To Nowhere Land, come along if you can!
Hey ho, come on, let's go to Nowhere Land
With Maggie and the Ferocious Beast!
Maggie and the Ferocious Beast is a Canadian animated series for young children, based off the Ferocious Beast series of children's books. It began as a series of shorts in the late 90's that became a full series in the year 2000. It aired on Teletoon in its native Canada and on the NickJr block on Nickelodeon in the US (including the Nick Jr. on CBS block).
Maggie is a six-year-old girl who explores the strange and wonderful world of Nowhere Land. Her very best friend in all of Nowhere Land is the Ferocious Beast, an enormous but ultimately gentle polka-dotted creature who loves having fun. They're accompanied in their travels by Hamilton, a slightly neurotic but intelligent pig who carries a cardboard box containing many strange and useful objects. Together, they have whimsical and wonderful adventures in the whimsical and wonderful Nowhere Land. Their adventures make for a laid-back Slice of Life Fantastic Comedy show for young children (and adults who enjoy silly things).
Despite being a relatively short-lived series in comparison to other preschoolers' shows, with only three 13-episodes seasons (for a total of 39 full episodes) and the original shorts, the show is fondly remembered for its sweetly surreal nature, not unlike something out of a child's dream. The whole series can legally be watched for free on YouTube. Great Googly Moogly!:
Although it is not well-known at all at this point, the series is actually based on a series of books by Michael and Betty Paraskevas called The Ferocious Beast with the Polka-Dot Hide. Somewhat unusually for shows of this type, both Michael and Betty Paraskevas were heavily involved in the show's creation and production, as well as subsequent book releases. The show was a production of Nelvana.
This series contains examples of:
- Adorably Precocious Child: Maggie is so responsible, her family lets her look after her three toddler cousins!
- Bag of Holding: Hamilton's box contains a truly staggering number of things.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Hamilton.
- Bold Explorer: Maggie is always on a quest to see more of Nowhere Land.
- Broken Treasure: In "Push-Me Popper," the Beast accidentally breaks Hamilton's toy of the same name.
- Catchphrase: "Great Googly Moogly!" Although the series didn't invent the phrase, it did help popularize it, to the point where it's heavily associated with the show. The show's opening sequence ends with the Ferocious Beast saying it, following the theme song.
- Chaste Toons: Since the main characters are already kids, Maggie has three young triplet cousins who fulfill "kids who need to be looked after" role.
- Chekhov's Gunman: When Beast gets a tan line around his spots in "Sun Spots," he remarks that his orange-on-yellow look makes him look like his cousin Reggie. Reggie shows up in a later episode.
- Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: In "Happy Birthday to All of Us," the Beast seems very disappointed when Hamilton cuts him a tiny slice of cake... until Hamilton reveals that the tiny slice is his, and all the rest of the cake is for the Beast.
- Deathbringer the Adorable: The Ferocious Beast is anything but. (But he does have a pretty ferocious roar.)
- Fantastic Racism: Extended to, of all things, living jellybeans, arguing over which color is best.
- "Far Side" Island: Maggie and company discover one called Secret Island, and even they seem taken aback by how small it is.
- Fingerless Hands: The Beast has feet like an elephant, but can still do delicate things like fold paper just fine.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Averted for Maggie, even strangely averted for Nedley. Hamilton and Rudy are the ones who play them straight, only Hamilton has three and Rudy four.
- Free-Range Children: Maggie is always off exploring on her own. Then again, she is a pretty responsible little kid.
- Furry Reminder: Hamilton snorts and squeals at times, reminding everyone that he is, in fact, a pig.
- Gentle Giant: Despite his name, the Beast wouldn't hurt a fly.
- Gift-Giving Gaffe: Subverted in "Happy Birthday to All of Us." The Beast is sincerely worried that his gifts—a box of pretty seashells for Maggie and a box of the ripest apples for Hamilton—aren't very good, because they aren't as flashy as the gifts Hamilton and Maggie gave. However, Maggie and Hamilton immediately recognize how much time he put into finding the prettiest shells and ripest apples and are overjoyed.
- Hammer Space: Hamilton's box is apparently big enough on the inside to serve as his entire house. He has a bed in there, at least.
- Hidden Depths: Beast can sing soft and melodic lullabies.
- Inexplicably Tailless: Hamilton, unless he takes off his clothes and takes a bath in the river.
- Innocently Insensitive: The Beast can be this at times, such as bothering Hamilton when the latter is sick because the Beast really wants to play.
- Large Ham: Hamilton. Figuratively, though perhaps not so much literally, at least in terms of the "large" part. One of his songs is even called "Hamilton the Ham."
- Manchild: The Ferocious Beast's age isn't entirely clear, but he seems to be fairly grown up, and he's by far the most childish member of the group.
- Mighty Roar: The most ferocious thing about the Ferocious Beast is his roar, which actually is pretty good at shaking things up.
- Most Common Card Game: The gang plus Nedley are playing Go Fish at the beginning of "The Missing Sweater." But it does actually fit the age of Maggie, at least.
- No-Dialogue Episode: "Morning in Nowhere Land" is the gang going about their morning routine with nothing but music.
- Pig Man: Hamilton is a thoroughly kindly version.
- Power Trio:
- Id: The Beast
- Ego: Maggie
- Superego: Hamilton
- Punny Name: Hamilton's full name is Hamilton Hocks.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Nedley the rabbit.
- Rummage Fail: Hamilton is known to pull lots of odd things out of his box before finding what he needs.
- Supreme Chef: Hamilton is an excellent cook, especially where pumpkins are concerned.
- Team Mom: Maggie, despite being only six, tends to be the most level-headed of her friends, and thus looks out for them the most.
- ¡Three Amigos!: Maggie, the Beast, and Hamilton are always together.
- Three Shorts: The format of the show. Except that since each episode is actually 24 minutes long, each short is slightly longer than 6 minutes.
- Title Theme Tune: An unusually short one, at least lyrically...Maggie and the Ferocious Beast in Nowhere Land, to Nowhere Land, come along if you can! Hey, ho, come on let's go, to Nowhere Land, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast! (Great Googly Moogly!)
- Trademark Favorite Food: Hamilton and his pumpkin goodies.
- Wacky Land: Nowhere Land is very strange, featuring such things as fez trees, neon green chickens, and rivers that float groceries down to you, among other things. In short, it's exactly the kind of logic that kids use when playing make-believe.