Maisy is both a series of books and an animated children's series by Lucy Cousins. They feature the adventures of an apparently young female mouse named Maisy and her animal friends, which include Eddie the elephant, Cyril the squirrel, Tallulah the chicken and Charley the alligator. Using her curiosity and imagination, Maisy is shown doing just about anything from taking her nightly bath to driving a train. Her adventures are presented in bright colors designed to appeal to the youngest audiences and all of the characters speak in a sort of childlike babble, their adventures described by a male narrator. The animated series aired for many years various on the Nick Jr. block of Nickelodeon, and also on its Noggin network, which would eventually become the 24/7 Nick Jr. Though no longer airing, most, if not all of it was released on VHS and DVD. In some places, such as The Other Wiki, the series is referred to by its more formal title of Maisy Mouse, but officially, including in TV listings and on the video releases, it was referred as simply Maisy. Though the TV series has long ended, the book series continues and an official online Maisy Fun Club is available.
Maisy includes examples of:
- Bathtub Bonding & Baths Are Fun: The plot of the picture book Maisy Takes a Bath, later adapted for the animated series, was that Maisy Mouse wanted to take a bath, but her friend Tallulah the chicken kept knocking on her door, wanting her to come out and play. At the end of the story, Tallulah hopped in the bath with Maisy and they had fun together.
- British Royal Guards: Maisy and her friends encounter one, an owl-person, in the My Friend Maisy picture book Maisy Goes to London and Maisy takes a photo. The narration describes that the guard "is very serious. He doesn't even smile."
- Character Title & Character Name and the Noun Phrase
- Free-Range Children and Vague Age: The series is a highly odd example. Not only is There Are No Adults in effect, but the characters, a cute female mouse and her friends go where they want, do what they want, drive cars, fly planes, take their own baths, etc. Really, there's nothing explicitly indicating that they aren't adults, other than their very childlike appearance, childlike babble speech and tendency to play with toys and stuffed animals (not that adults don't ever do that last one, of course.)
- The Maisy First Experience books seem to make it more clear that they're children by having them do things like attending school and going swimming or to the museum for the first time, though there are still no parents. Additionally, in these books, they actually speak to each other in complete sentences.
- Friendly Tickle Torture: There was an episode titled "Feather", at the end of which Maisy and her friends took turns getting tickled with said feather.
- Furry Confusion: Maisy and her friends are all anthropomorphic, but in the book Maisy's Morning on the Farm, Maisy visits/feeds a number of farm animals, milks a cow and then uses it for her breakfast cereal, as well as giving some to the farm cat.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of the titles are either one word or two at most describing what the episode is about, i.e. "Bath," "Christmas Tree," "Train," etc.
- Interactive Narrator: He talks to Maisy fairly regularly, though it's up in the air exactly how much she actually responds to him, given that she only speaks in babble.
- Interspecies Romance: The Maisy First Experiences book Maisy Goes to a Wedding is about Maisy and her friends attending the wedding of Ostrich and Penguin.
- Long-Running Book Series: There are so many that a full count is hard to get, but there are at least 40, with the series having been going since at least the 1990s.
- New Job as the Plot Demands: Maisy does just about anything, from being a doctor to flying planes.
- Potty Failure: Happens to Cyril in "Oops" when he wets himself.
- Shower Scene: No joke. Maisy Learns to Swim shows Maisy standing naked taking a warm shower after she feels shivery from being in the pool, while chatting with her friend Tallulah, who is wrapped in a towel. But, then again, given that an earlier book in the series showed Maisy taking a bath with Tallulah (see Bathtub Bonding above), perhaps this isn't entirely surprising.
- Thick-Line Animation: The series is a prime example of this. Based on simple picture books by Lucy Cousins, the characters and objects are all black lines with generally bright, cheery colors filled in to appeal to the youngest audiences.
- Title Theme Tune: "Maisy, Maisy, what are you gonna do today? Maisy, Maisy, do you want to play? ..."
- Universal Driver's License: Various books and television stories have shown Maisy driving a car, conducting a train, flying an airplane, driving a bus, and steering both a sailboat and a rowboat.
- World of Funny Animals: Operating pretty close to Funny Animals on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism. Maisy and her friends look like animals that walk upright, but that's about it. From living in homes, to operating vehicles, to playing with toys, everything they do is human-like.