THE ANGRY BEAVERS
ANGRY BEAVERS is Mankind's most important artistic achievement of this century. More than a revelation, ANGRY BEAVERS is a giddy epiphany, a welcome oasis in the desert of vacuous claptrap that is television. Emotionally uplifting, intellectually stimulating and viscerally charged, ANGRY BEAVERS is a monumental, life-affirming feast for the heart, mind and senses. Okay, so ANGRY BEAVERS is a cartoon. But it's a really good one. DAGGETT and NORBERT are the ANGRY BEAVERS, two fun loving regular guys who just happen to be large aquatic rodents. They're brothers, out on their own for the first time, struggling to make it in a big world without strangling each other. They're extremely competitive yet extremely protective of one another. They aren't always angry, but they're always beavers. Daggett's the overeager beaver. He's a guy with a short attention span and a short fuse to match. He's the hyperactive insecure kid in all of us. He leaps before he looks. He's a constant flurry of activity, who's constantly on his brother's nerves.
Norbert's the sly, wiseguy who likes to push people's buttons. And Dag's his favorite pushee. Sure, Norb loves his brother, but it's just so darn entertaining to watch him wrestle the overblown foe of the moment -- whether it's an uncooperative sofa or a giant beaver-eating bug. Norb's the wise-cracking funny guy who gets away with it, the way we all wish we could. Although they live and operate in a cartoon version of the grown-up world, the Beavers are basically kids at heart. Always on the lookout for fun, their dam is a kicky bachelor pad and rowdy playroom where the boys pursue that hepcat Beaver lifestyle you've heard so much about. The boys swing with a definite `60's and `70's retro bent.
ANGRY BEAVERS, they're putting the wild back in wildlife! ANGRY BEAVERS is about two funny guys with interests and hang-ups kids can relate to, in a relationship kids can relate to, facing situations and obstacles kids can relate to. Like kids, Norbert and Daggett are imaginative and daring, but also unsure of themselves. They have fun together, but just as often get on each others nerves. And they fulfill the kind of kid fantasies we all have, things like playing tetherball inside or using the staircase as a toboggan slide. Whether they're rocketing into space or fighting off a horde of spawning salmon to save their dam, the bottom line is the ANGRY BEAVERS are fun and funny, something everyone can relate to.
DAGGETT is animpulsive, high-strung guy. He's a constant buzz of activity, a one-man carnival, a 24-hour rush hour, who can easily drive anyone nuts (just ask Norb). He sets unrealistic goals then gets discouraged at the tiniest obstacle. He decides he wants to be a brain surgeon then gets totally bummed when he finds out you have to go to school to do it. He wants to perform lobotomies right now! He's also big into impulse buying and the latest fads. "A Ninjarobics Instant Ninja kit?" Sold! Migrate down South because all the birds are doing it? Why not?
The instant things go wrong he jumps to conclusions along the lines of "why did I ever think I could do this?" Or he'll lamely attempt to blame someone else for the disaster. But Dag's a truly pathetic liar. Lying takes careful thought and patience -- and Dag has neither. This lack of patience also gives Dag his short fuse. When a cereal box toy he really wants turns out to be broken, Norb has to duct tape him to the sofa till he calms down. And when he attacks a problem, or someone bugging him, Daggett favors the direct approach in the extreme. The river too rough? Fill it in with cement. A few salmon bugging you? Feed `em all to the bears.
Yet once he's over-reacted, Dag's totally unable to deal with the consequences. For instance, when some animals bother him, he'll toss a log at them -- not realizing they're strong enough to drop an entire forest on his head. Dag's the ultimate scaredy beaver. He'll start a fight with everyone in the forest and then runaway. But when you find him, he'll make some weak excuse about needing "a good jog." Daggett worries too much, and because he does his fears often come true. When he breaks a rule, he usually winds up paying for it. If he ignores a product warning and sticks a Q-tip too far into his ear, you can bet it'll get stuck (and do some funky stuff to his brain!!!).
When the world gets the best of him, Dag may even contemplate sacrificing Norb to save his own skin, but he never does. At the bottom of it all Daggett is insecure and thinks he needs to do something important to be important. And that's important to remember.
NORBERT is aneasygoing sly guy who's always in control (except occasionally when he's not). Beneath his smug facade, Norb can be just as insecure as Daggett -- he just hides it much better. He's a cool, self-confident, smart aleck who loves to manipulate. He'll trick Dag into climbing a giant tree, and then enjoy watching him tumble down the branches. He'll convince Dag to do pointless, life-threatening experiments as they journey through space -- just for kicks. Dag's his favorite entertainment, his unwitting beaver jester. Norb gets a big cheap thrill out of Daggett's failures, which annoys his brother. However, Daggett's hyperness annoys Norb more than enough to balance things out.
Norb would rather kick back than rush off on some hare brained scheme. When he does get into something, he uses a methodical approach. Norb's the Beaver with the hobbies and longtime pursuits. He has the patience to build a 3,000 piece model, or an elaborate theme-park ride in the basement. By taking a minute to think or read the instructions, Norb can often complete a project that Daggett's abandoned in frustration. (This, of course, also annoys Dag. Fortunately his attention span isn't long enough to hold a grudge.)
Norb tends to be a "natural" when it comes to new jobs or activities, which also really frustrates his brother. Daggett will tie himself in knots learning to ski, for example, only to have Norb slalom by on one leg, sipping a hot mug of jalapeno cider.
Norb doesn't take responsibility or rules too seriously. Probably because when he breaks the rules Daggett usually ends up paying for it. If Norb pulls the "do not remove under penalty of law" tag off a mattress, the mattress police will arrest Daggett as he frantically tries to re attach it. Often, however, Dag's hyperness causes enough trouble for both of them.
