Higglytown Heroes

infobox television |
bgcolour = blue
show_name = Higglytown Heroes


caption = From left to right are: Twinkle, Kip, Eubie, Wayne, Fran
format = Animated series,Children's television series
runtime = half-hour
creators = George Evelyn, Holly Huckins, Denis Morella, Kent Redeker
starring = Taylor Masamitsu (Eubie)
Frankie Ryan Manriquez (Wayne)
Liliana Mumy (Twinkle)
Rory Thost (Kip)
Edie McClurg (Fran the Squirrel)
Dee Bradley Baker (Pizza Guy, Uncle Zooter)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Uncle Lemmo)
Mindy Sterling (Aunt Mellie)
Jim Wise (Fripp)
Rachel York (Bitty)
Alanna Ubach (Plunkie)
Valyn Hall (Wiki and Tini (1st Voice))
Lara Jill Miller (Wiki and Tini (2nd Voice))
country = USA
network = Playhouse Disney
first_aired = September 12, 2004
last_aired = January 7, 2008
num_episodes = 39 (as of April 2006) [http://www.tv.com/higglytown-heroes/show/22552/episode_listings.html&season=0]
imdb_id = 0406419

"Higglytown Heroes" is a children's television series currently airing on the Playhouse Disney portion of the Disney Channel, or, on some cable networks, the Playhouse Disney channel. The theme song of the show, "Here in Higglytown", is performed by They Might Be Giants.

Plot

The characters, who are modeled on Matryoshka nesting dolls, explore their city and interact with the people in it. Along the way, they meet "Higglytown heroes", the people in their community who make it a better place. The main human characters include Eubie, Wayne, Twinkle, and Kip; Fran, who is almost always with them, is a red squirrel. Pizza Guy also appears in almost every episode. Higglytown heroes have ranged from firefighters to dentists to snow plow operators. Voice actors for these characters are frequently guest celebrities. The series encourages involvement in the community, and means to inspire children to consider the importance of individuals who contribute to the world and make it better place. This show also teaches kids about jobs and will influence them what they want to be when they grow up.

omeone Special Song

The characters introduce the featured Higglytown community member through song, normally requiring help from 'someone special' and collectively singing the verse:

*Wayne:"Someone special, who could it be?"
*Twinkle:"This job's too big for you and me."
*Fran:"We need some help!"
*Kip:"But never fear-o...."
*Eubie:"It looks like a job.......for a Higglytown Hero!"All:"A Higglytown Hero!"

(enter the hero that sings the introduction:)
*"I'm a Higglytown Hero, brave and true,
*I help the town with the things I do
*So work real hard, and you will see
*That you can be a hero, just like me!
*A hero just like me!"

(bulk of song is then sung, tailored specifically to the profession of the character or 'hero', ending in:)

*"I'm a Higglytown Hero, bold and good,
*I help my friends just like I should"

(characters now all join in together)
*"So we'll work real hard, that's what we'll do....
*So we can be a hero,
*Just like you!
*A hero just like you!" (cue fireworks)

The lyrics to the first "Hero" song were written by Kent Redeker, one of the show's executive producers. The song was composed and produced by Mark Harrison, the show's senior songwriter .

Episode Guide

eason 1

"Up a Tree / Missing Grandpop"
* Donald Faison - Firefighter Hero
* Kathie Lee Gifford - Mail Carrier Hero

"Twinkle Tooth / Flower Power"
* Camryn Manheim - Plumber Hero
* Steven Weber - Gardener Hero

"First Snow / Snow Dazed"
* Betty White - Grandmama
* Katey Sagal - Policewoman Hero

"Flappy's Not Happy / Electric Evening"
* Frances Conroy - Veterinarian Hero
* Lance Bass - Electrician Hero

"All Tire'd Out / Great Un-Expectations"
* John Michael Higgins - Tow Truck Driver Hero
* Tim Curry - Librarian Hero

"Smooth Operator / Stinky Situation"
* Cyndi Lauper - Telephone Operator Hero
* Jim Wise - Sanitation Worker Hero

