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Beetlejuice
Beetlejuice cartoon screenshot

The show's title card, depicting Lydia Deetz (left) and Beetlejuice (right)
Genre Black comedy
Adventure
Created by Tim Burton
Developed by Nelvana
Ellipse Programmé
The Geffen Film Company
Directed by Robin Budd
Voices of Stephen Ouimette
Alyson Court
Elizabeth Hanna
Roger Dunn
Theme music composer Danny Elfman
Opening theme "Beetlejuice Title Theme" by Danny Elfman
Ending theme "Beetlejuice Ending Theme" by Danny Elfman
Composer(s) Tom Szczesniak
Country of origin Flag of Canada.svg.png Canada
Flag of the United States.svg.png United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 94 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) David Geffen
Tim Burton
Producer(s) Michael Hirsh
Patrick Loubert
Clive A. Smith
Running time 22 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel ABC[1] (1989–1991), Fox (1991), Teletoon Retro (2009–present).
Original run September 9, 1989 – December 6, 1991

Beetlejuice is an animated television series which ran from September 9, 1989 to December 6, 1991 on ABC and, later on, on Fox. Loosely based on the 1988 homonymous film, it was developed and executive-produced by the film's director, Tim Burton. The series focus on the life of Goth girl Lydia Deetz and her undead friend Beetlejuice as they explore the Neitherworld, a wacky parallel universe inhabited by monsters, ghosts, ghouls and zombies.

Plot

Differences between the animated series and live-action film

The premise of the animated series was greatly changed from the film, to the point where one only superficially resembled the other. In the film, Beetlejuice was the antagonist, who ended up nearly marrying a disgusted Lydia; in the series, they are best friends, and Lydia, something of a social misfit in the living world, frequently visits him in the afterlife during her free time. The Maitlands, the most significant characters in the film, are nowhere to be found in the series. And unlike the mind-numbing bureaucracy that is in the movie, the afterlife was converted into "the Neitherworld", a bizarre and humorous parody of the living world, with the fact of it being the afterlife only rarely mentioned, and the living world was referred to once or twice as "the Outerworld" (or as "the Otherworld").

Also in the series the title character is spelled Beetlejuice whereas in the film it is spelled Betelgeuse.

Another difference is in the series, the town where the Deetzes lived is called "Peaceful Pines", instead of "Winter River" as it is called in the movie. However, in the episode "Critter Sitters", Lydia (who is singing "Day-O/The Banana Boat Song", which is the same song used in the movie when the Maitlands tried to scare the Deetzes out of their home during the dinner scene) rides through the bridge the Maitlands crashed off, and lives in the same exact house (the remodeled version after the Deetzes moved in). Besides the absence of Adam & Barbara Maitland, other significant characters absent from the series include Otho, Delia's interior designer, and Juno, the afterlife caseworker. Furthermore, there is no mention of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased or the model of the town Adam built.

However, Beetlejuice uses two of his lines from the film so often they have become catchphrases. One is "It's showtime", often yelled triumphantly. The other is "Save that guy for later" (in the film, referring to a piece of phlegm he'd hocked into his jacket pocket; in the series, usually to a bug, which he'd frequently eat. This was done off-screen, with an echoing crunch, usually grossing out Lydia or whoever happened to be at hand).

Episode formula

Episodes generally centered on the ghostly con-man Beetlejuice, his best (and only true) friend Lydia, and their adventures together in both the Neitherworld and the "real world", a fictional New England town called Peaceful Pines ("Winter River" in the film).

Beetlejuice's core character, that of a ghostly con artist, remained fundamentally the same as in the original movie, but was considerably softened, from maliciousness to pranksterism; nor, in the series, did he display the rampant lechery he did in the film, only occasionally embracing (or being embraced by) Lydia as between good friends. Although he had been seen ogling particularly gorgeous ghouls from time to time.

Lydia's character is portrayed as an upbeat goth girl who likes "weird" things from spiders to sloppy horror movies. As in the film, Lydia could summon Beetlejuice out of the Neitherworld (or go there herself) by calling his name three times, sometimes as part of a set chant:

"Though I know I should be wary,
Still I venture someplace scary;
Ghostly hauntings I turn loose ...
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!"

Occasionally, there are other effects from that chant, such as Lydia's room changing to a gothic castle. On a few occasions, other people and ghosts went to the Neitherworld or the living world, either when Lydia takes them with her by chanting Beetlejuice's name, or presumably through a door that connects Lydia's and Beetlejuice's homes.

In only a very few episodes is Lydia not present, those being wholly escapades of Beetlejuice in the Neitherworld.

