of Magnús Scheving, Lazy Town
is a children
's TV program
that originated in Iceland
. First broadcast
on September 18, 2004
, Lazy Town
has gained a massive cult
-like following. Although aimed at the under 5
s, it is watched by many outside of its target audience
The program centers around the events that occur in Lazy Town and the activities of its inhabitants. Magnús Scheving plays the character of Sportacus who is the hero of the show. It is Sportacus' job to inspire the kids to play outside, and to help solve low-key emergencies that occur from time to time. These emergencies are such things as a birthday cake not being delivered etc. Magnús Scheving is also an aerobics champion and CEO of LazyTown Entertainment. A bit of a legend in my opinion.
The main character is Stephanie, played by Julianna Rose Mauriello. She is new to the town and makes friends with all the other children. Ziggy, Pixel, Trixie and Stingy. These characters are all cunningly designed puppets. There is a very idiosyncratic style about the puppets and a very aesthetically pleasing one at that. Each child has their own well developed personality
Ziggy is a want-to-be superhero, but he eats too many sweets.
Pixel spends all his time in his house playing on computers etc.
Trixie is the trouble maker, but likes to play with everyone else. She calls Stephanie 'Pinky', presumably because pink is the only colour she wears. Even her hair is pink. Possible bad influence to young children? I think not!
Stingy seems to be a representation of the typical English person. The speaking name of Stingy is clear enough. His catch phrase is 'It's Mine!' He is compulsively greedy and possessive and drives a car around. Highly posh and wears a mustard waist coat and red bow tie. One episode has a song in it by Stingy where he names everything that is his.
Also appearing in minor roles are the Mayor and Mrs. Busybody. The mayor is Stephanie's uncle and she stays at his house.
The antagonist is possibly the most sexy man on children's television, Robbie Rotten. Classic evil name, classic underground lair. Robbie is the master of disguise and his sole purpose is to make the children lazy. Simple. Oddly enough, it is Sportacus's aim to make the children active and eat 'sports candy' (fruit).
Not only does Robbie want lazy town to be lazy and quiet, but he also wants Sportacus banned from the town. This would be devastating for all concerned.
The amount of effort that this champion of inactivity puts into his plots is ironic; he may be the most active person in LazyTown because of it. Although many think he's an evil villain, he refers to himself as "a simple, rotten guy who's just misunderstood."
The plot of each episode varies along a similar theme. The children do something. It annoys Robbie. Robbie come up with a rotten plan to spoil their healthy fun. Sportacus is called down from his mighty airship where he lives in a 1960s sterile chic room. Sadly, Sportacus cannot run or walk anywhere, he has to do flips and jumps. Entertaining for the rest of us. His rescue operations always involve his emergency 'crystal' lighting up, Sportacus saying 'someone is in trouble then diving from his airship to save the day, whilst doing something sport oriented.
Robbie is always found out for his wrong doings in a comical, predictable Scooby-Doo manner with his disguise being removed. One can almost expect him to mention 'Pesky kids'. Oddly, Robbie Rotten is never punished. The morality of the show may be questioned on this point. Could children watching the show learn that wrong-doings can go without punishment? I think that the positive learnings from the show would far out weigh this possibility.
Songs are a key part of the show. There are always at least two. One is always the same and occurs towards the end. It is a very catchy dance tune where Sportacus and Stephanie dance and sing. Stephanie has a beautiful voice and it is my opinion that she will become a very famous and sought-after singer one day. One can already buy the CD of the Lazy Town songs. I know.... I have one.
So far there have been 52 episodes of the show over two series. Not enough I say! A third series is being filmed and many people cannot wait.
The moral side of Lazy town is easily observed by an adult watching the show, but would perhaps not be so obvious for the target age group. Essentially the show pushes for children to stop eating rubbish and go out and have fun and be healthy. If a show promised me that when I was young I would have avoided it like the plague. However, Lazy town is almost hypnotizing. Once you are in, you almost forget that side of it, then when it is over, you suddenly crave an apple instead of chocolate.
One of the cleverest programs of the 21st century. Fact !