Maggie Begins Buzzing on Disney

Disney Channel’s new Flash-animated series The Buzz on Maggie lands on the cabler tonight at 8 p.m. Created by Dave Polsky, who was a writer on Scary Movie 2, South Park and The Cramp Twins, the show centers on a sassy teenage fly (Maggie, voiced by Jessica DiCicco) and her web of family and friends. Maggie’s look was created by TV toon veteran Dave Wasson (Time Squad, The Ugly Duck-Thing), who helped champion Macromedia Flash as the right way of animating the snazzy looking show.

"I was convinced it was a good way to go," says Wasson. "I had done a few commercials in Flash and a few short films for a museum in Singapore. We were very lucky because we crewed up for the show when Warner Bros.’ Mucha Lucha! Was shutting down, so we got to tire some amazing Flash artists." He points out that Flash should only be seen as a tool of the business, or "an electric pencil." "I’ve always maintained that in the right hands, you shouldn’t be able to see any difference between Flash and regular hand-drawn 2D."

Like many of the toon pros working in the business today, Wasson says he was heavily influenced by the classic Tex Avery cartoons and Warner Bros., as well as early Disney shorts. "Our show’s characters have a lot of 1930s touches," he adds. "The characters wear white gloves, for example. That’s a direct homage to those classic shorts." Another key point is that Maggie and her pals live in a dump, a real dump. "As an animator, that concept gives you a lot of visual opportunities. Who can resist building a whole city out of garbage!?"

The Buzz on Maggie premieres on the Disney Channel tonight at 8 p.m. The show will then move to the channel’s weekend block at 5:30 p.m.