Norb's slower to anger than Daggett, but when payback time comes he's the devious one. He won't charge out after you like Dag. Rather, he prefers to manipulate things so his antagonists will do themselves in. Dag will want to whomp you, Norb will make you want to whomp yourself -- and before you realize it, you'll have kicked your own butt. He's that good. He's Norb, the Angry and clever beaver.
THE BEAVERS AS BROTHERS
Norbert and Daggett are siblings with all the frustrations and satisfactions that go along with it. Friends may come and go, but you can't give brothers or sisters away. (Trust us, we've tried.) Their sibling rivalry keeps them in a constant cycle of squabbling and making up. Their differing natures just add to the friction. Dag's manic, half-baked ambitions and Norb's sly, easygoing manner make them an odd couple that can't help getting on each others nerves. While Dag will shred a hundred cereal boxes looking for one crummy toy, Norb will carefully clip a dozen boxtops and send them in for the coolest plaything in the world. Needless to say, brotherly friction ensues. It's a basic conflict between Norb's long-term goals and Dag's immediate gratification. Like all siblings, most of their conflicts are about personal space: what's mine and what's yours. In Dag's world, everything is his to ruin and break and smush. For Norb, order and neatness count, and the best kind of destruction is the kind that happens to other people's stuff. If there's not enough of something for both of them, look out. When mom sends their favorite treat, a maple-glazed log log, Dag will grab the bigger slice. Later he finds out Norb "generously" let him have it because mom gave them two and Norb kept an entire log for himself. Then it's all out war. With his short attention span, Dag will often get into something just because Norb's doing it. This annoys Norb who thinks his brother is just a little "copy beaver." If Norb grows his teeth preposterously long, Dag will have to do the same thing -- until Dag's teeth are so long they wrap themselves around his head in a painful dental turban. Though the boys are twins, Norb was born a few seconds earlier and in most situations acts like an older brother. Of course, compared to Daggett, anyone appears more competent and mature. However, the shoe can be on the other foot if Norb gets into something over his head. For example, when Norbert tries for his lifelong dream to become a Lipizanner stallion -- it's Daggett as his goofy trainer who keeps him from getting discouraged and helps him achieve his goal. As brothers they also naturally love to push each others buttons. Daggett has that loud way of chewing twigs that's like fingernails on a chalkboard to Norbert. Norb will take an extra long time assembling a new toy, just to drive Dag nuts waiting to play with it. They'll use any little secret, pet peeve or dirty trick to win a game or argument.
Even in their worst moments, however, don't dare come between them. Dag and Norb are loyal to each other the way only siblings can be. Daggett can call Norbert a "grub-infested pine sap," but he'll tail slap the first person who laughs at Norb into the next zip code. Norb may think Dag's schemes are "muskratbrained," but if you call them that without his blessing he'd find a way to make you eat your words. As brother's, they're a natural team. Whether it's building a dam in space or trashing a water park, they can instantly band together if the need arises. When all is said and done, they're brothers and the best of buddies.
THE BEAVERS AS KIDS
Even though the Beavers are self-sufficient and out on their own, a big part of them is still kid-like. Their interests, desires and activities are basically those of our audience. To Norb and Dag, life's a series of games, pranks, and super-dupery cool stuff. This playful attitude carries over into everything they do. Even when they do grown-up things their motives and goals are always kid-like. Dag might take things too seriously, like cheering for his favorite football team or becoming the new forest ranger, but his underlying motivation is his childish enthusiasm. Norb can be the model of cool sophistication, but he can also instantly throw himself into some fun activity, like riding the rides in a water park or enjoying a rock concert, with happy abandon. The Beavers love the kind of stuff kids love: crummy old science fiction and horror movies, playing jokes, elaborate toys, silly music, staying up all night, bugging your sibling and goofing around in general. Like kids, the beavers also love to eat cool food. For them, "fun" food includes such traditional beaver fare as tasty twigs and chewy bark chips, but also jalapenos and "Yahoo," the chocolatey-fun drink.
THE BEAVERS AS BEAVERS
One very important thing about the Beavers is that they are beavers, with all the wood-chomping aquatic rodentness that implies. In fact, in true cartoon fashion, they're super beavers. They can chew through a huge tree in the blink of an eye, then carry it for miles to build a dam. They can swim great distances underwater and construct incredible wooden structures that stagger the imagination. All without breaking a sweat. Their amplified natural abilities prove very useful to themselves and others. When they need shelter, WHAM-- they've got it. When the government needs some runaway rivers dammed, WHAM-- it's done. When the boys need a huge "gravity dam" in space to stop the sun from pulling them in, the physics-defying structure is up in the slap of a tail.
Being a Beaver, however, has its occasional downsides. For instance, the boys' constantly growing teeth (a trait of all rodents) can be dangerous if not kept in check. Also, since most people have only a vague knowledge of wildlife they've often been mistaken for weasels (which disturbs them to no end). Overall, however, the balance tips distinctly in favor of beaverness. When all is said and done, at the end of the day, it's good to be a Beaver.
THE WORLD OF THE ANGRY BEAVERS
The ANGRY BEAVERS live in a cartoon world that is amazingly similar to our own human world, except that animals talk, and lots of truly incredible stuff happens every 11 minutes (per episode). If nothing incredibly has happened to you in the past 11-minutes, you are probably not part of the Beaver world. It doesn't matter how many animals speak to you on a daily basis. Those are probably just voices in your head. Back in the Beavers' world, most of the other laws of physics and nature apply. However, they're routinely bent, but not broken. Our characters have an incredible ability to bounce back from truly devastating physical ordeals. They can be hit by trucks, swallowed by giant fish, or have their own heads imploded by extremely cold drinks. Yes, it hurts -- howchee-baba, does it hurt!!! -- but that doesn't stop them from being fit and trim in the very next scene, ready to, say, get smushed by a giant runaway hairball. While they are neither invincible nor invulnerable, the Beavers and friends have an uncanny knack for defying the physics of space and time. The boys can climb into envelopes and mail themselves to a cereal company, or accidentally stay awake for several centuries when they try to pull an all-nighter. However, cartoon continuity always applies. Bodies bounce back, feelings don't. If the boys flatten someone with a tree in one scene, that victim will be physically restored in the next scene, but emotionally he'll be a whole lot testier. In short, the Beaver world is like our world, if our world was a really cool cartoon. (Tell that to the voices in your head.)
