|Genre||Children's television series
|Created by||Magnús Scheving (who plays Sportacus)|
|Written by||Mark Valenti|
|Starring||Julianna Rose Mauriello (seasons 1–2)
Chloe Lang (season 3–4)
Magnús Scheving (seasons 1-4)
Stefán Karl Stefánsson
|Opening theme||"Welcome to LazyTown"|
|Ending theme||"Bing Bang (Time to Dance)" (Instrumental)|
|Country of origin||Iceland
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||79 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||LazyTown Entertainment|
|Distributor||Turner Broadcasting System (Europe)|
|Original network||RÚV, Stöð 2 (Iceland)
Nick Jr. (U.S.)
|Original release||16 August 2004
– 28 October 2008|
13 March 2013 – 13 October 2014
LazyTown (Icelandic: Latibær) is an Icelandic educational musical children's television program with a cast and crew from Iceland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It was created by Magnús Scheving, a gymnastics champion and CEO of LazyTown Entertainment, who also stars in the show. Originally performed in English, the show has been dubbed into more than a dozen languages (including Icelandic) and aired in over 100 countries.
Fifty-three episodes were produced from 2004 to 2007, for the first and second seasons. It originally aired on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. in the United States and CBeebies in the UK. Turner Broadcasting System Europe acquired LazyTown Entertainment in 2011 and commissioned a third season consisting of 13 episodes, which premiered on 6 April 2013 in the United Kingdom on Cartoonito. A fourth season, also consisting of 13 episodes, premiered in the UK in 2014.
LazyTown was created by Magnús Scheving, who also directed many of the TV program's episodes. The show is part live-action, part puppetry and part CGI animation. It was filmed and produced at 380 Studios, a purpose-built studio near Reykjavík equipped with high-end HDTV production facilities and one of the biggest green screens in the world. The production floor area is 1,800 square meters (almost 20,000 square feet). The budget for each episode was approximately ISK 70,000,000 (US$1 million), about five times the average cost for a children's television programme at the time, making it "the most expensive children's show in the world", according to Scheving.
Its virtual sets were generated with an Unreal Engine 3-based framework, created by Raymond P. Le Gué, known as XRGen4. According to Le Gué, "We start with the live actors and puppets on a physical set with a green screen behind them as a backdrop. The green screen is replaced in real time with the sets created in XRGen4 using UE3. As we move the camera and actors around the physical set, the backdrop scene also moves in real time in complete synchronization with the movements of the real camera. All of this is recorded, and the director can watch the resulting composition in real time."
Seasons 3 and 4 of LazyTown were filmed as usual in the LazyTown Studios in Iceland, but the special effects were created this time round by Turner Studios in Atlanta.
In most episodes, Stephanie, Sportacus, and Robbie are the only characters played by live actors. The rest of the characters are depicted as puppets, made by the Neal Scanlan Studio and Wit Puppets. Several episodes, including "Dancing Duel", "Little Sportacus" and "The Lazy Genie", extended the live cast.
The show first appeared on 16 August 2004 in the United States on Nick Jr., when it was a children's block on the Nickelodeon channel. The second season debuted in the United States on Nick Jr. in 2006. It also aired in the United States on CBS as part of the Nickelodeon on CBS Saturday morning block from 18 September 2004 to 9 September 2006. The series would continue to air daily on the Nick Jr. channel until late 2010.
In 2008, a Spanish-dubbed version of LazyTown debuted on V-me, a television network created for the Hispanic market in the US. NBC began airing it every Saturday on 7 July 2012, as part of the new Saturday morning NBC Kids pre-school block. The Spanish-dubbed version also airs on Telemundo (a sister station to NBC) as part of the new weekend pre-school morning block MiTelemundo.
Stephanie is an energetic, active, enthusiastic, and sweet newcomer to town. She resides with her uncle, Mayor Milford Meanswell. Recognizable by her all-pink attire, Stephanie is initially disappointed by the inactive lifestyles of her new friends and coaxes them to partake in more athletic pastimes. Her attempts are often nearly thwarted by Robbie Rotten, who prefers to lead a sluggish, lazy lifestyle in an underground lair located beneath the town and is agitated by the sudden boom of physical activity. Nonetheless, Stephanie is eternally optimistic and hopeful, and always manages to triumph over any challenges in the end. She was portrayed by Julianna Rose Mauriello for the first two seasons (In 2011, Mauriello announced that she will be leaving Lazy Town), and was replaced by Chloe Lang in seasons 3 and 4.
Sportacus is the local athletic superhero. He resides in a blue airship above LazyTown, and is alerted to impending danger in LazyTown by a beeping crystal on the chest of his costume. Understanding, courageous, and helpful, he is devoted to exercise and physical activity and encourages others to follow his example. He has a rivalry with Robbie Rotten, who opposes all forms of athleticism and yearns for LazyTown to return to a sluggish, silent state.
Sportacus lives on a diet of vegetables and fruit, which he refers to as "sports candy". Eating junk food makes him immediately lose all his strength and athletic abilities, which can only be restored by eating healthier foods. For many years, Sportacus was played by Magnús Scheving, the creator of the show. In January 2014, Magnus announced that he was retiring as Sportacus; he was replaced by Dyri Kristjansson.
Robbie, desiring silence and peace, continuously formulates feckless schemes that often feature him masquerading in various disguises as a means of hoodwinking or tempting residents away from an active lifestyle. He passionately abhors the influence of Sportacus and Stephanie, and a number of these schemes are intended either to do away with them or lure the people of town away from a fit lifestyle. Ironically, his attempts to promote physical inactivity often require considerable effort and force him to become more active.