Humor

The series' humor relied heavily on sight gags, wordplay, and allusiveness. The show was what has been called "bi-modal", meaning that it could be viewed on one level by small children and on a completely different and much more sophisticated level by adults, which made it appealing to a wide range of age groups. Many episodes, especially towards the end of the run, were manifest parodies of famous films, books, and TV shows. The humor was kept clean in that it didn't involve sex, drugs, or alcohol (in one episode, set in an old western town, Beetlejuice makes the metafictional remark that the town doesn't have a saloon because of the time slot, which also breaks the fourth wall).

Throughout the series, Beetlejuice would often try to scam residents of the Neitherworld—and, sometimes, the "real world" as well (Lydia's parents were occasional unwitting victims of his pranks) -- by various means, from "baby-sitting" (in which he literally sits on the grotesque Neitherworld babies) to trying to beat them in an auto race. It was also revealed that Beetlejuice is afraid of—and vulnerable to—one thing above all: Sandworms. That was hinted at in a single line of dialog in the movie but was much expanded on in the series.

Sandworms

Sandworms are huge purple and green snake-like creatures with two pairs of eyes and stegosaurus-like spines on their backs. Beetlejuice also has a major aversion to anything nice or (worse) sweet, although according to one novelization, Lydia's Scream Date, he has a safe full of bars of orange chocolate.

Series run

The series was a breakout hit for ABC in its initial season, and later became one of the first animated series to air on FOX's weekday afternoon children's lineup. This led to a situation whereby Beetlejuice was being seen Monday through Friday on FOX while still remaining on ABC's Saturday morning schedule, making it one of the few shows in American television history to be aired concurrently on two different broadcast networks. Beetlejuice has aired in re-runs on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network (where the movie aired), and will air on Warner Bros. and AOL's new broadband internet channel Toontopia TV. The series aired on Teletoon Retro in Canada from fall 2009 until June 2011.

Opening introduction

There are three different opening introductions. The first one aired on ABC with alternate animation, starting with Beetlejuice producing stripes on his clothes. The second one is used on FOX and in syndication, which is the current one they used in the United States, it features newer animation, starting with Beetlejuice escaping from his grave as a corpse. The third one is used when FOX re-ran Beetlejuice, this one re-edits clips from the second introduction and clips from various episodes.

Home video release

Warner Bros. released most of the first season of the show on 6 video-cassettes by December 21, 1993.

On September 16, 2008, 3 episodes ("A-ha", "Skeletons in the Closet", and "Spooky Boo-Tique") were released serving as bonus features on the Beetlejuice 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition DVD.[2] As of 2009, this is the only DVD release of the series and no plans for a full DVD release of the series have yet been announced.

Characters

Main characters

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice - the main and title character of the show. Beetlejuice (often addressed as just "Beej" or "BJ" by Lydia) is able to change shape, transform and conjure objects, teleport, and perform other feats of magic, although his powers can be reduced by various circumstances, such as encounters with Sandworms (despite the fact that he has enough power to subdue them with ease) or when his head becomes separated from his body. At times he must pause to think of exactly how to use his powers to escape a precarious situation unscathed. His name derives from the star Betelgeuse, which -- ironically enough, given Beetlejuice's love of foul odors and "armpit music" -- the armpit of the constellation Orion.

Due to what is later described in the series as his "juice" (his inborn source of magic), whenever Beetlejuice utters aloud a figure of speech, he or his surroundings change to act on the pun (for example, if he says he's tired, he'll transform into a tire; if he says he's flat broke, he transforms into a flat disc that falls to the ground and shatters; on one occasion, in reference to his own power, he declares "This literal translation stuff slays me!" and giant letters reading "Literal Translation Stuff" then fall from the sky to crush him). Almost all of his transformations maintain the black-and-white striped pattern he wears on his suit, although sometimes the stripes are coloured depending on the transformation.

Though many Neitherworld denizens have some magic, it is Beetlejuice's greatly superior power (no real cause for it is ever given) that affords him the title—albeit mostly self-asserted—of "The Ghost With The Most," (another line borrowed from the movie), in fact, in multiple occasions Beetlejuice was able to effortless subdue a number of supernatural beings, and his dis-corporeal, self-sentient brain once claims that Beetlejuice's power is more than enough to conquer the whole Neitherworld. Because of that power, almost everyone in the Neitherworld is fair game for his pranks, though no more so than he himself, since he is not immune to careless use of his power; for example, he was once tricked by his enemies into saying "I'm coming apart at the seams!" which caused him to break into several pieces, with which his enemies then stole and scattered to different places in the Neitherworld, rendering him helpless as Beetlejuice can only use his powers when all of his body parts are together. However, with Lydia's help, he soon reassembled himself. Sometimes Beetlejuice will mix up one of his transformations, due to homophone-based confusion (when Lydia told him to turn into a stake to fight off Count Mein, he turned into a flank steak).

