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Western Animation / Mack & Moxy

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Mack and Moxy, as they appear in CGI.
Mack & Moxy, the Great Helpee heroes / We'll be laughing, come on, grab your friends / On adventures through HelpeeLand / We did it together, the Great Helpee heroes!
—From the theme tune

Mack & Moxy is an animated series which aired on PBS Kids that aims to inspire the next generation of humanitarians. Each episode is aimed at teaching children the details of and how they can become involved in social causes, such as preserving national parks, helping the hungry, or being prepared for emergencies. In each installment, Mack & Moxy (Brian Drummond and Kathleen Barr, respectively) are given a mission by an Admirable (played by special guest stars such as Rachael Ray and Kal Penn) to find the egg of a "Great Helpee" in HelpeeLand, bring it back to their airship to hatch, and share its happiness with the world. They are helped by a real child, or "trooper," who is converted into an animated character via a device known as the "shimmerizer," along with Mack & Moxy, who appear as full-body costumed-characters when first meeting the child on their airship. However, sharing doesn't work for Shelfish Sheldon (voiced by Hank Azaria - The Simpsons, etc.), who wants to take the Great Helpees and keep all their happiness to himself. Thus, it is up to Mack, Moxy and the kids to stop him. They are assisted by Clixx, a robot who provides services from Helpee HQ via "instant moosaging." At the end of each episode, viewers are given information about real-life organizations connected with the cause for each installment, such as the National Parks Foundation, Feeding America and the American Red Cross. The show has an official trailer, which can be viewed here. The series won both a Parents' Choice Award and a Mom's Choice Award.

The series is presented in widescreen HD. It aired on a limited number of PBS stations and is available on Netflix. Music videos of all the shows songs are available through the show's official channel on YouTube as well as a number of clips, and the option to purchase the complete series. The show's official website can be found here.

Mack & Moxy includes examples of:

  • Alliterative Name and Punny Name: Shelfish Sheldon, who is a lobster shellfish that is known for his selfishness.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Mack is a blue moose, while Moxy is a pinkish-purple raccoon. Other wildlife which shows up on the program tends to be rather colorful as well.
  • Argument of Contradictions: In "Play It Again, Mack," Mack and Patch get into an argument over whether Mack's ball in the game their playing was on the line or not. Moxy comments that if she remembers her school days, it could go on all day. Shelfish Sheldon, watching from the sidelines, comments that he hopes it does go on all day, because then he can get the Great Helpee's egg without any interference. Trooper Sydney finally has them settle the argument with Rock–Paper–Scissors.
  • Catchphrase: Shelfish Sheldon has "Next time, Shelfish Sheldon shall succeed!"
  • Determinator: Even though it never works out for him, Shelfish Sheldon is resolute in trying to steal the Great Helpees and keep their happiness to himself. Mack has indicated that he admires this about him, even if he doesn't agree with his goals.
  • Earworm: In "You're My Hero," Clixx complains that he can't get the episode's featured song, "Call 9-1-1," out of his head. Then, hearing him sing a bit of it, Admirable Dean says that now he can't get it out of his head either.
  • Edutainment Show: Teaches children about compassion and charity.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: At the end of every episode, the characters laugh after the Great Helpee indulges in some Pokémon Speak.
  • Every Episode Ending: Shelfish Sheldon appears in a bubble over the show's logo next to a still of Mack and Moxy and recites his Catchphrase.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Despite his Catchphrase, Shelfish Sheldon never does succeed, and only maybe once does he manage to really come anywhere remotely near close.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: "Buckle, Bucket, Seatbelts and Chuckle" is about making sure that everyone is properly buckled up on a car trip, including children restrained appropriate child booster seats.
  • Gentle Giant: The show's official trailer describes Mack as being a "moose-like gentle giant."
  • Green Aesop: "Ready, Set, Hike!" has an aesop that national parks must be protected and preserved so that everyone today and in the future can enjoy the beauty and joy of nature.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: In "STEM Strong," half a mile is measured as "440 Macks."
  • Medium Blending: The show includes puppetry, full-body costumed characters, real people and CGI animation.
  • Moose Are Idiots: Downplayed with Mack. He's smart enough to take a lead role in the adventures on the show and be generally helpful. That said, official descriptions for the program also describe him as having "two left feet" as well as being a "lummox" and he's also something of a Literal-Minded Big Eater.
  • Name and Name: Mack & Moxy
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Moxy and Mack, respectively.
  • Pokémon Speak: The only thing the Great Helpees can say are their own names. Specifically, they say "Helpee, Helpee, Helpee."
  • The Real Heroes: The real heroes are presented as the real-life people and organizations which help out with the issues presented on the series, such as those who answer 911 calls or operate food banks to help hungry people.
  • Road-Sign Reversal: In "You're My Hero," Shelfish Sheldon switches a sign with two directions, one that leads to the "town square" and the other to "very deep pit," causing the heroes to end up in the very deep pit, leading to a lesson about calling 911. This is probably the closest Sheldon actually comes to succeeding on the show, as he actually manages to get the "Great Helpee," but the heroes manage to get it back from him before it hatches. Then Sheldon has to call 911 because he ended up in the very deep pit.
  • Robot Buddy: Clixx serves as this to Mack and Moxy, remaining at Helpee HQ and supporting them, the Trooper, and the rest on the ground via "instant moosaging," which consists of appearing as a hologram between Mack's horns.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors:
    • In "Play It Again, Mack," it's suggested as a method to solve silly playground arguments which would otherwise go on forever. "Rock, Paper, Scissors is an easy, fast way to solve disagreements. The less of recess you spend bickering, the more you spend playing with your friends. And that good energy even carries over into the classroom." It even comes with a song...
      The games that we play / You win some, you lose some / But if there's an argument / No need for parliament / So there's a dispute / Here's a way to reboot / Paper over rock / The scissors cut paper / Rock crushes scissors / An argument eraser.
    • In the same installment, Shelfish Sheldon suggests that they play rock-paper-scissors to determine whether or not he gets the Great Helpee, but Mack & Moxy show him what they think of that idea by sending him flying.
      Mack: (shaking his head) When will he ever learn?
  • Running Gag: Mack's go-to solution to a problem is to suggest the building of a rocket ship, which nobody else ever thinks is a good or practical idea.
    Mack: What does everyone have against rocket ships?
  • Short-Runners: Despite having been seemingly fairly well-received, the series only aired for twelve episodes in 2016 and doesn't seem likely to be coming back. Its official website had gone dead, though it has since been restored.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the show's installments is titled "Feeding Rainbow," a clear reference to Reading Rainbow, which aired on the same network for many years.
    • Another installment is "A Bop-Topus' Garden," an obvious reference to the song "Octopus's Garden" by The Beatles. Also, in that episode, in the song "Growing Our Own," the line "Work hard, buddy, pull out those roots" is followed by Mack commenting "Roots? Roots? You can't handle the roots!", referencing "You can't handle the truth!" from A Few Good Men.
  • Simpleton Voice: Mack speaks with this as part of the Moose Are Idiots characterization described above.
  • Speech Impediment: Shelfish Shelldon speaks with something of a lisp.
  • Title Theme Tune: Mack & Moxy, the Great Helpee heroes...
  • Women Are Wiser: Moxy is portrayed as being more competent than Mack.


Video Example(s):


Mack & Moxy - Parksong

Mack & Moxy, along with their special guests of the day, perform "Parksong," about national parks and the importance of protecting them for future generations so that everyone can enjoy nature's beauty and wonder.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / GreenAesop

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