"Weather or Not / Green in the Gills"
* Susan Lucci - Weathergirl Hero
* Miguel Sandoval - Artist Hero

"Higgly Halloween"
* Travis Tritt - Farmer Hero

"Smells Like a Mystery / Ship Ahoy!"
* Katey Sagal - Police Officer
* Ed McMahon - Tug Boat Captain Hero

"Soup With Stars / The Happy Friendly Sparkly Toast Club"
* Smokey Robinson - Grocery Clerk Hero
* Ricki Lake - Carpenter Hero

"Catch Up With Ketchup / Star Struck"
* Stuart Pankin - Bus Driver Hero
* Wally Kurth - Optometrist Hero

"Twinkle's Star"
* Sean Astin - Pix the Elf
* John Astin - Santa Claus

"Twinkle's Masterpiece / The Egg-cellent Adventure"
* Sharon Stone - Nicky the Blind Art Teacher
* Anne Heche - Waitress
* Dee Bradley Baker - Grandpa Krank the Egg Farmer Hero

"Wayne's Ripping Adventure / Meet Eubie's Cousin"
* Matt Cavenaugh - Tailor Hero
* Raven-Symoné - Playground Monitor Hero
* Jesse David Corti - Jax

"Say What? / Higgly Harmonies"
* Nathalia Hencker - Translator Hero
* Jamie-Lynn Sigler - Miss Fern
* David Naughton - Band Conductor Hero

"Wayne's Good Guess / Wayne's 100 Special Somethings"
* Jamie-Lynn Sigler - Miss Fern the Teacher Hero
* Cicely Tyson - Great Aunt Shirley

"Patty Cake / Havin' A Ball"
* Rocco DiSpirito - Baker Hero
* Steve Harris - Coach Hero

"Bright Lights, Big City / Kip's Shadow"
* Marissa Jaret Winokur - Taxi Driver Hero
* Carlos Alazraqui - Animal Shelter Worker Hero

"Fran Takes a Hike / Mystery at Kip's House"
* Irene Bedard - Forest Ranger Hero
* Henry Dittman - Private Investigator Hero

"Kip Joins the Circus / Baby Boom"
* Donald Faison - Firefighter Hero
* Erik Estrada - Ambulance Driver Hero

"Twinkle's Favorite Author / Don't Fence Me In"
* Tim Curry - Librarian
* Diedrich Bader - Crane Operator Hero
* Anne Heche - Waitress
* Masasa Moyo - Judge Hero

"Higgly Hoedown / Eubie's Turbo Sled"
* Trace Adkins - Cowboy Hero
* Serena Williams - Snow Plow Driver Hero

"Kip's Dad Gets a Strike / A Really Hot Day"
* Thomas F. Wilson - Truck Driver Hero
* Phil LaMarr - Lifeguard Hero

"Kip's Sweet Tooth / Wayne's Lollipop"
* Gwendoline Yeo - Dentist Hero
* Rob Paulsen - Barber Hero

"Eubie's Pink Dots / Two Bees or not Two Bees"
* Naomi Judd - School Nurse Hero
* Kate Pierson - Beekeeper Hero
* Betty White - Grandmama "Higgly Frog Day / Eubie's Ele-Fantastic Adventure"
* Maggie Wheeler - Street Sweeper Hero
* Alyson Reed - Zookeeper Hero

eason 2

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Fish / All the Wrong Moves"
* Jesse Corti - Submarine Captain Hero
* Debbie Allen - Dance Instructor Hero

"Kip Gets Swing Fever / Wayne's Pieces of Gold"
* Gregory Jbara - Tree Trimmer Hero
* Mo Collins- Science Fair Judge
* Simon Templeman - Banker Hero

"All Warm Inside / Calling All Ducks"
* Philip Anthony-Rodriguez - Furnace Repairman Hero
* Jentle Phoenix - Environmentalist Hero

"A Valentine For Miss Fern / A Totally Secret Valentine"
* Dee Bradley Baker - Pizza Guy Hero
* Lance Bass - Mr. Electrician
* Jamie-Lynn Sigler - Miss Fern
* Edie McClurg - Fran the Squirrel Hero

