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Series / Mother Goose Treasury

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The Mother Goose Treasury is a collection of stories and rhymes as encountered and often told by Mother Goose. In this setting, Mother Goose and her goose friend Bertram live in the sequestered vaguely European period town of Gooseberry, where all the nursery rhyme characters live and work.

The stories are sometimes told by Mother Goose from her book, but many are done from encounters with these characters. The "plots", if you can call them that, involve Mother Goose and Bertram exploring the fairy tale land and encountering the rhyming, singing populace.

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While it is a bit of a crazy world without much of a story, the treasury makes up for it with sincerity and a sense of humor towards the concept, complete with good costume design and puppetry.

Four volumes were released on two VHS tapes, but they are long since out of print.

Not at all related to the similar Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories.

Tropes included:

  • Acting for Two: Several major roles can turn up in bit parts during ensemble numbers. Example: Mother Goose's actress is the "fair lady" in "London Bridge".

  • Call-and-Response Song: "A is for the Archer...", an alphabet song that is one of the few original rhymes in the series. Letters Man says the letter and subject and the crowd describes it back to him.
  • Canon Immigrant: Discussed, Exploited, and ultimately granted to Bertram twice. Bertram is shocked to find there are no good rhymes about geese. So he becomes the hero to the stories of both Little Bo Peep (finds the sheep's tails) and the Old Woman in the Shoe (teaches her kids to behave), resulting in Mother Goose including lines about him.
    • Though oddly this may be a borderline aversion with Bertram himself. The Nursery Rhyme about Mother Goose, which lends its opening lines to that of the theme song, starts like this:
      "Old Mother Goose when she wanted to wander/Would ride on the back of a very fine gander".
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    • The theme itself shows Bertram is that gander. Therefore, he is neither this nor a Canon Foreigner.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: The Old Woman Tossed up in a Basket flies into the sky to "sweep the cobwebs off the sky".
  • Costume Porn: For such a low-budget production, the costumes are quite impressive.
  • The Dandy: Gregory Griggs and the Letters Man
  • Downer Ending: Defied by Mother Goose in regards to Humpty Dumpty. She demands an amendment to the rhyme where she fixes him.
    • However, in regards to the Old Woman in the Shoe, she said her children misbehaved, so they deserved one.
  • The Ditz: Simple Simon
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Bertram has to help the Old Woman in the Shoe set her children to work. At the end, they get bread and jam as a just reward.
  • Excuse Plot: There is a setup and scenario every episode, but most of the runtime is Mother Goose and/or Bertram running into various characters and reciting their rhymes.
    • The first episode has the most cohesive plot, in the sense of conflict and progression. Bertram is upset there are no rhymes about "a brave and handsome goose", so he is set to make one for himself. Little Bo Peep pops in and out looking for her sheep, inspiring Bertram to help her. She finds the sheep, but not the tails, which Bertram finds on a tree somewhere. Putting the tails back on the sheep, Bertram earns a place in the book of rhymes.
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  • Fake-Hair Drama: Gregory Griggs owns 27 different wigs.
  • Genki Girl: Jumping Joan.
  • In a Single Bound: "Jack be nimble, jack be quick/Jack jumped over a candlestick." No matter how high it was, he could still clear it.
  • Insistent Terminology: Bertram keeps wanting to be called "brave and handsome", but it doesn't fit the meter.
  • Manchild: Bertram seems to function as one.
  • Musical Chores: One sequence is choreographed to what is perhaps the Ur-Example, "Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush".
  • Never Say "Die": Surprisingly averted in the Old Mother Hubbard segment:
    "She went to the baker to buy him some bread/But when she came back the poor dog was dead!"
  • No Antagonist: Mother Goose and Bertram just meander about from rhyme to rhyme with little hassle. The closest we get is the Knave of Hearts, a Harmless Villain who is punished quickly.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Bertram is Mother Goose's goose companion.
  • Nursery Rhyme: A show inspired by the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier is bound to feature them.
  • One Steve Limit: "The House that Jack Built" was not built by "Jack Be Nimble". Or the same Jack from "Jack and Jill" for that matter. A bit less confusing in that they are not in the same episodes and don't share any screentime.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Bertram is in a snit, the whole town reacts and tries to set him straight.
  • Pair the Spares: Jumping Joan and Handy Spandy get together at the end of their little dance number.
  • Public Domain Characters
  • Random Events Plot: Mother Goose and Bertram go about their day and just happen to run into the characters from her rhymes. It's one Big-Lipped Alligator Moment after another.
  • Tongue Twister: Bertram recites the classic "Peter Piper" and "Betty Botter" without skipping a beat!
  • Verbal Tic: Bertram has a tendency to honk at the end of sentences.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: Several of the rhymes are repeated as soon as they are heard. Justified in a Fridge Brilliance sort of way when you realize the already repetitive and cadenced nature of nursery rhymes.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The series is set in somewhere called Gooseberry Glen. The setting is vaguely European, surrounded by forest, and has a small village atmosphere, but no details to location are given.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Gregory has many neon-colored wigs.
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