A Pumpkin Full of Nonsense

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The Adventures of the Scrabble People in A Pumpkin Full of Nonsense
Scrabble People poster.jpg
VHS release poster
GenreAnimated special
Written byGeorge Atkins[1]
Directed byAlvaro Arce[1]
Jaime Diaz[1]
StarringBrianne Sidall
Kevin Slattery
Bob Singer
George Atkins
Theme music composerMiguel Pizarro[1]
Alvaro Arce[1]
Ada Lobos[1]
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Alvaro Arce
Running time30 minutes[2]
Production company(s)Arce Productions[1]
Jaime Diaz Studios[1]
DistributorARP Films[1]
Orbis Communications (TV, 1986)[2]
Children's Video Library (VHS, 1986)[1][3]:K-18, K-20
Original networkSyndication
Original releaseOctober 31, 1985[1]

The Adventures of the Scrabble People in A Pumpkin Full of Nonsense is an animated television special from 1985, made at Jaime Diaz Studios in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was produced and directed by Alvaro Arce, and co-directed by Jaime Diaz. In the special, a character called Sir Scrabble and two children travel to a land called Nonsense, where education has been forbidden. Sir Scrabble teams up with the residents to defeat an evil ruler, the Muddler, through the power of learning and spelling.

Selchow and Righter, a U.S. board game manufacturer, financed and developed A Pumpkin Full of Nonsense; it was based on, and also featured, that same company's Scrabble People characters. The special first aired in syndication on October 31, 1985, and was re-run in August 1986. It was released on VHS by Vestron Video through its Children's Video Library label.


Sir Scrabble, a resident of a magical town known as Nonsense, follows a boy named Tad and a girl named Terry on the way to a Halloween party. Coming across a pumpkin patch, they stumble upon an enormous pumpkin and land right into the town. There, they discover that the signs nearby have missing or scrambled letters. As it turns out, a nemesis called the Muddler—"Baron of Bad Guys, Count of Confusion, Earl of Errors and King of Chaos" as he is dubbed—has rid the land of all education and vowels. This has greatly oppressed the Scrabble People, a group of youngsters who live there.

Sir Scrabble insists on teaching the alphabet to Nonsense's residents, but the Muddler imprisons him for that; this satisfies Rotunda, the evil ruler's daughter. The towndwellers' learning and spelling skills, along with a teacher named Lexa—the area's only literate resident—come to Sir Scrabble's rescue and set him free. They and the human visitors eventually defeat the Muddler, and Nonsense is eventually renamed Makesense. Afterward, Tad, Terry and Mr. Scrabble head over to their party.[1][4]


Name Character Source
Brianne Sidall Tad / Terry [1]
Kevin Slattery Sir Scrabble
Bob Singer Rot
George Atkins Muller
Melissa Freeman Lexa
Kathy Hart Freeman Rotunda

Release and reception[edit]

A Pumpkin Full of Nonsense was produced by Jaime Diaz Studios of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Arce Productions.[1] The special was financed and developed by Selchow and Righter, the owners of the Scrabble board game at that time.[1] It also showcased, and was based on, the company's Scrabble People property,[3]:K-20 which was introduced in 1984 and created by the designers of Coleco's Cabbage Patch Kids.[5]

The special originally aired in syndication on October 31, 1985,[1] and was re-run in eleven markets in late August 1986 through Orbis Communications.[2] During that period, it aired on WCBS in New York City.[6] It was released on VHS and Beta on July 16, 1986[5] by Children's Video Library, a Vestron Video label.[3]:K-18 C.J. Kettler, a Vestron spokesperson, said that its acquisition of the special "enhances our catalog significantly because all Scrabble People products, including the video, educate children while entertaining them".[3]:K-20 Eden Ross Lipson of The New York Times called the special an "elaborately produced effort" and added, "It's cartooning for a cause—literacy—and if it falls short as both art and entertainment, it's not for want of trying."[4] A Pumpkin Full of Nonsense was certified with the Seal of Approval from Good Housekeeping magazine.[5]

See also[edit]

  • Scrabble, a 1980s game show based on the board game


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Woolery, George W. (1989). "The Adventures of the Scrabble People in 'A Pumpkin Full of Nonsense'". Animated TV Specials: The Complete Directory to the First Twenty-Five Years, 1962–1987. Scarecrow Press. pp. 6–7. ISBN 0-8108-2198-2.
  2. ^ a b c "Television/Radio Age article". Television/Radio Age. Television Editorial Corp. 34: 76. August 18, 1986. Retrieved September 25, 2010. Orbis Communications has cleared A Pumpkin Full of Nonsense in 11 markets, covering more than 75 per cent of the U.S. The half-hour special has an August 16–31 window and barter split is two national, four for local sales
  3. ^ a b c d McCullaugh, Jim (July 26, 1986). "Why Child's Play Is Turning Video Business on Its Head". Billboard. VNU/Nielsen Business Media. 98 (30). Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Lipson, Eden Ross (September 14, 1986). "Home Video; New Cassettes: Dancers and Comics". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c Children's Video Library (June 7, 1986). "The A, B, C's of Sales! Scrabble People can help you put it all together!" (Advertisement). Billboard. VNU/Nielsen Business Media. 98 (23): C-15. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  6. ^ "Television: Weekend, August 16–17". New York. New York Media LLC. 19 (32): 105. August 18, 1986. Retrieved September 25, 2010.

External links[edit]