Between about 2004 and 2007, shopping mall owners Mills Corporation
(now part of Simon Property Group) operated a children's club called Muggsy's Meadow. Its mascot was a cute beaver named Muggsy, and another forest animal represented the other ages: a purple spider named Lilly (the 0-4 "Upsprouts"), a raccoon named Carl (5-8 year old "Critters"), and a white opossum named Tred for the 9-12 year old "Tall Timber".
One of the tie-ins was a DVD called Muggsy's Meadow
, meant to teach young children about being aware of strangers. It starts with Muggsy criticizing Tred and Carl for mooching food from humans that they don't know. Later, Muggsy is captured by two rednecks who want to use him in an exhibit at a roadside attraction. Carl, Tred and Lilly steal a logging truck to chase after him, and even put out a warning on the CB radio to have others seek the beaver, but soon crash the truck. They then have to cross an eight-lane highway, and eventually find their way to the park. There, Muggsy is trapped in the exhibit, where the owners pretty much torment him — even making him jump through flaming rings while swimming.
At the end, Muggsy's friends get him home… or so they think. They've actually taken home a plush of him. After they inadvertently destroy the plush, the real Muggsy finds his way home, thanking the police officer who found him.
Watch it here
- Aerith and Bob: Look at the names.
- Animal Stereotypes: Opossum, raccoon and beaver are played straight, but spider is averted.
- Balloonacy: Tred and Carl inflate themselves with helium to get into the roadside attracton.
- Black Comedy: One scene involves Tred, Carl and Lilly stealing a logging truck that has been abandoned so long that its driver is just a skeleton. Tred even steals the guy's hat.
- Blatant Lies: While Muggsy is trapped, the owners of the attraction tell the audience that beavers can swim up to 367 miles an hour to avoid pumas.
- Credits Gag: Ray Nelson, Jr., who founded the animation company that handled it (and voiced Muggsy), is listed as "Worst Boy" in the credits. Followed by "Grumpy Boy" Jamie Haggerty (also the composer/audio mixer).
- Exposed Animal Belly Button: Carl.
- Fake Rabies: Muggsy scares off humans this way in the first act.
- Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Muggsy and Tred.
- Gasshole: Tred, when asked to be in charge of the gas (to the truck), lets one rip. He does it again in the aforementioned Balloonacy sequence.
- Genre Savvy: Lilly is aware that Carl's plans have failed before, and she calls him out on it.
- Hilarious Outtakes: Part of the DVD bonuses.
- Instructional Film: Muggsy shows the others one about stranger safety.
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Surprisingly, the animal characters do interact with humans several times.
- Only Sane Man: Muggsy until he gets kidnapped; Lilly after that.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Tred, Carl and Lilly put sticks of gum in their mouth, and suddenly everyone thinks that they are beavers too.
- Rascally Raccoon: One scene has Carl begging for food from humans.
- Simpleton Voice: Tred.
- Something Else Also Rises: Muggsy's tail when he's presented with a female in the cage.
- Souvenir Land: The roadside attraction.
- Too Smart for Strangers: Subverted. Although the plot does briefly stop for Muggsy to give a lesson on strangers (complete with the "bad touch" kind of stuff), the lesson also says that some strangers (e.g., authority figures) are more trustworthy.
- Totem Pole Trench: Carl, Tred and Lilly do this to get on a bus to the park.
- Woodland Creatures