At times, various of his body parts (including his feet and his entire torso) manifested minds of their own, independent of Beetlejuice's control, with his brain and even his entire Squeletical system having abandoning him once. Beetlejuice's main pastime is pulling various pranks on the other denizens of the Neitherworld such as Jacques, Ginger, The Monster Across the Street, Poopsie, the Mayor and in the Living World it is Lydia's rival Claire Brewster, Lydia's parents or sometimes Lydia herself. In the episode "Scary Fools Day", Beetlejuice and Lydia had a Scare War with each of them playing pranks on each other throughout the episode. Lydia only succeeded in scaring Beetlejuice once with the prank that his mother was coming to stay with him for a month, but Beetlejuice successfully pranked Lydia at least four times using his much more effective powers. These pranks included popping out of her desk drawer as a jack-in-the-box, pretending to shred her school essay, disguising himself as Claire Brewster who would be staying with her while her parents were on a six month holiday and using a sock puppet and a lamp to create the illusion of a Sandworm. Beetlejuice's pranks on many seem to cause them great embarrassment or damage, but for Lydia however, his pranks are only done to tease her, not to cause harm which shows his care for her. Lydia in fact, seems to be the only person who has any control over Beetlejuice. He even said in one episode he'd do anything for her, and she in turn reciprocates his feelings.

Beetlejuice is also constantly coming up with get-rich-quick con schemes to get money, as he dreads having to get a job, and in later episodes (particularly in the second half of the fourth season), Beetlejuice greediness becomes so intense that he starts to overlook his friends and family, and even when Lydia openly scolds him, Beetlejuice shows unbelievable reluctance or unwillingness to give up of his schemes. His favourite foods are insects of various types, especially beetles, and worms. In one episode however, he gets a job as a scarecrow on a beetle farm. When he finally gets his chance to eat the beetles one is cheering his name in admiration and Beetlejuice, overcome with guilt finds he can't eat them. Acts like this prove that Beetlejuice has more of a heart than he likes to think. Beetlejuice also loves causing mayhem in the Neitherworld and being filthy, and this last makes Beetlejuice have a pathological and psychotic hatred of bath (at one point, when Poopsie once waters him(Beetlejuice) with a hose, Beetlejuice went berserk with fury and nearly killed Poopsie.). Despite this cynical and childish attitude, Beetlejuice prove to be a profound and isightful person, frequently reciting quotes of philosophical and humanitarian importance (but of course, Beetlejuice rarely follow his own lessons and lectures).

The things he hates include Sandworms, cleanliness, and anything "cute". He expresses his likes and dislikes via variations on a single catchphrase, as in "Nerd humour...you know I love it!" or "Sandworms...you know I hate 'em!"

Beetlejuice's origins are rather fuzzy. On one hand, he frequently claims to be dead, a ghost (having died centuries before—though his references are often hundreds of years apart), which implies a prior life in the "real world". Yet some episodes show his parents residing in the Neitherworld, and it is apparently there that he was born to and raised by them: there are, for example, photos of him in the Neitherworld as a baby—showing him with his stock ghostly complexion and bizarre snake-like tongue—and tales of his youth already manifesting his trademark personality. One possible explanation may relate to his saying something about his parents "making him feel like a kid again" and being unsure how to fix it without his growing up all over again; another is that continuity was not a key importance in the series. More likely, the creators probably changed it to avoid scaring off viewers; in the original opening, he is shown leaving his grave as a corpse. Later airings featured new animation of him producing stripes on his clothes.

A number of times, Beetlejuice interacted with Lydia's parents in the "real world" of Peaceful Pines, always under the name of "Mr. Beetleman", and in a couple of instances, he performed a gender change on himself to become a teenage girl about Lydia's age, as "Mr. Beetleman's" relative "Betty Juice".

Lydia Deetz

Lydia Deetz - a goth girl in her preteens at the start of the series, (she was in the seventh grade) and early teens later in the series, (at one point she expressly states that she is 14). Lydia is established as being a creative, bright, sharp, yet eccentric young girl, but otherwise Lydia's unique outlook on life makes her stand out from most of the other school-girls, which leaves her feeling out of place and alone in the real world, finding it difficult to fit in well with most of her classmates—leading her to frequently visit and seek out reassurence with her closest best friend, Beetlejuice, in the Neitherworld, where she is accepted and loved for who she is as a person.

