JoJo's Circus

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JoJo's Circus
Jojo's Circus logo.png
Genre
Created by
Written by
  • Douglas Wood
  • Susan Kim
  • Robert David
  • Pammy Salmon
  • Eric Weiner
  • Mildred Seidman
Directed by
  • John Schnall
  • Tim Snyder
Presented by
Voices of
Theme music composer
Opening theme "Jojo's Circus" by BECKY
Composer(s)
  • Score:
  • Stuart Kollmorgen
  • Original Songs:
  • Jeffrey Zahn (music)
  • Jim Latham (music)
  • Judy Rothman (lyrics)
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 63 (113 Segments)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Jeff Kindley
  • John P. Catapano
  • Morghan Fortier
  • Jack Spillum
  • Melanie Grisanti
Running time 20 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Buena Vista Television
Release
Original network
Original release September 28, 2003 (2003-09-28) – February 14, 2007 (2007-02-14)
External links
Website

JoJo's Circus is a Canadian/American interactive stop-motion musical comedy series for preschool children. The series is produced by Cuppa Coffee Studios and Cartoon Pizza. The series is music by Jeffrey Zahn and Judy Rothman.

It first aired on the Disney Channel as part of the Playhouse Disney lineup from September 28, 2003, to February 14, 2007. JoJo's Circus marks the first stop-motion series done by Jinkins himself.

The show aired in reruns on Disney Junior from 2012 to 2014.

Plot[edit]

The series is set in Circus Town, a self-sufficient city whose cultural center is the "Big Top" tent. The story focuses on hostess JoJo Tickle, a young female clown, and Goliath, JoJo's pet lion. She and Goliath study at the Little Big Top Circus School, where all young soon-to-be circus performers learn under their teacher Mrs. Kersplatski. Along with her friends, JoJo explores and learns while dealing with challenging situations.

Recurring themes[edit]

JoJo's Circus relies on repetition in its structure. Each segment always begins with JoJo searching for Goliath, who is always hiding. JoJo then is presented with the situation that will occupy the theme of the show. A song, usually about the resolution of the situation, is then sung by JoJo.

At the conclusion of each episode, a secondary character asks, "What did you learn today, JoJo?", and before she can reply, JoJo is whisked away for the finale, the "spotlight moment." JoJo is then placed on a makeshift stage with various cameramen, lighting grips, and producers running about, while the "Spotlight Moment" song plays, asking what she's learned, is sung and Jojo taps her foot along (in some episodes she also taps her hand on her leg). Subsequently, JoJo explains what she has learned in the course of the episode. * Note in " Nighty Night," in "Sleep-Over Surprises," and in "My Clowny Valentine," a special lullaby version of the "Spotlight Moment" song is performed.

Characters[edit]

Major[edit]

Joanna "JoJo" Tickle
Voiced by Madeleine Martin

JoJo, the hostess of the show, is an inquisitive and active clown whose parents are famous circus clowns. She's kind-hearted, has a great sense of humor, boundless curiosity, and excitement about life.

Goliath the Lion
Voiced by Robert Norman Smith

Goliath is JoJo's lion who co-hosts the show and attends school just like JoJo. He's also part of the Tickle family. Because of his playfulness, he hides from JoJo in the beginning of each episode. He is like JoJo's best friend.

Skeebo Seltzer/Funnyshoes
Voiced by Austin Di Iulio and Keeler Sandhaus

Skeebo, known as the class cowboy clown since he wears a floppy cowboy hat, a star badge on his vest and Purple Rectangle Glasses and is JoJo's best friend, and attends school with her and the other circus kids. Skeebo's eager to make people laugh by testing new jokes, slight gags, and tricks which sometimes fail to work. Skeebo has a pet dog named Harpo.

Croaky Frogini
Voiced by Diana Peressini

Croaky, the great leaper of the group, met JoJo on the first day of school, when she realized she had different abilities and agreed to help each other learn different tricks.

Trina Tightrope
Voiced by Tajja Isen

Trina is a ballet dancing, tightrope walker. She comes across as abrupt and snobbish on occasion, but apologizes for her mistakes when she becomes aware of them.

Mr. Tickle
Voiced by David Sparrow (Season 1) and Noah Weisberg (Season 2)

Mr. Tickle — JoJo's dad and Peaches's husband — is a jolly clown who often blasts off to work in a cannon.

