The Wiggles characters

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The Wiggles characters are a group of characters who perform with The Wiggles, the Australian children's music group. Aside from the four Wiggles, four secondary characters, along with a troupe of singers, actors, and dancers, appear in their television series, videos, and live concerts. These characters were developed in the 1990s and were originally played by group members and by Anthony Field's brother Paul, the band's manager. Later in the group's history, the characters were played by hired actors dressed in the characters' costumes.

Dorothy the Dinosaur[edit]

Dorothy the Dinosaur
Dorothy 110807.jpg
Genre Children's television series
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 100
Production
Running time 7 minutes
Release
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release 2007 – 2010
External links
Website

Dorothy the Dinosaur is a "rososaurus", a "yellow-spotted herbivorous green Stegosaurus with surprisingly scary teeth".[1] She lives in a pink and purple house with her own Rosy Orchestra and a rose garden in her backyard. She loves to eat roses and dance the ballet.[1] She enjoys serving guests rose-derived treats such as "rosy-posy tea".[2]

Murray Cook created Dorothy from his experiences in working at a preschool, sensing a need to make up some good dinosaur songs.[3] Dorothy was part of the band's early stage shows, and was originally played by Cook, then Wiggles choreographer Leeanne Ashley, and Wiggles dancers such as Caterina Mete and Lyn Stuckey.[4][5] Ashley was Dorothy's first full-time portrayer; according to Field, she "wrote the blueprint"[6] for the character. Ashley developed movements that conveyed Dorothy's unique personality.[6] South Australian Carolyn Ferrie, an opera singer and dancer, has provided Dorothy's voice from 1997 to 2009.[note 1] when she worked with Anthony Field on an Irish music Wiggles CD.[7] Ferrie described Dorothy as "a dinosaur superstar ... very open, friendly, and warm. She is like a mother figure even though she is only meant to be five, and kids really respond to her ... She is calm and mothering but friendly as well. She's young and still playful but has got a motherly feeling to her".[7] Ferrie insisted that Dorothy "is number one after the boys including Captain Feathersword, in terms of who kids say they love".[7] Dorothy has a distinctive, trill-like, descending laugh created by Ferrie.[2][7]

In 1996, shortly before moving into American markets, The Wiggles discovered that someone in Maine had registered Dorothy as a trademark, so they reached an agreement and paid a settlement.[8] In 2007, Dorothy began to star in her own television show in Australia.[7] The show had a distinct look and sound. Whereas The Wiggles' TV shows were "hyper-real and cartoonish" and had a pop sound, Dorothy's show was "really rich and beautiful looking" and based its sound on orchestral music.[9] Dorothy was the focus of her own touring production, which performed in smaller cities The Wiggles could not perform. The production, based upon the TV show, was written by Field, and Moran was the host of this show before he joined the band. Lyn Stuckey, who later married Moran, played Dorothy.[10][11]

Dorothy the Dinosaur TV series videos[edit]

  • Dorothy the Dinosaur's Party (2007)
  • Dorothy the Dinosaur – Memory Book (2008) (known in US as The Wiggles Present Dorothy the Dinosaur)
  • Dorothy the Dinosaur Meets Santa Claus (2009) (Cartoon)
  • Dorothy the Dinosaur – Rockin' Christmas (2010)
  • Dorothy the Dinosaur – TV Series 1 (2010)
  • Dorothy the Dinosaur's Travelling Show (2011)
  • Dorothy The Dinosaur's Wonderful World (2012)
  • Dorothy The Dinosaur's Beach Party (2012)

Captain Feathersword[edit]

Captain Feathersword

Captain Feathersword, "the friendly pirate", wears a hat, patch, and puffy shirt and wields a "feathersword".[12][13] The Captain was created because The Wiggles understood that young children like pirates; they gave him a "feathersword" because they wanted him to be nonviolent.[14] Field originated the role, but in 1993, when he had to undergo a hernia operation, the role, along with Wags the Dog and the Blue Wiggle, was played by Paul Paddick.[15] Paddick would later play Captain Feathersword on a more permanent basis. At first, Paddick's role was minor, but it eventually evolved into a role so significant that he has been called "the Fifth Wiggle".[13] Field described Paddick as "just as funny offstage as on",[14] For many parents, his vocal impersonations were "the high point of the Wiggles stage show" and included singers Mick Jagger, Cher, Plácido Domingo and James Hetfield.[12]

Henry the Octopus[edit]

Introduced in 1992, Henry the Octopus, who directs an underwater band and loves to dance with his eight legs".[1] He was named after Tony Henry, the drummer in The Cockroaches, who also provided The Wiggles with musical support throughout the years.[16] The character was developed by Fatt, who originally served as Henry's voice. Paul Paddick took over the role of the voice in the mid-2000s.[17] He has appeared as both a puppet and a mascot, the latter of which has been played by various dancers on staff.