Lydia is an amateur, but nonetheless, talented photographer, entomologist, seamstress, and sketch artist with an innate affinity and love for all things gross, scary, weird and macabre, and who celebrates all that is (in the words of her film incarnation) 'strange and unusual'. Despite her love of all things 'strange and unusual', Lydia is also a positive, well-mannered, friendly and patient girl, (being best friends with Beetlejuice is a testament towards Lydia's saint-like patience.) And aside from also being emotionally mature for her age (given what her best friend and her parents are like), Lydia can be accredited as being very responsible for a girl in her age group. Lydia is also shown to be a naturalist, shown to feel very strongly about environmental issues, (in Spooky Tree Lydia cut school and chained herself to a tree in protest of the workmen who were about to chop it down). She has also shown that she is extremely gifted with anything mechanical, and understands a lot about cars (she knew what to do to build Doomie, while Beetlejuice did not know very much, such as what a carburetor is).

In the series, Lydia attends "Miss Shannon's School for Girls" and is in seventh grade. Lydia is Beetlejuice's best friend; in the events of the pilot episode, Critter Sitters, both she and Beetlejuice have already known each other for a year, as they are celebrating their first anniversary of friendship. Beetlejuice frequently addresses her as "Lyds" or "Babes" rather than "Lydia" though he does use her full name from time to time, like when he is scared, amused, or worried about her. For example:in "Worm Welcome" when Beetlejuice found out that "Worm Your Way" deodorant, causes baby Sandworms to go crazy, he was scared Lydia would be eaten by the baby Sandworm thus in turn, makes himself shout her name. Lydia knows how to summon Beetlejuice to her presence, or make her own way to his: by calling his name aloud three times. (Occasionally she is shown making use of a longer, more elaborate ritual to bring him out of the Neitherworld or send herself into it, but that seems not to be a necessity.) Unlike Beetlejuice himself, Lydia is almost universally loved by the Neitherworld cast of the show.

In the pilot episode, Critter Sitters, she is shown summoning him through the longer ritual; as part of the ritual, the colour of her clothing changes, possibly merely by her choice. (Her invariable Neitherworld costume—unless she is in disguise—is a full-length red spiderweb-patterned poncho worn over a black, form-fitting body suit.) She is not the only person capable of summoning Beetlejuice—apparently the calling of his name would work for anyone (in one episode, Claire Brewster summons him accidentally)--but Lydia is the only person he will heed (because she is his friend, not because she summons him). Having found herself a kindred spirit in Beetlejuice, Lydia looks up to Beetlejuice in certain ways; admiring his outrageous sense of humour, as she would constantly be seen laughing at his jokes or gags. In one episode Beetlejuice lent Lydia his funny bone so she could be funny as part of a school show. But without his funny bone, Beetlejuice became much more serious and normal, this change in him even disappoints Jacques and Ginger. When Beetlejuice gets his funny bone back however, he becomes his ab-normal self again much to Lydia's delight as she hugs him.

In some respects Lydia sometimes has been seen virtually parenting Beetlejuice. It is frequently made clear that Beetlejuice's dedication to her is a source of Lydia's own self-confidence. Although most of Beetlejuice's antics are motivated by self-amusement rather than malice, he can become genuinely hostile if Lydia is threatened. Meanwhile, any who might conceivably threaten their relationship (such as Prince Vince) are the objects of Beetlejuice's profound jealousy and resentment. In one episode, we learn that Beetlejuice actually has a working shrine to Lydia in his mind. Lydia never shows any romantic interest in anyone else except Prince Vince, and that quickly turns into a straight-out friendship. She's hugged Beetlejuice a few times (if in a sisterly manner), and frequently goes on dates with him (such as to movies)--always, of course, in the Neitherworld. Also, when she was inside Beetlejuice's head, she gave a donation towards the maintenance of his shrine to her. Her main hobbies, aside from photographing every sort of strange thing, hanging out with Beetlejuice, drawing, includes watching horror movies and customising dolls into famous horror movie characters and monsters, reading literary classics such the collective works of writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King and others.