The Beavers' Woodland Home
We could've put our beaver friends in a high-rise condo, a Florida retirement community, or a Mongolian yurt. But for some inexplicable reason, we put them in the woods, in a beaver pond. Most probably it had something to do with demographics. As we all know only 20 percent of Mongolian yurts are wired for cable. The woods where our beavers live is a sprawling undeveloped landscape of lush greenery, vibrant waterways, and snow-capped mountains -- all within walking distance of every human convenience one could imagine, from quickie marts to high-tech research labs. For the most part, it's a happy, tranquil forest where all the animals go about their animal ways in peaceful contentment. In other words, it's a place just begging to be disrupted by two hyper, over-excitable beavers. For Dag and Norb, the woods are a spectacular playground of destruction. There are trees to level, boulders to roll, cliffs to throw things off -- plus, any number of innocent victims available for unintentional injury. Excluding the occasional tornado or volcanic eruption, Dag and Norb are the single most destructive force of nature in the area. Of course, by the next episode everything is back to normal. The Beavers' Dam
Probably the most important part of the Beaver's world is their dam. This is where the plots are hatched, the logs are cooked, the daily escapades begin and end. This is where the beaver's live. Nestled snugly on the edge of the small, freshwater Beaver Pond, the dam is a two-story, waterproof structure made of tightly-packed mud, logs, twigs, branches, and wood remnants from the forest (windows are fashioned out of old windshields). It's the boys' playhouse and sanctuary; their launching pad and safety bunker. It's got security. It's got style. It's got wood.
In addition to being the boys' home, the dam actually functions as a dam -- blocking off the flow of a stream to form the Beaver Pond. While the pond is only a few feet deep, and approximately 60 to 100 feet across, it can take on epic proportions to the beavers. In some episodes it can be a vast ocean. In others, a bottomless pool filled with mysterious creatures. It's expansive quality is only limited by the boys' imagination and the plot of each episode.
The Dam Insides
Picture two swingin' hepcats from the `70s furnishing their pad totally from wood and found objects. Then let a couple of beavers run amok in it every few minutes. This is the interior of the boys' dam. Using roadside junk, old camping/outdoor gear, and anything else that floats down the pond, Dag and Norb have built a comfortable and spacious home, filled with recycled oddities that work ingeniously well as furnishings and decorations. The couch is an old sled with mismatched cushions. The table is an upside-down toboggan. The closet closes with doors from the back of a van. The living room is lit by a wagon wheel "chandelier." Overall, the home has youthful, dorm-room esthetic -- playful and functional despite the limited resources at hand. Like the pond, the dimensions of its exterior can expand and contract, depending on the story. Per cartoon rules, everything can return to normal in the next scene.
First off, getting inside the dam: the front door on the ground level is the "guest entrance." This is for non-beaver losers. The real "front door" is actually a circular hatch on the floor of the living room that leads from the pond, and is only accessible by swimming beneath the dam. You want to make a big, soggy entrance, bursting up through the hole in a torrent of water and splash-o-rific excitement (and what beaver wouldn't?), this is the door to use. And the cool thing is: groceries and other packages can be brought in this way without getting wet. Meanwhile, mail is delivered via a pneumatic "mail tube" system connected to the boys' mailbox outside. Upstairs
The stairs to the second floor wind 360 degrees before reaching the upstairs hallway. The boys rarely ascend or descend them at anything but a breakneck pace. On one side of the upstairs hallway is the boys' bedroom, on the other is the upstairs bathroom.
For further details, see the next two pages for detailed layouts of the dam downstairs and upstairs.
The Living Room Is For Livin'!
The main room of the dam takes up most of the ground floor and is the center of the boys' activities -- especially the part with the couch and TV. Beaver life seems to revolve around these two furnishings, as well as the room's "Entertainment Center." Here we have several built-in shelves holding a bulky but-functional, `70s-style "hi-fi" set, along with numerous videos and 8 track cassettes. The boys love their 8-track cassettes. It's part of that real "with-it" zest they have for retro entertainment. Besides 8 tracks, they dig sci-fi flicks from the `50s, pop music from the `60s, and TV shows from the `70s. Apropos of this, the karaoke machine gets far more use than the PC Computer (which has yet to play a significant role in any episodes).
This is the next most important room in the house. Although it has the same improvised, makeshift quality as every other room in the dam, it also features a working refrigerator and microwave oven for those late-night lumber snacks.
The boys sleep in canoe bunk beds -- literally, one canoe "bed" suspended over the other on a wood frame. Dag's on the top bunk, Norb on the bottom. Primarily a place to snooze, Dag or Norb will hang out in this room when they want to be away from each other.
Yes, the beavers use the toilet. There's one upstairs, and one downstairs, and they both have that unique beaver decorative flair. For instance, the downstairs bathroom has a life-raft bathtub, while the upstairs room has a shower made from an old outhouse.
Other Rooms. Although the size and layout of the dam remains constant, it's not unusual for one of the brothers to suddenly discover a room they never knew they had. For instance...