"Cry Baby Pookie / Wait for Me"
* Rain Pryor - Pediatrician Hero
* Wally Wingert - Waiter Hero

"Balloon-a-Palooza / Wayne's Day Out"
* Katey Sagal - Policewoman Hero
* Mathew St. Patrick - Policeman Hero
* Gayla Goehl - Great Aunt Shirley
* Michael T. Weiss - Mountain Rescue Hero

"A Fran In The Moon"
* Jane Kaczmarek - Astronaut Hero

"Me and My Shadow / Out to Sea"
* Jorge Garcia - Dog Trainer Hero
* Jamie-Lynn Sigler - Ms. Fern
* Debi Mae West - Lighthouse Keeper Hero

"Don't Wayne on My Parade / Twinkle's Terrific Twirl"
* Nicole Parker - Window Washer Hero
* Peter Siragusa - Ice Resurfacer Hero

"Wayne's Big, Big Discovery / Dirigible Day"
* Mo Collins - Paleontologist Hero
* Roberto Alcaraz - Air Traffic Controller Hero

"The Legend of Higsquatch"
* Kathy Najimy - Photographer Hero

"Eubie's Big Boat Float / A Slippery Situation"
* Anne Heche - Gloria the Waitress
* Matthew Kaminsky - Drawbridge Operator Hero
* David Jolliffe - X-Ray Technician Hero
* Wayne Brady - Doctor

"Kip's Rocket Rescue / Let's Get Moving"
* Henry Winkler - Printer Hero
* Neil Kaplan - Mover Hero
* Betty White - Grandmama

"Corn to be Wild / Overnight Moose"
* Joey Fatone - Bulldozer Operator Hero
* Jessica Walter - Motel Owner Hero

"Higgly Island"
* Wilmer Valderrama - Helicopter Pilot Hero

"Shear Luck / Big Night Out"
* Gayla Goehl - Sheep Shearer Hero
* Betty White - Grandmama
* Alanna Ubach - Babysitter Hero

"Kip Hits the Road (Calling All Cars) / Amazing Museum"
* Jonathan Adams - Road Worker Hero
* Aisha Tyler - Museum Curator Hero

"Frozen Fish Follies / Look Who's Squawking"
* Dave Wittenberg - Sled Dog Musher
* Stephnie Weir - Animal Control Officer Hero "Wayne's Day to Shine / Wayne Listens Up"
* Jess Harnell - Laundry Worker Hero
* Wayne Brady - Doctor Hero
* Jamie-Lynn Sigler - Ms. Fern

"A Hoppin' Poppin' Problem / Hay Hay Hay!!"
* Lesley Boone - Mechanic Hero, Farmer Lulu the Dairy Farmer

eason 3

"Happy Campers / All Washed Out"
* Meghan Strange - Camp Counselor Hero
* Bill Farmer - Janitor Hero
* Jamie-Lynn Sigler - Ms. Fern

"Hat's All Folks / Hop Hop Hooray"
* Billy Vera - Ferry Boat Captain Hero
* Charlie Schlatter - Receptionist Hero

"Shuffleboard Buddies / All Mapped Out"
* Debi Mae West - Physical Therapist Hero
* David Jeremiah - Mapmaker Hero

"12-Pie Abe / The Day the Diner Stood Still"
* Catero Colbert - Camel Rider
* Tom Kenny - Reporter Hero
* Anne Heche - Gloria the Waitress

"Saturday Night Higgly / Monster Sandwiches"
* Dee Bradley Baker, Mindy Sterling, & Alanna Ubach - Musician Heroes
* Jim Wise - Tour Guide Hero

"The Big Pink Elephant Sale / Higglies on Horseback"
* Jeff Bennett - Auctioneer Hero
* Michael T. Weiss - Veterinarian Hero
* Jamie-Lynn Sigler - Ms. Fern

"Buki-Buki Boo-Boo / Signs of Spring"
* Julianne Grossman - Roofer Hero
* Henry Dittman - Sign Language Interpreter Hero