Supporting characters

The Neitherworld

  • Jacques LaLean - A Francophone skeleton bodybuilder (a humorous reference to the fitness guru Jack LaLanne) and neighbor of Beetlejuice. A running gag in the series entails Jacques getting broken into multiple pieces, often thanks to Beetlejuice who will then proceed to call a number of random dogs upon him. In spite of such antics, Jacques actually likes Beetlejuice, and in one episode it is revealed that Beetlejuice likes Jacques despite his vehement pretensions to the contrary. He pursues a dream of becoming a great bodybuilder, a mostly comedic endeavor as he has no muscles, nor a body to devote fitness to, a fact he is very aware of, but regardless, does not take into consideration.
  • Ginger - A mediocre tap-dancing spider (another humorous allusion, this to Ginger Rogers). Another of Beetlejuice's neighbors, her act is often ruined by pranks of Beetlejuice. She dreams of someday being a famous tap dancer, and can be very sensitive to cruel pranks. Although she is one of the innocent creatures in the Neitherworld, she has admitted that she stole a few dance steps from other living and dead dancers.
  • Prince Vince - The ruler of the Neitherworld. He bears a striking resemblance to Tim Burton's "Vincent", the star character in one of Burton's early animation shorts (see Vincent); both, in turn, bear a resemblance to Johnny Depp, which may have been an in-joke, since Winona Ryder--who played Lydia in the film—was Depp's longtime girlfriend. Pessimistic and depressed (the weather turns gloomy and rainy in response to his mood), Prince Vince begins to perk up when he meets Lydia and they begin dating, but the relationship cools to a friendship when he asks her to be his Princess and she politely declines, being barely a teenager. His name could be based on Vincent Price, which again could be an in joke as both Johnny Depp and Vincent Price co-starred in Edward Scissorhands. It could also be due to the fact that in his early childhood, Price was Burton's favorite actor.
  • The Monster Across the Street - A tall, hairy monster from the West, who bears a slight resemblance to Gossamer from the Warner Brothers animation studio. He is another neighbor of Beetlejuice. It's no secret that he can't stand Beetlejuice (Although it is acknowledged by many that he doesn't really care for anyone), yet refers to Lydia politely as "Miss Lydia", often removing his Stetson hat in her presence. He speaks with an exaggerated western drawl. He resides in a house (suitably across the street from Beetlejuice's roadhouse) that looks like the skull of a giant-sized buffalo. He also has a little nephew called "The Little Monster from Around the Corner", as seen in Goody Two Shoes.
  • Poopsie - The Monster's beloved and talented pet dog, one of Beetlejuice's favorite prank victims, and because of this he strongly dislike of him, but he has the same affection towards Lydia that Beetlejuice shares with.
  • Scuzzo the Clown - Beetlejuice's cackling rival in prank-playing and whatever other endeavor Beetlejuice might be pursuing in a given episode. He is considered a comedy genius in the Neitherworld's version of France, though this was only revealed years after his first appearance and thus should not be taken as evidence that he was created as a direct parody of Jerry Lewis (but the later reference is clearly an oblique sarcasm).
  • Fuzzo the Clown - Scuzzo's (physically much larger) brother. Fuzzo cannot talk, but communicates through a series of meeping, beeping, squeeking and honking sounds that only his (physically smaller) brother, Scuzzo, can interpret. Fuzzo's role in the series is that of a dim-witted goon for his smarter brother Scuzzo.
  • Dragster of Doom (nicknamed "Doomie") - Beetlejuice and Lydia's convertible, neon-green-painted sentient car. Doomie is normally an affable and friendly creature, but due to the abnormal brain Beetlejuice gave him during his construction (ala Frankenstein's monster), Doomie transforms into a vicious "four-wheeled werewolf" type of monster in response to the presence of a Nietherworld dog near him, or to anger, fear, or the danger of his 'passengers', somewhat like a vehicular Jekyll and Hyde (correspondingly, even in his more sedate form he displays subtly dog-like traits such as panting, implying that he fills a pet-like role for Lydia and Beetlejuice). A recurring gag is for Doomie to turn into his "Werewolf stage" to chase Dogs around the Neitherworld, (a flip-switch to dogs chasing cars). In later episodes, he is known to "speak", which is given as the sound of an engine turning over in ignition. It is at these times, Lydia usually plays translator for him, as we understand a more complex, benevolent, and hopelessly romantic side to Doomie, such as when he began courting Mayor Maynot's convertible, Pinky. Beetlejuice makes a point of claiming his ownership over Doomie, and oftentimes demands his loyalty whenever Doomie should contradict him or is needed to aide in Beetlejuice's endeavors. However Beetlejuice can be greatly apathetic to any plight of Doomie's, necessitating Lydia's persuasion to help him.
