Viva Piñata (TV series)
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The lead characters (l-r): Franklin, Hudson, Paulie, Fergy
|Developed by||Norman J. Grossfeld
|Directed by||Paul Griffin|
|Voices of||Dan Green
|Theme music composer||John Siegler
Norman J. Grossfeld
|Country of origin||Canada
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Deina Bhesania
Alfred R. Kahn
|Running time||20 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Bardel Entertainment
|Original network||YTV (Canada)
|Original release||August 26, 2006 – January 18, 2009|
Viva Piñata is a Canadian-American animated television series seen around the world. It is based upon the Xbox 360 video game of the same name. It is produced by an American company, 4Kids Productions and Bardel Entertainment, a children's animation company in Canada. It aired to high ratings as part of the 4Kids TV programming block and later moved to The CW4Kids before being removed from the schedule on October 25, 2008. It is aired on YTV in Canada, Nicktoons Network and CITV in the UK, TV Tokyo in Japan and on Nickelodeon in Australia.
Viva Pinata was executive produced by Lloyd Goldfine (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon) at 4Kids in New York and Paul Griffin at Bardel in Vancouver. The stories are edited by Mike deSeve, leading a team that includes the award-winning Daria head-writer Anne Bernstein and Courage the Cowardly Dog story editor David Steven Cohen.
The series has ended its run on January 18, 2009 in Canada. 4Kids TV and The CW4Kids in the United States stopped airing the show on August 2, 2008 and October 25, 2008 respectively, but it continued to air in Canada on YTV until June 24, 2011.
In a garden on Piñata Island, a multitude of happy, colorful Piñata species live, frolic, dance, and grow. The goal of the piñatas is to fill themselves with candy, so they can be chosen by Piñata Central to entertain at birthday parties or retirement parties and other special celebrations. The piñatas have their own gardens and love to party. Each species is a portmanteau of an animal and a sweet type of food.
It is here in the garden, among the burrowing Profitamole, the bovine Moozipan and the tree-swinging Cinnamonkey that we will find a small band of Piñata friends that have known one another since they were children when they first came to the garden.
Being a piñata means something different for piñatas. Some Piñatas can't wait to reach their maximum candy level so they can leave the Piñata Factory over and over again, bringing joy to children and partygoers all over the world. Others are not happy about the prospect of being shipped off to a strange place where happy children in festive hats hang them from a tree, bludgeon them until their limbs fall off, and devour their innards. Still others physically train for the parties as if they were off to the Olympic Games—hardening their bodies to create a challenge for the children clamoring to get at their candy.
Why is it that Piñata Island is the only place in the world Piñatas can be found? Even the Piñatas don't really know—but with so much happening in the garden, what with weird new Piñatas arriving all the time, crazed black-market Piñata poachers trying to muscle in on Piñata Central action, mysteries to solve, violent garden pests known as sours to contend with, and constant opportunities to dance—who has time to worry about it?
The only thing upon which these Piñatas can agree is that on Piñata Island, anything can happen.
- Hudson Horstachio: (voiced by Dan Green) A horse piñata with a green teal body like a pistachio, Hudson is one of the most popular piñatas in the business. As a celebrity he sometimes has to disguise himself when in public. His friends often have to keep his ego in check. He enjoys dancing and making extravagant statements about himself.
- Franklin Fizzlybear: (voiced by Marc Thompson) A brown grizzly bear with purple and yellow stripes. He enjoys surfing, and typically speaks with a surfer accent and related expressions. He is fairly laid back and occasionally has moments of intellectualism. He is not good at lying. He also draws portraits of the other pinatas. In the video game, his surfboard is an item that the player can purchase.
