March 11, 2023


(Disney Channel, June 17, 2005-May 27, 2006)
Walt Disney Television Animation




            Inside a city junkyard sat the tiny metropolis of Stickyfeet; a city that was home to a variety of insects. One of its residents was Maggie Pesky (Jessica DiCicco), a 13-year-old fly with rockstar ambitions that always had to learn her way wasn’t necessarily the right way. She lived in a house made out of an old milk carton with her mother, Freida (Susan Tolsky), father, Chauncey (Brian Doyle-Murray), brothers Aldrin (named after astronaut Buzz Aldrin, voiced by David Kaufman), a vain and selfish jock, and Pupert (Thom Adcox), a clumsy 6-year-old who loved photography as much as tattling and sweets, and baby sister, Bella (Tara Strong), who was still in her maggot phase but somehow able to juggle, breakdance and do ballet.

The Pesky family: Pupert, Maggie, Aldrin, Frieda and Chauncey.

            Maggie attended Buzzdale Academy (made from boxes, a book and a lunchbox as a belltower with a pencil flagpole) with her brothers and her best friend, Rayna Cartflight (Cree Summer), who was smart, fashionable and perky. Maggie had two antagonists at school: Dawn Swatworthy (Strong), the most popular girl who was snobby, vain, bad-tempered, selfish and always accompanied by an entourage of two blonde girls, and Principal Peststrip (Jeff Bennett), who was constantly on the lookout for Maggie to step out of line so he could get her in trouble (although he loved Aldrin, since he was a phenomenal athlete). Other characters included George (Bennett), Aldrin’s dimwitted massive best friend and teammate; Troy (Bennett), a math tutor at the school that Maggie and Rayna had a crush on; Snapercival “Percy” Carpenter (S. Scott Bullock), a bully ant at the school; Maria Monarch (Strong), a butterfly transfer student that Maggie and Rayna gave a makeover that resulted in her becoming Homecoming Queen; Brad Montergoe (Jess Harnell), Pupert’s scout troop that Maggie had a crush on; Lacey Ladybug (Lorraine Newman), a ladybug transfer student who was very pompous and convinced the student body to follow her definition of  “cool”’; Eugene and Wendell (both Harnell), twin beetles that were the school’s nerdiest kids; Cornelius Bugspit (Curtis Armstrong), the drama and history teacher; Mrs. Lunch Lady, the school lunch lady who also worked part time at the hospital as a honey striper supervisor; Nurse Hatchison, the school nurse; and Mrs. Wingston (all Candi Milo), the math and science teacher.

A legion of young fans gather outside the Pesky house waiting for rock star Maggie.

            The Buzz on Maggie debuted on Disney Channel on June 17, 2005, airing two back-to-back episodes that Friday evening. It would then continue on Saturday evenings before moving to the late mornings. In September, it was picked up for broadcast by sister network ABC as part of the ABC Kids programming block. The series was created by Dave Polsky, who viewed it as an exploration of the universal theme of individuality vs. conformity. Maggie often barreled full steam ahead towards her desires, not accounting for how it would affect those around her and serving as the life lesson she would need to learn. Dave Wasson, creator of Cartoon Network’s Time Squad, served as an executive producer, series director and character designer. The characters took inspiration from early cartoon shorts by Tex Avery, Warner Bros. and Walt Disney, such as their wearing white gloves, as well as anime with oversized eyes and heads. Additional character designs were handled by Katie Rice, Sandra Equihua, Andy Bialk and Carey Yost and were supervised by Jorge R. Gutierrez.

Maggie and Rayna chatting on the phone.

            The series was written by Polsky with Rachel Duguay, Alicia Sky Varinaitis, Dan Fybel, Rich Rinaldi, Rachelle Romberg, Laura Perkins-Brittain, Manny Basanese, Danny Warren, Josh Lynn, Chris Bowman, Will Berson, Katherine Butler, Julie Chambers, David Chambers, Robin J. Stein, Beth Seriff, Geoff Tarson, Lloyd Garver, Sharon Schatz Rosenthal, Brandon Sawyer, Nina Bargiel, Jeremy Bargiel, and Brooke Cadorette, with Sawyer serving as story editor and Arthur I. Pober, Ed.D. serving as educational consultant. Each episode was comprised of two story segments. A bit of the humor was of the gross-out variety, considering the characters and setting (such as flies having to vomit on their food—usually something moldy and rancid—in order to eat it), while also making use of cutaway gags and pop culture references given an insect make-over. It was animated by Bardel Entertainment and Future Thought Productions in Adobe Flash, becoming the first Disney series to use the program. Maggie was able to secure plenty of Flash-proficient artists as its production began just as Kids’ WB’s ¡Mucha Luncha! had been cancelled. Roman Laney supervised the location and prop designs done by Katrien Verbiest and Kyle Neswald. Maggie’s theme, “Just the Way I Am”, was written and produced by Bob Thiele and Dillon O’Brian to be about pride, acceptance and empowerment. It was performed by Skye Sweetnam and played over a sequence storyboarded by Gabe Swarr. Adam Berry composed the rest of the score.

Dawn fantasizing about her own importance.