The Basement. This vast chamber can be the setting for any outlandish, indoor spectacle. It's a room of almost limitless possibilities -- none of which Dag would ever have the patience to realize. But Norb is a different story. He can take Dag on a sophisticated theme park style ride he's built down there called "The Hall of Beaver History," in which the boys float in a dugout log past elaborate dioramas of Beaver historical events.
Some "Rules" of the Beaver World
TIME TRAVELING AND OTHER PASTIMES. While ANGRY BEAVERS episodes take places primarily in the present-day dam, the boys can easily find themselves in any place or time period, without an elaborate explanation or device to get them there. Examples: they can be mountaineers climbing Everest or Roman gladiators without a big setup or device to get them there.
IS THAT A ROCKET IN YOUR POCKET? WHY, YES, IT IS. Characters can wear costumes or use outlandish props for the sake of a gag or historic period. These costumes or props can appear in the blink of an eye. Examples: Daggett steps into a closet and instantly emerges dressed like a Viking. Norb reaches in his pocket and pulls out a full-size wooden model of a Buick (with a fake-wood finish).
WARNING: OBJECTS IN CARTOON ARE LARGER THAN THEY APPEAR. Basically, we play fast and loose with scale. Anything that helps a gag or exaggerates a story point is welcome. Example: a giant muskellunge is large enough to swallow the boys' dam as well as several Swedes, even though it lives in a tiny beaver pond. Or Norb's train set has more miles of track than most subway systems, yet it fits in the boys' dam.
NO SPOOFS. In general, contemporary references, spoofs, and satires are verboten. (So is the use of the word "verboten.")
BUT THEN AGAIN... Exceptions are sure to come up and, as Norb will tell you, rules are made to be broken. Especially if the joke is really funny.
It's Gotten Free!
Doctor, what have we done?
A spleen with an
It's a Monster!
Oh, the Humanity!
Sarah, cover you ears so it can't eat your brain!
It's eating my brain!
Jim! Help Me!
It's on my arm!
Norbert and Daggett are big fans of cheap, crummy horror and sci-fi flicks. Films like "The Amazing Colossal Colossus," "Viking Women From Venus" and "Curse Of The Mummy's Curse." They treat these with all the enthusiasm and reverence true cinema classics deserve. They watch, idolize, memorize and sometimes even live them... like the time Norb eats too many spicy snacks before bedtime and does sleepwalking re-enactments of the B-movie he fell asleep watching. B-movies can work their way into Beaver stories in a number of ways. They can be on the Beaver's TV, as part of their everyday life. They can be a source of ideas and inspirations. They can even merge with the Beavers reality in funny and fantastic ways, as in the sleepwalking story.
Norbert and Daggett are Beavers with one foot in the present, and one foot in the bellbottomed 70's, and one foot in the swingin' early 60's (wait a minute, that's three feet!) Although things like cable, computers and microwave snacks exist in the Beavers' world, they take a backseat to 8-tracks, astronauts and pneumatic mailing tubes. If it's goofy pop culture from the 70's, 60' and even earlier, the Beavers embrace it. This includes consuming a wide range of way-cool wood snacks, caseloads of Yahoo, endless hours of science fiction and horror movies on TV, and forays into the "karaoke arts."
Humans and Animals In the Beavers' World
Humans and animals are all created equal in the ANGRY BEAVERS. People wander into the forest and animals into the people world with relative ease, only occasionally making note of each other's species. The beavers can get visits from door-to-door salesman, or testify before Congress on the timber industry. And when it comes to expressing that famous spleen-poppin' beaver rage, Dag and Norb are truly species-blind: human, animal, plant -- even hippies! -- all share an equal opportunity to experience the anger that is the ANGRY BEAVERS. The few times the boys are less-than-human is when they pretend to be pets, in which case they are treated like pets. Other than that, the only major differences between us and them is the big teeth and the fur (for those of us who have shaved our backs).
Inanimate Objects or..."Sometimes a stick is just a stick."
For the most part, inanimate objects do not spring to life and talk. However, some non-living objects may occasionally seem to have an almost-human obsession with foiling Daggett. Example: the Big Meany River battles Dag's attempts to dam it with a human-like exuberance. (But that's Dag for you -- he can be so annoying he not only brings out the worst in people, but things as well.) NOTE: this type of anthropomorphizing is extremely rare. The lone exception is "Stump" (see "Characters" section).
The beavers live in a community of forest creatures, all of whom speak and act like humans, but retain their unique natures and abilities, often in exaggerated way. For instance: the beavers can chew through wood super fast; the bear is incredibly strong; the tree lizard grows back severed extremities instantly. Although they live true to their species -- birds in nest, bears in dens, gophers in gopher holes -- the forest animals also own TVs, VCRs, karaoke machines, and other essential human appliances. They are consumed with human interests and desires, mixed with their traditional animal instincts. Dag and Norb love to eat wood, but they also like human junk food. Their buddy the shrew burrows underground, but he also drives a tractor-trailer. Typical "human" conflicts occur just as easily among the beavers and friends, only they have the resources of both human and animal worlds to help them solve it. For instance, when Norb's toe stinks, Dag can either make him wash it in the pond, or run him through a car wash. They can fly a real rocket to the sun, and then build an outer space "beaver dam" once they get there.
Beyond the Beavers themselves, ANGRY BEAVERS has a wide range of other characters. Although the first season has no recurring characters, per se, [note: all cool Latin terms in this bible appear in italics], several strong characters emerged which will become more of a constant presence in subsequent seasons.