"Easy to Get Sneezy / Unlock the Magic"
* Jon Curry - Allergist Hero
* J. Grant Albrecht - Locksmith Hero

"Wayne's Cycle Recycle / Wayne's Wet Pet"
* J.P. Manoux - Bike Repairman Hero
* Camryn Manheim - Plumber Hero

" X Marks the Spot / Eubie's View"
* Scott McShane - Bridge Builder Hero
* Lesley Boone - Dump Truck Driver Hero

"Whing-A-Ding Whirly Box / Windy Watchers"
* Jo Anne Worley - Customer Service Representative Hero
* Henry Dittman - Coast Guard Hero

"Choo-Choo Zucchini / Something Ducky Going On"
* John O'Hurley - Freight Train Conductor Hero
* Bobby Holliday - House Painter Hero
* Betty White - Grandmama

"Fripp's Flip-Flap Flop / Say Cheese"
* Kevin Michael Richardson - Uncle Lemmo the Short-Order Cook Hero
* Charlie Janasz - Photographer Hero

"Canyon Capers / High-Country Hiccups"
* Wally Wingert - Hector the Prospector Hero
* Kimberly Brooks - Ski Patrol Hero

"Calling All Heroes"
* Jeffrey Tambor - Radio Announcer

"Happy Flappy Birthday / The Cuckoo County Caw-Caw Contest"
* Wes Brown - Telephone Repairman Hero
* Leanza Cornett - Airplane Pilot Hero

"A Little Big Fish / Good Sports"
* Debra Wilson Skelton - Marine Biologist Hero
* Chris Carmack - Referee Hero

" 'Tis the Season to be Snowy / Bingo Bongos"
* Joseph Gian - Stan the Bricklayer Hero
* They Might Be Giants - The Supertasters
* Shawn King - Usher Hero

"Wayne's Toasty Invention / Spell it Safe"
* Jamie-Lynn Sigler - Ms. Fern
* Ruth Williamson - Lunch Lady Hero
* Anna Maria Perez de Tagle - Shelby the Safety Patrol Hero

Trivia

* In the episode "Twinkle's Favorite Author", a small tribute to the video game series, "Metal Gear Solid", appears in that the two places they visit in one song are Zanzibar Island and Hudson Bay, both important locales in the series.
* In the episode "Kip Joins the Circus", circus billboards feature JoJo and Goliath from "JoJo's Circus", another Playhouse Disney show.
* In the original press release for the show's debut, Jane Krakowski was mentioned as one of the guest voices for Season 1, but her episode has not been shown.
* A garden gnome can be found in every episode.

* The show is discussed in Thomas L. Friedman's book The World Is Flat, describing how the show is created in a way where many people in different physical locations can work on the project at the same time.
* This show is redubbed for the UK. Fran is voiced by veteran actress Sue Johnston ("The Royle Family", "Brookside", [http://www.mirror.co.uk/tvandfilm/tvland/tm_column_date=19032005-name_index.html] ), and she is joined by youngsters Africa Nile ( [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1933582/] ), Amira McCarthy, Jonathan Bee and Matthew Thomas Davies ( [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1125674/] , [http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/features/newsfeatures/display.var.589386.0.matthew_doesnrsquot_just_watch_disney_films_ndash_he_stars_in_one.php] ).

* In the UK, Pizza Guy is called Pizza Man instead, causing minor lip-synch issues, most of which would probably not be noticed by the show's target audience.

Related Studies

* Victor C. Strasburger and Edward Donnerstein, 1999. “Children, Adolescents, and the Media: Issues and Solutions,” Pediatrics, volume 103, number 1: pp. 129-139: [http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/103/1/129 Open Access Copy]

External links

* [http://atv.disney.go.com/playhouse/higglytown/index.html Official Site at Playhouse Disney]
*
* [http://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/Higglytown-Heroes.html Review of show at CommonSenseMedia.org]
* [http://gregoryjbara.com/higglytown/higglytown.html Screen captures of "Tree Trimmer Hero" from Season 2, Episode "Kip Gets Swing Fever"]
*


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