            The Buzz on Maggie received generally positive reviews from critics and performed well on both Disney Channel and ABC; marking ABC’s highest premiere in 3 months and beating out Nickelodeon shows for the first time in the ratings. It was even nominated for an Annie and Daytime Emmy Award. Unfortunately, that success wasn’t experienced globally as the show struggled internationally. Instead of giving the crew a chance to address that problem and make adjustments to the show, Disney Channel cancelled it outright only two months into its sole season, and aired new episodes sporadically after that with some debuting in Germany first. It was rerun late at night on the Channel until 2008, and only aired once in 2007 on Toon Disney. The 1st, 3rd and 7th episodes were officially released onto DVD as part of a rare promotional kit, and two episodes were viewable for a time on Wasson’s website until it was shut down. As it has yet to be and is unlikely to be released on Disney+, to date the only way to view the series is via fan recordings and said DVD uploaded to YouTube.


“The Candidate / Germy” (6/24/05) – Maggie and Rayna give a new student a makeover, creating competition for Dawn for Homecoming Queen. / Maggie sneaks home a pet germ but finds it difficult to train it.
“Funball / The Science Whatchamacallit” (6/17/05) – Maggie creates a new game that Pupert can beat Aldrin at, but unfortunately Aldrin begins getting good at it himself. / Maggie and Rayna attempt to get their smart partners to do their project for them, but they find themselves having to present them as well.
“The Flyinator / Ladybugged” (6/17/05) – Tired of being told she’s too young for certain movies, Maggie sneaks into all of the films her parents forbade her to see. / A new ladybug student imposes what she considers classy and cool on the students for the upcoming dance.
“Lunch Lady / Love Stinks” (7/1/05) – Maggie fights for an improved lunch menu and ends up getting the students’ parents working in the cafeteria. / Maggie ends leading on a stinkbug when she finds out he’s the member of an awesome social club.

“The Price of Fame / King Flear” (7/8/05) – Maggie becomes famous with the kids of the town after she performs the song Pupert wrote for his crush. / Maggie becomes director of the play for a drama competition and becomes a terror to the cast. 

“Slumber Party / Spelling Bees” (8/13/05) – Maggie uses bugsitting Pupert as a chance to throw a slumber party. / Maggie disguises herself as a bee so that she can audition to be part of her favorite spelling team.
“Bugsitting / Le Termite” (7/22/05) – Maggie takes a bugsitting job which conflicts with a promise she made to Pupert. / Maggie tells her parents she’s the head chef at a gourmet restaurant when she’s really just a maid.
“Pieface / The Hangout” (8/5/05) – Maggie is determined to throw a pie in Peststrip’s face for the Homecoming prank. / Maggie and Aldrin compete over the same hangout spots with their friends.
“Scout of Order / Ant Mines” (11/28/05 DE, 2/11/06 US) – Maggie falls for Pupert’s scoutmaster and plots to get him kicked out so he’ll be less dorky. / Discovering life in an ant farm isn’t as bad as she thought it was for a story she wanted to write, she decides to do some creative embellishment.
“Rottingmuck Ranch / Bella Con Carny” (7/15/05) – Maggie tries to get back into her uncle’s good graces. / Maggie is forced to spend more time with Bella.
“The Usual Insects / Sister Act” (9/17/05) – Dawn becomes an office assistant and sabotages Maggie and her friends’ school records. / Maggie and Bella audition for a baby food commercial.
“Hot for Tutor / Sick Days, Inc.” (12/1/05 DE, 1/7/06 US) – Maggie and Raynor develop a crush on the same math tutor. / Maggie and Rayna try to raise money by selling kits that will help kids fake being sick from school.
“The Big Score / Scare Wars” (10/22/05) – The kids head to the human world for trick-or-treating where Maggie is determined to show-up Aldrin’s big score from a previous year. / The Pesky kids attempt to out-scare each other, with Maggie being the prime target.
“Metamorpho Sis / Radio Free Buzzdale” (11/12/05) – Maggie regrets volunteering to be a mentor when she’s paired up with a cranky cocoon. / Maggie and Peststrip team-up to thwart an anonymous DJ that took over the school’s radio station.
“Those Pesky Roaches / Bugtillion” (12/6/05 DE, 12/17/05 US) – When the Pesky kids go on strike for a raise, their parents hire roaches to do their chores instead. / Maggie seeks vengeance for Rayna being rejected for Bugtillion classes.
“Scum Bites / Hooligans” (9/24/05) – Maggie challenges Dawn to see who can sell the most candy for the school’s charity fundraiser. / Maggie tells a bully’s parents on him.
“Training Day / Honey Striper” (12/8/05 DE, 3/18/06 US) – Maggie does Aldrin’s chores for him when he gets hurt winning her a prize. / Maggie and Rayna volunteer at the hospital in order to visit an injured rock star.
“Faking History / Bugs on the Brink” (12/2/05 DE, 3/4/06 US) – Maggie takes shortcuts on her history project to get spring break started, but her father befriends her history teacher. / Maggie cooks up a plan to save Stickyfeet from being removed for a strip mall development.
“Raccooooon! / Best Best Friends” (12/12/05 DE, 4/22/06 US) – A racoon invades Stickyfeet. / Rayna’s old best friend moves to town and causes a rift between her and Maggie.
“Peskys Unclogged / Club Hopping” (12/13/05 DE, 5/6/06 US) – Maggie is embarrassed when her family plans to do some clogging on TV. / Maggie tries to get out of a math test by joining every club in school.
“Synchronized Flying / Roach Hotel” (12/14/05 GE, 5/27/06 US) – Maggie desperately wants to avoid being Rayna’s synchronized flying partner. / Aldrin tries to sabotage the vacation Maggie planned for the family.

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