STUMP -- a tree stump, who we never see move or speak, but who accomplishes amazing things off screen. He's a Renaissance log who can cook, play the piano, hang-glide, and basically solve any problem big and small in the whole world -- all off-screen. We never actually see him speak or move -- which is fine, since he has no "hands" or "feet," and his face is a motionless wrinkle of lines in his wood. The most concrete action we ever experience of Stump is the off-camera "stomp-stomp-stomp" sound of him walking about. So how does he do that Stumpy magic that he does? Good question. Lesser minds might assume the boys are doing all these incredible things, and just pretending Stump is responsible for them (especially since we never actually see Stump in action). However, our brilliant viewers will know the truth: Stump is alive and well and making the world a better place -- we only see the results of his actions, not the actions themselves. Background: Stump started out as a tree the boys chewed down. But then Norb felt sorry for him and took Stump home to be his bestest friend. This made Dag jealous, but ultimately he came to love and appreciate Stump as well. Starting in the second season, we have been trying, whenever possible, to have Stump make a brief cameo appearances in every episode.
BING -- a hyperactive tree lizard who's very insecure and lonely. He befriends the boys, totally moves into their lives and drives them nuts. He's that friend that won't leave, no matter how many hints -- or barbells -- you drop on him. He's a good guy, just don't let him into your house.
TREEFLOWER -- a hippie girl beaver, with her own rock band. Norb falls madly in love with her, but she vanishes as quickly as she appeared. She's currently on the road with her band, "The Friendly Chartreuse Bubble Gum Machine." We expect the paths of these two star-crossed beavers to intersect again.
BARRY THE BEAR -- a deep voiced, ultra-cool bear who's one of the boys' forest neighbors. Think Barry White with claws. His catchphrase: "Respect."
THE OLD WIZARDY BEAVER -- a mystical, but not particularly wise, beaver, who can transport himself and others all over the universe on his "magic log." He is both a master and referee on subjects beyond the mortal realm of beavers. When the boys invoke the "Infinity Times, End-of-the World, Numbooger Triple Spoot Secret Beaver Dare," the Old Wizardy Beaver not only coordinates the elements of it, he also enforced its penalties. The Old Wizardy Beaver is a good device to use when a plot demands other-worldly activities.
Old Gramps -- the legendary fish that lives in their pond. He's supposed to be a huge terror, but turns out to be the wrinkled fish equivalent of a crotchety, half-blind, old man. But watch out for his wife, Ol' Gram'-- she's big enough "to swallow a Swede."
TRUCKEE, THE TRUCK-DRIVING SHREW Truckee's the smallest and meanest animal in the forest. He'll take on any animal, regardless of their size -- not unlike a real shrew. He's got a massive Napoleon complex, and compensates for his petite stature by driving a huge tractor trailer truck, which may or may not have cargo inside it. Of all the animals, he is the one most likely to start -- and win -- a fight against Dag the scaredy beaver.
OTHER FOREST CREATURES. -- There is a general gang of forest animals that has included in various episodes a wolf, a tall rabbit with attitude, a squirrel, a moose, an elk, an eagle with her chicks, a raccoon, and a turtle. Animals can also be just plain dumb animals, as is the case with the salmon who besiege the Beavers' dam because it's in their way as they swim upstream to spawn.
Humans in ANGRY BEAVERS tend to be more peripheral characters. They fall into two main classes:
1) ORDINARY, EVERYDAY PEOPLE
These are the people the boys encounter in their day-to-day activities. They range from a twisted family of "wholesome" suburbanites to body-painting fans at a football game. They tend to be either supporting or incidental background characters. Some examples:
Ranger Phil -- the harried park ranger who resigns under pressure from the forest animals and becomes a figure skater.
The Goode Family -- a father, mother and daughter whose particular brand of wholesome American suburban living includes strongly disciplining the Beavers posing as their pet "bucktoothed spaniels."
Picnicking family -- An average family from whom Daggett steals food for a raccoon while posing as his make-believe super hero Muscular Beaver.
The Scientists -- smug, white-jacketed researchers who poo-poo Daggett's attempts to cure the Beaver scourge Stinky Toe.
Rock Concert Bouncer -- a security guard with a mellow, hippie demeanor, who nonetheless still roughly ejects the Beavers from a rock concert that descends on their pond.
Sgt Goonter -- the tough, but fair drill instructor at the Lipizzaner Stallion training academy.
2) PEOPLE ON TV
These are realistically rendered people in the various TV programs and movies the boys watch. These personalities usually have unusual names like Loop Gerkin, our ubiquitous TV reporter, or Bill Licking, a wildlife program host. This group also includes all the people and humanoids from the B movies the boys watch, idolize and otherwise interact with.
ANGRY BEAVERS STORY AND STYLE GUIDE
ANGRY BEAVERS stories are the bestest, funniest, profoundest stories ever. We realize that if we gave you all the secrets to writing them, you might turn right around and sell them to the highest bidder, perhaps even an unfriendly foreign power. What follows are some vague hints and allusions intended not only to help you, but to confuse the enemy. Please use your decoder ring to decipher them. One of the many cool things about the Beavers is the wide range of stories they make possible. Because they are kids, forest animals and swingin' guys all at once, anything and everything that might involve members of those groups are grist for the ANGRY BEAVERS story mill. Disappointing cereal toys, a career path decision, or a brother's new treetop bachelor pad all work equally well as catalysts for Beaver adventures. Throw the Beavers' wide, quirky range of interests into the mix and the story horizon becomes even broader. As wide as the range of possibilities is, there are limits. We have a few suggestion to help shape your concepts, ideas and notions into the masterpieces that are ANGRY BEAVERS stories. Angry Beavers Story Guidelines
There are a few simple rules of thumb to keep in mind whenever considering an idea for an ANGRY BEAVERS story.
1) KEEP IT GOOFY & SILLY -- The first Beaver story rule of thumb: "goofy is good, silly is better."
2) KEEP IT SIMPLE -- stories should be light on plot and strong on character. After all, there's only so much you can do in 11 minutes. Whenever possible they should focus on a basic, recognizable theme, like one of the Seven Deadly Sins for example. (Of course, that old "have a beginning, middle and end thing" still applies).