  • Pinky - Originally, she was Mayor Maynot's convertible, whom Doomie fell in love with. After revealing that she had a problem in her engine, the Mayor decided to get rid of her and bought a new car. She tracked down Doomie, and with the help of Lydia and Beetlejuice, they took her to the auto factory where they built Doomie, and brought her to life. Since she was abandoned by the Mayor, Lydia and Beetlejuice kept her.
  • Road Hawg - A motorcycle with a mean, nasty and vicious attitude, built by Beetlejuice, when this one got tired of Doomie being nice towards others. He was made of nasty parts, which Beetlejuice got in the Deserted Auto Factory, to which he added two electrical eels. His fuel tank is similar to the head of a wild boar. Along with Beetlejuice, he formed a gang, but soon gets tired of BJ's attitude and challenges him for the place as leader of the gang in a race. Along with Lydia and Doomie, Beetlejuice is able to win the race, but when Road Hawg tried to get revenge on him, B.J. removes his spark plug, turning him into a red tricycle.
  • Captain Kidder - A pirate/headhunter who tells jokes which are not applauded. His name is a pun on to the word 'kid'--which means to tell a joke—and the notorious pirate Captain Kidd.
  • Flubbo - A slug-like bespectacled ghost with multiple arms, who's possibly one of the few creatures in the Neitherworld that can compete against Beetlejuice when it comes to grossness.
  • Judge Mental - A skeletal judge. His name is a play on the word judgmental. He despises Beetlejuice, and has banished him to Sandworm Land countless times.
  • Mayor Maynot - The mayor of the Neitherworld, completely redesigned in the second season from a stereotypical old-time mayor to more of a modern-day mayor. The mayor hates Beetlejuice and would love nothing more than to feed him to the sandworms. Though at first glance he looks like a mummy it was revealed in some episodes that he is actually an Invisible Man. His name is a play on "may or may not". Some episodes also depicted him as a green monster (possibly his original form until he became an invisible man).
  • Armhold Musclehugger - A bodybuilder ghost, parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is "Mr. Neitherworld" and the fitness king. Being a bodybuilder, he does not like to talk about emotion or other things that involve them. After losing his title of Mr. Neitherworld, he started to work as a bodyguard. He is Jacques' prime arch-rival. he has some shapeshifting abilities, but they are clearly inferior than Beetlejuice power, visible when the both constantly reshape their body muscular mass, and Beetlejuice grew up to a titanic size, but when Musclehugger tries to force his muscle to that same size, he unwittingly explode himself.
  • Chester Slime - A lawyer who bribes the mayor.
  • Germs Pondscum - A secret agent with "a license to prank", based heavily on James Bond (in particular, Sean Connery's rendition). Using Beetlejuice as his scapegoat, he usually pranks everyone that he sees.
  • Mr. Monitor - Co-president of the Nutwork which airs broadcasts of Beetlejuice's adventures; his head consists of four TV screens. Much like the X-men villain Mojo, Monitor lives for ratings and will go into an extreme panic if they drop even a smidge. Over-bearing to his employees and sniveling to his superiors, he has no qualms about destroying Beetlejuice if it will increase his ratings. However Beetlejuice's show is the favorite of the Head of the network, so Monitor's antics have a way of coming back to haunt him.
  • The Monstress Across the Street - The Monster's girlfriend.
  • The Little Monster from Across the Corner - He's The Monster Across the Street's nephew.
  • Poopette - The Monstress' dog.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Juice - Nat and Bea ("gnat" and "bee", two types of insects), Beetlejuice's parents. Unlike Beetlejuice, they are very neat, clean, and upstanding, always insisting when he visits that Beetlejuice bathe, clean his room, and/or get a job. Beetlejuice avoids them for these reasons and considers them painfully dull, despite their nagging stemming from their love of him and desire for him to be responsible and happy. While they don't seem to have magic powers like Beetlejuice, they are capable of spinning their heads around like he can. Nat seems to be fashioned after the Frankenstein monster (even works at a neckbolt factory), while Bea is fashioned like a stereotypical old woman.
  • Uncle Sid - Beetlejuice's uncle, who thinks Lydia is his nephew's girlfriend. He loves telling horrible jokes. He is married to his wife Irma. Lydia's living human uncle, Clyde, resembles Sid and tells bad jokes as well.
  • Donny Juice - Beetlejuice's little brother. Save the fierce family resemblance, Donny is perhaps the very antithesis of his older brother, and everyone in the Netherworld (even the entirety of the Juice family) very much prefer him to Beetlejuice. Donny is clean, tidy, and generous, but rather insecure. His main problem is that he is a little too kind (in the vein of Mr. Rogers, Pat Boone, or Ned Flanders), which he is aware tends to 'drive people crazy'. No explanation is offered for why his name breaks the bug-oriented naming pattern in the Juice family, although he is almost certainly a parody of Donny Osmond.
