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David Matthew Feldman

LazyTown
File:LazyTown logo.png
Format Children's television series
Created by Magnús Scheving
Developed by Viacom
Written by Mark Valenti
Starring Magnús Scheving
Julianna Rose Mauriello (Seasons 1–2)
Stefán Karl Stefánsson
Chloe Lang (Season 3–present)
Country of origin Iceland
United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 65 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Production companies LazyTown Entertainment
Distributor Turner Broadcasting System (Europe)
Broadcast
Original channel Nick Jr. (US) CBeebies (UK)
Picture format HDTV
Original run 16 August 2004 (2004-08-16) – present [1]
External links
Website

LazyTown (Icelandic: Latibær) is an Icelandic-American 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.[2]

A total of 52 episodes of LazyTown were produced from 2004 to 2007, for the show's first and second seasons. In the US, LazyTown originally aired on Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.; in 2011, PBS Kids Sprout gained the rights to air the series. Turner Broadcasting System Europe acquired the LazyTown Entertainment company in 2011[3] and commissioned a third season of the series[4] to be delivered at the end of 2012 which premiered on April 6, 2013, in the UK.

As of 2012, LazyTown airs on Turner Broadcasting's international preschool network, Cartoonito, and is distributed by Turner Broadcasting System Europe.[5]

LazyTown has generated several spin-off projects including stage productions and a TV program for younger children called LazyTown Extra.

Premise

The program focuses around a formerly inactive neighborhood, appropriately named "LazyTown", whose residents' athleticism has been stimulated through the arrival and encouragement of a newcomer named Stephanie, who promotes exercise and health amongst her fellow citizens. Aside from Stephanie's influence, the community also has been prodded through the example set by the admirable, athletically themed local superhero, Sportacus. However, the activity of residents is frequently tempted or jeopardized through the sinister intentions of Robbie Rotten, a deceptive, lazy man residing in an underground lair who is angered by their enthusiasm for sports and desires for peace, who constantly devises schemes to restore LazyTown to its former state.

TV production

LazyTown is part live action, part puppetry, and part CGI animation. The show was filmed and produced entirely 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).[6][7] The budget for each episode was approximately ISK 70,000,000 (1 million US dollars), or 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.[8][9]

LazyTown's 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."[10]

Stephanie, Sportacus, and Robbie were the only human characters on the show until episode 32 ("Dancing Duel"), which was the first to include a fourth live actor to play the role of Rottenella. She was played by Mauriello's stunt double, Kristjana Ólafsdóttir. Later episodes, including "Little Sportacus" and "The Lazy Genie", also extended the live cast. The rest of the characters are depicted as puppets. The show's puppets were made by the Neal Scanlan Studio and Wit Puppets.

Syndication

The original series first appeared on August 16, 2004, in the U.S. on Nick Jr. (when it was a children's block on the U.S. Nickelodeon channel).[11] The series' second season debuted in the U.S. on Nick Jr. on May 15, 2006.[12] It aired again in the U.S. on CBS from September 18, 2004, to September 9, 2006, as part of the Nickelodeon on CBS Saturday morning block. It also aired briefly when "Nick Jr" was changed into Nickelodeon's Nick's Play Date block on February 2, 2009, but got removed after the series finale on June 26, 2009. As of September 2011, LazyTown is seen in the United States on Sprout, and a Spanish-dubbed version was aired on V-me. NBC began airing LazyTown every Saturday on July 7, 2012, as part of the network's 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 programmed by Sprout. As of October 2013, 10 episodes from Season 2 have been released on Netflix.

Networks that have aired LazyTown

Characters

Sportacus

Main article: Sportacus

Sportacus is the distinguished local superhero of LazyTown, athletically themed and admired by many. He resides in a blue airship that is commonly seen soaring above LazyTown, and can be contacted through the alerts of a beeping crystal implanted on the chest of his costume. Understanding, courageous, and helpful, he is fiercely devoted to exercise and physical activity and encourages others to follow his example, sparing them from the temptations of a lazy lifestyle. He shares a rivalry with Robbie Rotten, who, as opposed to Sportacus's adoration of health and fitness, strongly opposes all forms of athleticism and yearns for the restoration of LazyTown to its formerly sluggish, silent state.

Sportacus lives on a diet consisting solely of vegetables and fruits, labelling them as "sports candy", and is vulnerable to his superhero weakness of junk food and entirely incapable of tolerating the consumption of it, falling into comatose inactive or powerless states following the ingestion of unhealthy food that can only be cured through the consumption of healthier foods. He is played by Magnús Scheving.

Stephanie

Main article: Stephanie (LazyTown)

Stephanie is an energetic, active, enthusiastic, and sweet newcomer to town residing with her uncle, Mayor Milford Meanswell. Characterized by her solely pink-colored attire, Stephanie is disappointed with the slothlike, inactive lifestyles led by her new array of peers and coaxes them to partake in more athletic pastimes; however, her attempts may often be 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 occurring in LazyTown. Nonetheless, Stephanie is eternally optimistic and hopeful, and always manages to triumph over any challenges at the end. She was first portrayed by Shelby Young in the pilot episode who was then replaced by Julianna Rose Mauriello for the first two seasons, and is currently portrayed by Chloe Lang.

Robbie

Main article: Robbie Rotten

Robbie, desiring silence and peace, continuously formulates feckless schemes that often feature him masquerading in various disguises as a means of hoodwinking or tempting local residents of LazyTown 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, or perhaps even besmirch others' reputations. He often devises wicked schemes to foil the good intentions set by Stephanie and Sportacus, the local athletic superhero. Albeit many of these plans can result in catastrophe, they never fully succeed and are always overcome by the episode's conclusion.