Robbie's intentions are cunning and malevolent but he is not portrayed as a thoroughly evil villain; his antics typically serve as comic relief. He is portrayed by Stefán Karl Stefánsson.
Ziggy (puppeteered and voiced by Guðmundur Þór Kárason) is the youngest resident. He loves to eat candy and sweets—particularly lollipops. After Stephanie came along he found that there is more to childhood than sugary treats. He is now active and participates in any sport the gang plays, but still enjoys candy. He can usually be seen holding a lollipop. In LazyTown Extra, he was played by Lorriane Parsloe.
Trixie (puppeteered and voiced by Sarah Burgess) is a troublemaker, though she does like to play with everyone else. Trixie refers to Stephanie as "Pinky" when trying to get her attention. She also likes to draw moustaches on the mayor's posters.
Pixel (puppeteered by Ron Binion and voiced by Kobie Powell and Chris Knowings) is a 10-year-old who loves computers, technology and gadgets. He fixes up all sorts of gadgets to help him avoid doing something himself, such as a machine to tie his shoes or a remote that "does everything for you". Pixel represents the disadvantages of technology replacing outdoor activity and exercise.
Stingy (puppeteered and voiced by Jodi Eichelberger) is a selfish and possessive child. He still plays with the gang, but he will always care about his stuff, especially his car and his prized piggy bank. He often says "It's mine!" and has his own song by that name (which names everything in LazyTown as his; he even names "this instrumental break" within the song as his). He can also play the harmonica and recorder. His toy car is a 1978 Mini Cooper. In later seasons, he is often seen wearing rectangular glasses.
Mayor Milford Meanswell (puppeteered and voiced by David Matthew Feldman) is a nervous wreck who has a crush on Miss Busybody. He loves his niece Stephanie very much and calls Sportacus if she feels sad or depressed. He is also famous for saying "Oh my!" all the time if something is wrong. In the episode "LazyTown Goes Digital", the Mayor is seen to be continually perplexed by modern technological terms and has to be corrected when foolishly trying to send a "b-mail" using a recently installed computer system.
Bessie Busybody (puppeteered and voiced by Julie Westwood) is an adult resident. Although patronizing, she tries her best to be motherly with the children. She is aware of every new trend, and is pompous but fashionable; she loves to talk on her cell phone.
Fifty-three episodes were produced for the first two seasons of LazyTown between 2004 and 2007. A third season, consisting of 13 episodes, first aired in 2013. A fourth season consisting of another 13 episodes began airing in 2014.
On 15 September 2008, a spin-off television series called LazyTown Extra debuted in the United Kingdom on CBeebies. A "magazine format style show" for 3- to 6-year-olds, it features characters from LazyTown in an assortment of short sketches. 26 episodes of LazyTown Extra have been produced, each between 11 and 15 minutes in duration. Several characters are voiced by different actors from those who performed in LazyTown. Ziggy was on a move visiting places and meeting children.
Prior to producing LazyTown, Magnús Scheving created two theatrical shows in Iceland. Áfram Latibær! ("Onward LazyTown!"/"Go Lazytown!", produced in 1996) had Scheving as an energetic elf who encouraged the townspeople to exercise and lead healthier lives. The show had a Stephanie-like character who was an out-of-shape dancer, but the Robbie Rotten character did not yet exist. Most of the secondary characters (puppets) seen in the television series also appeared in this show, although in human form. The second show, Glanni Glæpur í Latabæ ("Robbie Rotten in LazyTown", produced in 1999), introduced Stefán Karl Stefánsson playing his Robbie Rotten character, while Scheving's role changed from elf to hero in an airship.
A LazyTown Live! stage production toured the United Kingdom and Ireland between October 2007 and August 2008. It introduced a new cast to the United Kingdom, including Julian Essex-Spurrier as Sportacus.
A Spanish-speaking version of the live show premiered in Mexico in 2008, followed by Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama. As of 2009[update] it was scheduled to tour the United States in 2010.
From 28 January to 29 November 2009, a live stage production entitled LazyTown Live! The Pirate Adventure toured the United Kingdom and Ireland. It featured characters and songs from LazyTown, performed by a new cast.
New productions of LazyTown Live had their premières in November 2009 in Portugal and in March 2010 in Spain by producers Lemon Entertainment.
A live show LazyTown in Schools premièred in Australia in 2012, touring schools to promote healthy eating and fitness for children.
- LazyTown won the EDDA award (the Icelandic equivalent of the BAFTA or Oscar) for Production Design. It also received EDDA nominations in four other categories: Costume Design, Cinematography and Editing, Screenplay, and TV Drama/Comedy of the Year.
- LazyTown won the BAFTA Children's Award in the international category.
- Julianna Rose Mauriello was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for her role as Stephanie.
- Magnús Scheving received the lifetime achievement award at the Icelandic EDDA ceremonies for his work as founder and creator: the president of Iceland presented the award.
- LazyTown received a German EMIL award.
- LazyTown received two Daytime Emmy nominations – recognising Magnús Scheving and Jonathan Judge for Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series, and to composer Mani Svavarsson for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction & Composition.
- LazyTown was nominated for the BAFTA Children's Award in the international category.
- LazyTown was nominated for the BAFTA Children's Award in the international category.
- LazyTown was nominated for five EDDA awards: Best TV Show, Best Costumes, Best Makeup, Best Sound, and Best Stage Design.
- Magnús Scheving received the PROTOS Award from the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City.
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