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Busytown is a fictional town inhabited by an assortment of anthropomorphic animals, as depicted in various books by the children's author Richard Scarry. Main characters of these books include the following: Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm, Mr. Frumble, police Sergeant Murphy, Mr. Fixit, Bananas Gorilla and Hilda Hippo.
In the mid-1990s Cinar (now Cookie Jar Entertainment) produced the animated series The Busy World of Richard Scarry, based around the inhabitants of Busytown. The series originally aired on Showtime in the United States. A board game and a computer game based on Busytown were also produced in the 1990s. Another animated series centered on Busytown, Busytown Mysteries, ran in the late 2000s.
Although the books contain a wide assortment of characters from different countries and backgrounds, there are some who appear in most of the stories as stars or guests making cameo appearances. For example, Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm and Sergeant Murphy, often appear in the illustrations even if they are not mentioned in the text.
The most frequent characters include:
The Cat Family
- Father Cat: Runs a grocery store and is sometimes referred to as Grocer Cat, His first name is John. He frequently does business with Farmer Alfalfa. In the cartoon series The Busy World of Richard Scarry, he works as a travel agent.
- Mother Cat: A typical housewife and mother. She cares for Huckle, Sally, Lowly, and even her husband. Mother Cat's first name is Fiona.
- Huckle Cat: Their school-age son. He is 7 years old. Huckle is often shown in the cockpits of planes and flying with Rudolf von Flugel. It is implied that his ambition is to be a pilot when he grows up. (Huck was the nickname for Scarry's son, Richard Scarry Jr.) Huckle Cat has red spots in The Busy World of Richard Scarry but he is 8 years old and has orange spots in Busytown Mysteries.
- Sally Cat: Huckle's younger sibling. She is 5 years old. In her early appearances she was known as Little Sister. Sally Cat has red spots in The Busy World of Richard Scarry but she is 6 years old and has orange spots in Busytown Mysteries.
- Lowly Worm: Huckle's best friend/pet. He often stays with the Cats as a house guest. Although he attends school with the Cat children, Lowly can also be seen in more adult situations, like driving a street sweeper or working in the operating room of the Busytown Hospital. Lowly Worm has appeared in The Busy World of Richard Scarry, and Busytown Mysteries.
- Grandma Cat: lives in another town and it requires a journey by plane to visit her. She is a skilled driver.
The Pig Family: Father Pig is a house painter married to a typical housewife, Mother Pig. They have twin children, Harry and Sally.
Sergeant Murphy: a cocker spaniel police motorcyclist who is often present in street and road scenes. He is married and has a little girl named Bridget. He is dedicated to his job and his passion for motorcycles is shown in the fact that he wears his crash helmet in bed. His name is reflection on the stereotypical Irish-American policeman.
Billy Dog: a hound dog who appears to be a bully at first, but has a heart of gold. He is good friends with Huckle, Hilda, and Lowly. He later gets glasses and usually wears a red sweater. He's about 6 years old.
Rudolf von Flugel: a fox pilot who flies a red-coloured German World War I monoplane and dresses in the uniform of a German officer of the time. He often takes Huckle, Lowly and Little Sister up in his planes, though these flights frequently end in disaster. His name is the German word for wing (Flügel).
Mr. Fixit: a fox repairman who boasts that he can fix anything, but does not often show this ability. He once attempted to fix Mother Cat's vacuum cleaner but it ran on the ceiling instead of the floor.
Janitor Joe: a fox who is a janitor in most places of Busytown, including, the theatre and Huckle's school.
Mr. Frumble: a clueless pig who often loses and chases after his hat. He drives a pickle-shaped car and is prone to vehicular accidents. Sometimes he gets traffic tickets from Sergeant Murphy.
Wolfgang Wolf, Benny Baboon and Harry Hyena: a trio of layabouts who spend their time lazing in the sun or eating or getting into trouble. On one occasion they were deemed suitable enough to fly to the moon (with Lowly as a passenger).
Bananas Gorilla: a gorilla who can be a thief whose passion for the fruit that bears his name leads him to steal bunches of them from Grocer Cat, which leads to his pursuit by Sergeant Murphy. Bananas also has many watches on each wrist. He is 23 years old.
Miss Honey: a brown bear is the school teacher at Busytown. She is very kind and motherly, and it is implied that she has children of her own, even though they are never explicitly shown or mentioned. Her pupils include the Cat children and Lowly Worm.
Farmer Alfalfa: a goat who owns a farm in the outskirts of Busytown and specializes in growing corn. Non-conscientious drivers can often be seen driving through his fields. (He may have been named after a Terrytoons character of the same name.)
Mr. Gronkle: a elderly and grouchy warthog who isn't fond of children. He is rarely compassionate and wants things to go his way.
Hilda Hippo: a self-conscious hippopotamus who works as a playground monitor at the elementary school. She also has a fairly obvious crush on Lowly. It is also revealed that she's allergic to roses. She is around 6 years old.
Fred: A squid who runs a fish and chips business.
Postman Pig: a pig letter carrier. Although not the only carrier in Busytown, his route includes the Cat family's home.
P.S. Pig: a pig letter carrier, appearing in The Busy World of Richard Scarry.
Pig-Will and Pig-Won't: Two pig brothers around age 6 who drive a sausage shaped car and are friends of Huckle and Sally. Pig-Will wears a green shirt/green overalls and Pig-Won't wears a red shirt/blue overalls. Pig-Will's catchphrase is, "I will! I will!" Pig-Wont's catchphrase is, "I won't."
Bully Bobcat: a bobcat who decides Squeaky.
Mr. Root: an armadillo who works at the community garden. He can be a bit demanding.
The musical began previews on March 3 and opened on March 16, 2014, at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. The cast included Chris Ryan as John Cat, Amanda Harrison as Fiona Cat, Ethan Puse as Lowly Worm, Esther Hannaford as Miss Honey, Adam Garcia as Mr. Fixit, Joshua Robson as Sergeant Murphy, Scott Irwin as Doctor Lion, Adam Lyon as Farmer Alfalfa, Hayden Tee as Mr. Frumble, Natalie Mendoza as Lily Bunny, Kurtis Papadinis as Huckle Cat, Jemma Rix as Hilda Hippo, Elisabeth Woodcock as Sally Cat and Queenie van de Zandt as Nurse Nelly. Notable replacements during the Australian run are: Luigi Lucente and Cody Fern as John Cat; Esther Hannaford, who originated the role of Miss Honey and Lucy Durack as Fiona Cat; Andrew Hazzard as Mr. Frumble; Ben Jason-Easton and Nicholas Cradock as Huckle Cat; Suzie Mathers and Anna O'Byrne as Miss Honey; Simon Gleeson as Farmer Alfalfa; Jasper James Lloyd as Lowly Worm; Rhonda Burchmore and Helen Dallimore as Nurse Nelly; Josh Quong-Tart as Doctor Lion; Ashlea Pyke as Lily Bunny; Stephen Mahy as Sergeant Murphy; Todd McKenney and Anthony Warlow as Mr. Fixit; Jazi Hall as Sally Cat and Nikki Webster as Hilda Hippo.