3) KEEP IT CHARACTER DRIVEN -- stories should come from character wants, needs and drives, and from the dynamics of characters relationships. Use Norbert and Daggett's contrasting personalities and their sibling relationship as sources of conflict, humor, twists, etc.
4) KEEP IT "KID FRIENDLY" -- stories should be about issues and situations kids can relate to, either literally or metaphorically. (No mid-life crisis, enlarged prostate stories please, no matter how real they are to you!)
5) KEEP IT "EVERGREEN" -- stories should avoid parody, satire and topical references to keep them from becoming dated. We're a cable network and we run these things ad nauseum.
6) KEEP IT VISUAL -- stories should not be overly dependent on dialog. This is animation with all the visual richness and possibilities that implies. Visuals are your friends. Use them.
(UNOFFICIAL RULE #7: NO DRAG. That kind of sick stuff is just not Nicktoons, damn it!)
Don't Forget Your Audience
Recent research with a mixed population of seniors shows only low to moderate interest in ANGRY BEAVERS with persons age 65 and older. Of those interested, females enjoy the show most when the Beavers are nurturing each other and discussing their problems. Males enjoy it most when they were bludgeoning each other with lumber. Guess some things never change. So if America's seniors aren't watching who is? It took everyone at Nickelodeon, the kids' network, completely by surprise, but oddly enough it's kids. Armed with this information, it was sagely decided that kids should be our target audience. An age range of 6 to 12 years old was carefully arrived at by a complex mathematical formula involving the tossing of lawn darts at white bunnies with numbers painted on their sides. Fortunately, kids today are way more sophisticated than you were. Needless to say, you don't want to write down to them. However, you mustn't be pretentious either. They're not snobs. Trotting out your education will only make you look foolish. This is where the whole "kid friendly" thing comes into play. Whatever the story concept, there should be something in it kids can relate to. This doesn't necessarily mean the stories must be about obvious kid issues like homework and summer camp. For the sake of comedy, it's better if they don't. As long as an element of the story relates significantly to the way kids act and the issues they face it will be "kid friendly." For instance, in one story Daggett becomes the new forest ranger. While this isn't a particularly kid-like activity, the core issue that drives the story -- letting power go to your head is something kids can definitely identify with and understand. Other "kid-friendly" concepts that have become Beaver stories: staying up all night, trying to be popular, breaking a promise, getting carried away with a fantasy life, and faking sickness to avoid doing something. One final style note: because reading levels vary, any signs, labels or other printed messages that provide essential story information need to be "billboarded" by a character reading them aloud or in some other way making clear what they say.
A Guide To Beaverspeak
Those darn beavers not only look different than us -- they speak differently too! While Dag and Norb have a tentative grasp on many adult words and concepts, they are basically kids with a kid's understanding of the world. As such, they talk in a playful, kid-like fashion -- mispronouncing words, rhyming things, making fun of them, etc. The world around them is also full of kid-like phrases. A research lab is called "Stinky Poo Technologies." A wise old beaver monitors the "Infinity-times, end-of-the-world, numbooger, triple-spoot, secret beaver dare." And it's totally acceptable for respected human adults to use words like "stinkface" and "poopy pants."
Specifics of Beaverspeak
THE EXTRA SYLLABLE. Beaverspeak often includes an extra syllable added to a word. For instance, "thank you" would be "thank a you," or "modern" becomes "moder-ren." They will also often misplace the syllable break in a word or pronounce the silent "ed" at the end: "doomed" is "doo med;" "problem solved" is "problem sol ved." Another favorite of Dag's is to add a "ness" to words that don't need it. Examples: "biggerness," "fasterness."
RHYMES AND SING-SONGY TERMS. The boys love to rhyme things. Examples: "Daggy-waggy," "teeny tiny peecy weecies," "Okee-dokee-artichokee," "alrighty-reety-roty," and "Stoopy-poopy scaredy beaver." Feel free to make up others. The most popular of these rhymes is "Easy peasy." This is Daggett's slang for something that's beyond easy -- it's "easy peasy" (although "easy peasy" tasks usually turn "mondo complicado" before you know it).
REDUNDANCIES. The beavers will often make overly-redundant statements to humorous effect -- especially Dag. For example: "a rapid rate of speed," "that humungo-enormous log that's really, really big," "stinky, little stinkers," "you dumb, dumb, dumb... dumb guy!"
NORB'S HIPSTER SPEAK. Norb has a habit of making up his own words as well, usually in a pseudo-hip, `50s, advertising copy kind of way. Examples: "fantabulous," "timber-riffic," "giganta-mous," "splash-tabulous. "relaxification," "giganterous," and "beava-licious." Norb also has a flair for super-hepcat Beatnik phrases. Examples: "Don't put me in your box, Mr. Man," and "You are so square -- you must be from Squaresville."
STAGE DESCRIPTIONS AS DIALOGUE -- Occasionally, the beavers will actually insert a script's stage descriptions and dramatic punctuations into their dialogue. For instance, if a line is supposed to be read "with a whimper," the character may actually say "with a whimper," and then continue the line. Or they'll say "dot, dot, dot" when there's an ellipses present. This, however, comes out of the recording sessions and is normally not explicitly written into the scripts.
Some Common Beaverspeak Words and Catchphrases
BEAVER BLEATS -- The beavers each have their own distinct way of expressing pain and distress. Daggett's is a long, plaintive, high pitched wail: "Oooohhh." Norb's bleats are more nasal and annoyed: "Ehhn!"