  • Bartholomew Batt - An old cartoon character whose design looks like it dates from the 1930s, and appears to be a parody of Mickey Mouse and speaking in a style like Edward G. Robinson, who desperately tries to make a comeback to TV, after he became obsolete, because he was black and white, unlike the other cartoons. His Cartoon powers seems to rivals with Beetlejuice "juice", and therefore, making him one of the most powerful beings in the Neitherworld.
  • Little Miss Warden - Warden of the sickeningly sweet Neitherneitherland, she is a parody of Shirley Temple and, to a smaller extent, Tinker Bell. Betraying how naturally cute and adorable she is in response to her surroundings, she can be strict and cruel without remorse, and pulls no punches when it comes to demanding that everything and everyone conform to the stereotypically adorable standard she sets for not just her prisoners, but all who drop in on her camp, evidenced by her imprisoning Lydia (after blatantly deeming her name un-cute) when she had tried to find out just what had happened to Beetlejuice in his court-mandated "rehabilitation" into Snugglejuice. Her partner in arms is Billy Club.
  • Jesse Germs - A skeletal outlaw whose name is based on Jesse James and whose manner (and speech) parodies Clint Eastwood.
  • I.M. Smallhead - He's the mayor's assistant, who has a shrunken head; in one episode he receives an award from "The Society of People Who Hate Hats". He was based on Harry the Haunted Hunter, who appeared in the movie.
  • Lip Scum - An annoying character, he is basically a giant mouth with eyes, arms, and legs. He is the only creature in the Netherworld everyone considers even MORE annoying than Beetlejuice.
  • Dr. Zigmund Void - A large-headed psychiatrist based on Sigmund Freud. He has a large badly-stitched crack in his skull, which seems to be completely hollow. Has treated Beetlejuice twice, once for amnesia and once for a split personality.
  • Bully the Crud - A Neitherworld-based bull-like outlaw, based on Billy the Kid, who appears in the episode "Pest o' the West." He develops a crush on Lydia and tries to force her to marry him.
  • Hankerchief Boogerheim: The owner of the Boogerheim Museum of Post-Mortem Art. His name is a parody to Solomon R. Guggenheim, the founder of the Guggenheim Museums.
  • Barry MeNot - A Neitherworld TV personality who appears in various "commercials" that sometimes pop up to emphasize a particular plot point in a humorous aside. Unlike the rest of the show, Barry MeNot's vignettes are computer-generated animation. He almost never interacts with the rest of the characters. (The name puns "bury me not".)
  • Goody Two Shoes - A fairy from the Nietherworld's Bureau of Sweetness and Prissiness, and perhaps the only being more powerful than Beetlejuice, as all of Beetlejuice's tricks proved useless on her (though her powers come from her wands). She is able to transform anyone into a sweet and clean version of him or herself. She is somewhat like Little Miss Warden except that Miss Warden does her job to reform while Goody does her job as kind of a sport, and hates it when folks get along.
  • Napoleon Bonesapart and Marie Marionette - A headless skeleton and a headless zombie based on the French general Napoleon Bonaparte, and Queen Marie Antoinette. Marie Marionette made an appearance as a guest in the episode "You're History"
  • The Scuzzimottos - A couple of slug-like creatures, who compete against everyone in the 24-hour gross contest. They were beaten by Beetlejuice and Lydia, when Beetlejuice was able to witstand their grossest face.
  • Barf Birfman - A Neitherworld TV personality, who usually presents every kind of talk-shows and other TV contests.
  • The Sappy Face Ghouls - A group of scouts who Beetlejuice formed, to sell cookies to the people of Peaceful Pines, and out-rate the Happy Face Girls.
  • Carry-On - The captain of a ferry-boat who makes the cross of River Schticks. He's an obvious pun on Charon the ferryman who took the souls of the dead into the Underworld through the Styx River, in the Greek mythology.
  • Mr. Big - A gangster and leader of S.N.O.T.R.A.G., he is a parody of Edward G. Robinson. He appears to be short.
  • Snugglejuice - After Beetlejuice was 'reformed' by Little Miss Warden, he became the sickeningly-sweet Snugglejuice. Hating violence and anything dirty; Snugglejuice is so terrified of doing anything 'naughty' that he can't even bring himself to rescue Lydia.
  • Posijuice - Posijuice was the embodied good half of Beetlejuice, created by himself. Posijuice was exceedingly kind and gentle, as well as lenient and (generally) pacifistic.
  • Negajuice - Negajuice was the embodiment evil half of Beetlejuice, created by himself. Negajuice was evil and malicious, as well as sadistic and often used pranks of destruction to terroize Peaceful Pines.