Albeit Robbie's intentions are cunning and malevolent, he is not portrayed as a thoroughly evil villain and his antics or behaviors may categorize him as comic relief. He is portrayed by Stefán Karl Stefánsson.

Puppets

  • Ziggy (puppeteered and voiced by Guðmundur Þór Kárason) is the youngest resident of Lazytown. He loves to eat candy and sweets—particularly taffy. 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.
  • Stingy (puppeteered and voiced by Jodi Eichelberger) is a selfish and possessive 6-year-old, as his name implies. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 of LazyTown. 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.

Others

  • Sportacandy (Sweetacus in UK versions) is Ziggy's superhero alter-ego who is patterned after Sportacus, but he only saves candy (sweets). He is seen for a short time in some episodes, but he stars in the episode "Hero for a Day".
  • Number 9 (not seen, only referred to) was a superhero from an island in the North Sea who served as LazyTown's protector and resident role model in times past. He had a big number 9 on his chest, whereas Sportacus is number 10. When Stephanie was trying to think how to get the kids to play outside, Mayor Meanswell told her about Number 9 and how they could send messages to him through a tube that Robbie Rotten had plugged up. Stephanie tried it and Sportacus got her letter asking for help.
  • Genie appears in an episode called "The Lazy Genie", in which Robbie Rotten is visited by a magical genie who grants him three wishes.
  • Rottenella, a dancing robot created from a music box figurine by Robbie Rotten, appears in the episode "Dancing Duel". The role is played by Kristjana Sæunn Olafsdóttir.

Episodes

52 television episodes of LazyTown were produced between 2004 and 2007.

As of 2012, a third season of LazyTown has been commissioned,[4] with delivery scheduled for the end of 2012 which premiered in April 6, 2013.

LazyTown Extra

On September 15, 2008, a spin-off television series called LazyTown Extra debuted in the UK on CBeebies. This series, conceived as a "magazine format style show" for 3- to 6-year-olds, features characters from LazyTown in an assortment of short sketches.[13] 26 episodes of LazyTown Extra have been produced, each between 11 and 15 minutes in duration.[14][15] Several characters are voiced by different actors from those who performed in the original LazyTown series.

Live shows

Prior to producing the LazyTown television series, 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 UK and Ireland between October 2007 and August 2008. This production introduced a new LazyTown cast to the UK, including Julian Essex-Spurrier as Sportacus.[8][16][17]

A Spanish-speaking version of the live stage show premiered in Mexico in 2008, followed by Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama. As of 2009 it was scheduled to tour the United States in 2010.[18][19]

From January 28 to November 29, 2009, a live stage production entitled LazyTown Live! The Pirate Adventure toured throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. The live show featured characters and songs from the LazyTown TV series performed by a new cast.[20][21]

New productions of the LazyTown Live show had their premiere in November 2009 in Portugal and in March 2010 in Spain by producers Lemon Entertainment.

A live show LazyTown in Schools premiered in Australia in 2012, touring directly into schools to promote healthy eating and fitness for children.[22]

Awards

2005:

  • 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.[23][24]

2006:

  • LazyTown won the BAFTA Children's Award in the international category.[25]
  • Julianna Rose Mauriello was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for her role in LazyTown as Stephanie.[24][26]
  • Magnús Scheving received the lifetime achievement award at the Icelandic EDDA ceremonies for his work as founder and creator of the LazyTown franchise. The president of Iceland presented the award to Scheving.[27]
  • LazyTown received a German EMIL award.[28]

2007:

  • LazyTown received two Daytime Emmy nominations – the first of which recognised Magnús Scheving and Jonathan Judge for Outstanding Directing In A Children's Series. The second went to composer Mani Svavarsson for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction & Composition.[29]
  • LazyTown was nominated for the BAFTA Children's Award in the international category.[30]

2008:

  • LazyTown was nominated for the BAFTA Children's Award in the international category.[31]
  • LazyTown was nominated for 5 EDDA awards. The nominations were for: Best TV Show, Best Costumes, Best Makeup, Best Sound, and Best Stage Design.[32]
  • Magnús Scheving received the PROTOS Award from the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City.[33]

Music


The soundtracks and songs of LazyTown are composed by Máni Svavarsson, whose history with the company goes back to the original Icelandic theatre plays. The popularity of LazyTown's songs and music has led to the production of soundtrack albums that feature music from the show. These soundtracks have been released in a number of countries and in a number of different languages, including LazyTown in the United States, Líttu inn í Latabæ in Iceland, Los geht's! in Germany, ¡Bienvenidos a LazyTown! in Latin America and LazyTown – The Album in the United Kingdom. A second UK soundtrack, titled LazyTown – The New Album was released on October 15, 2007.

The song "Bing Bang (Time to Dance)" was released as a single in the UK, and peaked at #4 in the UK Singles Chart on December 10, 2006.

TV specials

  • LazyTown's First Adventures

References

External links

Apps

  • Smoothie Maker app for iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch
  • Smoothie Maker app for Android
  • mobile apps
  • JukeBox iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch app

Channels

  • on ABC 4 Kids
  • on Canal Panda
  • on CBeebies
  • on Clan
  • on Discovery Kids Brazil
  • on Discovery Kids Latin America
  • on Ketnet
  • on Rai Yoyo
  • on Sprout
  • on Toggo
  • on V-me
  • Internet Movie Database

Other links

  • website
  • Official website for UK live theatrical show
  • LazyTown in Schools website
  • on Tumblr (unofficial)
  • TV.com
  • http://www.getlazy.net/main/index.html
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