"THAT WAS NUTS!" -- Dag's catchphrase response to any wild ride or incredibly intense experience (usually brought on by the beavers themselves). For instance, they chase a killer muskellunge, only to have it swallow them and their dam. Or they end up at a fur convention and almost get turned into mittens. Or one of them trips through a hole in their wall into Another Dimension. "Wow! That was nuts." The catchphrase should be used (if possible) at least once an episode.
"SPOOT" -- The beavers' favorite expletive. A frequently used, all purpose word for anything undesirable, objectionable or just plain crummy. It can be used as a noun ("What's that spoot at the bottom of the Yahoo bottle?") and an exclamation ("Oh, spoot!"), but it's most often used as an adjective or adverb. "My spooty brother won't quit buggin' me..." "Keep those spooty headed salmon away from us..." "Don't be such a spoot head/spoot-face/spoot-brain."
"GO BITE A TREE" AND OTHER INSULTS -- When the beavers berate someone, their slurs will usually contain some "wood" reference. Example: "Lick lumber, sap-face!" or "Eat pine cone, bark breath!"
"WOLA-BOGA!" AND "HOWCHEE-BABA!" -- Any exclamation of astonishment. It's the beaver way of saying "Wow" or "Holy Smokes!" Note: feel free to make up other nonsensical exclamations as long as they are similar in tone to these two.
"NOW YOU CAN PANIC!" Norb's catchphrase for when things are really, really bad. Usually preceded by Norb's repeated reassurances "not to panic." While Norb manages to keep his cool way beyond most characters, there comes a time when things are so out of control that he must state the obvious. Example: The boys are burning up as they spiral into the sun. But "don't panic" -- at least they still have air to breathe. However, when they run out of oxygen a moment later... "Now you can panic!"
"Thingy." When in doubt, the beavers or other characters use the word "thingy" to describe something. Example: "Mission to the Big Hot Thingy." "Just hop on that big, log-like, magic thingy." "Thingy" is synonymous with one of their other favorite words: "whatchamacallit."
"Big Hug." Norb's overbearing, tongue-in-cheek request for affection from Dag, who hates to be hugged. "Come on, big hug," Norb will say, as Dag squirms away.
Nicknames. The boys often play with each other's names. For instance, Norb will refer to Daggett as: Dag, Daggy, Dagski, Daggi-kins, Dagolini, Dagman, Daggie poo, Dageo, Daggy-waggy, Dagopolis, Daggy-do, Dag a muffin, Dagalito, Moon Daggy, Captain A-Dag, Daggy san, and "My trusty stallion." Dag will sometimes call Norb: Norbert, Norby, Norbo, Norby-osky, Norby-oh-bee-oh. Norbe. The list of nicknames is constantly expanding. There is no end to the boys' playful variations on each others names.
ANGRY BEAVERS OUTLINE AND SCRIPT FORMAT
ANGRY BEAVERS outlines should be double spaced with scene sluglines, underlined and bolded, heading each separate scene. They should be approximately 6 to 7 pages long with minimal dialog. On the next page is an example of an ANGRY BEAVERS outline's first page.
"UTTER NONSENSE" 1/23/97mls OUTLINE
INT. BEAVERS' BEDROOM-MORNING Norbert and Daggett are flopped across Norb's canoe bed, feverishly sorting through their personal collections of "PLUTO INVADES AND EVERYONE RUNS AROUND SCREAMING!" cards. The Beavers have discovered that hidden within their collections is possibly the ultimate "Pluto Invades" card. As brothers often do, the search for the card has become a competition with the boys believing that one has it and the other Beaver doesn't. Norb is confident that he possesses the card and is methodically sorting his collection. Dag, being the over-zealous beaver that he is, is quickly glancing at each card and discarding them with a fling into the air. He's just got to beat Norbert to the card! Suddenly, each Beaver holds out a single card. Simultaneously, the Beavers exclaim, "I HAVE IT! 'The evil Plutonean Bad Warlord Guy Person lets loose the vermin-infected mucus of a thousand intergalactic head colds!"
Always the mischief maker, Norbert immediately points at his distracted brother. "1-2-3 hobbapit-too, a jinx on you! We said something at the same time and I jinxed you. From now on, the first Beaver who talks...gets a MOOGIE-PINCH!" As usual, Daggett is caught completely off guard. "A moogie-pinch?" Norbert immediately twists his brother's chest hairs. "You talked first!"
ANGRY BEAVERS scripts are written in standard screenplay format, not half hour sitcom style. ANGRY BEAVER episodes are 11 minutes in length. That means scripts should be no more than 15 pages long. (This is an absolute maximum. We don't care how good that 16th page is -- we're not reading it. No way, no how.) Unlike live action screenplays which are written to be fast reads, ANGRY BEAVERS scripts are more like shooting scripts. Be specific (but not tedious) in describing staging, shots, visual detail and audio cues. THE OFFICIAL ANGRY BEAVERS COMPUTER/SOFTWARE SYSTEM IS MICROSOFT WORD 6.0 FOR WINDOWS OR MACINTOSH. A SCRIPT FORMAT TEMPLATE WILL BE PROVIDE FOR WRITERS USING THIS SYSTEM.
The following is the first page of an ANGRY BEAVERS script:
Angry Beavers "Stump Looks for His Roots" Episode 227 jd 2/5/97 (second draft)
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
OPEN ON: a slideshow depicting Dag and Stump involved in a variety of sports. Dag GIDDILY describes everything we see.
DAGGETT O.S. (CONT'D)
Oh, oh, oh! Our summer vacation! Here's me and Stump hiking... swimming... lifting our own weight in sausage meat. Whee!
We see Dag and Stump on a steep hiking trail, "swimming" across a lake (with goggles, snorkels, and speedos), and "lifting" a massive, 10-foot sausage (actually, Dag has propped it up on Stump). Next: Dag and Stump "share" the sausage with two spiralling, looping "Krazy" straws.