The Real World

  • Charles Deetz - Lydia's father, a nervous man who likes quiet activity and calm. One of his favourite hobbies is ornithology, which he seems to be very fond of, and he also likes baseball. He is often the victim of Beetlejuice's continuous pranks and mischieves. Despite this, Beetlejuice is sort of oddly fond of him, probably because he's one of the few people who is always falling for his pranks, usually when Beetlejuice is in his "real-world" guise of "Mr. Beetleman".
  • Delia Deetz - In the film, she was Lydia's stepmother, but the cartoon appears to present her as Lydia's actual biological mother; Lydia refers to her as "Mother" or "Mom", instead of using her first name as in the film. Her relationship with Lydia is somehow a close relationship, although sometimes, both of them do not agree in some issues. Due to her eccentric/airheaded/yuppie nature, Delia is not easily frightened, unlike her husband. Being a surrealistic artist, she mistakenly thinks that the frightening things she experiences are part of something else. Her weird art is often rejected by living people, but is very popular in the Neitherworld. Delia wants Lydia to give up scary stuff and focus on cute stuff.
  • Percy - Lydia's pet cat, an animal so high-strung that he makes Charles look relaxed. Considering the amount of torment that Beetlejuice puts Percy through, this isn't really surprising. Although Percy is most times a victim of Beetlejuice's pranks, he sometimes manages to take revenge on him, in more than one way.
  • Aunt Zippora & Uncle Danforth - Delia's rich, snobby sister and henpecked brother-in-law. Although Zippora criticises Delia and Lydia, Danforth is quite friendly, and agrees with Lydia in many points.
  • Aunt May & Uncle Clyde - Charles' farmer ventriloquist brother and mild-mannered sister-in-law. Their invariable punch line is a joint drawn-out declaration "We like it; we like it juuust fine!"
  • Grandma Deetz - She's Charles' and Clyde's mother, and Lydia's grandmother, although she resembles Delia in most aspects, like in her personality.
  • Claire Brewster - Lydia's rival, a filthy rich and spoiled rotten brat. She has tanned skin, blonde hair, and speaks with a valley girl personality. The girls could not be more different and are frequently on opposite sides of the same situation. Although Lydia simply dislikes Claire and tries to ignore her, Beetlejuice actively despises her because of how she insults, condescends to, and otherwise mistreats Lydia, leading him to prank and punish Claire with the most horrible and disgusting ways he can find. Most times she's subjected to Beetlejuice's wrath as payback for something she's done to Lydia, or when she's insulted him when he's disguised as Betty.
  • Bertha & Prudence - The only friends that Lydia has who are in her age group,(though there are other characters that have been friendly with Lydia who were around the same age.) Bertha (nicknamed "Burp" by Beetlejuice) is tall and skinny with a noticeable overbite, while Prudence (nicknamed "Prune" by Beetlejuice) is quite tiny with large glasses. They are usually portrayed as nerdy and helpless, but they share some of Lydia's interest in the bizarre, in one episode they join her (with BJ disguised as "Betty Juice") in a rock band called "the Brides of Funkenstein", while in another they survive in a wilderness area of the Neitherworld, and become (temporarily) a pair of female Tarzans.
  • Miss Shannon - Lydia's teacher and headmistress, first (or possibly last) name unknown. She tends to appreciate order and old fashioned habits, although she sometimes displays a more irreverent attitude towards her students.

Voice cast

Episodes

Main article: List of Beetlejuice episodes

Merchandise

Much as with the original 1988 film, various merchandise was released for the Beetlejuice animated series in 1990. This included trading cards by Dart, a sticker album and sticker/activity book by Panini, a jigsaw puzzle by Golden, a coloring book, a lunchbox and thermos set, Valentine's, a party centerpiece by Party Creations, a PC game by Hi-Tech Expressions, and six PVC figures available with Burger King Kids' Meals. Kenner, the company behind the Beetlejuice movie action figures, had begun developing figures for the animated series, but the project did not come to fruition (at least one prototype for that ill-fated collection has been showcased online).[3]

References

  1. "ABC Adds 'Gummi Bears,' 'Beetlejuice'". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1989-04-25/entertainment/ca-1780_1_beetlejuice-bugs-bunny-animated-series. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  2. DVD Times - Beetlejuice R1 AE in September
  3. Bickmore, Alex STA: Beetlejuice: Jacque Hardcopy Head ToyArchive.com (June 1, 2004). A Beetlejuice cartoon shirt was released into stores such as Hot Topic for sale in 2008

External links

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