- Paulie Pretztail: (voiced by Brian Maillard) A cross between a pretzel and a red-tailed fox, Paulie is a no-nonsense kind of pinata who does a parody of Chris Rock or Will Smith,[episode needed] who could easily be considered to be "the clever-cloggs" of the main cast (besides Les) and Fergy's best friend. He shares Fergy's aversion of being sent to parties, though it seems more of an annoyance to him, rather than Fergy's idea of thinking of going to a party as frightening, and frequently avoids them. He seems to be good at cooking as shown from the episode ' Recipe for Disaster'.
- Fergy Fudgehog: (voiced by David Wills) A cross between fudge and a hedgehog, Fergy loves candy, but fears parties and Paulie's best friend. He is frequently sought out by Langston to attend parties but always manages to escape his bugcatcher's net. His catchphrase is "Oh, fudge!"
- Ella Elephanilla: (voiced by Rebecca Soler) A cross between an elephant and vanilla, Ella suffers from short-term memory loss, thus contradicting the saying that an elephant never forgets. She enjoys ballet. Because of her elegant moves, this caused Paulie and Fergy to both get huge, temporary crushes on her. They even asked her to a dance, but she forgot they had both asked her. No evidence has been shown that both Fergy and Paulie still have a crush on her, if they do, they are very subtle about it.
- Les Galagoogoo: (voiced by Eric Stuart) A cross between a Galago and GooGoo, Les is smart and dextrous, however, when he speaks, it comes out as high-pitched gibberish. Les ranked second place in the 4Kids Viva Piñata character poll. It appears that the main cast may be able to understand him, but simply ignore him. In one episode, he was able to speak, but he was ignored as he always had been.
- Tina & Teddington Twingersnap: (voiced by Kathleen Delaney and Jamie McGonnigal) A two-headed serpent crossed with gingersnap. They share a body, but argue a lot. They have both been shown to have sub-par gardening skills. Despite the fact that they appear to hate each other (after all, they are Brother and Sister), in one episode when they are accidentally separated, they end up greatly missing their other half. Teddington is the worst singer on Pinata Island and for some reason has a refined British accent.
- Langston Lickatoad: (voiced by Mike Pollock) A cross between a licorice and a toad, Langston operates the Cannoñata. He regularly tries to catch the stealthy duo Fergy and Paulie in order to send them to parties.
- Professor Pester: (voiced by Michael Alston Baley) The main villain of the series. In all the episodes he appears in, he and his Ruffians try to capture and destroy a piñata, (usually Hudson) if not all of them, to obtain their candy. Note that he does not appear to be a piñata. When he had his personality reversed and happily gobbled up all of Fergy's candy, he was scanned on the way to the Cannoñata and found to have no candy. Nor do any of his ruffians appear to be piñatas; an episode shows that they were the result of a disastrous Sours experiment. His catchphrase is "I have no regrets", and he always says it when his plans backfire and he ends up losing. He and the Ruffians are the only non-pinatas from the games to have made it to the show, though to be noted Leafos makes a split second cameo in the theme song right when the announcer states "Welcome to Pinata Island" as the screen is panning over a field.
- Beverly Badgesicle: Hudson's biggest, very obsessive fan.
- Cecil Cocoadile: Cecil is the only piñata on the island who thinks Chortles' jokes are funny, causing him to burst into tears laughing. In the piñata world, cocoadile tears make excellent fertilizer, so while laughing and crying at his bad jokes, he is also helping Chortles with his garden.
- Chortles Chippopotamus: (voiced by Sean Schemmel) Chortles has a horrible sense of humor, but fantastic gardening skills. Only Cecil Cocoadile thinks his jokes are funny, and Chortles uses Cecil's tears to help his garden grow.
- Dr. Quincy Quackberry: A doctor and psychiatrist with a Groucho Marx-like personality. He wears glasses and a tie, and he customarily tells poor jokes.
- The Great Bonboon (or just "The Bonboon"): A creature who pretends to be an all-knowing guru to steal candy from gullible piñatas like Professor Pester. He is usually meditating, but when no one is present, he talks to his friend Sid Sarsgorilla on the phone in his normal voice. Paulie is the only pinata who sees through his ruse.