DAGGETT 0.S. (CONT'D)
Then we sucked the insides out of that sausage with krazy straws. Remember that, Stump? Huh?
WIDE ON Norb and Dag on the couch, with Stump between them. Dag LAUGHS so hard he can barely sit up. He keeps slapping Stump mirthfully on the back. Meanwhile, Norb is bored.
Then the slide CHANGES to: Norb and Stump swinging on two different tree-branch swings. Even though Norb is half out of frame, he suddenly PERKS UP when he sees himself.
Hey! It's me and Stump at the
Dag YANKS the slide out of the projector and throws it away.
First Season Episode "Log" Lines
(Log. Beavers. Get it?)
"BORN TO BE BEAVERS" (premiere episode)
When Norb and Dag's parents have a second litter, the boys are kicked out of the dam. It's Nature's way. Now they have to make it on their own in the big, wide world. Their search for a new home turns into a series of comic misadventures because each insists on doing it his own way.
"BOX TOP BEAVERS"
Like most kids, the Beavers love cool breakfast cereal prizes. But when Norb tries to teach impatient Daggett the value of patience through saving 1,000 box tops for the ultimate toy, the cereal company fails to deliver. The boys mail themselves to the cereal factory to collect what's theirs.
"GUESS WHO'S STUMPING TO DINNER?"
When Norb befriends an incredibly talented stump named Stump, Daggett finds himself excluded. His jealousy of his brother's new friend drives him to desperately try and one-up the incredibly talented tree remnant. Eventually, he learns he hasn't lost a brother but gained a Stump.
Tired of struggling to survive in the wild, the boys try the "good life" as pets. However, they quickly find suburban living is an unpleasant "dog's life" and have to escape before it does them in.
"UP ALL NIGHT"
Living on their own for the first time, the beaver brothers realize they can stay up all night if they want. What starts out as a wild good time, quickly turns into a sleep-deprived endurance test.
"LONG IN THE TEETH"
If Beavers don't chew, their teeth keep growing. Norb starts the newest forest fad by doing just that. Not wanting to be left out, Dag follows suit, and the Beavers soon find out the price you pay when you're a slave to fashion.
Dag runs jealously amok when a birthday present mix-up leaves him with a stupid little pine tree air freshener and Norb with the coolest model train set ever.
The Beavers go buggy when a new growth ingredient in their favorite soft drink turns an uninvited insect guest into Dag's worst nightmare: a giant cricket in their dam.
"BEACH BEAVERS A GO GO"
Facing another long, cold winter cooped up in their dam, Daggett convinces Norbert to head south. While Norb gets into the swim of things, the "endless summer" quickly turns into an "endless bummer" for Dag.
"FOOD OF THE CLODS"
Spicy bedtime snacks + cheap monster/sci-fi flicks = a sleepwalking Norb who thinks he's a rampaging monster. The only way a battered Dag can break the nightly cycle and convince his brother of what's happening is to become a sleepwalking monster himself.
When their favorite football team, the Beavers, is getting clobbered, rabid fan Daggett jumps into the game to help them. Norb sets out to frustrate his attempts and teach his brother it's only a game.
"MISSION TO THE BIG HOT THINGY"
Space buff Norb and Dag learn that every animal except beavers have been launched into space. They hijack the next rocket being launched only to discover it's a mission to the sun.
When Norbert yells at Daggett for constantly bugging him, Daggett builds a tree house complete with non-stop party. Norb finds himself on the outside looking up and in.
"A DAM TOO FAR"
Exploiting the Beavers natural reflex to build dams when they hear running water, the government parachutes Norb and Dag into a flood zone. The boys soon discover that the Little Meany River more than lives up to its name.
"H 2 WHOA!"
When a new amusement park steals their water, the Beavers invade and change things around to their idea of what a water park should be.
Daggett never remembers anything, but he does remember Norb's promise to do anything he wants for a whole day. He makes Norb's life miserable, until his brother turns the tables on him.
"ENTER THE BEAVER"v Tired of being an animal whose only defense is to run and hide in his dam, Daggett decides to become a Ninja, and Norb must work overtime to keep Dag from getting himself pulverized.
Spring is in the air, and so are thousands of spawning salmon. The irresistible force meets the immovable object when the Beavers discover they've unwittingly built their dam in the way of the annual salmon spawn.
"THE BING THAT WOULDN'T LEAVE"
Bing is a needy, attention starved tree lizard-- one of those people who instantly decides they're your best friend and wants to be with you all the time. Bing attaches himself to the Beavers and quickly becomes the "Bing Who Wouldn't Leave."
"I DARE YOU"
The boys learn the consequences of silly dares, when Daggett invokes the ultimate Beaver dare and both brothers must face the harrowing consequences.
In a feel good tale of a little guy going for the impossible dream, Norb tries to become one of the world famous Lipizzaner show horses with Daggett as his crusty, yet lovable trainer.
When the regular forest ranger quits, big mouth Daggett is elected to take his place. Power soon goes to "Ranger Dag's" head, and Norb must lead a forest animal revolt to get rid of him.
"THE ADVENTURES OF MUSCULAR BEAVER"
When Daggett's super hero fantasy life becomes too embarrassing, Norb is forced to become a super villain to break him of it.
"FISH AND DIPS"
The Beavers confront the terror of the unknown after Daggett has a close encounter with "Old Gramps." They decide to search out the legendary fish that's so huge he can "swallow a Swede."
When Norb comes down with the dreaded beaver disease, Stinky Toe, Daggett stops at nothing to find a cure.
"BUMMER OF LOVE"
The Beavers learn about the magic of rock-n'-roll and love when a huge Woodstock style rock festival descends on their pond.
NOTE: I'm not sure of the source of this document, but it was gifted to me by a former friend of mine (kelly) back in 2005.