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Beetlejuice - A wild and crazy ghost who befriended a sweet dark-haired girl named Lydia Deitz on the animated comedy BEETLEJUICE/ABC/FOX/1989-91.

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice is over 600 years old and lives in a place called the Netherworld. He is frequently grumpy and ill-tempered but loves to pull pranks. Down in the Netherworld, Beetlejuice resides at "The Roadhouse" (his landlord's name is Mr. Crumb). Beetlejuice shares his apartment with roommates Jacques, a skeleton and Ginger, a tap-dancing spider. Beetlejuice's family consists of: his mother (Bee), father (Gnat), and younger brother (Donny), Uncle Victor, Aunt Lucy, Uncle Sid, Aunt Irma, Aunt Mildrid, and Aunt Emme (a cow).

Beetlejuice's turnoffs included sandworms (slithering monsters that eat ghosts) and animals especially Poopsie, a weird-looking dog owned by The Monster Across The Street. Beetlejuice likes, however, to eat bugs. Yuck!.

Up in the mortal realm, Beetlejuice's 12-year-old companion Lydia lives in Peaceful Pines with her father (Charles) and stepmother (Delia). The opposite of Beetlejuice, Lydia is clean and tidy and loves animals. She does, however, like all kinds of spooky and unusual things, and hates the color pink and frilly girly things as well as having to belong to a group called the Happy-Face Girls (Delia is the den mother).

An aspiring photographer/artist/seamstress, Lydia attends Miss Shannon's School for Girls. But when homework get her down and she needs a little excitement in her life, she summons her friend Beetlejuice from the Netherworld by reciting an incantation and soon the two of them are off on all sorts of weird adventures. The incantation reads::

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

Lydia and Beetlejuice
Lydia and Beetlejuice

TRIVIA NOTE:  The animated series Beetlejuice was produced by Nelvana Ltd. It was loosely based on the Warner Brothers film Beetlejuice (1988) directed by Tim Burton. The Maitland's house in the film was a facade built in East Corinth, Vermont. Most of the interior shots were filmed at Culver Studios located in Southern California. Universal Studios in Hollywood and Florida featured "Beetlejuice’s Rockin’ Graveyard Revue" attraction based on the film. Universal Studios Japan had Monsterfest stage show featuring the Beetlejuice character.

The Warner Brothers Press kit summarized the film this way:

"How do a couple of nice young homebody ghosts get rid of a pack of pretentious, trend-setting human beings who have taken over their house and threaten to make it unlivable -- even for the dead? And what does the couple do when the wraith they call on for assistance turns out to be demonic? "

The film follows the misadventures of Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) a newly married couple who lived in a beautiful New England farmhouse in the town of Winter River, Connecticut until the day they died in car crash. Unfortunately, they didn't transcend to the afterlife, but were bound to the mortal realm as ghost. Their prison was their own farmhouse and if they tried to leave the premises, they were confronted by monstrous sandworms which prevented their egress.

If that wasn't bad enough, just as they were learning to settle into their ghostly duties, a pretentious, yuppie family - Charles and Delia Deetz (Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones) and Lydia (Winona Ryder), their morbid, troubled "goth girl" teen who wears black and veils to the dinner table. (Winona Ryder) - move into their farmhouse and begin to do major renovations and disrupt all their lovely possessions.

Seeking help from their "afterlife caseworker" Juno (Sylvia Sidney), she informs the Maitlands that they're stuck in the house for 125 years, and it's up to them to handle unwanted guests. Procuring a copy of a book entitled Handbook for the Recently Deceased, Barbara and Adam try to haunt the new owners (by turning into rotting corpses) but they soon realize they don't have the supernatural energy needed to scare the Deetzs away.

Michale Keaton as BeetlejuiceDesperate, the undead newlyweds call upon the assistance of a malevolent ghost called Beetlejuice (a freelance "bio-exorcist") who was himself imprisoned in his own little world. To release or return him to his own supernatural habitat, a person had to say his name three times. And so, Barbara and Adam invoked him. ("Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, BEETLEJUICE!") But now that he was out of his prison, Beetlejuice was not about to return and he would do his best to stay in the Maitland's realm.

The incantation used by amateur spiritualist Otha (Glenn Shadix) to invoke Barbara and Adam to appear before him reads:

"Hands vermilion, start of five. Bright cotillion, ravens dive. Nightshades promise, spirits strive. To the living, let now the dead…come alive. As sudden thunder, pierces night. As magic wonder, mad affright. Rives asunder, man's delight. Our ghost, our corpse and we rise to be. As flies the lizard, serpent fell. As goblin wizard, at the spell. The buried, dead, and slain... rise again."

In the end, however, the Maitlands learn to live with house's new owners, befriend Lydia and send Beetlejuice back to where he belonged.


MOVIE CAST (1988)
Alec Baldwin as Adam Maitland
Geena Davis as Barbara Maitland
Annie McEnroe as Jane Butterfield
Michael Keaton as Betelgeuse
Jeffrey Jones as Charles Deetz
Catherine O'Hara as Delia Deetz
Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz
Glenn Shadix as Otho
Hugo Stanger as Old Bill
Rachel Mittelman as Little Jane
J. Jay Saunders as Moving Man #1
Mark Ettlinger as Moving Man #2
Maurice Page as Ernie
Sylvia Sidney as Juno
Patrice Martinez as Receptionist

TV SERIES CAST (1989)

Stephen Ouimette as Beetlejuice (voice)
Alyson Court as Lydia Deitz (voice)
Roger Dunn as Charles Deitz (voice)
Elizabeth Hanna as Delia Deitz (voice)
Harvey Atkin as Lipscum (voice)
Tara Strong
(as Tara Charendoff)
as Claire Brewster /Bertha/Little Miss Warden (voice)


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