- Hamilton Horstachio: (voiced by Sean Schemmel) Hudson's rival, who later on turns into a zumbug.
- King Roario: (voiced by Dan Green) The King of Pinata Island.
- Mabel Moozipan: She owns a well-kept vegetable garden and despises trespassers. She is friends with Florence Fizzlybear.
- Pecky Pudgeon: (voiced by Eric Stuart) Pecky takes photos for the local newspaper of Piñata Island, the Pinata Yada Yada. He loves gossiping about everyone and will go to great lengths to bring in a juicy scoop for the paper. (He makes a cameo in the game taking a photo of Gretchen when she first appears)
- Pierre Parrybo: (voiced by Pete Zarustica) Pierre organizes various activities on Piñata Island. He's also the DJ for a call-in radio show.
- Ruffians: Professor Pester's bumbling henchmen who usually ruin his plans, since they don't comprehend orders well. They waddle from side to side in their walk, and they love to prank one another. According to Pester, three are boys and one is a girl.
- Petunia Pretztail: (voiced by Sieko Shih) A kung-fu warrior who is friends with Florence Fizzlybear, Francine Fudgehog, and especially Haily Hostachio, and teaches Fergy and Paulie how to find their own "fu"
- Prewitt Profitamole: (voiced by Mike MacRae) A brilliant animal who seems to be the only mechanic on the island and he is a wonder at inventing. He also has a love for soaps, and watches them avidly.
- Shirley Shellybean: Shirly is optimistic and always is ready to start a new adventure.
- Simone Cinnamonkey: (voiced by Rebecca Soler) Hudson's brisk and resourceful agent. She speaks very quickly, rapidly counting off Hudson's schedule. Sometimes, she seems to want her pay more than Hudson's fame, but she is occasionally shown to care for him in both stern and encouraging ways.
The program has also made the leap to DVD via Shout! Factory with the release of The Piñatas Must Be Crazy And Other Stories. This release includes the following episodes: "Cocoadile Tears," "Candiosity," "Queen For A Day," "A Chewnicorn In The Garden" and "Legs." In addition, "Lights, Camera, Action" was released in May 2009. This is the second DVD in the series. The program has also made the leap to British DVDs for Walt Disney Pictures with the release of Viva Piñata: Franklingestion. This release includes the following episodes: "Royal Visit," "Crimes Of Passion Fruit," and "Piñatas Must Be Crazy." In addition, Viva Piñata 2: Arctic Invasion was released with the episodes: "High Plains Drafter", "Her Royal Forgetfullness" and "Talented Mr.Hack". This is the second British DVD in the series. In addition, Viva Piñata 3: The Antlers Are Blowing in the Wind was released with the episodes: "Pig Out-Mountain", "A Match Made In Court", "Mr. Unbustable" and "Candibalism". This is the third DVD Movie in the series. Recently, Hulu has added episodes that aired in both United Kingdom, United States and Canada.
Xbox Live Sneak Peeks
Two episodes have been released on the Xbox Live Marketplace as sneak peeks. These episodes were "Chewnicorn in the Garden" and "Horstachio of a Different Colour". Over the past couple of months, more episodes of the show have been added to the Marketplace for download. All the episodes are in High Definition (Although one can watch them on an SD TV as well), and are between 550-600MB of space on the Hard Drive. The Special Edition version of the Viva Piñata game came with a bonus disc, which, among demos of Xbox Live Arcade games and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, contained the "Horstachio of a Different Colour" episode.
- Shout! Factory Kids DVD release: http://www.shoutfactorystore.com/prod.aspx?pfid=5256969&sid=8D782ABB387B4A14A3D4B7C8649787BA[dead link]
- Diney DVD release: http://www.shoutfactorystore.com/prod.aspx?pfid=5256969&sid=8D782ABB387B4A14A3D4B7C8649787BA[dead link]