producer duties for 'Sprites' Changes for 2nd season