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 Preschool Show produced by Nelvana that aired on Teletoon. In the USA, it aired on Nick Jr. and Qubo. The series is an Animated Adaptation of a 1996 children's book by the mother-son writing duo Michael and Betty Paraskevas called The Ferocious Beast with the Polka-Dot Hide. Somewhat unusually for cartoons of this type, both Michael and Betty Paraskevas were heavily involved in the show's creation and production, as well as all subsequent book releases.
The show is about Maggie, a plucky and adventurous 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 anthropomorphic 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 kids cartoons).
The show began life as a series of shorts that started airing on Teletoon in 1998 as interstitials between longer shows, but was transformed into a full series in 2000. As is common with Canadian cartoons (but unusual for preschooler shows like it), it was not particularly long-lived, with only three 13-episodes seasons (for a total of 39 full episodes) and the original shorts. Nonetheles, it is fondly remembered by many who grew up with it for its sweetly surreal nature, not unlike something out of a child's dream. Reruns of the show later popped up on Treehouse TV and Qubo, but the whole series can legally be watched for free on YouTube through Nelvana's Treehouse Direct.
In 2021, it was announced that a reboot of the series, called The Ferocious Beast Show, was in production, with Frederator Studios on board as a coproducer. The reboot is set for a 2022/2023 release.
This series contains examples of:
- A Pig Named "Porkchop": Hamilton.
- Adorably Precocious Child: Maggie is so responsible, her family lets her look after her three toddler cousins!
- Alliterative Name: Hamilton's full name is Hamilton Hocks.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Italian dub theme song sung by Christina D'Avena is completely different from the original theme. It is also longer.
- Bag of Holding: Hamilton's box contains a truly staggering number of things.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Hamilton.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Millicent, Mavis, and Marge, known around Nowhere Land as the Moo Sisters.
- Bold Explorer: Maggie is always on a quest to see more of Nowhere Land.
- "Brave the Ride" Plot: In one episode, the characters go to the amusement park and Hamilton the pig keeps stalling because he doesn't want to ride the "Super-Duper Rollercoaster". He doesn't end up riding it, but everyone is OK with him waiting until he's ready to try it.
- Broken Treasure: In "Push-Me Popper," the Beast accidentally breaks Hamilton's toy of the same name.
- Cartoon Creature: The Beast, which does not resemble any type of living creature, looking vaguely like some sort of dinosaur with a humanoid face and detachable spots.
- The Beast: "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.
- Maggie: "Green tangerines!"
- 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, though he does have trouble with things like using tape and stringing shells.
- 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.
- Gift of Song: In the episode "Maggie's Song," Beast, Hamilton, Rudy, and B.B. write a song of appreciation for Maggie as a gift while she is away.
- Hammerspace: 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."
- Leitmotif: Hamilton's ode to his box. It's repeated several times, and the Beast and Maggie have full awareness of its repetitiveness!
- 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.
- Minimalist Cast: Most episodes only feature Molly, the Beast and Hamilton.
- 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.
- Non-Indicative Name: The Ferocious Beast couldn't be further from ferocious.
- Only One Finds It Fun: In "Soup Bowls and Roller Coasters," only Hamilton is excited to ride the Soup Bowls ride at the amusement park. Everyone else either thinks it sounds boring, or is more excited for the Super-Duper Roller Coaster.
- 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.
- Removable Animal Markings: Beast's spots.
- 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.
- Sudden Name Change: Rudy was called "Pippy" in his first outing, but his name was strangely changed in subsequent episodes, with no reason as to why.
- 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.