Miyoshi "Peaches" Tickle
Voiced by Marnie McPhail (Seasons 1–2) and Shannon Perreault (Season 3)

Peaches is JoJo's mom and Mr. Tickle's wife. She is a tall, skinny clown who is full of sunshine and often makes goodies for her family and Circus Town residents. She's klutzy by nature, but a good juggler and sometimes catches 15 objects in the air when she accidentally trips.

Mrs. Karen Kersplatski
Voiced by Jayne Eastwood

She's JoJo's teacher and the big top ringmaster. A warm and encouraging teacher, Mrs. Kersplatski gives the circus kids a strong sense of mastery and confidence, with her combination of hard work and play. In the second season, she married Mr. Muscles and became Maya's stepmother. She is very clumsy and after she trips, her catchphrase is "I'm OK!"

Minor[edit]

Dinky Pachyderm
Voiced by Julie Lemieux

Dinky is a sweet and frisky baby elephant. While Dinky may be clumsy and somewhat oafish, when he dances, he turns into "Mr. Graceful." His favorite game is "Hide and Seek".

Tater Spudinski
Voiced by Cole Caplan

Tater is one of the two kids in the Spudinski clan. His sleepy potato nature seems to be the antithesis to the "get up and go" feel of the show, but sometimes he can't help but join in the fun. In the second season, he has a baby sister named Small Fry.

Bal Boa the Snake
Voiced by Julie Lemieux

Bal Boa is a contortionist snake with a talent for making number and letter shapes. Bal Boa also has a knack for troublemaking. He thinks it's fun to coax JoJo and others into doing what they are not supposed to do, and the kids are sometimes susceptible to Bal Boa charms. Bal Boa is also an expert on harvesting squirting flowers by doing a trance dance.

Fellini and Federico Frogini
Voice actor for Fellini: Neil Crone; voice actor for Federico: John Stocker

Also called the Flying Froginis, the two Italian-accented brothers are expert jumpers and trapeze artists. Fellini and Federico are uncle and father, respectively, to Croaky. (Note in the first episode of the series "Take A Bow" the closed captioning stated that they had a Russian accent).

Mr.Aldeberto Muscles
Voiced by Mark Consuelos (Season 1) and Erik Estrada (Seasons 2–3)

He's the circus strong man and a physical education instructor. He knows a lot of exercises that he teaches to those in Circus Town. He has a daughter named Maya and recently married Mrs. Kersplatski, but it's not known whether he was divorced or widowed. He also speaks in both English and Spanish.

Maya Muscles
Voiced by Phoebe McAuley

The daughter of Mr. Muscles and stepdaughter of Mrs. Kersplatski. She's fairly new to both Circus Town and JoJo's class. She has red hair, wears a tiara with a pair of antennae on them and can be shy at times but loves to get up and go. She is known by her nickname "Little Mouse" by her dad and her favorite "Happy Place" is a Daisy Patch.

Other[edit]

Dr. Seltzer/Funnyshoes
Voiced by Kathy Greenwood

Skeebo's mother, she is Circus Town's only doctor and Fire Chief Seltzer's wife. Though she's not in many episodes, her most notable appearance is in the episode "A Case of the Sillies" and "Tickled Pink."

Fire Chief Seltzer/Chief Funnyshoes aka Seltzy
Voiced by Patrick McKenna

He's Skeebo's father and the chief of the local fire department in Circus Town. He's also the director of the Circus Town Clown Band.

Mr. and Mrs. Spudinski
Voice actor for Mr. Spudinski: Bruce Bayley Johnson; voice actor for Mrs. Spudinski: Julie Lemieux

Tater's parents, who have the same sleepy nature as he does. It's revealed in "The Thanksgiving Hip-Hooray Parade" episode that Tater calls his father "Daddy Spud" And in "Circus Town Makeover " Mrs. Spudinski's name is revealed as Ida and Mr Spudinski's name is Russ.

Small Fry Spudinski
Voiced by Julie Lemieux

Small Fry is Tater's baby sister and one of the two kids in the Spudinski clan. She first appeared in the episode Hi There, Small Fry!, and she also appeared again in the other episode: Circus Town Makeover.

Mrs. Pachyderm
Voiced by Judy Marshak

Dinky's mother; she's also been referred to as Mrs. Elephant.

Babalulu
Voiced by Kathy Brier

She's Circus Town's pretzel vendor and ice cream shop owner. JoJo and her friends sometimes visits her at the ice cream parlor for a treat. JoJo and her friends taught Babalulu how to make pretzel twists in the episode "A New Twist."

Lotta Yucks

JoJo's Great Grandmother and Peaches's Grandmother who was a famous circus performer doing tightrope and comical pratfall acts.

