Eureeka's Castle

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Eureeka's Castle
Eureekas.jpg
Genre Children's
Written by R.L. Stine (head writer)
Creative director(s) Eli Noyes
Starring
Composer(s) Peter Lurye
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes
  • 147 (total amount of episodes)
  • 87 (seasons 1–3)
  • 52 (season 4)
  • 3 (half-hour specials)
Production
Executive producer(s) Kit Laybourne
Producer(s)
  • Kathleen Minton
  • Michael Holman (1989–1991)
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time
  • 50–52 minutes (seasons 1–3)
  • 25–27 minutes (season 4)
Production company(s) Noyes & Laybourne Enterprises
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original network Nickelodeon
Original release September 4, 1989 (1989-09-04) – June 30, 1995 (1995-06-30)[1]
Chronology
Related shows Gullah Gullah Island

Eureeka's Castle is an American children's television series which aired on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block from September 4, 1989 until June 30, 1995. The program featured various puppet characters who live in a Giant's wind-up music box. The show was a joint development by Nickelodeon, animators Kit Laybourne and Eli Noyes of Noyes & Laybourne Enterprises, and the puppeteers at 3/Design Studio.[2] R.L. Stine developed the characters and was the Head Writer for the episodes. Reruns of the show aired on Noggin from 1999 to 2002.

Production history[edit]

Eureeka's Castle's ending credits state the show comes "from an original concept" by Debby Reece and Judy Katschke. In 1988, development of the show began by staff members at Nickelodeon and animator Eli Noyes and his partner Kit Laybourne, whose wife Geraldine Laybourne was the Head of Programming for Nickelodeon.[2] Jovial Bob Stine, best known for his children's horror novels written under the pen name R.L. Stine, was hired as the Head Writer to develop the concept, characters and episode scripts.[3] The puppet design and construction for the characters were done at 3/Design Studio where the puppets were built by James Kroupa, John Orberg, Kip Rathke and Matt Stoddart.[4]

The show's fourth season, which ran concurrently with the third season, was designed for international distribution and featured clips from previous episodes. Production on Eureeka's Castle ended in 1992,[citation needed] as some of the show's crew began working on Gullah Gullah Island.

Synopsis[edit]

The show follows various puppet characters (in the style of Sesame Street), including Eureeka, a sorceress-in-training. Eureeka and her friends live in a wind-up castle music box owned by a friendly giant. Other characters include Magellan the dragon, Bogge and Quagmire, Batley the bat, and Mr. Knack. There are also various appearing creatures such as mice, singing fish statues called the Fishtones, Magellan's pets Cooey and the Slurms and Batley's pet spider, Webster.

Also featured were animated segments such as the Weston Woods Studios films based on popular children's books, live-action short films, and UK imports such as Roobarb, The Shoe People, and Gran.

Characters[edit]

  • Eureeka (performed by Cheryl Blaylock) – The title character. Eureeka is a friendly sorceress-in-training. Her spells are not successful most of the time, but she keeps trying until she gets it right.
  • Magellan (performed by Noel MacNeal) – A large green dragon with a tail that has a mind of its own. He doesn't always understand new concepts. Magellan tends to make great big sneezes that can shake the whole castle whenever he gets upset.
    • Cooey (performed by Lynn Hippen) – Magellan's pet of indeterminate species.
    • Slurms – Magellan's pet worm hybrids. They were animated with clay animation.
  • Batley (performed by James Kroupa in a New York accent) – An egotistical clumsy blue bat who wears glasses due to being near-sighted. Despite being different in every way, he and Magellan are good friends. His flying usually ends with a crash landing prompting him to say "I meant to do that". Batley spends most of his time in the belfry and has a large bug collection. In a 2016 Reddit AMA, Stine said that Batley's face was modeled after his own son, Matt.
  • Bogge and Quagmire (performed by Brian Muehl and Pam Arciero) – The Moat Twins are siblings who spend most of their time swimming in the castle moat, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and playing in the basement. Bogge is orange while Quagmire is pink. They tend to argue with each other, but work together when it comes to causing trouble. Bogge and Quagmire constantly try to steal Magellan's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but never succeed.
  • Mr. Knack (performed by Brian Muehl in an Italian accent) – The castle's handyman and tinkerer. He uses many unconventional methods for fixing things around the castle. He also loves to barter when he sells some of his inventions that he has made from his pushcart. Mr. Knack always gets some postcards which he reads to the viewers.
  • Sir Klank (performed by James Kroupa) – An old blue mouse with a long gray beard who resides in a suit of armor.
  • Kate (performed by Lynn Hippen) – A pink mouse who frequently reports on what happens in the castle.
  • Emma (performed by Pam Arciero) – A fat orange mouse who loves to eat.
  • Fishtones – A trio of singing fish in the form of a stone fountain who spray water when they're not singing.
  • The Giant (performed by James Kroupa) – A friendly, full-bodied giant with a long nose who owns the wind-up castle music box where the show takes place.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (1989–90)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date
TBA TBA TBA 1989 (1989)
Magellan wants to walk on his toes like Batley, and asks Eureeka for help. The main characters perform a rap number about themselves. Towser is dared to stay in a haunted house. Sir Klank introduces the story of Rapunzel. Magellan and Batley sing about noises of the night.

