Scarry and his best Busytown characters ever.Richard Scarry
(June 5, 1919 - April 30, 1994) was an American children's author and illustrator known for his anthropomorphic animals, particularly those of the "Busytown" books, which were later adapted by Cinar
(now Cookie Jar
) into an animated series, The Busy World of Richard Scarry
. Additionally there was a series of educational Direct-to-Video
releases made by Jumbo Pictures
. The direct-to-videos are:
The most recent adaptation of the characters is Busytown Mysteries (also known as "Hurray For Huckle" in some regions), also by Cookie Jar; it currently airs on Cookie Jar TV
Works by Richard Scarry provide examples of:
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- Alliterative Name (but not with every character)
- Barefoot Cartoon Animals: Everyone except Lowly Worm, the one member of the cast who doesn't have feet—but wears a shoe anyway.
- Beary Friendly: Most bear characters, most notably Miss Honey, the primary school teacher.
- Carnivore Confusion: The problem of who eats who is ignored. In fact one can find a family of jolly pigs at the supermarket checking out the butcher's selection. Yes, they are selling bacon, pork and ham.
- Cute Kitten: Huckle, an anthropomorphic kitten.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Hilda, an anthropomorphic hippo child, accidentally rips a door off its hinges when she is told to open the door so the students can go out to play. Later, when the door is fixed, she rips out the door along with part of the wall when she attempts the same thing.
- Lampshaded when she states, "Oh dear, I'm as strong as ten average little girls." Which causes one to wonder, how strong are the girls in this universe?
- Perhaps Hilda doesn't really know how strong an average little girl is?
- Exposed Animal Bellybutton: Huckle has one in the last pagenote of Best Little Word Book Ever.
- Flying Car: Lowly apparently drives an apple-shaped car that also serves as a helicopter since its "leaves" actually function as the helicopter's blades. Except how the heck is he able to drive it if he doesn't have any arms?
- Funny Animal
- Furry Confusion: Most of the characters are Funny Animals; however, there are non-anthropomorphic animals that are kept at farms, zoos or circuses. So Farmer Pig and Farmer Goat can keep pigs and goats at their farm, and when Hilda Hippo, Bananas Gorilla or Miss Honey visit the zoo, they'll see realistic hippos, gorillas and bears there. The most confusing one is on the circus picture in Best Word Book Ever: a non-anthropomorphic horse, lion, seal and an elephant balancing on one leg while wearing a tutu are surrounded by an anthropomorphic, fully-clothed tiger ringmaster and bear acrobats. If the elephant stood slighly more upright and had more hand-like front legs, she'd pass as a person in this setting.
- Heavy Hippo: Hilda Hippo is the Fat Girl type.
- Honorable Elephant: Polite Elephant.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Huckle's yellow shirt and red/green overalls.
- It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Many of his books have titles like this, most notably Best Word Book Ever.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Messy Pig: A lot of the pig residents, although not all fo them are messy.
- Mr Fix It: The character is the trope.
- Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: Pig Will and Pig Won't.
- Shaped Like What It Sells: Many shops, and particularly, cars in Busy World are like this.
- Species Surname (but not with every character)
- Steam Never Dies: Most locomotives in his books are of the steam variety: the only time a diesel locomotive is ever shown in their world is in The Best Word Book Ever.
- The train the Pig family takes in "What do people do all day" is also pulled by a diesel-electric.
- Stock Animal Diet: Bananas Gorilla has... well, bananas as his Trademark Favorite Food. In fact he's rarely seen eating anything else.
- World of Funny Animals
The Busy World of Richard Scarry
- Bully Bulldog: Defied with Billy Dog. When he joins the class, everyone expects him to be this trope and avoid him. When someone finally talks to him he's revealed to be a pretty nice guy.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: The brothers Pig Will and Pig Won't, who somehow manage to embody this Aesop using only two people. As their names suggest, one agrees to every request or offer, and the other refuses every offer. No matter what their giggly hippo babysitter asks them to do, Pig Won't's refusal ends up making him miserable... somehow. Even when it's a simple preference not to play a certain game. One wonders how, exactly, Pig Will would cope with being so "agreeable"/mentally pliable in the outside world, without the protection of a benign authority figure.
- In the original book Pig Won't would always say "I won't", without even thinking about it. So one day when their father asks who wants to go with him to visit the fire station, Pig Won't declares "I won't". At the fire station, Pig Will gets to play with the dalmatian, wear a fire suit, play with the fire hose (with adult supervision), and it all ends with an all-you-can-eat hot fudge sundae orgy! When Pig Won't sees all the fun Pig Will had, he immediately becomes Pig Me Too. The moral's supposed to be: "Don't just blindly disobey your folks, because you might miss out on some pretty cool stuff!", but reeks more of "Obey all orders without question, and you'll get a treat! You know, a treat, like a dog gets for not shitting on the carpet!". When Pig Me Too enters the real world and stops getting treats for obeying, he's going to feel like a dumbass.
- Crossdressing Voices: Huckle Cat was voiced by Sonja Ball.
- Edutainment Show
- Everything Is Big in Texas: This show featured a parody of the story about a nameless Dutch boy who plugged a hole in a dike with his finger, which first appeared as "The Hero of Haarlem," a story being read aloud within Mary Mapes Dodge's 1865 novel, Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates. There was a fat tourist from Texas waltzing about, taking pictures of windmills and tulips, while making comments about how everything was bigger in Texas. When the hole in the dike turned out to be too big to be filled with just Hans' finger, he and his friends save the day by stuffing said tourist into the hole.
- Exact Words: In "A Big Operation," Huckle Cat is dreading his tonsilectomy until he is told by Sprout Goat that, afterwards, he can get "all the ice cream he can eat". As it turns out, his throat is so sore from the operation he can barely eat any.
- Logo Joke / Match Cut: The Paramount logo morphs into a mountain in Busytown which the Applecopter promptly flies out from behind, again via a fade.
- Road Sign Reversal: In one episode, an inadequately supported sign flips and sends people looking for a stall selling corn into the middle of a cornfield, causing them to become Lost in the Maize.
- Shipper on Deck: Hilda Hippo for...pretty much anyone who looks like they might make a viable couple.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Hilda Hippo becomes a total jerk in this show.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story
- The Villain Sucks Song: "The Busy Ol' Witch Of Busytown" comes the closest to this.