Jumberto the Jackrabbit
Voiced by Jonathan Potts

Jumberto is a rabbit magician whose tricks rarely work.

Jig,Jag and Jug

The three nephews of Jumberto who always cause mischief.

Terrific the Tiger Tamer
Voiced by Ed Saheley

Terrific is a famous tiger tamer in Circus Town. He has a tiger named Tippoo.

Uncle Flippy
Voiced by Tony Daniels

A farmer and JoJo's uncle, Uncle Flippy owns a farm on the outskirts of Circus Town. On the episode entitled "Uncle Flippy's Funny Farm," JoJo and her classmates help Uncle Flippy round up all the animals who escaped from the barn. Strangely, he has a pet tiger and two horses named Moe ( who acts in a proper manner) and Costello (who always loves to act silly). He is Peaches' Brother.

Super Duper Girl

JoJo's favorite TV Superhero Clown who motto is " Morning, Noon or Night I Always Fight for What's Right" while fighting "Big Meanies" who "Pick on" others.

Baloney Balloony
Voiced by Darren Frost

Known for making balloon animals, Baloney Balloony can make any animal shaped balloons with his hands. He has a grandson named Bailey.

Cotton Andy
Voiced by Paul Soles

Cotton Andy is a cotton candy vendor who own a cotton candy machine named "Whoopsabelle" and also officiated as Justice of the Peace for the marriage of Mrs Kersplatski and Mr Muscles in the wedding episode "A Circus Town Wedding."

Bingo Bongo

A World Famous traveling clown who travels via hot air balloon

Charlie the Clown Baby

Charlie is one of JoJo's cousins who the Tickles sometimes babysit. He is the son of Peaches' Sister.

Granny and Grampy Tickle
Voice actor for Grampy Tickle: Keith Knight; voice actor for Young Grampy Tully: Joshua Isen; voice actor for Granny Tickle: Kate Gallant

JoJo's maternal grandparents, Tully and Sadie Tickle were experts on clowning way before JoJo was born. Their famous act is the "Silly Shoe Shuffle," which Granny Tickle passed the act to both JoJo and Goliath.

Terra Cotta
Voiced by Kristen Bone

Terra Corta is the little clown girl who wears an oversize flower pot for a hat, and she bought JoJo's silly skates in the "Too Many Toys" episode.

Mrs. Cotta

Terra Cotta's mom who wears a planter for a hat.

Mr Postman

A Octopus/Polyp who is the Mail Carrier for Circus Town

Mrs. Boa

Bal Boa's Mom.

Hogan the Hamster

One of the class pets who lives at the Little Big Top Clown School

Cha Cha the Clown Crab

One of the class pets from the Little Big Top Clown School who JoJo takes care for the night.

The Fire Clowns
The firefighting crew at the Circus Town firehouse under the command of Fire Chief Seltzer (Number 2 Chief is a small clown with large eyeglasses: wears a yellow and purple hat with blue and pink vest with orange buttons, wearing brown belt with tools with gray boots. and Number 3 Ruby is a female clown: wearing a purple hat wears a pink vest brown belt with gray boots) who carry JoJo off at the end of each episode and help build the makeshift stage for JoJo's "spotlight moment." They're also the resident orchestra for Circus Town's Big Top.
King Regis and Queen Regina

JoJo's Royal Uncle (and brother of Mr.Tickle) and Aunt from Really Royal Land who are the Parents of Princess Josephina.

Princess Josephina
Voiced by Tajja Isen

She's JoJo's identical royal cousin who lives in Really Royal Land. She has a pet lion named Hercules who looks just like Goliath. She appeared in the episode "Princess for a Day," where she and JoJo decide that it would be fun to trade places.

Jibby Jabby-Jamboree aka Jibbs

The butler who serves the Royal Family of Really Royal Land.

Miss Blathers

Princess Josephina's personal Tutor on etiquette.

Bailey Ballooney
Voiced by Matthew Josten

Baloney Ballooney's grandson. Bailey Ballooney normally attends Small Top Hills School and only visited JoJo's class on Valentine's Day. JoJo comes up with a special way to make him a valentine in the episode "My Clowny Valentine."

Mr. Jing-A-Ling

The Telephone at Fire Chief Seltzer's firehouse where Fire Chief Selzer receives their emergency calls.

Waldo the Seal

A little seal who suffered from memory loss who JoJo helps to remember a musical piece before a major performance.

Ivan

A famous circus bear from Circusylvania who only speaks Circusylvanian.