Season 2 (1990–91)[edit]

Season 3 (1991–92)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date
TBA TBA TBA 1991 (1991)
Mr. Knack wants to borrow the Moat Twins' "turny turny twisty twisty all the way down thing", but he needs Magellan's help. Eureeka teaches Magellan about animals found in an aquarium. Magellan wants to know from Batley what a friend is. The Moat Twins try not to trick Magellan out of eating his peanut better sandwich.
TBA TBA TBA 1991 (1991)
Magellan and Batley compare Cooey and Webster. The Moat Twins attempt to clean up their messy room.

Season 4 (1991–92)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date
TBA TBA "Animals" TBA
Red Grammer teaches the gang how to say "Hello" in different languages. A wizard helps Towser fly. The Moat Twins argue over who's better in song. Magellan presents a couple short films about animals.
TBA TBA "Sunny Day" TBA
Jaye Davidson sings about a sunny day. Batley participates in a swap-off with Mr. Knack so he can receive a bug trap. The Fishtones sing about hot weather.
TBA TBA "Bedtime" TBA
Deborah Dunleavy sings about talking on the telephone. The wind freezes Towser's funny face. Magellan and Batley have trouble going to sleep. Eureeka tells the Moat Twins a story, but the twins keep questioning her story.
TBA TBA "Body Language" TBA
The Jive Five perform their song "Hully Gully Callin' Time". Magellan trades his hiccups for Mr. Knack's basketball. The Nosey Parker causes trouble for Towser and his friends. The Moat Twins go for a swim. Eureeka introduces a couple short films about body language.

Puppeteers[edit]

Additional puppeteers[edit]

VHS release[edit]

Several episodes of Eureeka's Castle were released on VHS first by Hi-Tops Video from 1990 to 1992 and redistributed by Sony Wonder from 1995 to 1996 and redistributed again by Paramount Home Video in 1997.

  • Sing Along With Eureeka (1991)
  • Christmas at Eureeka's Castle (1991)
  • Wide Awake at Eureeka's Castle (1992)

Awards[edit]

In 1990, Eureeka's Castle won an Ace Award for best children's program.[5][6][7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pecora, Norma Odom (November 14, 1997). The Business of Children's Entertainment. The Guilford Press. pp. 94–98. ISBN 9781572302808. 
  2. ^ a b Lipson, Eden Ross (September 3, 1989). "'Eureeka's Castle': New Niche for Preschoolers". New York Times. p. Television. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Eakin, Marah (November 8, 2013). "Eureeka’s Castle co-creator R.L. Stine on the show’s inception, success, and ultimate demise". Interview. avclub.com. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  4. ^ stated in Eureeka's Castle's ending credits
  5. ^ Hedegaard, Erik (1990-09-07). "Hand-to-Hand Comedy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  6. ^ "Eureeka's Castle: Sing Along with Eureeka". Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  7. ^ Stein, R.L. "I'm R.L. Stine and it's my job to terrify kids. Ask me anything!". Reddit. Reddit. Retrieved 31 October 2016. 

External links[edit]