Wags the Dog[edit]

Wags is a tall, brown, furry dog with floppy ears and a happy face.[1] He "loves to sing and dance and kids bring 'bones' that the Wiggly dancers collect from the audience".[1] The last of the four characters to be introduced, Wags was originally played by Field. Fatt provided the original barking noises for Wags before Paul Field, general manager of The Wiggles and brother of Blue Wiggle Anthony took over. Mic Conway of The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band fame, has provided Wags's full-spoken dialogue. [12][18]

Minor characters[edit]

For the stage shows, The Wiggles have used two 16-metre (52 ft) trucks, three tour buses, a cast of 13 dancers, and 10 permanent crew members.[19] The "Wiggly Dancers" have always made up a major part of the Wiggles shows and TV programs and play many of the minor roles. Minor characters of note include The Cook (portrayed by Anthony Field's father, John, and Crowded House drummer Paul Hester),[20] Professor Singalottasonga (played by Sam Moran),[21] Flora Door, Magdalena the Mermaid (played by Naomi Wallace in Wiggle Bay and Larissa Wright in Racing to the Rainbow) and Officer Beaples (played by former Wiggles choreographer Leanne Halloran).[22]

Works cited[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ John Field's wife Jacqueline, provided Dorothy's voice during their Lights, Camera, Action TV series from 2002-2003, and Emma Buter has provided singing on some of their albums prior to Ferrie.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Wright, Diane (2007-03-14). "Hey, kids! It's fun — and you may even learn something". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  2. ^ a b Horswill, Amanda (2007-06-05). "Meet Dorothy Dinosaur's Giggle". The Courier Mail.
  3. ^ Smith, Marie (March 2011). "Spotlight on Murray Cook" (PDF). Early Years Care. No. 6. New South Wales, Australia. p. 6. Retrieved 2012-07-04. Dorothy the dinosaur came about from some ideas and songs I wrote while working at a preschool. The children loved dinosaurs and there were literally no good dinosaur songs so I made some up. Dinosaurs and pirates are always interesting to children. 
  4. ^ "Wiggles Sam's family values" (2006-12-16). The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  5. ^ "Leeanne Ashley". TV.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  6. ^ a b Field 2012, p. 225
  7. ^ a b c d e Browne, Rachel (2007-05-27). "Kids will go dotty about solo Dorothy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  8. ^ Field 2012, p. 42
  9. ^ Elliott, Tim (2007-01-13). "It's a wiggly, wiggly world". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  10. ^ Fouch, Robert L. (2007-07-27). "Fast Chat Sam Moran". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  11. ^ McDougall, Nikki (2011-07-29). "Little wonder Dorothy's such a hit". The Southland Times. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  12. ^ a b c Meacham, Steve (2005-12-03). "The master of sword play". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  13. ^ a b Baughman, Tony (2007-11-12). "Captain Feathersword May Steal The Wiggles' Show". The Aiken Standard. Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ a b Scott McNulty (2009-08-25) "The Wiggles: An interview". (YouTube clip). Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  15. ^ Yeap, Sue (2006-08-17). "The fifth Wiggle sails on". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  16. ^ Field 2012, p. 233
  17. ^ "Jeff Fatt". TV.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  18. ^ Wags has also been played by Edward Rooke,Andrew McCourt, Talbot, and Paddick. Articles retrieved on 2008-05-24.
  19. ^ Munro, Catharine (2005-05-22). "The Wiggly way". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  20. ^ Harris, Chris (2005-03-28). "Crowded House Drummer Paul Hester Found Dead in Australia". MTV.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  21. ^ Meacham, Steve (2006-12-15). "First Dorothy, then another yellow road". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  22. ^ Leanne Halloran". TV.com. Retrieved 2012-06-21.