Franco the Fantastic

A lion who is known as "The King of the Jungle" and "The Greatest Circus Lion of All Times".

Alex

Skeebo's cousin who is deaf and speaks in sign language.

Mr and Mrs Tightrope

Trina's parents Who are slightly uppity and snooty but very loving and kind.

T.J.Freckles/ T.J. Hiccups

Skeebo's Ventriloquist puppet in which Skeebo uses in his act.

Dr Longtall

The veterinarian who takes care of Goliath and the other sick animals at Circus Town.

Miss Spritzy

The hairstylist who works at the Circus Town Hair Salon

Chico The Mouse

The Ringmaster of the Mouse Circus

Grasshopper The Maginficent

The tightrope walker of the Mouse Circus

Sasharoo

The Wild animal trainer in the Mouse Circus who trains with a Chipmunk.

Professor Tick Tock

The watcher of the cuckoos of the Cuckoo Forest and provider of the cuckoo clocks for Circus Town.

The Cricketeers (Hector, Gracie and Cody)

A musical group formed of a family of crickets who comes to perform at Circus Town. Hector is the leader and his wife is Gracie and his son is Cody. Goliath has a crush with Gracie.

Nosey Josie

The Reporter for the Circus Town News Network who has a nose for news.

Jumping Jack

The host of Circus Town Makeover and exercise/fitness guru

The citizens of Sky Top

The villagers who live in the village of Sky Top who at once thought that Normus the Giant was a mean giant who once destroyed their village but discovered that Normus was very friendly.

Normus

A Friendly Giant who live on top of the beanstalk who due to a misunderstanding by the townsfolk of the beanstalk village of Sky Top thought he was a mean giant who almost destroyed the town and had a slight fear of clowns.

Cozy

Normus's pet Chipmunk

The show's voice directors are Kent Meridith (US) and Debra Toffan (Canada)

Music[edit]

Every episode contains a short tune dealing with the topics of the episode. (Many of these songs can be found on three CDs: Songs from JoJo's Circus, Songs from Under the Big Top!, and Playhouse Disney: Imagine and Learn with Music.) The genres of the songs range from doo-wop to funk to rock to early punk. Phrases like "stretch your arms" and "jump up high" are common lyrics. Most of the songs are educational — telling kids how to bow, stretch, greet people, wash their hair, and clean up after themselves — while a few are more entertaining, such as Cotton Candy Sure Is Sweet or The Gum Drop Song. The theme song of the show is performed by the band Becky.

Broadcast[edit]

JoJo's Circus aired on Playhouse Disney since its premiere on September 28, 2003. When the block rebranded in 2007, JoJo's Circus was moved to a new timeslot at 6:30 am ET (following Stanley). The show was removed from the block in January 2009.

Aside from the United States broadcast, JoJo's Circus airs daily on both the UK and Australian versions of Playhouse Disney using the original American content. Since 2005, JoJo's Circus has been shown on GMTV's children's weekend slot Toonattik.

As of June 17, 2011, it has been confirmed that it would move into its new home Disney Junior, which would replace the defunct channel SOAPnet and aired again on March 23, 2012.

Development and concept[edit]

The show stresses simple, everyday lessons such as playing with others, personal hygiene, responsibility, and safety. Also paramount is the show's focus on exercise: JoJo often asks for audience participation (such as clapping, jumping, and stretching) for the viewers. The series is animated in Claymation, which is a serious departure to Jinkin's previous animated works.

Characters JoJo and her pet lion, Goliath, re-appeared in a yoga-style exercise learning series/interstitial called Feeling Good with JoJo.

DVD releases[edit]

The series has two DVD releases: "Take a Bow" and "Animal a Go-Go." The "Take a Bow" DVD contains the "Easy As Pie," "Take a Bow," "JoJo on the Tightrope," and "Happy Hoppy Day" episodes. "Animal a Go-Go" has "Flower Shower," "Uncle Flippy's Funny Farm," "Try These on for Boing," and "Brushing Up." Both DVDs have the opening theme, JoJo and Goliath in interstitials, printable coloring pages, and other bonus features.

Two more JoJo's Circus episodes are available on Higglytown Heroes DVDs: "The Spudinski's New Act" is on Higglytown's "Heroes on the Move" DVD, and "A Clown Ride" is on the Higglytown "To the Rescue" disc. The holiday themed "A Circus Town Christmas" is included on the "A Very Playhouse Disney Holiday" DVD.

References[edit]

External links[edit]